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PDP NWC members return over N90m amid bribery allegation

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Some members of the national working committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have returned money reportedly credited to their bank accounts by the party leadership.

In recent weeks, there has been crisis in the PDP over the insistence of allies of Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, on the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman.

Amid the crisis in the party, there have been allegations of financial misappropriation against the Ayu-led NWC of the party, with claims that funds from sale of nomination forms have not been properly accounted for.

An insider had told newsmen that some of the NWC members also want an audit of about N1 billion that the party got from friends of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the party.

Last Friday, Wike, in a media chat, accused Ayu of receiving N1 billion from one of the presidential hopefuls in the party, while alleging that the national chairman is “very corrupt”.

Meanwhile, in separate letters seen by newsmen on Thursday, some members of the Ayu-led NWC said they have returned money received from the party’s bank accounts.

Stella Effah-Attoe, national women leader; Dan Orbih, national vice-chairman (south-south); and Taofeek Arapaja, deputy national chairman (south), are among the NWC members who said they have returned money to the party’s account.

The duo of Effah-Attoe and Orbih said they returned the sum of N28.8 million each, while Arapaja said he retuned N36 million to the party’s account.

In the letters addressed to the party, Effah-Attoe and Arapaja said the money was allegedly credited to their accounts by the party leadership for “housing allowance”.

In his letter addressed to Ayu, Arapaja cited a report which alleged that members of the PDP NWC were offered “humongous” amount of money to “silence” financial misappropriation in the party.

“This led me to browse through my various alerts, and I discovered a transfer of thirty-six million naira (N36,000,000.00) from the party. I have my reservation about this money transferred into my account and for personal reasons wish to return it accordingly,” Arapaja’s letter reads.

On her part, Effah-Attoe said she didn’t feel comfortable being in possession of the N28.8 million.

“Since after the lodgment of the money into my Bank Account, I have been inundated with many phone calls from party members, friends, family members and the general public, insinuating that the said money has been given as a bribe to bring me and other NWC members on the side of the National Chairman, following the crisis between him on one side and the Governor of Rivers State, H.E. Governor Nyesom Wike/Wike’s Group, on the other side,” her letter reads.

“In addition, some national newspapers/social media platforms have also carried stories accusing the NWC members of being placated with bribe of N28,800,000.00.

“This development has made me very uncomfortable, having found myself in such an embarrassing situation, I am hereby refunding to the Bank Account of our Great Party at the PDP National Secretariat.”

Orbih, who described discovering the money in his account as a “surprise”, said the return followed allegations that NWC members “were offered N28 million to gloss over scandalous financial misappropriation”.

“To my shock and surprise, it has been confirmed to me by my bank that the sum of N28,800,000 (twenty eight million eight hundred thousand Naira) has been credited to my account by the party. I hereby notify you of my decision to pay back the money to the party’s account,” his letter reads.

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Politics

Dogara appointed PDP campaign council member — days after endorsing Atiku

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Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, has been appointed a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council (PCC).

Aminu Tambuwal, director general of the PDP PCC and governor of Sokoto, announced Dogara’s appointment in a statement on Sunday.

Dogara’s appointment comes two days after he declared support for Atiku Abubakar, PDP’s standard bearer.

The Northern Leaders Consultative Forum, which Dogara is a part of, had endorsed Atiku and termed him “the best.”

It is not clear if the former speaker has renounced his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

As a member of the APC, the former speaker of the house of representatives, who is one of the party’s leaders of the Christian faith, kicked against the Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by the party.

Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate and Kashim Shettima, his running mate are both Muslims.

Members of a group of northern Christians in the APC had also expressed reservations over the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, and said it would adopt a consensus candidate.

Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and leader of the group, had said Obi would be the group’s choice.

Dogara, however, alongside other members of the group, distanced themselves from Lawal’s endorsement.

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Politics

Peter Obi finally releases manifesto, promises to build world-class infrastructure

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Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has unveiled his manifesto.

Obi unveiled the 72-page manifesto via his Twitter handle on Sunday.

The manifesto is titled “It’s POssible: Our Pact with Nigerians”.

In the manifesto, the former Anambra governor listed seven priorities his administration would concentrate on if elected president in 2023.

Over the past few days, Obi had come under criticism in some quarters, especially among members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for not having a manifesto.

In October, the LP presidential distanced himself from a manifesto attributed to him.

Obi had said he would personally release the LP manifesto to the public when it is ready.

In the manifesto released on Sunday, the former Anambra governor promised to move Nigeria from a consumption economy to a production-centred economy.

The LP presidential candidate said he would end banditry and insurgency if elected president.

“Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient civil service,” the manifesto reads.

“Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) through the application of scientific and technological innovations to create a digital economy.

“Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient powers supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network, through integrated public-private partnerships, and entrepreneurial public sector governance.

“Enhance the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and global competitiveness through investment in world-class scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship education.

“Conduct an afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advances the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.”

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Politics

Sanwo-Olu campaigns in Lagos (Photos)

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The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, began the campaign for his re-election bid at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.

Sharing pictures on Twitter, Sanwo-Olu said, “Lagos, today, it begins.

In a powerful show of support, our party leaders and members came out to join me in kicking off the journey to our second term which I have called a #GreaterLagosRising. I am humbled but energised for the vision that was written and is now in motion.

“With exemplary handling of #COVID19 and the many other health emergencies of our current world and the launch of a health insurance scheme that is non-discriminatory and truly citizen-focused, we are positioned to deliver the next best steps. #GreaterLagosRising means more.

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