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ThePledge Big Story: Why Can’t Wike Be Expelled By PDP?



By Augustine Akhilomen

Former Governor of Rivers State and now, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesson Wike never hid his preference on who to support for a few weeks to last year’s presidential election. Rather than being implicit, Wike was loud and clear that he will support the ambition of the All Progressive Congress’s (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He indeed called the bluff of the leadership of his party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who had picked former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate and former Delta State governor, Okowa as his running mate. This open defiance by Wike against the PDP establishment did not go unnoticed by political observers. Hence, many of whom were looking forward to the punishment that PDP will give the recalcitrant Rivers political strongman.

Eight months into the administration of Tinubu and the many sins of Wike, the main opposition party and its members still lacked the boldness to call the former governor to order talk-less of punishing him for engaging in anti-party activities. Why is the PDP finding it difficult to punish Wike? Is he bigger than the party and is the party aware that his continued presence in their ranks will be inimical to the growth and future of PDP? Are there no mechanisms for dealing with members like this, who are doing everything to put the party in disrepute? These are some of the pertinent questions that readily come to the minds of observers.

Even as the PDP is trying to put its house in order ahead of the next general elections, Wike has been carrying on as if nothing was amiss. He has indeed made a bold claims that he remains a bonafide member of the opposition party.

Besides, the FCT minister has been absent from major meetings of the party and has not been seen campaigning for them in recent off-cycle elections and he does not show any regret for his actions.

Just last week, Wike again reaffirmed his commitment to the opposition party, to further brush aside any attempt of expelling him from the party. His words: “I am a member of the PDP,” Wike said.

“Have you ever seen me change anything? The one I supported before, what happened? I have decided to take a break. As you see me now, everybody should carry their cross.

“I was in PDP and I did not hide it: I told them I was not going to support their presidential candidate. Is it that I spoke or acted in a way people did not understand? Discipline me for what? That I did what? I am an advocate of the party’s constitution. Assuming we lost the governorship election, will they be talking about Rivers as a PDP state?

“Now is the time for governance. Now is the time to do your assignment. The president has given me an assignment and I am busy carrying out my assignment. When the time for politics comes, we would know who is where and who is not where.”

This is the second time that the outspoken former governor will be making this bold statement. On August 31st, 2023, he asserted that he had yet to see any leader in the PDP who had the authority to expel him from the party.

“Who will discipline me? I should be the one calling for the discipline of these people who violated the party constitution,” the minister said.

In the buildup to the 2023 presidential election, Wike had lost the presidential ticket of the PDP to Atiku and the party’s vice presidential ticket to Okowa of Delta State, and became inconsolable.

He then led a group of five former PDP governors, who rebelled against Atiku. Not a few people were in doubt of the contributions Wike made to the victory of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the APC. For sure, the rebellion led by Wike was said to have contributed to Atiku’s loss.

Meanwhile, former chairman of the PDP in Lagos State, Capt Tunji Shelle, has given reasons why it’s difficult to suspend or expel the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike from the PDP.

“The PDP is ready to work together and speak with one voice but the likes of the Federal Capital Territory minister who puts one leg in PDP and the other leg in APC is an issue,” Shelle said.

“How do you reconcile a party in that way? And he is still influencing individuals who are within the PDP. He is still influencing some individuals within the National Working Committee of the PDP.

“These are the things APC is doing, planting bombs inside another party. So some people in the PDP might have compromised somewhere. Some people are working with him even within the party. Until a position is taken to suspend or expel him from the party, nothing will work but I am sure some people are already working on this.”

Again, the Acting Chairman of PDP, Umar Damagum, has said the National Working Committee under his leadership will not suspend or dismiss any ‘disloyal’ member.

“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.

“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.”

Many observers are also of the opinion that PDP’s inability to suspend or expel Wike could be due to his financial power and the large followers he commands, which portend so much strength for the party.

Considering the fact that the ruling party are waiting in the wings to bring the former Rivers Governor into their camp if the expected happens, PDP therefore knows they have lots to lose if they decide to take that bold step.

As it is, PDP may be taking its time not to overreact by expelling Wike, but the party must take a concrete decision on his membership or they will risk losing face. Time is running out for the party to deal with the Wike issue once and for all. That would serve as a warning to others or if they should continue to prevaricate over the matter, it would only be inimical to their chances of reclaiming Aso Villa.

“No person should be bigger than the party. Nigerians are watching and waiting to see how this Wike matter is resolved by the PDP. Because it will make or mar their chances in subsequent elections in the country”, says Demola Olusegun, a Lagos based political analyst.



‘Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish’, Nigerians React As High Court Sentence Bobrisky To Six-Month Imprisonment



Nigerians have taken to microblogging platform, X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their thought on the court judgment, which saw cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Recall that Bobrisky, on Friday, was sentenced to six months in jail with no option of a fine.

The judgement was passed by Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, April 4, filed six-count of money laundering and abuse of naira against him.

On Friday, April 5, the EFCC arraigned Bobrisky in court on six charges, including Abuse of the Naira and Money laundering.

The court, however, dismissed the money laundering charges but convicted him of Naira Abuse after he confessed to the crime.

Some Nigerians, reacting to the court judgement, saw the ruling as an injustice against the cross-dresser.

Others wondered which section Bobrisky will be in jail because of the controversy around the gender he aligns with.

See some reactions below:

@brodamike07 wrote, “If this is true, the judgment is harsh and should be condemned by all.”

@Grachidex wrote, “So is it gonna be the male or female prison?”

@iamkelechiO wrote, “I honestly don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a bad influence in the society.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

@_konfam wrote, “This is not right at all, they’re sentencing him over what everyone is guilty of?”

@IamKonrade wrote, “I hope this sets precedence and that anyone who violates the naira, politicians inclusive, is sentenced.”

@JoyMart14 wrote, “May we not offend people wey no deh accept apology ”

@Iamlexprince wrote, “Ok, now this is pure wickedness and jealousy. Bobrisky is the least of our problem in this country. If they channel that same energy to the right people, we for no dey complain for this country.”

@divfee wrote, “This country funny, is she the first to spray money like this in naija??


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Junior Pope: Police Recover Three More Bodies From Boat Mishap



Police authorities in Anambra State have recovered three more bodies from a boat accident involving a movie cast.

Nollywood star Junior Pope Odonwodo was part of the crew that drowned in the boat mishap two days back.

While some crew members were yet to be found following the boat tragedy, the spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command Tochukwu Ikenga said three more bodies of members of the movie cast have been recovered.

“Marine Police of Anambra State Command has recovered bodies of the three remaining victims of the unfortunate boat accident involving a movie cast,” he said in a Friday statement.

“Two of the bodies were recovered yesterday 11th April, 2024 while the last was washed in by the tide this morning.”

The bodies have been deposited at a morgue in Asaba, Delta State while authorities of the guild of actors have also been informed about the recovery.

The spokesman quoted the state’s police commissioner Aderemi Adeoye as advising water commuters to be safety conscious while in transit.

According to the commissioner, the police are fast-tracking the investigation into the accident.


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Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail



The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted bail to a former Central Bank (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Rahman Oshodi granted him bail in the sum of N50m with two sureties in like sum.

The court also held that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have three years of tax payment with the Lagos State Government.

Justice Oshodi said that the sureties must show proper identification and they must be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.
Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail
The judge also said that he was satisfied with the bail conditions of N1 million, earlier given to Emefiele’s co-defendant Henry Isioma-Omoil who is standing trial on another charge before Justice Olufunke Sule-Hamzat of the Lagos High Court sitting in Yaba.

According to the court, the bail documents must be transferred to the special offences court and it must also be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

Last week Monday, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Emefiele before the court on a 26-count bordering on alleged abuse of office and irregular allocation of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion respectively

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