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Nigeria: PDP Chairman Ayu Tells Sokoto Governor Tambuwal He’s the ‘Hero of the Convention’

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on Sunday told the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, that he was the hero of the party’s presidential

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on Sunday told the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, that he was the hero of the party’s presidential convention, which elected former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.

This is as Atiku has allegedly begun consultations in search for a running mate, with the South-south largely in focus, even as he (Atiku) too had earlier paid Tambuwal a ‘thank you’ visit, for stepping down for him at the convention, a development believed to have aided his victory.

At the same time, a former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim and former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, on Sunday, joined several other Nigerians to congratulate Atiku on his victory at the convention.

Meanwhile, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), has described the emergence of Atiku as the PDP presidential candidate as a brazen
affront on the people of Southern Nigeria by the opposition party.

In a similar breath, a former Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has expressed sadness that despite allegedly spending about N30bn of Rivers’ funds, the PDP delegates still rejected the Governor Nyesom Wike of the state.

Ayu, in company of a former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido and Ihedioha, among others, had visited Tambuwal to personally thank him for his role in the outcome of the convention.
Tambuwal had announced stepping down at the presidential primary and said he did so for Atiku, a development that saw the former vice-president poll 371 votes to defeat his closest rival, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State with 237 votes.

But the decision by Tambuwal to step down for Atiku was allegedly masterminded by top northern politicians as the master stroke that ensured victory for Atiku.
Thus, on his visit to Tambuwal, Ayu who first embraced the Sokoto governor warmly and later shook hands with him, first referred to him as “my chairman”, but Tambuwal jocularly retorted, smiling: “I’m a small chairman, sir.’

Ayu then shook hands with him again and said, “You are the hero of the convention”, a remark to which Tambuwal replied: “Thank you, sir.”
On his visit to Tambuwal, Atiku, who was accompanied by one of his associates, Senator Dino Melaye, and others, had close discussions, especially, on how to move the Atiku campaigns forward.
Also, on the search for a running mate, one of those that followed Atiku on the visit said, the meeting talked about the possibility of early search for a running mate, as the party must ensure it meets the June 17 deadline for all political parties to submit the names of their standard bearers.

But this time around, the search for a running mate, THISDAY gathered, would be less controversial as the process would be inclusive as against the case, when Atiku was accused of unilaterally picking Peter Obi as his running mate without enough consultations with other stakeholders.

The source said one of the problems of Atiku’s campaigns in 2019 was the accusations from the chairman of Southeast governors forum, Dave Umahi, that Obi was appointed a running mate without much input from the PDP governors.

“This time around, everybody will be carried along and an acceptable running mate will be appointed,” the source said.
On where the running mate could come from, the source said, it was likely to come from one of the PDP governors from the south, pointing to a South-south in particular.
According to the source, “The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, is top on the list, because other governors from the south are already engaged and aligned
“The governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, is already a senatorial candidate in Abia State. The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, won his senatorial ticket to represent Enugu West and so, it is only the Delta State governor that yielded the Delta North senatorial seat to Ned Nwoko.

“So, by and large, Okowa is among the top contenders, because by 2023, he would be completing his office as a governor for 8 years. Another likely person to be considered could have been Peter Obi, but he has resigned from the PDP and now in the Labour Party. He is out of contention,” the PDP source explained.

However, in his message of congratulations to Atiku, Anyim in a statement also commended the 2022 PDP Special Convention Committee for successfully conducting the primary election.
The former President of the Senate said he was proud to have fully participated in the race to the end and praised his supporters for being with him to the end.
He, however, lamented that voting preferences at the election still reflected old pattern of primordial sentiments, wondering if the national desire to find solutions to her problems would be realised by such actions.

In the statement personally signed, Anyim said, “I must sincerely commend the PDP 2022 Special Convention Committee for doing a great job. I’m proud to have gone through the race to the end.
“However, I am shocked that consideration for voting the PDP presidential candidate was not based on burning national issues and how to resolve them, but still on the old primordial sentiments.
“It appears doubtful if our search for nationhood is yielding any results. I deeply appreciate and thank all those who stood by me throughout this race, especially, those that voted for me at the primary election.

“I want to assure all of you that we shall continue to stand tall until we birth the Nigeria of our collective dreams. Let me also congratulate His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for emerging the PDP flag bearer for the 2023 presidential election,” Anyim said.

Ihedioha, on his part, said. “I urge the former vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to swiftly move to reconcile the various interest groups within the party PDP and also call on the party faithful across the country to give their support to His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president of Nigeria in line with the desires of Nigerians to actualise the dream for a revamped PDP. I urge him to be magnanimous in victory and unify on all fronts.”

‘Atiku’s Candidacy, Brazen Affront on Southern Nigerians’

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), has described the emergence of former vice-president, Atiku as a brazing affront on the people of Southern Nigeria by the opposition party.

Following the release of the guidelines for the 2023 general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), elders and leaders of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt, had made unequivocal proclamations on the need for the presidency to be devolved to Southern Nigeria in 2023, in respect of the time-honoured practice of the rotation and zoning of high political offices between the North and the South by political parties as a way of strengthening national unity, peace and harmony.
SMBLF further recalled that several engagements were held with various stakeholders across the length and breadth of the country on the subject to foster understanding, mutual respect and oneness.

The 17 Southern governors, also in a declaration after their meeting in Asaba, Delta State, in May 2021, backed the rotation of the presidency to the South in 2023.
Thus, the Forum in a statement on Sunday and jointly signed by Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw (PANDEF/South South); Ambassador Okey Emuchay (Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide/South East); Comrade Jare Ajayi, (Afenifere/South West); Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt Forum) and Hon. Ken Robinson, (Acting Coordinator SMBLF), expressed regret that it appeared the unity and peace of Nigeria meant little or nothing to a segment of the nation’s political elite.

“This was evidenced in the PDP special convention, which was held on Saturday, 28th May 2022, where certain candidates from the North were pressured, coerced, and even intimidated to step down for former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who eventually emerged as the flag bearer of PDP, in utter derision of the established principle of zoning and rotation of power between the north and south.

“Undoubtedly, the singular motive is to perpetuate the hegemony of the North given that President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the North and of Fulani origin will be completing his full tenure of eight years by this time next year.
“SMBLF, therefore, totally REJECTS the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and calls on our people of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt as well as all true lovers of peace and unity NOT TO VOTE for him or any other Northerner in the 2023 presidential election, in the interest of posterity.”

Peterside: Wike Wasted Rivers’ N30billon on presidential primary

A former Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has expressed sadness that despite allegedly spending about N30bn of Rivers’ funds, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegates still rejected the Governor Nyesom Wike of the state.
Peterside, who also congratulated Atiku in a statement, stressed that the outcome of the PDP presidential primary was a proof that, “Wike has shown lack of requisite experience and depth to compete in national politics.”

He advised Wike to “quickly return home, shade off his toga of pride, and submit himself to Atiku to be tutored on the dynamics of national politics and the angles to hi-wire deals”.
Peterside lamented that giving away about alleged N10bn of public funds in unsolicited charity to states, and about N20bn pursuing his ill-fated presidential bid, confirmed his earlier stance that Wike’s governorship was among Rivers State’s worst era since 1967.

“That Wike could dip his hands that deep into Rivers’ treasury to pursue his vaunting ambition is a confirmation of my earlier assertion that Wike’s governorship represents our all-time low moments since the state was created on May 27, 1967.

“I wonder how Wike sleeps at night with Rivers’ pensioners going to bed hungry, and sizeable number not waking up again out of frustration. For his personal ego and ambition, he preferred to lavish billions of naira on delegates than attend to those senior citizens.
“Rivers State is so blessed yet our people are living in untold hardship and experiencing underdevelopment, because of Wike’s visionless administration of state resources.’ Peterside added.

Nwobodo: Atiku Capable of Restoring Unity, Security, Economy

Elder statesman and former governor of old Anambra State in the Second Republic, Jim Nwobodo, has said the presidential candidate of the PDP for the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has the ability and tenacity to restore the unity, security and economy of Nigeria if elected president.
In a congratulatory message to Atiku, Ayu and the stakeholders in the party on the successful conduct of the election and the emergence of Atiku, Nwobodo said the PDP victory was for all Nigerians.
Encouraging the candidate to follow through with his acceptance speech, Nwobodo, who also served as Senator between 1999 and 2003, enjoined Atiku to reunite all aggrieved members of the PDP, who left the party into their fold just as he asked other contestants of the presidential ticket to rally round him for victory at the polls.
“I congratulate Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar, Waziri Adamawa, on his resounding victory as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at yesterday’s primaries. Congratulations to our national chairman, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu, for his leadership in achieving a successful, transparent and peaceful primaries election.
“I also congratulate the Convention Committee Chairman, Senator David Mark and my Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his deputy. I congratulate all the other aspirants, who contested with Atiku for their spirit of sportmanship and appeal to them to rally round the flag bearer, as this success is success for all of them.
“Atiku’s victory is victory for PDP and victory for Nigeria in general. Atiku has the ability, the temperament and the tenacity to restore the unity, security and economy of Nigeria without which a country does not exist. I encourage him to follow through with his acceptance speech, to reach out to all the aggrieved members of our party who left the party and bring them back to the PDP family”.

Elumelu: Atiku’s Popularity Beginning of PDP’s Historic Journey

The Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, has congratulated former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, on his election as the presidential candidate of the PDP for the 2023 general election.
Elumelu, in a statement, commended all the other presidential aspirants at the presidential convention for their courage, patriotism and remarkable spirit of sportsmanship, which they displayed throughout the consultation period up to the convention.
He opined that Atiku’s emergence, with his excellent performance record and unmatched popularity across the nation, signaled the beginning of PDP’s historic journey back to power in 2023 to commence the process of rescuing, reuniting, redirecting and rebuilding the nation from the ashes of the misrule of the APC led government.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that all our presidential aspirants are eminently qualified and that their aspirations were driven by patriotism in line with the mission of the PDP to rescue our nation from the catastrophic misrule of the vicious, corrupt and incompetent All Progressives Congress (APC).
“However, the delegates have spoken and resoundingly so in electing His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar as the Presidential standard bearer to lead our Party and indeed Nigerians to victory in the 2023 Presidential election.”
Also, Elumelu, on behalf of the people of Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency and Deltans in general, congratulated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on the occasion of his 7th anniversary in office.
Elumelu, said within these seven years, God has used Okowa to bring about all-round transformation in all sectors of the economy of the state, through his intensive implementation of his unique and well-thought-out Smart Agenda and Stronger Delta mantra.

Imansuangbon: Atiku’s Candidacy Red Flag to APC, Buhari

A chieftain of the PDP and former governorship aspirant in Edo State, Mr Kenneth Imansuagbon, has described Atiku’s candidacy as a red flat to President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that now that the primaries were over, the PDP must come together as a strong and united party to send the rudderless APC government packing come 2023.
He also said the emergence of the former vice-president, as the PDP standard bearer signposted the reaffirmation of his nationwide acceptability to rescue Nigeria
Imansuangbon, who stated this in his congratulatory statement, made available to newsmen in Benin City, Edo State, appealed to Nigerians to queue behind Atiku to change the negative narrative of underdevelopment and economic woes.
“I heartily congratulate former Vice president Atiku Abubakar and all our PDP delegates for voting massively for the candidacy of Atiku as our flag bearer. As a party we have demonstrated that PDP is the only true Democratic Party that is desirous to correct all the maladies currently faced by Nigerians.
“The PDP has once again shown by the conduct of its presidential primary in Abuja on Saturday that it is the answer to the setback that Nigerians have encountered with the coming into power of the All Progressives Congress (APC) since 2015.
“We cannot wait to see Alhaji Atiku Abubakar assume office as the country’s next president whereby he will bring in his chains of people oriented programmes that are fashioned towards getting us out of the hordes of crisis we face daily.”

Obaseki Congratulates Atiku, Says PDP a Transparent Party

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has congratulated Nigeria’s former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on his victory at the PDP presidential primary election, saying the party has proven to be transparent.
In his message, the governor hailed other aspirants, who submitted themselves to transparent democratic exercise that has set the PDP as a worthy example to all other political parties in the country.
He said, “I heartily congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar (GCON) on his victory at the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential primary election.
“The keenly contested process of picking a flagbearer for our great party has again shown the PDP as a party that has enthroned a transparent internal democratic process, which is what our nation now desperately needs for its much-desired rebirth.
“I also hail all the other aspirants, who have submitted themselves to this transparent democratic exercise that has set the PDP as a worthy example to all other political parties in the country.
“The beauty of it all is that the party has put in clear display it’s maturity, strength and poise and this is now the time for all aspirants and other stakeholders in the party to pull together as we embark on this all-important mission to rescue Nigeria. Congratulations,” he said.

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