The People’s Democratic Party has taken swipes against former top members of the party for dumping the party because of their inability to handle competition, for selfish reasons amongst other things.
The former members being specifically targeted at are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy, Atiku Abubakar; Senator Barnabas Gemade, Professor Iyorchia Ayu, Audu Ogbe, Rotimi Amaechi.
Others include Yaya Kwande, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (former Speaker of the House of Representatives, now Sokoto State Governor), Aliyu Wamakko, Mutala Nyako, Musa Rabiu Kwakwanso, ex-governors of Sokoto, Adamawa and Kano states respectively, among others.
According to the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, “Majority of the top party members who defected from our party are those who cannot handle competition while some members felt that they were not well-protected when they sought assistance, others left because we lost election, others for selfish reason, while some others left when they felt they were honestly not properly accommodated in the party.”
He stated this during a press conference that was called to mark the 17th Anniversary of the institution that once prided itself as the largest party in Africa, which lost power at the federal level after spending 16 years in government.
Metuh said the PDP had nurtured democracy in the last 16 years and strengthened the political space through creating an enabling environment for various entrepreneurial spirits to bloom.
The last 16 years of the PDP, Metuh said, has been good to the nation economically with a large number of billionaires emerging in the country because of “good economic policies” of its administration while in power.
On why the party was rejected at the polls during the last general elections in view of the achievements it claimed, he said only Nigerians were in a position to explain
He said that the party was still surprised that despite its achievements recorded in the last 16 years it was in control of the Federal Government, majority of Nigerians rejected it at the polls.
“Only the electorate can say why we were rejected. We must have made our mistakes and some of the issues that affected the election had to do with the people.
“In those 16 years, we did our best. We created a system where merits were recognised. We created a lot of super rich Nigerians like Dangote, Oando and other companies. Nigerian companies now compete with foreign companies in the oil and gas sector,” Metuh stated.
He said that it was wrong for anyone to associate the party with corruption, a tag the current government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is trying to portray about the party, stressing that for the first time after over 35 years of military rule in Nigeria, the emergence of the PDP in the political scene created an enabling environment where public fund oiled the economy for entrepreneurs to bloom.
Metuh said the PDP attracted Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home, believing in the system even as it stuck to the rule of law and ensured the democratic ethos.
He insisted that anti-corruption war was part of the achievements of the PDP as demonstrated in the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
He said the PDP which championed the anti-graft campaign in the country followed it with due respect to the fundamental human rights of the people without propaganda that de-market Nigeria by celebrating corruption.
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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