Molly Kilete, Abuja The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has declared its readiness to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to the Niger Delta region to secure oil and gas pipelines and other critical oil installations owned by Shell company in the country. The deployment of the UAVs, according to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal…
• Secondus to meet nPDP members in ruling party
• Dankwambo prepares to join presidential race
Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has begun moves to meet with aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) known as the nPDP as part of efforts to woo them back to its fold.
The group (nPDP) in a letter to the chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had alleged that they were being sidelined in the scheme of things by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
The Alhaji Kawu Barage faction gave the ruling party seven-day ultimatum to convene a meeting to address the obvious marginalisation, maltreatment and witchhunting of members of the faction that left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014 to join the APC. The ultimatun expired yesterday.
Leading members of the nPDP include Senate President, Bukola saraki, former governors of Sokoto, Aliyu Wamakko; Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso; Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed; Adamawa, Murtala Nyako and Rivers, Rotimi Amaechi amongst others.
PDP Chairman, Uche Secondus confirmed the desire of the party to meet with the aggrieved APC members as they were ready to do everything legitimate with other opposition political parties to wrest power from the APC.
Media Adviser to the chairman, Ike Abonyi, also confirmed this in a telephone interview.
“PDP is reaching out to all aggrieved members especially former members because they are doing everything to bring them back,” Mr Abonyi said.
On where and when the meeting would hold, he said no date has been fixed.
However, the faction of the nPDP led by former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said the letter from the Barage faction was full of contradictions, false assertions, misrepresentations, distortion of history and facts and in many instances outright lies.
In a petition dated May 14, signed by Senator Adamu, Chairman, Chief Theodore Georgewill, Deputy Chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin as secretary and presented to the national leadership of the APC when they led a delegation to the national secretariat, yesterday, the faction said: “We received with great shock and embarrassment the news that a former acting chairman of the PDP Alhaji Kawu Baraje led four others to deliver a letter they claimed on behalf of the nPDP which is defunct and has long dissolved into the APC during the 2013 merger.
“In the letter, Baraje stated that we members of the then nPDP group are being marginalized, maltreated and witch hunted in the APC and requested for an urgent meeting with the party and Mr. President within one week.
“As members of the then nPDP, we are aware that the last meeting that was held by the group was in 2014. Since then, no meeting has been called. Where did Alhaji Baraje and Col. Olagunsoye Oyinlola obtained the alleged resolution to write the said letter? When and where was the meeting held? Who are those that attended the meeting?”
The faction added that the letter is full of contradictions, false assertions, misrepresentations, distortion of history and facts and in many instances outright lies.
We as initiators and founding members of the defunct nPDP therefore wish to condemn and disassociate ourselves from the letter and apologise for the obvious embarrassment the letter have caused to our party and government.
“We wish to reaffirm our support and confidence in the party and Mr. President and we do not in any way feel marginalised or maltreated as we are clearly in the league of the biggest beneficiaries of the party. For the purpose of correcting the misleading contents of the letter and setting the records straight it is pertinent that we provide some facts on some of the issues raised in the letter,” the petition read in part.
While warning the Barage faction, the petitioners vowed to resist any attempt to smear the Buhari government through posturing or using the platform of the defunct nPDP as shield against crimes that might have been committed against the state even before the merger of the defunct nPDP and the APC and beyond.
“We wish to state categorically clear that we recognise and concede the right of every member of our party, the APC, including members of the defunct nPDP to hold their opinion on what they desire government or the party to do for them but what they desire should only be justifiable but enforceable,” the group noted.
Meanwhile, barring any change, Gombe State governor, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwanbo, will soon join the presidential race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Dankwambo is the only PDP two-term governor in the North.
Also in the race for the PDP ticket are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido.
It was gathered that Dankwambo’s decision to formally declare for the presidency followed pressure by groups and individuals from the North and other parts of the country urging him to challenge President Buhari for the presidency.
Sources revealed that power blocks in PDP are looking for a credible candidate from the North to fly the party’s flag, especially someone who is below 60 years old.
“We need a candidate who is not only competent but has the appeal to erase our poor perception from the mind of Nigerians with his impeccable credentials,” a PDP source said.
It was gathered that Dankwanbo’s popularity is soaring in the PDP following support of serving and former PDP governors, ministers and other big-wigs who see in him a combination of competence and capacity.
“He is also young and untainted. He has the capacity to appeal across all divides and can be trusted with the nation’s fortunes,” one of his supporters said.
Dankwanbo was the nation’s Accountant-General before he contested and won the Gombe State governorship in 2011.
He is reputed to have turned the fortunes of his state around for the better, with little resources.
Born 56 years ago, Dankwambo attended Central Primary School, Gombe and Government Secondary School, Billiri in Gombe State.
He proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting second class (honours) Upper Division, being the second best result obtained by any individual in the then Bauchi State.
He enrolled for Masters of Science Degree in Economics at the University of Lagos. He also did a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science at the Delta State University Abraka, Delta State. He finally caps it up with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Phd) from Igbinedeon University, Okada.
Dankwanbo joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1988 and was there until 1999 when he was appointed the Accountant-General of Gombe State.
He held this position until April 20, 2005 when the then Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. J.K Naiyeju, retired. On assumption of office as the Accountant-General of the Federation, he ensured the removal of centralisation of capital account, thereby enabling Ministries, Departments and Agencies to process and make payments for contracts awarded after obtaining due certification for the projects.