PDP govs oppose relocation of Rivers, Taraba, A’Ibom polls tribunals



• Elect Mimiko as PDPGF chairman
•Party, APC berate group over comments on Buhari

CITING illegality, the Peoples Democratic Party’s(PDP) governors under the aegis of PDP Governors’ Forum (PDPGF), yesterday kicked against the relocation of Rivers, Taraba and Akwa Ibom States election tribunals to Abuja.
The Forum also elected the Ondo state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko as its chairman.

Mimiko’s emergence is sequel to the meeting held by the governors on Tuesday night that spilled over to yesterday’s morning in Abuja.

The party also disowned a group parading itself as PDP Media Watchdog , condemning its offensive language used against President Muhammadu Buhari.

Also, the All Progressives Congress(APC) has faulted the group’s call for Buhari resignation.

Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, said “we condemn in very strong terms the relocation of election tribunals in Rivers , Taraba and Akwa Ibom States to Abuja.”

He added: “the PDP Governors’ Forum also unanimously elected Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State as Chairman of the group.”
Ikpeazu added, “we congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, on his election as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. We also commend and salute our former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for his display of peaceful disposition in the 2015 general elections, which has stabilised our political landscape.

“We equally congratulate Senator Bukola Saraki, Yakubu Dogara and Suleiman on their emergence as the Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively. We specially congratulate our own Senator, Ike Ekweremadu, on his emergence as Deputy Senate President.”

Also speaking with journalists, the new PDPGF Chairman, Mimiko said: “we will do everything that we can do to engage the presidency and APC in a very constructive manner. We have also agreed to create formal and informal mechanisms of peer review, all for the development of our nation.”

Governors who attended the meeting include :Capt. Idris Wada (Kogi), (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba).

The deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral John Jonah, represented the governor at the meeting.
Governors absent at the meeting were:

Governors Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Nyesome Wike of Rivers, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Professor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State.

The PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said:“the attention of the leadership of the PDP has been drawn to a press statement by a group parading as PDP Media Watchdog and purporting to be working within and in the interest of our great party.

This group is absolutely unknown to the PDP and has no connection whatsoever with our party at any level, neither is the content of their statement a reflection of the position or stance of the party. For the avoidance of doubt, our great party has not authorized this group to use its name, acronym or logo to issue statements or make public pronouncements on any matter and we caution those behind them to henceforth desist from such immediately. The PDP therefore distances itself from the embarrassing statement by this group wherein it called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign and went ahead to use offensive and denigrating language on the person and office of the President of our great country. This is completely
unacceptable and against the posture of the PDP to engage only on robust and credible opposition while constructively offering alternatives to the programmes and policies of the APC-led government, preparatory to our return to power in the next four years.”

The APC described as a product of poor thinking and deliberate mischief the statement credited to the so-called PDP Media Watchdog asking President Muhammadu Buhari to resign because of his comments over his age.

In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said if the authors of thestatement had understood simple English, taken the pains to engage in deep thinking and contextualized the comments, they would not have rushed to the press to ask the President to resign.

‘’What President Buhari was saying, which was lost on those who issued that jejune statement, is that only his love and passion for the country could have made him, at his age, to come out of retirement to seek the office of President, over 30 years after he presided over the affairs of the country.”

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