What binds us together is not just politics but the blood of Jesus – FFK as he shares photo with Fayose

Former PDP Presidential campaign spokesperson, and minister, Femi Fani-Kayode shared the above photo with his wife Precious and Ekiti State governor, Fayose after church service yesterday and wrote;

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“A wonderful time with the Lion of the West after church this morning. Governor Ayo Fayose is not just a friend but he is my brother.

He is one of the greatest and most courageous leaders that Nigeria has ever had. He is a friend through thick and thin and someone that fears no man.

He and I are one and we always will be. What binds us together is not just politics but the blood of Jesus. We stand together in this struggle and together we shall prevail. The lion and the tiger are one!”

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Crisis in PDP as Kashamu finishes Fayose

Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has criticized the choice of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum.

In a communiqué yesterday, Kashamu said Fayose was not the right man for the job.

He wondered how governors of a party in a need of rebranding and repositioning could choose “a liability, a loud mouth and an immature politician like Fayose as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum”.

The statement added, “It is not that his emergence as the chairman of the Forum means anything to me. But as a committed and loyal party man, it gives me great concern that instead of taking steps that will foster peace and unity, we are doing things that will widen the gap and cause more disunity.

“Those who chose him should have a rethink in the interest of the party that is striving hard to return to power.”

Kashamu also described Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who Fayose succeeds as the PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman, as cool-headed but “a traitor”.

He stated, “His brother-governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, whose tenure he purportedly continues as Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, is a cool-headed and balanced character.

“Even then, some of us pointed out that Governor Mimiko was slippery and sly, and a traitor. What happened at the end of the day? The party broke up on his head when he overreached himself in the South-West as the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum at the behest of Fayose.

“Instead of being a strong leader, who would be fair to all and do good to all manner of people, without fear or favour, he became more of a weather-beaten fowl, sullen and uninspiring.

“But, we thank God that we held our grounds and fought for our rights.

“Fayose had always wanted to be the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum. That was why he had some resentment towards Mimiko upon his emergence as the chairman of the forum in 2015. “

While he conceded to the PDP governors the right to choose whoever they wanted to lead them, he noted that they should have settled for a balanced, more experienced and mature person to lead the forum.

He argued that the governors shouldn’t have chosen “a cantankerous, divisive and unstable character like Governor Fayose, who snaps at the slightest provocation”.

Kashamu stated, “There are those who are better educated, well-cultured and better exposed, who are not working against the interest of their people and country.

“We have governors, who have held public offices since the return to democracy in 1999 but who are untainted. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission does not have any case against them.

“Those are the kind of people that could have been chosen to lead the Forum.

Kashamu said the choice of Fayose as the chairman of the PDP forum would further polarise the party and destroy it.

He added, “How many of the notable leaders of the party in Ekiti State and the South-West are ready to work with Fayose? He had the opportunity to fight for the interest of the good people of Ekiti State and Yorubaland, but he flunked it, preferring to promote impunity with a tiny clique who will always do his bidding.”

But reacting, Fayose, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, asked Kashamu to stop interfering in other people’s business.

He said, “Even as we have elected not to take issue with the senator, I think Nigerians should ask him whether he is a governor. What is the business of a senator, who is not even a principal officer in the Senate with who becomes the chairman of Governors’ Forum?

“If he wants to have a say on who becomes the chairman of Governors Forum, he should also try and become a governor like Governor Ayodele Fayose, and a respected, forthright, committed party man and a courageous one too.

“As it is now, he is not a governor and he has never been a governor, and as such does not know how the PDP Governors’ Forum operates. He therefore lacks moral right to comment on who becomes the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.”

Fayose’s New Mantle And Quest For Revival In PDP

Will the emergence of the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose,  as chairman of PDP governors forum, change much in the party? CHIBUZO UKAIBE, writes

The emergence of the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, as chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum, didn’t come to many watchers of the party as a surprise.

The governor, who is serving his second tenure, emerged chairman of the forum after a meeting of party stakeholders which held in Abuja, which from stretched from late Thursday into the early hours of Friday.

By far, Fayose is the most ranking of the current set of PDP governors, following the end of the immediate past chairman’s reign, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the outgoing Ondo State governor.

Fayose had his first tenure cut short in 2006, a year before the end of his first four year tenure, which started in 2003.

And so upon his second coming in 2014 as governor, although Fayose was senior to Mimiko having became governor, before the out going Ondo State, Mimiko, however had more accumulated experience having serviced over fours years as governor at the time.

When the pioneer PDP Govs Forum chairman former Akwa Ibom State governor, now senate leader, Sen Godswill Akpabio, left the position, Fayose and Mimiko had sought the position, a situation which almost set them at cross purposes, however reason prevailed and Mimiko was selected as chairman.

So Fayose’s patience paid off just as there were no circumstances that thwarted his ambition to lead the other governors.

Why governors settled for him

Addressing newsmen after their meeting, Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, said Fayose emerged after the PDP chieftains had a very fruitful deliberation on the state of the nation and the party.

“As an integral part of the discussion, the governors of our party, among ourselves, as well as those who were unavoidably absent, unanimously appointed a new PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman.

“In line with the tradition of our party, we agreed to appoint our colleague, the most senior governor in PDP, Ayodele Fayose, the governor of Ekiti as new Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.

“You are all aware that he is a committed party man, doing a wonderful job in his state. He is well experienced and committed to the ideals of our party.

“We have all unanimously appointed him as the new Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum to coordinate the affairs and activities of our forum and to work and collaborate with other structures of our party,” he said.

Dickson however said the sacrifices and contributions of the outgoing chairman of the forum, Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, to the forum and the party were appreciated, adding that the forum wished Mimiko well as he continues to work as a leader to move PDP and the nation forward.

He said about Mimiko “He did a very wonderful job while he served as our chairman, leading and coordinating our activities.

“He is now rounding off his meritorious eight years’ service to his state and to Nigeria.”

Chairman of National Caretaker Committee of the party, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, expressed confidence in the leadership ability of Fayose adding that they will give him the needed support.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen. Walid Jubril, also pledged the board support to Fayose, adding “This is the beginning of success and the continuation of the party to be one.

He added “So, all speculations by any other person about the disintegration of the party are gone. We are one and we will continue to be one.”

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, pledged that members of the party at the National Assembly would support the new leadership of the party’s Governors’ Forum.

The man Fayose and the task before him

Fayose has always courted controversy. For many analysts, the life blood of his politics  is controversy. He prides himself as a maverick and political giant slayer.

Right from his distant first tenure, he has been locked in political battles with more powerful actors, in the mould of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Although he was impeached on grounds of alleged corruption, he was cleared by the courts.

He also boasts of being the only Nigerian to have defeated an incumbent governor two times historically returned to office 8 years after his impeachment, on the same date.

Upon his second return as governor in 2014, PDP, his party barely a year after, was defeated at the presidential election. While the PDP now wallows in a leadership crisis, Fayose has remained the most vocal critic of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, at times evoking cringing reactions from party members and non partisans alike over some of his comments.

Still, many corruption allegations await him, ranging from his alleged involvement in use of soldiers to rig him into office for a second tenure, to his alleged role in the Dasukigatte saga.

Hours after he emerged chairman of the forum, a group of women staged a protest in Abuja, calling for the EFCC to prosecute Fayose over the arms probe which they claimed he was involved in.

Nevertheless, now that he has assumed the mantle of leadership over the governors, many wonder whether what impact he would have on his party.

Evidently, PDP craves rebirth. Indeed it would seem that the party has set out to reengineer itself ahead of 2019. But how instrumental with Fayose’s governors forum be in this new effort, considering that the Ekiti State governor has been somewhat a double edged sword – inflicting pains both on APC and PDP.

While he has been hailed for being a fiery one-man opposition to APC government, he however was an integral part of the current turbulence rocking the PDP. He was instrumental to the emergence and sacking of Sen Ali Modu Sheriff as Chairman of PDP, a situation which has caused the party many setbacks.

He was also alleged to be opposed to moves to reconcile with Sheriff as he had last year declared he was not in gube know if plans by Makarfi and Sheriff to have a joint committee to address the issues.

Unlike, his immediate predecessor, Mimiko, many pundits also wonder whether Fayose would have the temperament for the job, considering that he has to serve as a father of all.

The perception index of the PDP governors has never been appreciable in the face of their emperor-like grip on the party.

They substantially control the party delegate system, determine party candidates at state levels, largely because they control the financial and security apparatus in their states.

Over time, the clamor for more inclusiveness has never been more loud now especially after the impositions that led to the loss of guber elections in 2015 and incidents that trailed the emergence of the Sheriff which has culminated in the current leadership crisis.

One thing is almost certain going by his personality, the position of PDP governors towards the Buhari administration will become much more pungent and caustic, unlike the calm disposition of Mimiko’s leadership.

Still, how much of this would change under Fayose’s tenure remains hazy.

But for the Ekiti State governor, he took up the responsibility at a time the party needs somebody to stand up for it.

In his response upon his emergence as chairman of PDP governors, Fayose Speaking with newsmen who accepted the responsibility, pledged to work with stakeholders, including the National Assembly, to restore the glory of the PDP.

“I take this responsibility at a time the party needs somebody to stand up. I am sure you all know that we will do it to represent Nigerians well.

“It is a call to pull the walls of Jericho down; it is a call to make a difference.

“I want to assure you that within the next few months, the mobilisation, the consultation will be so effective and there will be a new beginning for our party – different and enriching,” Fayose said.

He also commended his predecessor, Mimiko, for his contributions to PDP, saying time would not permit him to continue.

“I will take over from where he stopped. Come 2019, we will take over again, we are going to come back again,” he said.

Fayose added that some people in their imaginations believed that PDP was divided but that in a short while, the party would be stronger than ever.

PDP Is Planning A Bombshell For 2019

As the struggle for political space ahead of the 2019 general election heats up, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Southern region of Nigeria, have started making plans to fortify the region for the coming challenges.

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Party leaders who gathered at the residence of the former Minister of Information, Chief Tom Ikimi in Abuja, had the strong belief that they need to emulate their northern folk who in 2015 were united across party lines in voting in a particular direction.

The regional leaders under the auspices of the PDP Southern Leaders Consultative Forum, met from Wednesday night to the wee hours of yesterday.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Ikimi, who convened the meeting, said the forum constituted a seven-man committee to be chaired by former Governor of Cross River State Liyel Imoke to propose its structure.

While speaking during the opening session, Ikimi, noted that while the PDP constitution recognised the North and South in order to establish equality, stability and fairness in power sharing, forum’s aim to rebuild and re-launch the party.

He said: “We have come to a point where this party has to be born again. Those of us who come from the South must see ourselves as one. If we do not unite and come together all our ambition will be an illusion. This is time for unity and brotherhood. It’s time that we put our house in order.

“This is not a time for power sharing. This is a meeting to inaugurate a new face and direction for the PDP. We should see ourselves as southern Nigeria, that if presidency is coming to the South it is coming to all of us in Southern Nigeria. And if there is any structure that should come to southern Nigeria we should work together for it.

“Those people who fought to divide us, did so in their personal interest and that is why I hope that today we will start a movement that will be different, that our people will work together and we will be able to fight together.

“As we speak, the Northern leaders of the PDP are also meeting regularly to put their house in order. It is not by mistake that they found themselves in 2015 voting in a particular direction. They took the decision as a people, whether they were in APC or PDP, they took the decision and they worked together. But our people were picked one by one and scattered. If we had worked together, we wouldn’t have failed in 2015 general elections,” he said.

Ikimi said governors from the South would be pleased by this movement, adding that they are going to work together.

“It is not a matter of dividing the party but putting together our forces because whatever decisions we take on a democratic basis, that is long lasting because everybody will be part of the decision. It is unfortunate if decisions are taken by a handful of people in a room and they hand down that decision to us. It will not be in our best interest. I hope this will be a beginning of that movement. We should be able to sit together and structure how this forum will work.”

Some of the prominent politicians from the zone who attended the meeting witnessed by the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee Secretary, Ben Obi and its spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye are: former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

Other are former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Mulikat Abiola, Chief Raymond Dokpesi; former governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje; Stella Onu, Iyiola Omisore, Remi Adiukwu; Hon Mulikat Akande and Shuaibu Oyedekun.

PDP Wants To Expose The Secret Behind Airforce Bombing Of Rann IDPs Camp

The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of  Peoples Democracy Party (PDP), is calling for an independent investigation into the recent accidental bombing of Rann IDPs Camp in Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State.

The faction made the call in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Adeyeye said on Thursday that the PDP was shocked and dismayed at the news of the accidental bombing of the IDPs Camp by the Nigerian Air force jet, on Tuesday, January 17.

He said the investigation would help to unravel the mystery behind the incident, which led to the death of over 52 persons and injured more than 120 others in the camp.

“This is totally unacceptable and we demand a thorough and independent investigation into the matter to unravel the mystery behind the accident.

“The excuse by the Nigerian military that the camp was mistaken to be a gathering of Boko Haram members is a show of unprofessionalism and lack of intelligence regarding operations of such magnitude.

“We are very worried that the military after several successes against the sect in recent times will display such provocative conduct capable of rubbing-off on its past achievements as a professional organisation,” he said.

Adeyeye said that the PDP was of the opinion that the accidental bombing of the IDP camp was a reaction to false alarm and that the military was misled by the informant to cause the killings of those innocent Nigerians.

“Consequently, Nigerian military must talk less on its modus operandi and also carry out sufficient intelligence gathering in order to avoid such costly mistakes in the future.

“While we appreciate that Nigerians are being informed of the operations of the military, it is

very important to conceal some vital and critical security information to avoid opponents using such information to infiltrate their ranks.”

Adeyeye added that the military must excuse itself from any form of propaganda and deceit to score cheap political points.

He urged the military to concentrate more on the job of wiping off the insurgency in the North-East and eliminate threat in all regions of the country.

He however condoled with President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Borno State, Mr Kashim Shettima and the families of those who lost their lives in the incident.

“It is unfortunate and regrettable as we pray their souls to rest in peace.

“We are equally calling on government at all levels to provide the needed support for the injured persons and pray for their speedy recovery,” he said. (NAN)

PDP Chieftain Alleges Massive Defection Of Amaechi’s Aides From APC

Rumors making the rounds indicate that more members of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State may be planning to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party.

The speculation comes in the wake of last week defection of a former Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government council, High Chief Cassidy Ikegbidi, from APC to PDP.

A PDP chieftain, Theophilus Ben Tamuno, who is the leader of Wakrike Development Projects, claimed that those planning to dump APC for PDP include thirteen former commissioners who served under the past administration.

Tamuno, who cited information from the state leadership of PDP, also claimed that seventeen former local government council chairmen who served in the immediate past APC administration headed by Rotimi Amaechi also planned to join PDP.

The Wakirike leader said the line-up of prospective defectors to PDP also included seven prominent politicians who served as board members; two of whom were chairmen, as well as a former opposition party chairman in Rivers state.

“You will soon see what I am telling you. Mass defection will begin to take place because the APC in Rivers state is disorganized.

“I have it on good authority that all those who joined the former Governor Amaechi to APC will come back to PDP.

“They thought when Governor Wike gains power he will embezzle funds but now that they have seen what the man has been able to achieve with little revenue, they now understand that he means well to this state.

“They will all come back, I can assure you”, he said.

PDP, APC Produce Candidates In Etsako Federal Constituency By-Election Party Primaries

Johnson Oghuma, a former lawmaker in Edo State and a former Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Students Affairs, Jude Imagwe yesterday emerged as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) respectively in the Etsako federal constituency by-election party primaries.

Oghuma, had earlier represented Etsako East state Constituency twice at the Edo state House of Assembly, . He scored a total of 334 votes to beat his rival, Blessing Agbimhere who garnered 75 votes in the APC primary election held at Ikelebe Sports Complex, Auchi in the result announced by the five-man Electoral Committee, led by Senator Bala Ibn Na’ Allah.

It was however gathered that the PDP party primary in which Imagwe emerged winner was through a concesus was conducted at Polaris Hotel, Afasho, near Auchi.

Meanwhile, Blessing Agbomhere, who contested with Oghuma in the APC primary has rejected the result, alleging manipulation by party leaders in the state.

But the deputy governor of Edo state, Mr Phillip Shaibu in an interview debunct Agbomhere’s claim, saying the primary election went smoothly without any form of violence.

According to him, the primary could not have been manipulated when the there was no violence during the exercise, adding that delegates for the primary were duly accredited and voted the candidate of their choice who eventually emerged victorious.

PDP Faces Uncertain Future Ahead Of Appeal Court Ruling

As the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) awaits the definitive ruling on the contentious issue of authentic leadership at the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State an atmosphere of anxiety seems to have taken over the business of the party.

The Appeal Court in Port Harcourt is expected within the next few days to decide on which of the two contending forces, the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction and the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee is the authentic leadership of the PDP.

The Federal High in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Mohammed Liman had given a ruling authenticating the PDP national convention held in May last year which appointed the Makarfi-led national caretaker committee. But Senator Sheriff and his aggrieved faction rejected the judgment and appealed it. Although hearing on the substantive case has been heard by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, the date for its delivery is yet to be fixed.

After months of dashed hope of peaceful resolution of the conflict bedeviling the party, most of the members, especially those outside the top leadership echelon, have become downcast and are no longer sure of what to expect next. Not even the bravado exhibited by the leadership of the National Caretaker Committee which saw the setting up of the 85-member Strategy Review and Inter-Party Affairs Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. Jerry Gana, could stem the growing apprehension amongst the rank and file of the membership of the opposition.

Only last week, concerned staff members of the PDP staged a protest at the national secretariat of the party still locked by security agents due to the crisis. The protest by the over 80 members of staff of the former ruling party over the continued uncertainty in the PDP is the second in the last six months. The workers under the auspices of PDP Staff Welfare Forum cried out to the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice on the cases relating to the crisis rocking the party so as to save the country from one party state.

Speaking during the protest rally, Secretary of the Forum, Hon. Dan Ochu Baiye said the PDP workers are pained over their stay at home without work. He said the worried staff members have expressed regret at the incessant petitions by one of the parties in the court case and described it as a delay tactic to subvert justice.

According to the protesting staff of the PDP who thronged the national secretariat of the party in the early hours of yesterday, the crisis is apparently persisting due to the alleged underground support one of the groups is getting from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The delay is only beneficial to the petitioner, who is being sponsored by the ruling APC to weaken and silence the only opposition party. The staff members of the PDP National Secretariat hold the Judiciary in high esteem and believe in it to remain unbiased and dispense justice that will maintain the sanctity and independence of the rule of law and the court.

“The staff members were particularly worried about the continuous shutdown of its national Secretariat by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), a situation which has made it impossible for them to report for duty and possibly interface with leaders on issues relating to their outstanding salaries. In their anguish, the workers pointed accusing fingers to certain elements within the ruling APC, whom they accused of wanting to ensure that the PDP national secretariat is perpetually under ‘lock and key’.”

They demanded the immediate and unconditional reopening of the secretariat to allow staff members gain entrance into their offices for routine party activities since, according to them, no court in the country gave the order for the lockdown of the PDP National Secretariat by the Nigerian Police Force.

APC Youths in Rivers burn A coffin with APC logo as they decamps to PDP (SEE PHOTO)

Member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rumuokparali, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State defected to PDP today. As a show of their surrender, the youths burnt a casket engraved with APC logo and handed over their brooms to PDP state chairman, which were also burnt at the venue. Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike has declared that the All Progressives Congress ( APC) has been completely dislodged in the state. He noted that the vestiges of APC were removed following the mass execution of key projects across the state.

Commissioning the Ozuoba-Rumuoparaeli-Choba road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area on Tuesday, Governor Wike said that the APC no longer has a voice in the state because leaders of the party are only involved in anti-people programmes.

He lauded the Akpor people for giving him the traditional mandate to protect the people of the state , pointing out that he will stand for the people at all times.

“There is no more APC in Rivers State, we have used projects to dislodge the APC in the state. If they don’t steer clear of Rivers State, we shall cut them off from the state. Now that our people have given us the mandate to clear all the unwanted items. ” Speaking further, Governor Wike said: “All those that know, must not come close because my people have given me the instrument to go to war against enemies of Rivers State “.

Commenting on the road, Governor Wike said that the Ozuoba-Rumuoparaeli-Choba road traverses three communities and two wards.

He said that he has fulfilled the promises made to the people of the area, adding that more projects will be executed in the area.

Commissioner of Works, Mr Iheanyichukwu Bathuel noted that the completion of the road has improved the value of property in the three communities that the road serve. Spokesman of the Rumuokparali community, Sir Chris Abel expressed the gratitude of the people to Governor Wike for fulfilling his campaign promise to them.

PDP Launches ‘Operation Capture South-East Zone’, Condemns APC’s Planned Reunion

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South East geo-political has launched what it termed “Operation recapture South East zone” as part of its plans for 2019 general elections.

This is coming even as it declared the proposed re-union by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as ‘dead on arrival’.

National Vice Chairman of PDP, South East zone, Chief Austin Umahi, while briefing newsmen, stated that the party would, in few weeks time, roll out full programmes all aimed at consolidating on the already achieved progress in the zone as well launch aggressive issue based campaign to recapture the zone for PDP.

Umahi, who passed vote of confidence on all the serving PDP governors in the zone, described the proposed re-union by APC in the region as a fluke and aborted pregnancy while insisting that PDP would sweep the party out of the zone and beyond in 2019.

He accused APC government of trying to cause breach of peace in the zone by imposing themselves on the masses and organizing political programmes in a non election year.

“We have seen with great concern the efforts of the ruling APC to instigate crisis in South East zone by organizing an ill termed rallies in the zone whereas there are no election in the state. It is with great concern also that PDP views this move as one of the plots by the leadership of the party to browbeat our people into submission by instilling fear into them but I wish to tell our people that APC days are numbered in the country and they should stand firm on their total rejection of a political party that has brought nothing but hatred, crisis, poverty and every misfortune to our country”

Chief Umahi further said PDP will recapture the zone, adding “we are launching an aggressive come back campaign in the zone starting with Anambra state which will be going to the polls this year. It is going to be a litmus test for all of us and we are going to beat every other political party in the election”