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2024: PDP Charges Nigerians to Defend Democracy, Resist APC’s Fascist Tendencies

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By Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged Nigerians to pray for the country in the New Year (2024) and brace up to use every legitimate means to resist (APC’s) fascist tendencies and defend the nation’s constitutional democracy from totalitarianism.

In a New Year message, the PDP prayed for the nation and wished Nigerians a happy New Year, saying that 2024 offers the citizens the opportunity to re-invent and assert themselves as free people under democratic order.

The opposition party said they could do this by setting aside ethnic, religious and political differences and joining their voices with it in resisting anti-democratic forces seeking to undermine the Constitution and the laws, emasculate institutions of democracy and foist a fascist regime on the nation.

It tasked the citizens to “say no” to anti-democratic actions and policies of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration which are so far tilted towards the institutionalization of corruption, crippling of democracy institutions and sabotaging national productivity.

The PDP noted that the APC’s assault on democratic institutions including the emasculation of the National Assembly to prevent it from playing its constitutional role of holding the Executive accountable; the compromising of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the appointment of card-carrying APC members as Resident Electoral Commissioners and alleged attempts to also compromise the Judiciary and anti-corruption agencies were all pointers to emerging totalitarianism.

“The exhibition of fascist tendencies in the rendition of Tinubu’s campaign tune amidst proceedings in the hallowed chamber of the National Assembly and recent unconstitutional interference by President Tinubu on political developments on the issues in the Rivers State House of Assembly contrary to subsisting Order of Court and clear interpretation of constitutional provision by the Supreme Court further confirm a move towards authoritarianism.

“Nigerians and indeed the Civil Society must speak out against the recklessness and lack of transparency of the APC administration that led to the collapse of the Naira; the alleged massive looting of funds including proceeds from the removal of subsidy on petroleum products; the skewing of the 2024 budget in favour of luxury appetite of the Presidency and APC leaders without concrete policies and programmes to revive the economy, create jobs and address the comatose manufacturing and productive sectors.

“It is distressing that due to the counter-productive actions and policies of the Tinubu-led APC administration, including the failure to address the comatose infrastructure, major multinational giants that have established in the country for decades including GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble among others are now leaving in droves with attendant massive loss of jobs and businesses,” the PDP said.

It stated that the hardship, infrastructural stagnation and uncertainty occasioned by the anti-people economic policies of the Tinubu-led APC government had led to serious social dislocation of life and family with negative consequences on national life.

“Indeed, this is not the way to go! The PDP reassures its determination to lead the charge and use every legitimate means available to protect our nation’s democracy and constitutional order. The APC administration must know that the sovereignty and resources of this nation belong to all its people and cannot be appropriated by any individual or group.

“Our party again tasks the National Assembly to be on the side of the people by immediately reviewing and adjusting the 2024 budget by cutting all provisions for luxury items and channelling such funds to sectors that have a direct bearing on the wellbeing of Nigerians. The party also charges leaders at all levels to use the new year to re-double their efforts in serving and seeking the good of the citizens,” the opposition party said.

POLITICS

APC is the Answer to Nigeria’s Problems, Says Ganduje

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Dr Umar Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the party would provide solutions to the challenges bedevilling the country.

Ganduje stated this during the APC grand finale campaign and presentation of party flags to the 11 local councils chairmanship candidates, on Wednesday in Gombe.

The Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC) had fixed April 27, for LG polls in the state.

Ganduje, who presented APC flags to the candidates, said the party under President Bola Tinubu was doing a lot to tackle the challenges of the country and get Nigeria transformed for the better.

He said the Tinubu administration was creating the right environment for the country’s development and economic prosperity.

“With the manifesto and the constitution of the APC, the party has achieved a lot at the national level under President Tinubu.

“And you have seen what APC has achieved in Gombe State under Gov. Inuwa Yahaya.

“It is now clear that APC is the answer to Nigeria’s problems,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to support and pray for the administration of President Tinubu to sustain the transformation of the country.

Ganduje commended the governor for keying into the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu and working hard towards transforming the state.

According to him, Gombe is now a reference point for peace and development.

He said the APC remained proud of what have been achieved in Gombe State, describing it, “as one of the best progressive states in the country”.

While receiving decampees from opposition parties, Ganduje urged residents of the state to vote for APC candidates.

“As long as APC remains in power, the people of the state will never lack good governance,” he said.

Also, Yahaya thanked the members of the APC National Working Committee for coming to galvanise support for the party candidates ahead of Saturday’s council elections in the state.

The governor assured that the party would sweep polls in the election.

NAN reports that Ganduje earlier inaugurated the newly constructed Nayi Nawa- Bypass road named him. (NAN)

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Enugu Lawmakers Differ over Bill to Criminalise Payment of Ransom to Kidnappers

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Some lawmakers at the Enugu State House of Assembly have opposed the bill for a law to criminalise the payment of ransom to kidnappers in the state.

The bill to amend the 2004 Criminal Code Law, when enacted,  would ensure that anybody who pays ransom for the release of a kidnapped victim is jailed for 15 years.

Leading a debate during the plenary on Tuesday in Enugu, the Leader of the House, Mr.

Iloabuchi Aniagu, said that criminalising payment of ransom had become important, as criminals had turned it to a lucrative business.

Aniagu argued that stopping people from paying the ransom would make kidnapping to die a natural death, stressing that ransom is the lifewire of the kidnapping.

Also contributing, Mr  Chima Obieze, representing Ezeagu Constituency, said that kidnappers would stop kidnapping business once the people stop or no longer willing to the pay the outrageous ransom.

Obieze alleged that some security personnel, including police and military officers were involved in the kidnappings going on in the state.

Subsequently, Mr Malachi Onyechi representing Nsukka West Constituency, disagreed with the bill, noting that the people paid ransom because of the ineffectiveness of the security personnel to rescue kidnapped victims.

According to him, the security in the country have not lived up to the constitutional responsibilities, so this is not the best time to amend the Criminal Code Law.

In his submission, Mr Harrison Ogara representing Igbo-Eze South Constituency, said while he supported that government should not negotiate with kidnappers, extending such to individual was not a welcomed development.

According to Ogara, the amendment is not timely considering that there is no adequate police officers to police the country let alone the State.

“In Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area, there are only 32 police officers,”

Also, Mr Osita Okoh representing Enugu East Urban constituency warned that amending the Criminal Code Law would promote and worsen the case of kidnapping in the state.

Okoh revealed that families of those kidnapped from Nike were usually directed to pay ransom at Ọkpatu in Udi LGA, noting that people paid ransom to kidnappers to avoid them from dying at the kidnapper’s den.

He called for the stepping down of the bill to enable its drafter to expunge sections that would cause problem for the citizens of the state who wanted to save the lives of their loved ones.

In the same vein, the Speaker of the assembly, Chief Uche Ugwu, overruled the motion to step down the bill, but directed the House Committees on Economic Development, Youths and Security as well as Judiciary to critically look into the bill.

Ugwu asked the Committees to submit their report to the House in the next one week. (NAN)

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POLITICS

Ex-Imo Governor, Ihedioha Dumps PDP After 26 Years

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A formal governor of Imo State Emeka Ihedioha has left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 26 years after joining one of Nigeria’s leading political parties.

Having been one of the party’s founding members, Ihedioha cited a variance of “personal beliefs” as part of his reason for quitting the PDP.

“Regrettably, in recent times, the party has taken on a path that is at variance with my personal beliefs.

Despite my attempt to offer counsel, the party is, sadly no longer able to carry out internal reforms, enforce its own rules, or offer credible opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress,” he said in a letter addressed to the party’s chairman in the Mbutu Ward of Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State.

“It is in the light of the foregoing, that I am compelled to offer my resignation from the People’s Democratic Party effective immediately.”

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