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We’re not in merger talks with any political party – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is not in merger talks with any political party ahead of the 2027 elections.

 

On May 13, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, had a private meeting in Abuja.

 

The meeting was the first between the two politicians since the end of the general election last year.

 

Also, Obi had met separately with Sule Lamido, former governor of Jigawa, and Bukola Saraki, ex-senate president, sparking rumours of a potential merger before the 2027 elections.

 

Following these meetings, both Atiku and Obi hinted in separate interviews at the possibility of a merger.

 

But on June 3, Umar Damagum, acting national chairman of the PDP, said the party had not commenced merger talks with any group.

 

In a statement on Wednesday, Debo Ologunagba, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, reiterated that the opposition party is not in any merger or amalgamation talks with any political party.

The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, after its 587th meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, restates for the umpteenth time that the PDP is not engaged in any merger, fusion, or amalgamation talks with any other political party or interest,” the statement reads.

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“While the PDP, as a truly people’s party, is open and welcoming to all Nigerians, including our former members who left for other parties, we state that our party remains strong and formidable, capable of winning elections in a free, fair, and transparent electoral process in our country.

 

“The NWC acknowledges the influx of millions of Nigerians into our party in the ongoing party membership drive in all the electoral wards across the country, which further confirms that the PDP remains the party of choice for the majority of Nigerians.

 

“The public, teeming members of our great party, democratic institutions, and of course the international community should therefore disregard any report suggesting any form of merger between the PDP and any other political party as such is not in the contemplation of our great party.”

 

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Politics

Rivers crisis: Newly sworn-in caretaker chairs denied access to offices as police barricade LGA secretariats

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Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have continued to barricade the 23 LGA headquarters of Rivers state.

 

On Tuesday, the Rivers police command announced the take over of the council headquarters following clashes between supporters of Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, and Nyesom Wike, his predecessor.

 

The crisis ensued after youths stormed the LGA secretariats to dislodge the elected chairpersons, whose tenure ended on Monday.

 

Following the expiration of the chairpersons’ tenure, Fubara ordered the heads of local government administration to immediately assume control of the 23 council areas of the state.

 

Despite the governor’s directive, some of the former LGA chairpersons reportedly attempted to resume duty at the council secretariat, but they were chased away by youths.

 

During the clash at Eberi-Omuma community in Okuama LGA, a police officer and one vigilante member were killed.

 

On Wednesday, Fubara swore in the caretaker committee chairpersons for the 23 LGAs.

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Some of the caretaker chairpersons could not access the council offices because armed police officers remained stationed at the LGA headquarters.

 

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, Darlington Orji, caretaker committee chairman of Ikwere LGA, said after the swearing-in ceremony, he could not access the council because it was barricaded by police officers.

 

Orji said the police officers said they were acting on the orders of Kayode Egbetokun, inspector-general of police.

 

Over the past few months, Rivers has been engulfed in political crisis due to the rift between Fubara and Wike.

 

 

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Edo PDP expels Philip Shaibu, south-south vice-chairman over ‘anti-party activities’

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo has expelled Philip Shaibu, a former deputy governor of the state.

 

The PDP state working committee (SWC) in Edo also expelled Dan Orbih, the party’s national vice-chairman (south-south), and Omorgie Ihama, a former member of the house of representatives who represented the Oredo federal constituency.

 

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Ogie Vasco, the PDP spokesperson in Edo state, said Shaibu, Orbih, and Ihama were expelled over alleged anti-party activities.

 

Vasco said the SWC took the decision after it “extensively deliberated on the issue”, adding that the expulsion is with immediate effect.

 

Shaibu was impeached as the deputy governor by the Edo state house of assembly in April.

 

The impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-member investigative panel.

 

The panel was set up by Daniel Okungbowa, chief judge of Edo, and was headed by S. A. Omonuwa, a retired justice.

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Shaibu was accused of “misconduct, perjury and disclosure of government secrets”.

 

‘MY EXPULSION IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL’

Meanwhile, Orbih has rejected his suspension, saying it did not follow due process.

 

“When a group of persons sits down to make pronouncements that are unconstitutional it only shows that they are ignorant of the constitution of the party,” Orbih told journalists.

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Edo 2024: Shaibu declares support for APC candidate, Okpebholo

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A former deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has declared support for the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Monday Okpebholo, in the upcoming September 21 governorship election in Edo state.

 

According to Shaibu, the governorship race started with three homeboys- himself, Okpebholo, and Olumide Akpata of the Labour Party (LP).

 

“I will support a homeboy, I came into politics to contest as the governor of Edo State because I need government to return to homeboy – people that understand our plight, people that understand what the people are feeling. Even the United Nations talks about the need for assessment. We don’t want outsiders, we have experimented, with outsiders and it’s not working, so this time around, we want homeboy,” he said.

 

“Today I came in as a homeboy, we have only two homeboys in the major political parties in Edo State. One is in labour, and one is in APC, and I choose to follow another homeboy in the APC. The man they are parading in the PDP is an outsider, and we have also agreed that no more godfatherism in Edo, so the man the PDP is trying to portray in Edo now is the godson of Obasek, and there is no way godsons will now be governor of Edo.”

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The former deputy governor was speaking on the sidelines of the 2024 Father’s Day celebration at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Benin City, the Edo State capital. He was among the altar servants for the main mass.

 

Shaibu insisted that since he had dropped out of the race, his preferred choice from the remaining homeboys in Okpebholo. He noted that Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki has said everyone was free to choose who to support in any election, the reason he has come out publicly to back the APC governorship candidate in the election despite his PDP membership.

 

He stressed that his support for the opposition is not anti-party, adding even Governor Obaseki in the last election, was partly PDP and Labour Party.

 

“The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki says that everybody has the right to support whoever he wants to support, but he forgot also that he doesn’t have the right to stop anybody from whom he wants to support,” he said.

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“But I take one part from what he said, we all have the right to support whom we want to support, so it’s my right to decide who I want to support.”

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