A member of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Gagdi, has explained his controversial statement, “I know whom we know.”
Gagdi defended his comment during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.
A day ago, the House of Representatives member in a public gathering said, “At the Supreme Court, we will know who they know and they will know who we know.”
The lawmaker’s comment drew criticisms from various quarters, with calls emerging for a public apology.
Addressing the meaning behind the controversial phrase, he said that it has been a consistent part of his political messaging since the inception of his political journey.
He stated, “From the day of my political journey, my slogan has always been ‘we know whom they know, but they don’t know whom we know.’”
“From the day of my political journey, my slogan has always been ‘we know whom they know, but they don’t know whom we know,” he said.
“I can give a video reference of this statement I have meted when I was campaigning for the position of Plateau State House of Assembly.”
The 43-year-old cited video evidence of him using this statement during his campaigns for the Plateau State House of Assembly and the National Assembly in his first and second tenures.
“I can equally show you the video of those statements I made when I was campaigning for the National Assembly in my first tenure and I can show you the video of what I have said when I am campaigning for my second tenure,” he said.
According to the lawmaker, the statement was never a point of contention when he campaigned for the House of Assembly or his initial term in the House of Representatives.
“Why was that not a problem to them when I was campaigning for the House of Assembly and my first tenure as a member of the House of Representatives?” he asked.
“When I always say ‘we know whom’ I don’t say, ‘who we know’ they should listen carefully.”
Gagdi mentioned that when he says ‘we know whom,’ he means ‘we know God.’ He stated that his opponents may be underestimating the power of faith, asserting, “Maybe I am confronting someone who thinks his power can give him what God cannot give him.”
“Therefore, the need for me to always, with strength, tell my opponents that ‘we know whom you know but you don’t know whom we know’.
Why I Won’t Sanction Wike, Makinde, Ortom, Others- PDP Chairman
In a bold move that has sent shockwaves through the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum, the acting Acting Chairman, has firmly rejected calls to sanction perceived ‘disloyal’ members of the party.
This includes prominent figures like former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who faced allegations of anti-party activities during the last election.
Despite mounting pressure from stakeholders urging Damagum to take punitive measures, the acting chairman, addressing the PDP Mobilisers Group in Abuja, made it clear that the National Working Committee (NWC) under his leadership would not suspend any party members. Instead, he announced the establishment of a committee dedicated to reconciling all aggrieved members.
Damagum emphasized the importance of reconciliation over sanctions, asserting that punishing members for alleged anti-party activities could potentially destroy the unity of the PDP.
He expressed his commitment to preserving the integrity of the party and avoiding actions that might destabilize it.
“They are always telling you these people are not doing the right thing. But when you are in a position of leadership, you are bound by a set of rules, and these rules even though they are itching you, you don’t apply them; not because of anything, but so that you don’t destroy the house,” Damagum stated during his address.
Addressing the criticisms against the NWC, Damagum explained, “Somebody has said sometimes when you are not knowledgeable about certain things and you go on saying about your thinking, it will always injure the sensibility of others to understand you.”
He went on to acknowledge the challenges faced by the party during the last general election, admitting that many members were involved in anti-party activities.
However, he discouraged the idea of mass suspensions, stating,
“If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”
Damagum also described the 2023 presidential election defeat as “most painful”, cautioning members of the party against a blame game.
He said, “I am very proud to say that this party was started by me as a driver. Today, I am the acting national chairman by the grace of God. I have never calculated that I will be given this title. I believe in this party, I believe that this party is the best in this country.
“The NWC has already come up and approved a 2023 election review and reconciliation committee. They will go and investigate. We’ll give them the mandate to form subcommittees. However, there is only one national committee that will review the 2023 election and also review from 2015 to 2019. This is so that at the end of the day when they bring the reports, we will meet and take decisions.”
Damagum, who admitted that many members were involved in anti-party activities at different levels, said, “If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”
LP Accuses INEC Of Defying Court Order For Forensic Inspection Of BVAS In Imo
The Labour Party in Imo has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is denying it access to BVAS used for the November 11 Governorship Election.
The party’s Chairman, Mr Callistus Ihejiagwa, who said this while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Saturday, added that the denial of access to the BVAS was in defiance of a November 26, 2023 order of the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri.
Recall that applications for inspection of the materials were submitted to the INEC by the LP, PDP, YPP and APGA respectively.
Ihejiagwa said the forensic inspection of election materials including the BVAS is contained in the order of the Tribunal.
According to him, INEC had on Wednesday, denied availability of the BVAS for inspection, insisting that only the commission’s headquarters reserved the right to grant access to the BVAS for inspection.
He said the commission, however, made available only 65 out of over 5,000 BVAS machines for inspection but denied the LP’s team of forensic experts access to the machines.
He wondered why INEC would “deliberately frustrate the process of litigation “ in an election where it was only an umpire.
“Contrary to orders of court for forensic analysis of BVAS machines, an INEC official is reading out figures of accreditation from the machines without allowing us access to Certified True Copies of the card copies for our due diligence.
“ We have less than 24 hours to examine the BVAS machines, assemble and present our findings to the Election Petition Tribunal but here we are still awaiting access to the machines
“The Tribunal ordered for forensic inspection of the BVAS so the BVAS is specifically contained in the Tribunal order “, he said.
Also speaking, Counsel to the LP governorship candidate, Senator Athan Achonu, Mr Okwudili Anozie, emphasized that the tribunal’s order for forensic examination of the BVAS machines would help ensure that the machines have not been tampered with before and after the election.
He decried INEC’s disobedience to the order while restating the party’s confidence in the judiciary for the dispensation of justice.
NNPP Reaffirms The Expulsion Of Rabiu Kwankwaso From Party
The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the North East zone has reaffirmed the expulsion of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
The party has accused him of causing internal turmoil and blaming him for the party’s recent woes.
Kwankwaso’s expulsion from the party came during a meeting of the NNPP North East executive and stakeholders held in Bauchi on Friday.
A communique released after the meeting stated that the stakeholders “reaffirmed the expulsion of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso from the NNPP, accusing him of causing internal crisis in the party.”
The North East NNPP also responded strongly to the recent Appeal Court ruling against the party and Kano State Governor, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf. The governorship election petitions tribunal had voided Yusuf’s election, citing irregularities in the vote count.
Despite the legal setback, the NNPP North East leadership expressed unwavering support for Governor Yusuf. They urged party members and supporters nationwide to offer their “maximum support and prayers” to the embattled leader.
The communique, read by NNPP National Vice Chairman North, Dr Babayo Liman, further confirmed the dissolution of the Abba Kawu Ali-led National Working Committee. It also conveyed a vote of confidence in the party’s founder and life member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Boniface Aniebonan.
The North East NNPP also reaffirmed the election of Dr. Tope Aluko as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi as Secretary. They also confirmed the appointment of a new NWC under the leadership of Dr Agbo Major.
According to the communique, the acting state party chairmen for the North East zone are as follows:
Bauchi: Alhaji Umar Isa
Taraba: Kabiru A. Abdul
Adamawa: Alh Salmanu Abubakar
Yobe: Mal. Babangida Garba (acting)
Borno: Alh. Aminu Bukan Salihu
Gombe: Barr Ramby Ayaba
The North East Deputy National Chairman, Abdullahi Yalcabu, confirmed that “all the executive committee members and critical stakeholders of Northeast zone attended the meeting.” He further added that Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi, the board of trustees secretary, was also present.
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