The Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udo Ekpenyong is dead.
A family source who does not want to be quoted told Channels Television in Uyo that Mr. Ekpenyong died of COVID-19 in Uyo, on Tuesday morning.
Before his election as the state PDP chairman last year, Ekpenyong was the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the State.
He was known to be a strong ally of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
An official statement from the state government is being awaited.
Following his death, Akwa Ibom State has lost three prominent figures within the last one month, the other two being a former Chief of Air Staff, Nsikak Edouk who died of renal failure, and a former military governor of the State, Idongesit Nkanga who died of COVID-19.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has tasked the All Progressives Congress, APC, federal government to be courageous enough to hand over power to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2023, says that Nigerians are earnestly waiting for PDP to return to power.
<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">The Media Assistant to the Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, disclosed this in a statement after the inauguration of the 11.53 kilometers Agbonchai-Afam road, connecting Eleme and Oyigbo Local Government Areas, which was performed by the former Senate Majority leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume yesterday.The Media Assistant to the Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, disclosed this in a statement after the inauguration of the 11.53 kilometers Agbonchai-Afam road, connecting Eleme and Oyigbo Local Government Areas, which was performed by the former Senate Majority leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume yesterday.
Wike said Nigerians have increased their yearnings for good governance, improved economy, and developmental projects which PDP Governors have provided in their different states, noting that the hope of Nigeria is on PDP.
He said: “Eleme people, I want to sincerely thank you for the support that you’ve given to me and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Do not relent. Continue because the hope of this country depends on PDP.”
The governor opined that the PDP is working in Rivers State controlled by PDP, urging Senator Ndume and the APC to respect the wishes of Nigerians who are determined to return the PDP to power in 2023 to provide them dividends of democracy.
Wike said: “To our special Guest of Honour (Ndume), he should not be angry because we are taking over from them. When they came, we didn’t fight, they took over. Now, that Nigerians have decided to change them, let them also handover to us as quickly as possible without any fight.”
The governor said he is satisfied to have fulfilled the campaign promise he made to Eleme people that he would reconstruct the once deplorable Eleme-Afam road, saying that the completed road now serves as an alternative route to neighbouring states.
Wike stated that his administration has completely rebuilt the Government Secondary School in Onne Town with the one in Eteo reaching the finishing level.
“Today, we are in Eleme commissioning Agbonchia (in Eleme)-Afam in Oyigbo Local Government Road. This road traverses two Local Government Areas. Nobody will say that we have not come to Rivers East Senatorial District to do anything.
“As I speak to you now, by the end of this month, we are coming back to Alesa Secondary School and Ascension High School. Those schools will be rebuilt completely.
“And because you gave me a good, reliable, and trusted person who is my Commissioner of Finance, there is this other road here that needs attention, I will reconstruct it.”
Meanwhile, former Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, who inaugurated the project said he felt truly humbled to perform the task and be part of what Governor Wike is doing in Rivers.
Senator Ndume described Governor Wike as a true nationalist who is an important voice in national affairs across parties, and always stands out as one who speaks the truth to power courageously.
“Governor Wike is my very good friend, a trusted leader, a very honest person. One thing we have in common is that, as a leader, you must stand out and speak the truth even if you’re alone and Wike is known for that.
“There is new hope for the state and he is Wike. Now, Rivers is not only becoming a Garden City again but it is becoming a Golden City. May God continue to give you (Wike) the strength.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the economic assertions in President Muhammadu Buhari’s independence anniversary speech as a huge slap on the sensibilities of Nigerians, noting the illogicality in the comparison of Nigeria’s fuel cost with Saudi Arabia’s.
In its reaction to the president’s national address to mark the 60th Independence Anniversary on Thursday, issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary, the main opposition party charged him to “wake up to reality and take demonstrable urgent steps that will address the divisive tendencies and poor economic policies of his administration, which are fast decimating our dear nation under his watch.”
The PDP said Buhari’s attempt to justify the increase of fuel price in Nigeria by comparing it to the N168 per litre cost in Saudi Arabia “is a morbid joke,” noting that the minimum wage in Saudi Arabia is N305,113 (3000 Saudi Riyals), ten times higher than our paltry N30,000 which is largely unimplemented in Nigeria.
The PDP added: “Is Mr President not aware that, on the average, a person working in Saudi Arabia earns around 4,230SAR (N430, 267) to 16,700 SAR (N1,698,693) per month?
“Our party charges Mr President to always check his books before making such offensive comparisons including the price in Egypt where monthly average earning is around N222, 841 (9,200 EGP) against our N30,000.
“In comparing our costs with other countries such as Ghana, Chad and Niger where purchasing powers of citizens are much higher, did Mr President reflect on the cost of house rent, education, healthcare and average dependence on fuel for daily survival by ordinary citizens as obtainable in Nigeria?More in Home
“If the flawed assertions as evident in Mr President’s speech are a direct reflection of how policies are formulated in his administration, then one needs not to wonder why our economy is in the doldrums.
“Indeed, it is imperative to state that if the Buhari administration had summoned the competence and honest to continue the programs already laid by previous administrations under our party to revive our refineries and provide an infrastructural backbone for our productive sector, fuel price will not be more than N100 per litre, in addition to the gains from by-product from crude oil.”
The PDP, therefore, urged the president to engender harmony and productivity by allowing for more robust discourse that will lead to affordable prices for fuel and other essential commodities in our country.
It further posited: “Our party also holds as ludicrous that President Buhari is hyping his ‘better together’ theme when the administration he heads, runs on nepotism, disregard for rule of law, human right abuses, corruption, political intolerance, suppression of free speech and aggression towards dissenting voices.
“We urge Mr President to end his rhetoric and take practical steps to entrench the culture of rule of law and strengthen harmonious living through inclusiveness, equity in wealth distribution and equal access to opportunities for all Nigerians irrespective of creed, class, and ethnicity.
“Furthermore, credible elections are essential to harmonious living. Our party, therefore, restates our commendation to Mr President for his newfound commitment to non-interference in elections leading to conduct of free, fair and credible governorship election in Edo State on September 19.
“We urge President Buhari to toe the line of the Edo election in the October 10 Ondo governorship election so as to consolidate the legacy of a free and fair election under his watch.
“Additionally, Mr President should exert himself on rebuilding our economy by ending his borrowing spree and focusing on our productive capacity instead of his endless lamentation over his failures.
“Moreover, security is pivotal to our economic revival. The unceasing acts of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping in the last five years have wrecked our nation’s productivity and threatened her corporate existence.
“It is therefore worrisome that Mr President’s speech did not address the call on him by Nigerians demanding that he rejigs his security architecture to inject new blood that will effectively confront our security challenges.”
The PDP restated its belief in the potentials of the nation and urged President Buhari to seek help by engaging more competent hands to assist in handling the affairs of the country.
Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Square II, has called on the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, not to turn itself to another godfather to the reelected governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
The Omo N’Oba who gave the counsel Tuesday evening when the Rivers State governor, Nyelsom Wike, led three other PDP governors on a thank-you visit to the Oba for his efforts at ensuring a peaceful election in Edo State on September 19, reiterated his disdain for the concept of godfatherism.
“I want to on this occasion plead with the PDP that as you have always been talking about the concept of godfatherism, you will uphold it and don’t let unscrupulous members of your party start to use your party by proxy or remote control to control our governor and end up being the hidden godfathers, we don’t want hidden godfathers”, the monarch counselled.
The Oba of Benin expressed gratitude to the God and the ancestors for hearing the prayers for a peaceful election.
“If you will recall when I invited the distinguished political actors of all the political parties particularly the two most active political actors, I also said why were they being called gladiators as if they were in the coliseum in Rome. I asked if they had been to the coliseum where they kill themselves at all cost, where the winner is the only one that is alive to claim victory and all the others dead. I said this is not the coliseum, this is not winner takes all or do or die affair and I did say that at the end of the day, it should be no vanquished, no victor and that both sides should consider it a win-win for everybody. I pleaded that the winner must accommodate the other persons”, the Omo N’Oba noted.
Oba Square II appealed to the governor to let bygone be bygone, and to “stretch out the olive branch for all sides to work with him. All hands should be on deck to work for Edo state and Edo people everywhere they may be proud to be”.
Wike, who was the Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election was joined on the visit by of Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Seyi Makinde, Oyo State, Ahamdu Fintiri, Adamawa State, the host governor, Godwin Obaseki of Edo state and PDP South-South Vice Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih.
Speaking during the visit, the Rivers State governor said that the visit was a fulfilment of the promised they made when they paid the Oba a visit, the day the party flagged off its campaign in the state.
“Your Royal Majesty just like the governor of Sokoto state said when we came here to flag off the campaign of our brother Godwin Obaseki, we made a promise to you and the palace that by the special grace of God if Godwin Obaseki emerges as the winner, we will come back here and thank the Oba and the palace chiefs on the 19th of September, election was held and then on the 20th of September, Godwin Obaseki was declared as the winner of that election”, Wike explained.
The Rivers State governor added that PDP places much premium on the respect for the traditional institution, hence the party had come to ” thank the monarch and the palace leaders.
“You made a promise to us that as a traditional ruler, and as far as everybody is concerned you are politically neutral and at such, you will not canvass for votes for anybody but what you preach is that there should be peace, there should be free and fair election Your Royal Majesty, we have seen with our eyes indeed there was a free and fair election, indeed the election was peaceful you said you will pray to our ancestors that in Edo, there shouldn’t be bloodshed and that is why the election was very free, was not violent and a leader has emerged we felt it will be very bad on our part if we have made that commitment before and you have also made commitment that you will pray that there will be peace and that you will pray that there will be free and fair election and there was free and fair election, and there was peace then we have no duty other than to come and also play our role to say thank you for gathering the entire people of Edo state to make sure that Edo State was peaceful and the election was free and fair and that is what we have come here to do today. We are not a party that will promise and fail, when we promise, we will deliver and to take your son now that he is back for everybody to unite together for the development of Edo State”, he added.
In his remarks, the host governor, Obaseki, said that the PDP owed it a duty to preserve the traditional institution.
“You have kindly received us today, I want to assure you that as the governor of Edo state I have heard your admonitions. I want to promise that I will rededicate myself in my next tenure to the full service of Edo state and the people of Edo state. We will always rely on your wise counsel, we will always rely on you to pray for us and ensure that we experience peace so that we can do all the good things that God desires of us to do for our people”, Obaseki reaffirmed.
Things has indeed fallen apart for Emeka Ihedioha and his supporters as his hope of being returned elected has again hit the rocks.
The Supreme Court on the 13th of January nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Imo State.
The apex court declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9th governorship election in the state. But since then, Emeka Ihedioha has being making moves on how to recover his supposed mandate from Hope Uzodimma.
The Recent move by Emeka Ihedioha to return as the governor of Imo state is with the law suit by RAP and its 2019 governorship candidate, Mr Kingdom Okeke. They approached the court seeking judicial interpretation on whether the All Progressives Congress (APC) indeed sponsored Mr Uzodinma in the 2019 Imo governorship election.
Mr Kingdom said the suit was predicated on the judgment of the Supreme Court which affirmed Uche Nwosu as the duly nominated 2019 Imo governorship candidate of the APC. He held that since Hope Uzodimma is not the candidate of the party, that his certificate of return should be withdrawn and issued back to Emeka Ihedioha.
The matter was adjourned severally and slated for a ruling today 29th of September until in a surprise move, Barr. Okere Kingdom issued a notice to discontinue the law suit against Governor Uzodimma Victory at the Supreme Court.
Before I end this article, i will like us to analyse the RAP Case.
The constitution provides for 14days for complaints arising from pre-election matter to be filed in court from the date of occourance of the event.
The Governorship primary of APC took place on the 20/10/2018. Neither of the parties challenging the election of senator Hope Uzodimma nor RAP filed any action within the time stipulated in the constitution to challenge the outcome of the APC primaries that brought Uzodimma as guber candidate of APC for the 2019 election.
The only pre election matter on the outcome of APC primaries that was filed in court was by Eze mmadumere before justice Orji of Imo state high court, who ruled in his judgment that Uzodimma was the rightful candidate of APC for 2019 governorship election. That judgment still holds sway till date and have not been appealed against or set aside till date.
The heavy weather being created by RAP and It’s co plaintiffs Emeka Ihedioha is needless, on the following grounds;
(a).All the cases and issues of law being bandied around today are all election or post election matters.
(b) you cannot argue or raise pre election matters in an election or post election matter. Doing so is contrary to the provision of the constitution and amounts to illegality which the courts will not condone.
(c) the current players do not have the right to challenge the outcome of that primary and even where such right exist, time within which it can be constitutionally exercised has been closed permanently. Not even the supreme court can open it.it will require the amendment of the constitution which is not possible. “Equity aides the vigilant not the indolent”, it is trite also that “where the law stipulates a manner in which a thing must be done, failure to follow the procedure renders anything done illegal and void”, the rebut table presumption of compliance with due process or of candidature of distinguished Senator Uzodimma as APC guber candidate is in favor of Uzodimma and APC there being no proper suit that challenged that in compliance with the constitution.
Although this issue were argued at the supreme Court for the first time by counsel to Ihedioha and the PDP Barr. Ikpeazu SAN and justice Amina in response stood down the case and corrected the wrong impression ikpeazu had and to effect that the supreme Court did not make any pronouncement on his clients nomination.
Similar issue was also raised during the review by idowu panje counsel for AA and Uche Nwosu in response again justice AMINA requested him to choose between the matter under review or the issue of nomination upon which she would strike out his suit thereon if he chooses the later and idowu apologised, withdrew his application on the nomination and candidacy of his client Uche Nwosu against Uzodimma and ruling was made on in thereon.
In conclusion and in the popular legal parlance,” you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand” the foundation of all these heavy weather creating applications are defective of the constitution and would definitely face striking out by the court even if Mr Kingdom did not discontinue it.
Aheadof the governorship poll, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that a national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is conniving with leaders of the APC in the state to doctor the list of Electoral Officers and ad-hoc staff.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this at an interaction with journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, also alleged that some officials of the electoral body are cloning Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in connivance with leaders of the APC.
Consequently, Ologbondiyan challenged the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, to speak out on what role the National Commissioner fingered in the alleged doctoring of the list of electoral officers, will be playing in the governorship poll.
According to him, “We have information and we want INEC to speak out on the allegation that one of its National Commissioners … been used to manipulate SPOs and Local government POs in respect of the election of September 19 and we are challenging Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to speak out on this matter.
“ It is not enough for one character to sit down in Edo State and point accusing fingers. We are talking about what we have heard especially as it concerns manipulation in INEC and we are asking Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud to speak to it.
“We also have information that INEC working in cohort with the APC and their candidate is going to allow for the use of cloned PVC on the day of the election; we have all these allegations and we want to assure the people of Edo State that the PDP is following up and seeking strategies to neutralise all these game plans.”
The PDP spokesman however boasted that its gubernatorial candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, will win the Edo governorship poll overwhelmingly that the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu will be “afraid “ to challenge the results at the tribunal.
Ologbondiyan noted that, “If you have been following the campaign, you will discover that the candidate of the PDP is widely accepted. It is not easy as a politician for you to be able to move from ward to ward. But Obaseki has moved around 192 wards and as we speak, campaign is going on. The APC cannot campaign. They do not have followership. They have not people who are working for them and as such, they are only ready for violence.
Wednesday’s approval of N51.58 as ex-depot price for a litre of petrol by the Petroleum Pricing Marketing Company (PPMC) has pitted the Federal Government against the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The minority caucus in the House of Representatives also kicked against the upward adjustment as marketers adjusted pump price from N148 to between N158 and N162 per litre.
But the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) defended the policy reminding the PDP that the pricing template reflects competitive and market-driven components, which it said enjoys the backing of Nigerians.
The APC urged the PDP to prevail on its members who looted the public till treasury to return their loots.
In a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan, the PDP rejected the latest increase in litre price of fuel and the increase in electricity tariff which came into effect on September 1.
The party, which described the new price regime as callous and cruel, demanded the immediate reversal of the prices.
It warned the increase will push up costs of goods and services and worsen Nigerians economic situation.
The statement said: “Our party asserts that by increasing the price of fuel from the N87 per litre it sold under the PDP to an excruciating N151 while at the same time allowing the hike in electricity tariff from N30.23 per kwh to over N66, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has left no one in doubt that its agenda is to inflict pain and hardship on Nigerians to satisfy their selfish interests.
“The unjustifiable increase in the price of these essential supplies, coming barely a week after the APC brazenly posted a support for fuel price hike, while attempting to rationalise the excruciating hardship being suffered by Nigerians under the Buhari administration, has further confirmed that the APC is at the centre of the harsh policies of the Buhari Presidency.
“It is distressing that the APC administration increased the cost of essential commodities at the time the leadership of other countries are offering palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The party expressed shock that such upward adjustments got the government approval “at this trying time, when many Nigerians are struggling to afford staple foods and other necessities of life”.
It challenged the APC-led administration to justify fuel price hike, saying that with the prevailing values in the international market, the appropriate template for domestic pump price in Nigeria ought not to be above N100 per litre.
The PDP also demanded the details of the oil subsidy regime, nothing that the Federal Government had failed to allow unfettered investigation into allegations of fuel price overcharge and alleged sharp practices in the subsidy regime.
The APC berated the PDP over the latter’s unguided criticism of the current petrol price and electricity tariff in the country.
It urged the PDP to wake up to the new Nigeria were the government works for the citizens not a few interests.
Reacting through Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, the APC described the pricing template as a reflection of competitive and market-driven components.
Nabena said: “The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a shameless statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the current petrol price and electricity tariff in the country.
“For successive PDP governments that foisted on the country a corruption-tainted fuel subsidy regime, we call on the PDP to surprise itself and indeed Nigerians by cajoling its cronies who ran the subsidy rackets – many of them in hiding abroad – to return our stolen commonwealth in their possession.
“Under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the tortuous fuel queues as a result of biting scarcities are gone. The reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also resulted in constant availability of fuel nationwide.
“The pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components which is supported by the citizenry.”
On the new electricity tariff regime, the APC said: “In an effort by this administration to put an end to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity, President Buhari recently directed a nationwide mass metering programme for electricity consumers in the country.
“For the PDP that is only concerned with pushing the interests of its few cronies over the general interest and welfare of the citizenry, we don’t expect the PDP to grasp the import of this landmark presidential directive which aside improving electricity and service delivery, is also protecting the poor and vulnerable Nigerians from increased electricity tariff and arbitrary/estimated billings.
“Commendably, the federal government is already working to ensure that electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) commit to increasing the number of hours of electricity supply every day and also improve on their quality of service.
“Perhaps the PDP is also unaware, that the current administration has approved a one-year waiver of import levy on electricity meters, so that Nigerians who do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at a reasonable cost.”
Always yesterday, the Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives kicked against the PPMC decision.
The lawmakers, in a statement by Minority Leader Ndidu Elumelu, described the increment as unacceptable, warning it will result in increase in the already high cost of consumer goods and services, and worsen the current economic hardship being suffered by Nigerians.
Elumelu said: “The minority caucus in the House of Representatives, rejects the announced increase in the pump price of fuel.
“This is because such increase will directly result in more hardship on our citizens, particularly at this critical time when majority of Nigerians, across the country, are struggling to survive under the burden of high cost of living and low purchasing power occasioned by the prevailing economic challenges.
“Any increase in the cost of essential commodity like fuel will therefore bring more hardship to the people and as such should not be contemplated.”
The opposition lawmakers challenged the APC-led government to rather come up with strategies that will lead to decrease rather than increase in the cost of domestic fuel.
The minority caucus asked the PPMC to rescind its announcement and revert to the former price with a view of a downward review.
In the same Vein, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, said, “The decision is wicked. This is not the right time to increase petrol pump price because it will lead to high prices of goods and services. The government should stop this price increase immediately and be sensitive to the plight of Nigerians. They are to be considerate and not to overburden the people with unnecessary increase of pump price. Countries are working hard to reduce suffering of their citizens with infrastructure and palliatives while our government is not looking at that direction. This is seriously unfair and unacceptable