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2023: PDP fumes as its governor defects to APC



•Party dissolves state, zonal excos

•Umahi left for personal reasons, says Wike

THERE was disquiet in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday, following the defection of Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It was learnt that the defection unsettled the party’s leadership after making a last-minute effort to dissuade Umahi from leaving its fold.

The party said it will not panic over anyone’s defection

“For us, the PDP is a well-structured political party with an experience of nothing less than 22 years in the political firmament of our nation.

“We are not a party that will be responding to issues on impulse. We are not a party that will be pushed around by any individual”, Spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said, adding: “no individual is bigger than the PDP.”

Ologbondiyan explained: “Umahi served as the State Chairman of Ebonyi PDP (2003 to 2007); deputy governor of the state (2007 to 2015) and two term governor of Ebonyi (2015 till date), all elected on the platform of the PDP.”

While wishing Umahi the best in his adventure, the party called on it members to remain calm and committed to its ideals, saying, no individual is bigger than the PDP.

The opposition party hurriedly convened an emergency meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC), where a decision was taken to dissolve the ward, local government and state executive committees of the party with immediate effect.

It also dissolved the Southeast zonal executive.

Mr Ologbondiyan said “these decisions are pursuant to the powers conferred on the NWC by the PDP Constitution”.

The move, according to a source, was to prevent the defection of party officers to the APC along with the governor.

Umahi alleged that the PDP failed Southeast people.

He also accused the party of injustice, lamenting that the PDP had refused to zone its 2023 presidential slot to the region.

But, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike disagreed, saying Umahi left for personal reasons.

Wike said Umahi lied by saying that his action was premised on injustice to the Southeast by the PDP.

He said the Ebonyi governor should predicate his defection on his future political ambition and not blame   the PDP.

The Rivers governor, who spoke in Port-Harcourt, said Umahi’s defection did not come as a surprise to committed PDP members  because he had been fraternising with the APC.

Wike said although he was not perturbed by Umahi’s decision, he felt offended by his attempt to justify his decision on the purported injustice meted out to the Southeast by the PDP.

The Rivers governor accused Umahi of being unfair to the PDP, which gave him governorship ticket in 2015 against all odds, and in 2019.

He noted that while Umahi had a right to move to the APC, his attempt at blackmailing the PDP and painting it in a bad light was mischievous and unacceptable.

Wike said: “My friend, Umahi wants to be President. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be President. Nobody can stop you.  You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be President of Nigeria.

“But, that does not mean, that because you want to blackmail your party, and tell lies to the people you are leaving the party because of the injustice meted against the Southeast that is not correct.”

Wike, who demanded that Umahi should retract the statement that the PDP has not been fair to the Southeast, pointed out that under the PDP, the Southeast had produced Senate Presidents; National Vice Chairman of the PDP  and Secretary to the Federal Government.

He said it was erroneous for Umahi to accuse the PDP of injustice, when he unilaterally imposed his younger brother as Southeast PDP Zonal Vice Chairman.

He added: “In life, power is sweet, but conscience is important. It is most offensive and insulting for a man to lie against his party because of power.

The governor said although APC had not told Nigerians where it will zone its presidential ticket, Umahi’s presumptuous move may be too hasty.

He warned that the hasty move may ruin him politically.

Wike queried: “Assuming the APC decides to zone its presidential ticket to the Southeast where the party has no formidable base, what is the guarantee that Umahi will secure the ticket.?

“My reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to the Southeast that is insulting to the Southeast.”

Wike urged the NWC and the National Executive Committee of the PDP to take decisive steps to ensure that PDP does not die in Ebonyi state.

On Monday, The Southeast APC Caucus, which had anticipated the defection,  met in Abuja to brainstorm on strategies for repositioning the party in the zone for effective participation in national politics

The caucus met at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, for over two hours.

The meeting, which was hosted by Governor Hope Uzodimma, was attended by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Nigige, Minister of State for Education Okechukwu Nwajiuba, former ministers, former federal lawmakers, Director-General, Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, former National Organising Secretary Senator Osita Osinaso, and serving and former national officers.

Sources said the main agenda was how to boost the numerical strength of the APC in the region.

The caucus leader, Dr. Onu, told reporters that APC leaders from the zone were interested in the reintegration of the zone into mainstream politics.

The Nation

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Funmi Iyanda is addressing Rape & Sexual Harassment on Episode 3 of “Public Eye”



On episode 3 of “Public Eye“, Funmi Iyanda‘s new talk show, she chats extensively with the mind behind Stand To End Rape (STER) Ayodeji Isiwobi, rape survivor Yinka Alaba, Lagos State PPRO DSP Bala Elkana and DSVRT head Lolade Adeniyi, on rape and sexual harassment.

As cries for justice for rape victims echo across the country, Funmi discusses rape victim protocol, rape conviction rates, and the sexual harassment bill with rape survivor, NGOs, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, and a PRO from the Lagos Police Force.

Watch below:

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I am in firm control of the administration and operation of the Nigeria Police Force – IGP replies Retired General



The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has reacted to retired army general, Garba Wahab’s claim of him losing control of the Nigeria Police Force.

Garba Wahab who made the claim while commenting on the insecurity witnessed across the country in an interview on Channels Television, said “the IGP may be sitting in Abuja with the paraphernalia of office, but he has lost the control of the police force.”

The IGP however described the comment as “ignorant” in a statement titled ‘Workings of the NPF: IGP is in firm control’.

It read;

“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to comments and reactions during an interview session on Channels TV Sunrise Daily programme of 13th November, 2020 where one Major General Garba Wahab (rtd) commented that ‘the IGP is sitting down there with all the paraphernalia of office deprived of actually having control of police… he is not in control’.

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“It notes that the comments by Rtd Major General Garba Wahab show that he spoke purely out of ignorance and from a jackboot mentality that lacks proper understanding of democratic policing culture, rooted in the Rule of Law.

“It reiterates that the retired Officer clearly spoke on a subject outside his areas of core competence.

“This is exemplified in the various reform policies being implemented to reposition the Force for greater efficiency, uphold the rule of law in policing actions and drive a citizen-centred policing approach.

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Real Madrid suffer double injury blow with Sergio Ramos, Varane



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Ramos was substituted in the 43rd minute of Spain’s 6-0 win over Germany in Seville in the UEFA Nations League.

A brief statement from the Spanish football federation said that the defender was suffering from “severe discomfort in his right hamstring.”

Ramos was featuring in his 178th international.

Meanwhile, Varane was replaced at halftime of France’s 4-2 victory over Sweden in Paris, also seemingly with a hamstring issue.

“I had to take Raphael off because he had a little problem,” Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps said.

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Oreva Benedict holds a degree in English Language and Literary Studies. He is a Nigerian who loves to read, has a picky taste in food and hang out with regular folks.

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