The South-West arm of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has joined the push for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
The PUNCH quoted notable South-West members of the PDP as saying that with the All Progressives Congress (APC) picking its Presidential candidate from the South-West in the person of Bola Tinubu, the PDP would also need an influential politician from the region to be the party’s chairman.
There have been demands from the camp of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for Ayu to resign as chairman.
The demand was among the conditions given by Wike who is still said to be aggrieved over Atiku’s refusal to pick him as a running mate. Already, Wike and Atiku have begun meeting with a view to ensuring that a compromise is reached before the commencement of campaigns next month.
However, it was learnt that the South-West is also demanding Ayu’s exit as a condition to support the party.
“Tinubu is campaigning as the candidate of the Yoruba people. Even Sanwo-Olu said recently that all Yoruba people must see Tinubu as their personal project. The PDP needs to make a huge concession for the South-West which has the second largest voting population after the North-West,” a member of the State Working Committee in Ekiti State said.
Similarly, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George, said Ayu must leave immediately in the spirit of fairness.
George, who said he was speaking as a national leader and not on behalf of the South-West, said there was a need for the region to be given a sense of belonging as all the key positions in the party were being occupied by northerners.
“Ayu needs to resign as chairman immediately while the South-West gets the position in the spirit of fairness. I cannot campaign for the party in the South-West in an atmosphere where there is no fairness. What will I tell our people?” he asked.
George, who was the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign in 2007, said the PDP could pick an interim chairman from the South-West just for the purpose of fairness.
He argued that refusing to take Nigeria’s diversity into consideration would make the PDP no better than the APC which is pushing a Muslim/Muslim ticket.
“NEC can appoint an acting chairman from the South-West in order to give the region a sense of belonging. Ayu promised to leave office once the PDP produces a northern Presidential candidate. For the sake of fairness, he needs to step down immediately.
“The PDP as presently constituted does not reflect Nigeria’s diversity. The North produced the Presidential candidate, the national chairman and the BoT chairman and they want the South to accept this. Would the North have accepted this if it was the other way around?” he asked.
BREAKING: China Approves World’s First Inhalable COVID-19 Vaccine
Chinese drug regulators have approved the world’s first inhalable Covid-19 vaccine, made by Tianjin-based manufacturer, CanSino Biologics, boosting the company’s share price by seven percent on Monday.
The National Medical Products Administration gave the go-ahead for the vaccine for emergency use as a booster, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.
Following the announcement, company shares surged 14 per cent on Monday morning before closing 7.1 per cent higher than their opening value.
The needle-free vaccine – which can be stored and administered more easily than intramuscular jabs – will be given through a nebuliser, the company said.
“The approval will have a positive impact on the company’s performance if the vaccine is subsequently purchased and used by relevant government agencies,” the statement added.
The company did not offer details on when the adenovirus-vectored vaccine will be made available for public use.
There is no publicly available verified or peer-reviewed data on the efficacy of the new vaccine.
Scientists in several countries including Cuba, Canada and the United States are also trialling inhalable Covid-19 vaccines.
China has so far approved eight other locally manufactured injectable vaccines since 2020.
But the country’s drug administrator is yet to greenlight any foreign vaccines, including mRNA shots produced by Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna that have better efficacy rates compared to other types of vaccines.
China is the only major economy sticking to a zero-Covid policy, disrupting travel and businesses.
Officials across the country are now under pressure to curb local virus flare-ups ahead of a key political meeting next month.
The southern tech hub of Shenzhen, with more than 18 million residents, imposed a weekend lockdown in most parts of the city on Saturday, while more than 21 million people in the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu are undergoing mass testing from Monday through Wednesday.
China has administered over 3.4 billion Covid shots, the National Health Commission said Monday without offering details on the percentage of the population vaccinated.
Army Warns Civilians As Shooting Exercise Begins Tomorrow
The Nigerian Army has advised Imo residents to keep off the range area for its Range Classification Exercise slated for September 5-9.
The FidelinfoNews gathered this was contained in a release made available to newsmen by Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 34 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State, Capt. Joseph Akubo on Saturday.
Akubo said that the exercise was an annual event involving the use of arms and live ammunition, thus the need for the civilian public to stay away from the range area.
“The Range Classification Exercise is an annual event of the Nigerian Army aimed at testing personnel effectiveness in weapon handling and firing efficiency. It is an annual event which involves the use of arms and live ammunition.
I am directed to inform you that 34 Artillery Brigade will commence this year’s Annual Range Classification Exercise from 5-9 September 2022 at the Small Arms Shooting Range, Obinze Barracks.
“The exercise will be conducted from 6 am – 6 pm daily throughout the stipulated period.
“In view of the above, the people of Obinze Town and surrounding communities are strongly advised to keep away from the Range Area throughout the mentioned period,” he said
FG Halts Rail Project Over Insecurity, Vandalism
The Federal Government has put the construction of the Port Harcourt-Maidugiri Eastern rail line on hold due to insecurity and vandalism of railway infrastructure on the corridor.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, during the inspection of the project, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Minister said China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCEC), the contractor handling the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the project, had complained of attacks on its workers along the Abia State axis.
Sambo, who was obviously very displeased by the acts, condemned them in strong terms, pointing out that in the history of Nigeria, no administration has invested more in rail infrastructure like the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He used the opportunity to call on the media and the judiciary to collaborate with the Ministry to ensure that economic saboteurs are not only exposed but prosecuted and sentenced speedily to serve as deterrence to others.
On the report that the funds meant for the Eastern rail line is diverted to other projects, the Minister said it was fake news as the progress made so far is from the 15% of the counterpart funding by Nigeria while the 85% to be provided by foreign parterners was still being negotiated.
Meanwhile, the Minister on his visit to the National Inland Waterways Authority’s Area Office in Port Harcourt, he commissioned three patrol boats and 32- seater ferry boat to enhance operational efficiency as well as encourage water transportation.
The Minister who was the former Managing Director of the Agency disclosed that while he was at the helm of affairs there, he did not only maintain the amount of revenue set by his predecessors, but surpassed it.
“When I came here, a lot of people were wondering if we are going to succeed. But I did not only sustain the level of revenue that was sustained by my predecessors, but I even surpassed them,” he said.
Sambo commissioning patrol boats in PH
He commended the Managing Director NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, for the giant strides attained, saying: “Seriously, MD, l am happy I came here today. If didn’t come, I would not have known the strides you have achieved. Without doubts, I think you have made the greatest impacts of all the Managing Directors that have served the Authority”. “Your tenure has moved the Authority from level 5 to Level 9”.
He described inland water way transportation as the cheapest and safest means of moving goods and persons and key to development of any country, especially that endowed with water.
Furthermore, the Minister observed that Nigeria is blessed in that regard as 28 States of the Federation can be accessed by water, hence the need to develop the sector.
While promising to provide support in any capacity, he called on the MD to quickly operationalize the Marina Area Office in Lagos which has been identified as a hub for trans- shipping cargoes from Lagos through the Intercoastal routes like Warri and Onitsha.
Earlier, the Managing Director, NIWA, Dr. Moghalu, informed that in less than a year, the Agency commissioned more than twenty patrol boats, as well as a house boat, tugboat and water ambulance for distribution to various Area offices of the Authority.
According to him, the act is part of the Agency’s vision to ensure that the nation’s Inland waterways provides a truly safe, efficient, cost effective and alternative mode of transportation of goods and persons as well as become competitive and attractive.
Speaking further, Moghalu said: “the huge opportunities that abounds in the nation’s Inland waterways can only be maximized if concerted efforts are geared towards the development of infrastructure and proper funding to make the waterways attractive and competitive to players”.
Also, he disclosed that the Authority has licensed several companies for the transportation of cargoes across the waterways in Nigeria, especially from Lagos so as to decongest it and open up other Inland ports.
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