Rivers Poll: UK, US, Germany, France Call For Probe Of Killings

The United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright and his United States, France, Germany and the European Union counterparts, Messrs Stuart Symington, Denys Guaer, Bernhard Schlagheck and Micheal Arrion respectively, yesterday called on the federal government to conduct a transparent investigation into the killings of innocent Nigerians during the just concluded Rivers re-run election.

Also yesterday, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) vowed that it would get to the root of incidences of malfeasance involving its staff, politicians and some security agents during the just concluded re-run elections in Rivers State.

This was contained in a statement, signed by the Deputy Press and Public Relations Officer of the British High Commission, Jamila Fagge, on behalf of the five envoys resident in Abuja.

The envoys also alleged wide rigging of the December 10, parliamentary re-run election in the state.

The countries who claimed to have been following proceedings before and during the election indicted some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as personnel of security agencies.

They however did not mention any politician or political party as a beneficiary of the rigging.

The envoys called for a full scale investigation of the allegations as well as the death of some civilians and police officials with a view to bringing them to book and serve as deterrent to others in future elections.

Read More: thisdaylive

China Lodges Protest After Trump Call With Taiwan President

China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the “petty” move.

The 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan’s leadership was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China”.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged “stern representations” with what it called the “relevant U.S. side”, urging the careful handling of the Taiwan issue to avoid any unnecessary disturbances in ties.

“The one China principle is the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” it said.

The wording implied the protest had gone to the Trump camp, but the ministry provided no explanation.

Speaking earlier, hours after Friday’s telephone call, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointedly blamed Taiwan for the exchange, rather than Trump, a billionaire businessman with little foreign policy experience.

“This is just the Taiwan side engaging in a petty action, and cannot change the ‘one China’ structure already formed by the international community,” Wang said at an academic forum in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry quoted him as saying.

“I believe that it won’t change the longstanding ‘one China’ policy of the United States government.”

In comments at the same forum, Wang noted how quickly President Xi Jinping and Trump had spoken by telephone after Trump’s victory, and that Trump had praised China as a great country.

Wang said that exchange had sent “a very positive signal about the future development of Sino-U.S. relations”, according to the ministry’s website. Taiwan was not mentioned in that call, according to an official Chinese transcript.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office also called the conversation a “petty” move by Taiwan that does not change the island’s status as part of China. Beijing is resolute in opposing independence for Taiwan, it added.

Trump said on Twitter that Tsai had initiated the call he had with the Taiwan president. “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!” he said.

Credit: reuters

DisCos Reject Call For Reversal Of Privatisation

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has rejected the call for the reversal of  power sector privatisation.

Billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, had made the call while speaking at the Senior Executive Course 38 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos, Plateau State.

Dangote said some of the people who bought power assets do not have an understanding of what they bought.

He advised the government to negotiate with them and find solutions to the problems confronting the sector.

“We should be as open as we can if government doesn’t intervene by taking back these assets and giving them to people who really have money that they can really inject, we will not be able to deliver on power,” he had said.

But the distribution companies (DisCos)  said they have been doing their best, and that there can be no “overnight” solution to a sector that had been mismanaged for over 63 years.

“Anyone who has followed the privatisation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) would recognise that the sector has been bedevilled by a number of challenges that would make the most hardened risk-seeking investor to run in the opposite direction,” ANED said.


DisCos reject call for reversal of privatisation

PDP’s Call For Buhari’s Resignation A Big Joke- Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the call for resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the economy is “preposterous”.

The minister said this on Friday in Abuja at a forum with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Mr. Mohammed said “it is very painful in a situation where the armed robber is now the one sympathising with the victim.

“I read in the dailies that the PDP said that the president must resign because of the economy.

“While we are not going to indulge in blame game, I think we should also be honest enough to admit that we will not have been where we are today if they had done what they ought to do.

“For the party to ask the president to resign is just a big joke.”

The minister said though the government was not interested in blame game, it was important to set the records straight.

He said that “agree that Nigeria is not the only country hit by the recession and crash in price of crude, but other countries made savings.

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Ex-militants Call For Probe Of Amnesty Office

The Association of Third Phase Ex- Militants have called for an immediate probe of the operations of the Amnesty Office, over alleged breach of disarmament agreement by the federal government through the Amnesty office.

National Chairman of the Association, Comrade Wisdom Rufus made the call on Saturday in Abuja, while briefing Newsmen on the challenges faced by the Group as a result of the breach.

The Chairman said “ with the laying down of our arms, the government also made  legal commitments to us including the payment of disarmament allowances, payment of slot for guns surrendered, housing allowances as well as proper documentation of the ex militants of the third phase.”

He noted that “it was in the light of the above that the office of the Amnesty Programme was created and shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring that all members get their entitlements.”

Credit: Leadership

Enugu Herdsmen’s Attack: Senator, Others Call For State Of Emergency

Angry voices have continued to rise over last Thursday’s attack, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Ndiagu Attakwu community in Nkanu-West Local Government Area of Enugu State that left a seminarian and a woman dead, and three others critically wounded.
With the reported death of the second victim of the attack, the Councillors’ Forum, an association of former and current Councillor’s in the state has called for an immediate ban on grazing in the state.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after their visit of the community, leader of the Councillors Forum Hon. Chidiebere Oko, noted that the situation has become so serious that it should no longer be treated with kid gloves.
“Just as we condemn the act, we cannot continue to fold our arms not knowing what tomorrow has in stock. This is getting out of hand and it is time to act. We have, thus, decided as a body, to call for an immediate ban on any form of grazing across the length and breadth of Enugu State.” Oko said.
He called on the state House of Assembly to urgently make a legislation outlawing grazing in Enugu State “be it by Fulani people or any other person for that matter.”
Reacting to the attack, the Senate Committee Chairman on Communications, Gilbert Nnaji, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on activities of herders in the country, while others, including the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), and Igbo Ohanaeze Media Forum have called for various measures ranging from introduction of bills criminalising indiscriminate grazing to outright ban of buying and selling of cow meat by the Igbos.
The Senator, while condoling with families of the victims, warned that until governments at all levels recognise the menace as a national concern, all the public outcries would amount to nothing.
He added that apart from ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book as a deterrent to further attacks, the Federal Government should come up with stringent measures to tackle the issue once and for all, in the interest of the country.
The senator had made a similar call while contributing to the motion, at the senate in April this year, on the massacre of the people of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani LGA of Enugu.
Describing the killings as callous and provocative, the Civil Liberties Organisation, (CLO), South-East Zone, urged the governors of the states that make up the zone to sponsor bills in the state Houses of Assembly that would make it a criminal offence for herdsmen to engage in indiscriminate grazing within the zone.
A statement signed by the South-East zonal Chairman of the body, Comrade Aloysius Attah, described the incessant killings by herdsmen as an act of barbarism and terrorism against Igbo people.
In its own reaction, Ohanaeze Media Forum (OMF), the umbrella body said to be made of Igbo journalists called on Ndigbo in every part of the country to shun cow meat as a way of registering their displeasure over the incessant killing of their kits and kins by Fulani herdsmen.
In a communiqué issued at the end of their emergency meeting in Lagos and signed by Chidiadi Elendu and Ngozi Emedoluibe chairman and secretary respectively, the body called on traditional rulers in the South East to ban the use of cow meat in any festival activity in Igbo land.
“When everybody begins to shun cow meat the herdsmen would realize that they no longer have business in Igbo land and would leave,” it noted.

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Why I Didn’t Call Jonathan After Chibok Girls Were Abducted By Boko Haram- Shettima

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has said he did not call former President Goodluck Jonathan to brief him after Boko Haram abducted over 200 school girls from Chibok, because he knew that security agencies must have briefed the president of the development the day it happened.

Mr. Shettima said as president, Mr. Jonathan had wide resources to keep him abreast of serious national security issues on a daily basis.

Mr. Shettima was responding to an inquiry which sought to determine why the governor waited for almost three weeks expecting the president to reach out to him over a major incident that happened in his domain.

The governor had said recently that Mr. Jonathan took 19 days to telephone him to ask about the abduction.

He made the remark while receiving former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he praised as having a better record of contacting governors of crisis- prone states on a daily basis.

“In our own case, Your Excellency, after the Chibok abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in April, 2014, it took 19 days for me to receive a call from the Presidency,” Mr. Shettima said to Mr. Obasanjo.

Analysts have accused the governor of not also taking the security of his state serious enough to have to wait for the president to call, and not contact him.

Mr. Shettima spoke through his Special Adviser on Communication, Isa Gusau, who assured that his comments were the governor’s position.

Mr. Gusau said he “had it on good authority that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was well briefed by security agencies soon after the abduction and this is to be expected given the magnitude and for the fact that as at that time, Borno was under a State of Emergency as declared by the president, which made him directly in charge of security issues in Borno and happenings there”.

“So, ?when the Chibok abduction took place on April 14, 2014, Governor Kashim Shettima who is Chairman of the State Security Councils remained within Borno State as he was expected to do, to build public confidence and presided over series of daily security council meetings held at the Government House in Maiduguri  to analyze the situation and developments, to identify strategies and to coordinate deployment of security responses to containing the emergency,” he said.

Credit: Premiumtimes

APC Reacts To PDP’s Call For Buhari’s Impeachment

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to the call by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.

APC dismissed the call as “comical”.

“It is confusing and worrisome that the PDP calls for an investigation into the budget issue and at the same time calls for the removal and resignation of the aforementioned,” the party said in a statement by its national secretary, Mala Buni.

“In both content and context, PDP’s statement constitute a distraction to the National Assembly.”

The party said it was confident that the 8th National Assembly would not be distracted by the PDP in “its new desperate plot to divert attention from the ongoing investigation into mind-boggling cases of corruption perpetuated under its defunct 16-year rule”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Soyinka Responds To Rivers Govt’s Call For His Probe Over N82 Million Dinner

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has responded to claims by the Rivers State government that its former governor, Rotimi Amaechi, spent N82 million to organize a dinner in his honour.

In a statement, Wednesday, Mr. Soyinka said the “unprecedented call” for his probe was a form of corruption fighting back.

“This morning, I saw only the headlines in one or two print media regarding the 80th Birthday dinner to which I was hosted by the former governor of Rivers State, the Honorable Rotimi Amaechi, now Minister of Aviation,” said Mr. Soyinka.

“I ignored them. It was not, and remains not my business to probe into the catering and logistical implications of the hundreds of institutions and governments all over the world to whom I acknowledge an immense debt of unsolicited recognition over the years.

“Since then however, I have learnt of some unsavory statements by the insecure incumbent of the Rivers State government Lodge. These included a loose invitation to anti-crime agencies to investigate the potential crime of being honoured through any occasion.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Kogi Election: PDP Rejects Call For APC’s Candidate Substitution

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against an advice by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party can substitute its late candidate in the Kogi State governorship election.

The opposition party also asked Mr Malami to “immediately vacate his office for harrying and misleading the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) into arriving at the decision”.

In a statement by the opposition party’s spokesman, Olisa Metuh, the party said it was shocked that “INEC, a supposedly independent electoral umpire, could allow itself to succumb to the antics of the APC by following the unlawful directive of an obviously partisan AGF to substitute a candidate in the middle of the ballot process”.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Muslim Groups Call For Ben Carson To Withdraw Presidential Bid

U.S. Republican candidate Ben Carson has been slammed by rival politicians and the country’s largest Muslim advocacy group after saying that a Muslim should never be elected as president of the United States.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson, who is a Christian, told CBS’s Meet the Press programme on Sunday.

The U.S.-based Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations has now called for Carson to leave the Republican race. “It’s beyond the pale and he should withdraw,” Ibrahim Hooper, the group’s spokesperson, told Al Jazeera.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, also criticized Carson’s remarks. “You know, this is the year 2015,” he said. “You judge candidates for president not on their religion, not on the color of their skin, but on their ideas, on what they stand for.”

Sanders went on to tweet that it took the U.S. “too long to overcome the prejudice against electing a Catholic or an African-American president.”

The country’s first-ever Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, also criticized the comments as “fear mongering” in an attempt to win more voters, saying they are “out of touch with who we are as a people.”

Read More: yahoo

Kachikwu, Marketers Call for Deregulation of Petrol

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil marketing companies in the country have insisted that the price of petrol should be deregulated to ensure sustainable development in the downstream oil sector.

The corporation has also restated its commitment to the construction of a 1,350 megawatts (MW) capacity Abuja power plant and a 900MW capacity Kaduna power plant in partnership with reputable international power producers.

Speaking on Thursday in Lagos at the 2015 conference of the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC), oil marketers and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said the speedy implementation of deregulation would encourage inflow of private sector and international investment into the country.

In his address titled, “Energy Crisis and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: The Way Forward”, Kachikwu noted that the subsidy regime creates distortions in government revenue distribution as a result of round tripping and unnecessary carryover of expenditures every year in a way that is difficult for government to control or sustain.

“Furthermore, the federal government is not in control of the factors that influence retail fuel price, particularly fluctuations of crude oil price at the international market. Deregulation policy is essential to the transformation and growth of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry,” he said.

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Call Oshiomhole To Order, Rep Tells Buhari

The lawmaker member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Linus Okorie, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly call Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state to order on the purported appointment of two foreign forensic audit firms to look into federal government revenue generating agencies from 2010 to 2015.

In a statement in Abakaliki, Mr. Okorie observed that neither the Mr. Oshiomohole-led National Executive Council Adhoc Committee on Excess Crude Accounts and Remittances to the Federation Account nor the NEC itself has the power under the constitution to make the purported appointments.

He also stated that even if they had the legal authority, the said appointment is contrary to the clear provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007, adding that the NEC created under the part 1 of the third schedule 1999 constitution (as amended) is merely an advisory body to the President and has no authority to enter into contractual obligations on behalf of the government of the federation.

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APC Blasts PDP Over Call To Probe Fashola

Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has berated the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state for calling on Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to probe his immediate predecessor, Babatunde Fashola.

Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, while reacting to the statement, said, “Lagos PDP has lost it and is in a journey of self derision and ridicule. APC is not surprised that Lagos PDP continues to demonstrate traits that show it as a jesting group that has no meaningful thing to contribute to the growth and progress of Lagos.”

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Who Leaked The President’s Call To Buhari? Find Out More As Investigations Commence

President Goodluck Jonathan’s call on Tuesday March 31st, at 5.15 pm, to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), winner of last Saturday’s presidential polls on the platform of the All Progress Congress (APC), that has been leaked to the public is being investigated.

A Presidency source who pleaded anonymity while confirming the probe, said the action has caused the seat of power serious embarrassment.

The source who was seen listening to the conversation again with some colleagues, said ?the probe is to ascertain whether the recording was leaked from the Presidency or was made public from Buhari’s camp.

The source further disclosed that should it be confirmed that ?it was leaked from the Presidency, those found culpable will face appropriate punishment. “Definitely, unauthorised release of a raw recording of the President’s telephone conversation, if from our (Presidency’s) end is a security breach that cannot go without being investigated,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the first family have started moving their personal belongings out of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, following the failure of President Jonathan to win his re-election bid.

Credit: sunnewsonline