57 Reps Endorse New PDP; Ogoni Group Declares Support

Fifty-seven members of the House of Representatives have declared their support for the faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, which has Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje as National Chairman.
The faction broke away from the PDP, with the support of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and a former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who is the National Secretary of the faction.
The 57 House of Representatives members, including the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, said there were more members who could not sign the paper before it was released.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, and the other principal officers are in South Africa.
Most of them are believed to be sympathetic to the cause of the new PDP.
A statement by the 57 House of Representatives members yesterday said, “we, the members of the House of Representatives under the platform of the New PDP, hereby congratulate our leaders on the emergence of the new party:
“Although a sizeable number of our members who could not append their signatures because of their unavailability in the country will do so immediately on arrival, we the under signed salute and appreciate the courage, sacrifice and resilience and patriotism of our leaders, namely: former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and the Governors of Kano State, Dr. Rabiu MusaKwankwaso, Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Abdul Fattah Ahmed (Kwara) Chibuike Amaechi(Rivers) and other well-meaning and eminent Nigerians for leading the way for the emergence of the New PDP.
“We are also using this opportunity to condemn in strong terms attempts by some agents of the Federal Government to use state apparatus to witch-hunt some of these patriots for taking this bold and courageous step.
“As members of the House of Representatives, we call on the security agencies and other anti-graft bodies to be professional in their activities and not allow themselves be used by anybody no matter how highly placed for their political ambitions. Remember how you want history to judge your tenures.
“We won’t hesitate however to use all instruments of law within our powers as provided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), to stop this and bring anybody found wanting to book.
“We wish to state that by this statement, we pledge our loyalty and support to the New PDP under the able chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the Deputy Chairman, Dr Sam SamJaja, National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinola and other members of the National Executive Committee.
“We congratulate them and wish them the very best as they steer the affairs of our party to provide level playing field for all Nigerians.”
On Monday, 22 senators had also declared support for the Baraje-led PDP faction.
Meanwhile, A Pan-Ogoni body, Ogonis in Diaspora Organisation (ODO), has applauded the move by some progressives within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to demystify the monopoly of a cabal that has stifled internal democracy in the party.
The body said that formation of new PDP as a fallout of last Saturday’s Special National Convention portends a glimmer of hope for Nigeria’s democracy and called on the new leadership of the party to adopt an all inclusive agenda.
The US-based international  organisation also called on the apex socio-cultural organisation in Ikwerre ethnic nationality, the Ogbakor Ikwerre, to call the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike to order by “halting his campaign of calumny against the gubernatorial bid of the Ogonis in 2015, and his tacit plot to destabilise Rivers State.
Executive Director of the organisation, Chief Ambrose Kii gave the hint while addressing newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday.
He said, the body had observed orchestrated plot by Wike and his acolytes against the aspiration of the Ogonis for governorship of Rivers State, which he said, was a justifiable demand.
The executive director said that Wike was being goaded by an inordinate ambition as his attitudes undermine the age long alliance between the  Ikwerres and the Ogonis, noting that his action was not in the interest of concerned Ikwerre patriots.
Kii declared that the Ogonis had paid their due for the socio-economic and political development of Rivers State, and  stated that an Ogoni Governor in 2015 will balance the political equation in the state.
He observed with dismay Wike’s sell out to some extraneous forces bent on disrupting the Ogoni governorship ambition, and called on the Minister of State to listen to the voice of reason and change his perception, which is not in the best interest of the state.
In response to a question, the international co-ordinator of the body, Mr Leyigah Nwidadah also expressed dissatisfaction with the orchestrated plot by some forces under the cover of the Presidency against Governor Chibuike Amaechi administration in the state, and noted that only a well planned leadership succession based on the concept of equity and justice could bring Rivers State to its political Eldorado”
He said, politicians should learn to respond to the imperatives of justice and realise that there was life after power.
Nwidadah also applauded the move by some progressives within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to right the wrongs of the past by ensuring restoration of internal democracy, rule of law and doing away with the culture of impunity in the PDP.
Also commenting on the political development in the state, the National coordinator of the body, Mr Wisdom Mene called for unity of purpose among Ogoni groups in Rivers State to support the Ogoni governorship ambition in 2015.
Mene also called for the review of the revenue sharing formula in the country to reflect the reality of fiscal federalism.
The group also  decried the absence of Federal Government ‘s projects in Ogoni land in particular and Rivers State in general, and called for a reversal of the trend to justify the contribution of the state to national development.
It would be recalled that the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) had recently faulted the purported endorsement of the sponsorship of Wike’s governorship ambition in 2015 by the Felix Obuah-led PDP in Rivers State.
MOSOP President, Comrade Legborsi  Pyagbara had described the move as a conspiracy against the  Ogonis’ quest for the governorship of Rivers State come 2015.
He noted that the plot against the Ogonis was a disincentive to the PDP in accessing the Ogoni voting strength in 2015.
While calling on other ethnic groups to support the Ogoni governorship agenda, the MOSOP leader said  “the Ogonis will resist every plot to make them play second fiddle in the state”.


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