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Atiku Begs Aggrieved PDP Members to Return, Says Resignation Personal Decision

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By Eric Elezuo

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has appealed party members who withdrew their membership of the just constituted Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), saying that the resignation of the party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, which the aggrieved members are calling for is the prerogative of only the chairman.

The members believed to be loyalists of the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, had Wednesday morning withdrew their membership of the party council pending when the chairman resigns.

Atiku lamented that the council was constituted after every state, except Rivers has submitted the list of persons they want in the Council, and so do not understand why the decision. He however, added that the PDP would do everything within its power to ensure they return to the

The statment in details:

Let us join hands and move on with the task of nation building.

Early this morning, my attention was drawn to a news clip in which several very senior and influential members of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), addressed the press and, amongst other things, declared that they are withdrawing, forthwith, from the Presidential Campaign Council set up by our party to judiciously plan and prosecute the general elections set to hold in February and March 2023, on the one hand; and reiterated their earlier calls for the resignation or removal from office of the national chairman of our party, Senator Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on the other hand.

The people that addressed the press must have their reasons for withdrawing from the Presidential Campaign Council, and I will not speculate as to what those reasons may be. Personally, I am quite surprised with this withdrawal because, as I have been informed by officials of our party, apart from the Rivers State chapter of the PDP, all the remaining states of the federation submitted names of people who they wanted included in the Presidential Campaign Council.

On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him. As to the calls for the removal of Dr. Ayu from office, however, I will state that, as a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organized and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that every thing that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution. If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal. In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him.

Now, our nation is currently in the throes of a multidimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust and educational dislocations, to mention a few. I have a plan to address these issues and I have, graciously, been given the ticket to lead our great party in next year’s presidential elections, with the singular mandate to come and lead the efforts to cure these ills. It is in this light that I have reached out to every single member of our great party to join me in the massive undertaking required to reset the ship of state, and help rebuild our country. Every single person who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP. And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rebuild and reposition our beloved country. In this light, therefore, I will urge those members of our party that have stated their resolve to withdraw from the Presidential Campaign Council to have a rethink, retrace their steps, and join us in these efforts.

The above notwithstanding, and for the sake of our country, our children, and those yet unborn, we must not, for one minute, shirk in our responsibilities to rebuild this beloved country of ours.

Accordingly, we must forge on with the task and the mandate that we have been bestowed with. It is time, therefore, to move on with the formidable tasks of nation building ahead of us.

May God guide us all, and may God soothe our great party, and our dear country.

Atiku Abubakar (GCON)
Waziri Adamawa
Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

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Africa

South Africa: Gunmen Attack Birthday Party, Kill Host, Eight Others

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Gunmen opened fire on a group of people celebrating a birthday at the weekend in a township in South Africa, killing eight and wounding three others, police said on Monday.

The birthday celebrant was among those gunned down in the mass shooting in the southern port city of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.

“The owner of the house was celebrating his birthday when two unknown gunmen entered the yard” on Sunday evening “and started shooting at the guests,” police said in a statement.

The gunmen “randomly shot at guests,” police said, adding “eight people died while three others are still fighting for their lives in hospital. The homeowner is among the deceased”.

The motive of the attack is yet unknown.

Nomthetheleli Mene, the provincial police chief for the Eastern Cape province, condemned the killings as “a blatant disregard for human life”.

An investigation has been launched into the attack and police said a manhunt for the perpetrators was underway.

Shootings are common in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates, fuelled by gang violence and alcohol.

South Africa last year saw string of shootings that killed nearly two dozen at separate bars in working class suburbs in Johannesburg and in the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, the national police commissioner Fannie Masemola, and crime experts were scheduled to visit the scene of the attack later Monday morning.

AFP

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World

US Govt Moves to Enforce Visa Restriction on Nigerians Undermining Democracy

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By Eric Elezuo

The Mr Joe Biden-led government of the United States of America, has announced its readiness to implement visa restrictions on individuals found to be undermining democracy in Nigeria as the February 25 Presidential election draws closer.

The announcement was made via a press statement obtained from the website of the official website of the Government of the United States of America through the Department of State, and signed by the Secretary of State,  Anthony J. Blinken.

The statement said the measure was necessary because America is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.

It further clarified that the restrictions are specific to certain individuals and not directed to Nigerian people and government.

The statement in full:

We are committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.  Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election.

Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will be found ineligible for visas to the United States under a policy to restrict visas of those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.  Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.  Additional persons who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria—including in the lead-up to, during, and following Nigeria’s 2023 elections—may be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy.

The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria.  The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

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World

72-Year-Old Shooter Kills 10, Self During Lunar New Year festival in US

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No fewer than 10 people were killed by a 72-year-old at a dance club, in Monterey Park, Los Angeles, California in the United States on Saturday.

The septuagenarian gunman, identified as Huu Can Tran, however, killed himself on Sunday as the police approached him after he had carried out a Lunar New Year massacre.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the shooter used a high-capacity magazine pistol to shoot up a ballroom dance venue popular with older patrons about 11km east of downtown Los Angeles.

Reuters reported that 10 people were also wounded but the investigators did not yet know a motive, although gun violence is frequent in the United States.

Luna did not identify any of the victims but said the five men and five women appeared to be in their 50s, 60s and beyond.

The sheriff said the pistol Tran used appeared to be illegal in California, where state laws ban any magazine holding more than 10 rounds.

“We want to know, we want to know how something this awful can happen,” Luna said.

After police say Tran carried out the shooting in Monterey Park at about 10 pm US time, he was confronted by bystanders at a second dance club in the neighbouring city of Alhambra about 20 minutes later, Luna said.

“I can tell you that the suspect walked in there, probably with the intent to kill more people, and two brave community members decided they were going to jump into action and disarm him,” Luna said.

Of the 10 people injured, seven remained hospitalised Sunday night, with at least one person in critical condition.

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