Pakistan national airline chairman resigns following crash

Pakistan’s International Airlines (PIA) chairman, Azam Saigol, has resigned in the wake of a crash last week that killed all 48 people on board, officials said on Tuesday.

Saigol resigned late Monday, PIA spokesman, Danyal Gilani, said.

“The PIA chairman resigned due to personal reasons,” Gilani said.

The chairman had worked on a pro bono basis, without salary or perks, since his appointment in May, he added.

On December 7, a PIA flight to Islamabad from the tourist resort of Chitral crashed, killing everyone on board the small ATR-42 plane.

Three foreign nationals, two from Austria and one from China, were among the dead.

PIA faced tough questions about adopting international safety standards and procedures after the crash, which came after financial losses and accusations of mismanagement, according to media reports.

Earlier this year, the Pakistani government tried to sell 25 per cent of PIA’s shares to offset financial losses that had piled up over the years, according to reports.

The plan was abandoned after a strong protest by the company’s employees and opposition political parties.

On Monday, PIA grounded its ATR fleet and started the process of so-called “shakedown” tests of all 10 planes, Gilani said.

The decision to ground the fleet came after another ATR-42 airplane encountered technical issues at take-off Sunday night.

Pakistan aviation experts have begun a probe into the crash of the ATR-42 plane with the help of a French team, officials said.

Nigeria must borrow to pay contractors, revive economy – Oyegun

The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, has defended the borrowing plans of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying borrowing is inevitable in view of the current economic realities in the country.

Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said Nigeria must borrow to invest in infrastructure and grow the economy.

The APC Chairman spoke on Sunday night after receiving a lifetime achievement award presented to him by the Warri Choral Society during a classical music concert the Society held in his honour at the Muson Center in Lagos.

Mr. Odigie-Oyegun assured that the borrowings would not be used to pay salaries.

“If you read the newspapers, you hear the president being advised to pump money into the economy. So the question is where is the money coming from? Simple! It has to come from somewhere including borrowing — both internal and external. To get this country going again, you have to pay contractors. Some contractors have not been paid for four, five, six, 10 years.

“So long as the borrowing is done not to pay salaries which the President Buhari administration will not do, but invested to create opportunities, solve our problems of power and things like that.

“To allow people to have money to consume, to buy goods, to pay for services so that factories can produce. So it is that cycle. We must kick-start the economy and to kick-start it will need money, lots of money,” the APC National Chairman told journalists after the concert.

Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said the ongoing fight against corruption was necessary for the country to make progress.

“That is a task (anti-corruption) that must be accomplished because it is at the bottom of all the ills of this country. When you are corrupt, you are immoral, when you are corrupt, you don’t have ethics, when you are corrupt, you lose the distinction between right and wrong. When you are corrupt, even life does not mean anything to you. So, we must get it under serious control for this nation to have hope of making any progress,” he said.

Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, who was accompanied by his wife, Victoria, said the timing of the concert came at perfect time for him in view of the gradual de-escalation of the political atmosphere in the country.

“I have had the esteem pleasure of being associated with the Warri Choral Society. I got to know that they deliver the kind of music that relaxes me, that transports me that comforts me.

“The date of this event cannot have been chosen more fortuitously. It is absolutely perfect, given the chain of events that have been reported in the newspapers almost on a daily basis. There has been a gradual de-escalation of the political atmosphere and I think this event is just capping it,” he said after receiving the lifetime achievement award.

Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, in his remarks at the concert said Mr. Odigie-Oyegun had changed the face of politics in the country.

He thanked the founder of the Warri Choral Society, Joe Ayonmike, for his contributions to classical music in Nigeria.

“I am so jealous that Warri has a choral society of this international quality. I see it as a challenge that in Benin we will have to develop one. But we must support our brothers and sisters from Delta state.

“Tonight we celebrate our National Chairman who we are very proud of. A man who has by the divine intervention of God changed the face of politics in our country. Let me also use this opportunity to thank Mr. Joe Ayonmike for what he has done for classical music in our country,” Mr. Obaseki said.

Dignitaries at the concert included the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki and his wife, Betsy; former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba; former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh; Senators Domingo Obende and Ovie Omo-Agege; John Obakpolo; Hosa Okunbo; Nike Akande, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce; Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and her husband, Segun; Umana Umana, Managing Director of Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority; Otega Emerhor; former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Leke Pitan and Grace Egbagbe amongst others.

Members of the APC National Working Committee, NWC, of the APC also attended the event.

Sacked PDM chairman vows ‘long, messy fight’ with Atiku

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Bashir Ibrahim, who was removed Thursday, has vowed “a long and messy fight” with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, whom he accused of masterminding his sack.

A meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, which held on Thursday in Abuja, announced the sack of Mr. Ibrahim and all other national officers of the party.

Mr. Ibrahim, in a statement Friday, described the dissolution of the National Executive Committee of the party as a “huge joke and a hatchet job by political contractors, sponsored by a notorious Big Man”.

He described the people who met to execute the “hatchet job” on behalf of the “unnamed notorious Big Man” as either ignorant of the provisions of the PDM Constitution or that they were in such a hurry to deliver on their contract to care about the fine points of the law.

Although, Mr. Ibrahim did not mention the name of the alleged “big man”, he had on Thursdaytold PREMIUM TIMES that the former Vice president was behind the crisis in the party.

He said Atiku plans to use the PDM as a second option in case he fails to get the ticket of his current party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

“We all know calculations for 2019 are in top gear and he who must be President by hook or crook is, once again, at his notorious best,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim also said that although the PDM welcomes any Nigerian who wishes to contest election on its platform, “but we are not for sale and will not be brow-beaten or intimidated by anyone”.

He said his leadership of the PDM has established a strong culture and reputation for integrity and compliance with the rule of law.

“We will not allow a desperate and serial presidential candidate to destroy our party by enticing hungry members of the National Executive Committee to precipitate crisis within our ranks.”

“For the avoidance of doubt” Mr. Ibrahim said, “the National Executive Committee of PDM cannot be dissolved to pave the way for a hostile takeover of our Party by this notorious Big Man.

“This same notorious Big Man, who specializes in destroying institutions, is also responsible for the intractable crisis from which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had been reeling lately, a party which gave him the platform to serve as a high-ranking official in its government from 1999 – 2007 only to sabotage the same government in which he was a part.

“As far as this notorious Big Man is concerned, his ambition to be President must be achieved at any cost and all casualties along the way are justified.”

Mr. Ibrahim said he was not going to bother himself with the people who announced his sack but will engage Atiku directly.

“ We are going for the notorious Big Man, himself. We are ready to fight and defend the structures and integrity of Peoples Democratic Movement and we are fully equipped for this fight.

“He has picked on the wrong adversary. This will be a long and messy fight. We are tired of giving in to the impunity of this man. If he wants a fight with us, we are more than happy to give him one.

“There is a Nigerian saying, if an elder throws away his old age, the young ones will happily trample in it. Just because a politician made money in public office through shady deals, does not give him the right to set his own rules and insist everyone must play by them. At PDM we know what we are worth and what we are worth is not for sale,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim also appealed to PDM members who, he said, called in to express outrage over the development to remain calm and continue the hard work of making the Party the envy of all.

“I registered this Party almost single-handedly” he said “and will not allow opportunist who are shopping for a platform to contest election to destroy it on the alter of inordinate ambition and unbridled greed. Everyone knows we do not give up on a good fight and this fight for the soul of PDM will not be different”.

He urged party members to accost the people he referred to as “political contractors” who executed the shady contract and demand their share of the proceeds.

“After all, they claimed they did it in your name. There is no reason why you should not share in the largesse,” he said.

N1.5bn: EFCC Arrests Chairman, Finance Director Edo SUBEB

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested one the Executive Chairman and Director of Finance of Edo State Universal basic Education Board (SUBEB).

Daily Trust gathered on Wednesday that Stephen Aloa and Adams Osabuohien the Executive chairman and director of finance respectively were arrested by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission.

According to EFCC sources they were arrested in connection with an alleged case of abuse of office, diversion and misappropriation of funds to the tune of one billion and five hundred million naira (N1.5bn)

It added that Edo SUBEB officials still being interrogated by the operatives of the Commission were arrested on Tuesday 22nd of November, 2016.

Alao and his accomplices allegedly inflated contracts, approved bogus weekly Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) for nonexistent conferences, used fictitious companies to defraud the board and sold Government properties without remitting same to Government account.

 The source said others fingered in the alleged fraud are still being investigated to ascertain their level of culpabilities.

Credit: dailytrust

ASUU strikes instrumental to the growth of varsity – Chairman

Dr. Christopher Piwuna, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Jos chapter, says incessant strikes by the union have been instrumental to the institution’s growth over the years.

Piwuna said: “The distractions, frustrations and uncertainties caused by the strikes are actually painful, but I can assure you that the school and the students are always the better for it.”

Piwuna spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Jos.

NAN reports that local strikes have become very common in the university and had often led to the loss of complete academic sessions.

Currently, the 2015/2016 session, that should have terminated in July 2016, has been programmed to end in April 2017, owing to another bout of lecturers’ strike that lasted several months.

Students of the school are, however, already apprehensive that even the reviewed academic calendar may suffer yet another review, in view of the interruption caused by ASUU’s on-going one-week nationwide warning strike that started on Wednesday, November 16.

But Piwuna, whose chapter had consistently shut down the university over a myriad of issues with management, claimed that the school owed most of its developmental strides to such strikes.

He said: “Our strikes have ensured the building of new hostels at the Naraguta Campus and the renovation of many others for the comfort and safety of the students.

“The strikes have also forced management to equip laboratories and also secured hazard allowances for those working in them.

“We have also fought and forced management to build many lecture halls which boosted the teaching and learning atmosphere in the school.”

Piwuna said that ASUU had also demonstrated its commitment to boosting quality learning by building a lecture hall with a capacity for 1,000 students.

He described the strikes as “natural and responsible” reactions to a system that had relegated education to the background, and declared that the union shall remain on its feet until education was given the deserved attention.

Piwuna also reacted to statistics showing that the school had lost its mass appeal among candidates seeking univeristy admission, owing to its academic instability.

He said: “I am aware of the reluctance to come to UniJos, but what I want the candidates to know is that the school is better than it was 10 years ago; I challenge them to ask more questions so as to know the gains from the pains of such strikes.

“I also want the general public to know that we are not undermining the system; that we are only fighting to add value to it and make it better by forcing government to live up to its responsibilities.”

He rejected suggestions that ASUU was insensitive and usually selfish as it hardly consider the plight of the students when shutting down the schools.

Piwuna said: “It is wrong to suggest that we hardly weigh the consequences of our actions. We always weigh the consequence of every step because we are also affected by the closures.

“A quarter of our members are equally students pursuing Masters or PhD degrees. We also have wives, children or relations that are students. So we are also affected, but we only make sacrifices so that the right thing will be done.”

He expressed regret that governments and university managements hardly take the lecturers serious until they embarked on strikes, and called for attitudinal change from those in authority.

On the major disagreement of the lecturers with the university’s management, he identified the payment of “Earned Academic Allowance” as one area yet unresolved.

He said: “In 2013, the Federal Government released N30 billion to be shared to the universities out of which University of Jos got N1.161 billion, but the management refused to use the template approved for the sharing of the money and opted to pay even those not entitled to it.

“We also fought and secured hazard allowances for those working in laboratories and handling chemicals, but when the money came to the university, it shared to everyone, leaving very little to those it was meant for.”

He however commended the present management that came on board few months ago, noting that the Vice Chancellor, Prof Istifanus Maimako, had started well by meeting with ASUU to work out improved conditions for staff and minimise the number of workers leaving the institution.

Piwuna also commended Maimako’s humility, especially his insistence on wide consultations before taking decisions, saying that such gesture would boost mutual confidence and enhance industrial harmony.

The ASUU chairman, however, advised management to settle the salariess of assistant lecturers and graduate assistants, who were being penalised for failing to obtain Masters Degrees in three years as was usualy required.

Makarfi begs PDP state chairmen for support.

One of the factional Chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, met with some state chairmen of the party in Abuja on Tuesday.

Sources at the meeting, which was held at the faction’s secretariat of the PDP located at Wuse 2, said that the former governor of Kaduna State begged for the support of the state chairmen.

Makarfi and a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, are currently in court, fighting for the leadership of the party.

It was gathered that the Makarfi faction also briefed the state chairmen on the crisis in the party.

Specifically, he was said to have appealed to them to stand with the faction and its candidate for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN).

One of the state chairmen, who was at the meeting and spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity because he was not officially permitted to speak on the issue, described the atmosphere at the meeting as sober.

He said, “It was a very sober meeting. We were briefed by the chairman on the crisis in the party and all that.

“Apart from begging us to keep supporting him, he also asked us to support Jegede for the governorship election in Ondo State.

“He also briefed us on how the peace talks with the Sheriff faction failed and all that. But in all, we left the meeting in a sad mood because we don’t like what’s happening in the party.”

The spokesperson for the faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, however, stated in a statement that the meeting deliberated on topical national issues.

He said that the meeting was convened at the instance of Makarfi and other members of the National Caretaker Committee of the party.

He said the former governor of Kaduna “briefed the state chairmen on the developments in the party and some certain decisions taken by the leadership.

“The meeting also received reports from the state chairmen on the state of affairs in their various states.

“The meeting equally was optimistic that justice shall surely be served and therefore, both teams reiterated full support for the party’s candidate in the Saturday, November 26, 2016 governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the standard bearer of the party.”

Adeyeye called on members of the party nationwide, its supporters and the general public, and especially Ondo people, to remain calm and continue supporting the Makarfi-led faction in moving the party forward.

Tomato Farmers Collaborate To Boost Wheat Production In Sokoto – Chairman

Alhaji Haruna Abubakar, Chairman, Tomato Farmers Association of Nigeria, Sokoto State Chapter, said his members would collaborate with wheat farmers to boost the production of the product in the state.
Abubakar made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Sokoto.
He said the state government’s determination and commitment to technologically improve wheat production in the state was the reason for the collaboration.
Hs said that the government is so much committed to improving agricultural production, as it had introduced modern wheat farming techniques.
“All our members have accepted to join hands with the association of wheat farmers to ensure the development of farming activities in the Sokoto.”
Abubakar thanked Gov. Aminu Tambuwal for supporting farmers in the state.

He assured the government of his members’ commitment to grow the sector for the overall development and growth of the nation’s economy.

He, therefore, urged members of the association to become role models to their counterparts in other states, by utilizing the opportunity provided by the state government to boost agriculture in the state.

Credit: NAN

Rivers PDP vows to drag APC chair to court

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State has threatened to drag the Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, Chief Davies Ikanya, to court over what it termed inflammatory statement aimed at demeaning the image of Governor Nyesom Wike.

PDP handed down the threat, yesterday, while reacting to a statement by Ikanya that Wike should take responsibility for the killing of a chieftain of the APC in Gokana Local Government Area of the state, Boris Neenwi, who was killed by gunmen, Monday.

Ikanya had said that “Neenwi is a strong ally of Senator Magnus Abe and staunch APC member. Until his assassination, the late Neenwi was a known critic of Wike and his ex-militant leader and collaborator, Solomon Ndigbara, who also hails from Yeghe community.”

Ikanya had said that Wike and his alleged ally were responsible for the killing of Neenwi and his companions in Nonwa Tai.

Reacting, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Mr. Samuel Nwanosike, described the accusation as irresponsible and capable of bringing about a breakdown of law and order in the state.

Nwanosike said: “We will take every step to press legal charges against Ikanya, so that he will know how to conduct himself in a democratic environment. We are going to press charges against him to serve as a deterrent to anybody that will want to overheat the polity in the state.

“We are calling on the security to do a thorough investigation into the killings in the state and make the report open for once so that the reports and accusations by the Chairman of APC will come to an end.

“It is unfortunate that Ikanya has shown lack of capacity to be the chairman of a political party in the state. How will the governor of the state connive with Solomon Ndigbara to take the life of any person?”

Atiku Chairs African Agric Experts’ Meeting

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar will chair the first ever African Veterinary Association (AVA) congress to be hosted by Nigeria in November this year.

The Guardian gathered that the congress, which the association is co-hosting with the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) was part of efforts to proffer solutions to the country’s economic situation as well as suggestions for sustainable growth.

Dr Kelvin Ugwuomarima, who is the Enugu State chairman of the NVMA, who dropped the hint at the weekend, stated that the five day event which would hold in Enugu, would also deliberate on the need to diversify the economy against the frequent collapse in oil prices.

He stated that the country’s situation was a wakeup call on other sectors of her national life.According to him, other areas the congress would look into include agro-business operators such as poultry, pig, fish, cattle, pharmaceutical industries, hospitality industries as well as public health practitioners.

He stated that the Small Medium Entreprenurs would use the opportunity of the congress to meet with the major players in the live stock sub sector in Africa and showcase their businesses and services during the period.

“The AVA/NVMA congress is programmed to be a tourism harvest for the state and an opportunity to meet with and attract investors to the state and Nigeria in general”, he stated.

He stated that Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Animal Resources, Sudan, Prof Musa Tibin Musa, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ghana, Dr Hanna Louisa Bisiw and ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tchambakau Ayassor, would grace the occasion among others.

INEC Can’t Guarantee Conclusive Elections In 2019- Chairman

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says given the challenges and malpractices that have marred elections both in the past and in recent times in the country, the commission cannot guarantee that the general elections in 2019 will be conclusive.

He said any attempt to give such assurance at this time would be second-guessing the outcome of the election, noting that it had become inevitable for the commission to declare some elections inconclusive.

The INEC boss, who spoke on Friday, stated that if everyone, including the staff of the commission, the voters, politicians and other stakeholders, play by the rules, there would be no inconclusive election.

He said, “We can’t second-guess to say this is the outcome of an election before it happens, unless we are not conducting elections. We hope it won’t lead to that, but if it happens, the constitution has a way out of it.

“There is no way the commission will declare any election conclusive where the threshold is not met. We can only declare an election conclusive when we are satisfied with the law and electoral act because all elections are governed by constitutional provisions, provisions of the electoral act and our guidelines. This is the challenge that we face, but we must express it because we (INEC) will not compromise.

“The constitution of this country provides condition for making return in an election. If that threshold is not met, can INEC make a declaration? We can’t, under the law, and if you do so the court will nullify the election and then we incur costs to do the election again.

“As to what will happen in 2019, only God knows, but we will abide by the provisions of the constitution, the electoral law and our guidelines in making declarations. We can only hope for the best.”

The INEC chairman, who spoke extensively while responding to questions on the inconclusive elections conducted by the commission, explained that majority of the 137 elections conducted by the commission in the past eight months were conclusive, dismissing insinuations that the commission had been organising inconclusive elections.

He explained that people had been used to conclusive elections on first ballot, pointing out that the political terrain has changed completely. He added that most of the elections were a product of the 2015 general elections and that there were no less than 680 court cases emanating from the 2015 general elections.

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Jimi Agbaje Is A Boy, He Can’t Be PDP Chairman – Babatope

A former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, on Wednesday said governors under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are trying to destroy the party through their actions.


Speaking shortly after an emergency National Executive Committee meeting in Port Harcourt after the disruption of its National Convention by the police and soldiers, Babatope, who is a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) said the governors are doing all within their means to foist a former governorship candidate of the party in Lagos state, Jimi Agbaje, on them as the national chairman of the party.


Speaking further, Babatope said a fresh battle has started in the PDP which the governors and those scheming to cause the downfall of the party will never forget in their life.

The governors want to destroy the party. They are bringing a boy (Agbaje) who has not been a member of the party for two years as candidate and they want to do everything within their power to foist him on us as national chairman. But God has dealt with them”.


A fresh battle has just started within the PDP and it is a battle they will never forget in their life. We are coming back to Lagos to sit down and analyse what is happening to PDP. We will point accusing fingers at those who want to destroy our party,” he said.

Federal High Court Stops PDP National Convention Slated For Wednesday

ustice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja has asked the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to suspend its National Convention fixed for Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Abang gave the order late Monday afternoon while hearing the suit filed to determine who is the authentic National Chairman of the party between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Abang had in an earlier judgement sacked Makarfi as the National Chairman of the party.

But Makarfi swiftly filed an appeal to quash the ruling.

His faction is organising the convention in Port Harcourt.


Sheriff, however, insists he remains the national chairman, warning that any convention conducted without his approval is null and void.

Details later…

Bode George Promises To Restore PDP’s Past Glory

Amid leadership tussle rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former national Deputy Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, on Monday said he has the political magic wand and skills to reposition the party.


George who stated this at a carnival-like flag-off of his campaign for the office of the national chairman of the party, which was held at the party’s secretariat in Lagos, pointed out that in the face of the current challenges, it is only a leader with uncommon leadership skills that can salvage the party.


He said, “These are not happy days for our party. The times appear dark and bleak. The horizon is uncertain. We are being assailed in every corner. Problems brew everywhere. Our challenges appear endless and intractable. Every day we are confronted with a new drama and with a new hurdle. Certainly, there are some obvious and not so obvious interests inside and outside our party who do not wish us well.


George lamented that the party’s effectiveness as the opposition party is being rendered inconsequential and virtually of no value, saying the members have continued to engage themselves in destructive mutual consumption.


Harping on how the party derailed from its set objectives George said, “We were humble and fair. We were diligent without being arbitrary. We were self-confident without being aggressive. We were dedicated, disciplined, realistic without being crude, without being indifferent. We were loyal without being tainted with the distorting seeds of mercenary coloration.


“Times have changed! Our great party is no longer recognizable today. A lot of distortions have set in. Indiscipline has eroded the foundations of old. Selfishness and greed have compromised the great idealisms and the logical principles of our founding fathers.”

“We lost the presidential election because we had lost faith in the goals and the standards that had been erected by our founding fathers. We lost the election because we became distant and indifferent to the needs and the aspirations of the people.”

“The centerpiece of every democratic society is the embrace and the cultivation of the populist inclinations and necessities. Our campaign was hydra-headed without a coherent pivotal balance. We lacked direction and purposefulness. We ignored what was important to every man and woman and pretended everything was smooth and normal.”


He noted that the party cannot afford to be stampeded into making wrong decisions again or be hurried into entrusting the fate of the party to neophytes and inexperienced people.


This is not the time for experimentation and whistling in the dark. This is not the time for untested characters and new-fangled moguls who are merely on a junketing spree. This is not the time for desperate time-servers and little men without vision.”


“Our party needs a rescue. Our party needs redemption. Our party deserves a balanced, experienced, tested, trusted and faithful hand. Our party needs a team player and a unifying leadership. Our party needs stability.”


“Here and now, I am humbly making a stand and a declaration as an aspirant for the position of the office of the National Chairman of our party with a vision to serve as a bridge builder, as a peace-maker and as a healer of the broken places,” he said.

Return The Money You Stole – PDP Youths Tell Raymond Dokpesi

An Osun state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youth group under the aegis of Youth Forum For Democracy, has asked Raymond Dokpesi to return the funds which he allegedly collected from Sambo Dasuki.



The youths also slammed him for making what they called anti-peace comments during his visit to the state. According to Punch, the Osun state PDP is currently divided following a flawed party congress. The youths said Dokpesi was not ready to lead the party now, because he has not shown himself to be a bridge builder. They also criticised Dokpesi for only visiting the Iyiola Omisore faction of the party.



They said “We are obliged to inform members of the public on the visitation of Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, who is jostling for the post of the National Chairman of the PDP, especially on the anti-peace, callous and sentimental comment he made.



“He (Dokpesi) was paying a solidarity visit to Otunba Iyiola Omisore, who is his colleague in the EFCC net onDasukigate.



“Dokpesi is a good customer  of Senator Ahmed Tinubu, (a national leader of the All Progressives Congress) and he (Dokpesi)  could be picked up at anytime. So, he cannot be the PDP chairman because he would cave in at the slightest pressure from Tinubu



“With every sense of modesty, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi should not be contesting for the National Chairman, if he had meant business he should be working on the unity, peace and healing process in Osun PDP.”



The PDP youth group added that Nigerians will only believe the party if people who stole money are not allowed to lead the party.



Raymond Dokpesi also said he will not step down for Chief Bode George.

‘I’m Not Interested In Becoming PDP Chairman’ — Bode George

A former Deputy National Chairman of   the   Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief   Bode George says he has no ambition of becoming the next chairman of the party. Bode George He, however, advocated the need for the PDP to zone the chairmanship position to the South West saying the region remains the only one that has not got the position since 1999. George said this when he addressed newsmen shortly after his return from an overseas trip. He also called on the interim national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif to honour his word to handover to an elected chairman at the National   Convention on May 21 this year.

The PDP leader, in his address entitled: ‘Our Party at crossroads’, argued that the national chairmanship of the party should be zoned to South West now. Faulting speculations of his interest in the chairmanship position, George said “I have no plan, no ambition, slide or straightforward looking for it” He however said that a lot of his friends, elders of the party have been saying that if the position is zoned to the South West they will push him for it. He said they are saying this because “you know we are in opposition, there is no Villa any more, no president from our party. Therefore management of the party must be different, it has to be serious strategic thinking, intellectually bias to reasoning and discourse and network with the people for you to take decision.”

George said: “On the issue of national chairmanship, based on the spirit of equity and fairness which is the foundation and principle upon which our party was build by our founding fathers, the South West deserves the national chairmanship now. This is the right and proper thing which must be done. The South West is a significant zone for the Nigeria federation which cannot and must not be treated with levity.” Frowning at the delegation that went to the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, that the South West was not interested in the chairmanship position, George said he was sad of the development.

While he faulted the delegation for not consulting with the elders of the party in the South West before making the remarks, he said “My reaction is that when we started the journey to rebuild the PDP in the South West, none of those people was a member of the party. None of them. Some of them along the line, they jumped on board the ship.”   ‘, the constitution, the foundation , the wherewithal which attracted them to join the party, they had no understanding. How can anybody in a family be washing his dirty linen in the market? It is like one is bringing curse home. Let them come and tell Yoruba people that they don’t want something good for them   and see what would happen.” They were even saying that the chairmanship should remain in the north. Are they really Oodua sons?

PDP Crisis Deepens As BoT Defies NWC, Sacks Chairman

The crisis in Nigeria’s major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, deepened Wednesday as the Board of Trustees, BoT, held its meeting, thereby defying the decision of the National Working Committee that all meetings of the organs of the party be shifted to next week.

The spokesperson of the party, Olisa Metuh, had on Monday issued a statement saying the meeting of the National Caucus of the party had been shifted to Monday next week, while that of the BoT would hold on the morning of Tuesday, February 16th to be followed by a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC.

A member of the BoT had on Tuesday informed said that the BoT was “not answerable to the NWC and would therefore, hold its meeting on Tuesday as scheduled”.

The BoT carried out its threat and held its meeting at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja.

One of the major outcomes of the meeting was the decision to sack its acting chairman, Bello Haliru, and appoint a replacement.

Mr. Haliru is currently facing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja over allegations he received large sums of money from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, through his son.

Briefing reporters at the Wadata Plaza secretariat of the PDP, the secretary of the BoT, Walid Jibrin, said he had been asked to take over as acting chairman, pending when a substantive chairman would emerge.


Acting INEC Chairman Officially Hands Over To Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Acting INEC Chairman Hajia Amina Bala Zakari, today, officially handed over the leadership of INEC to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu following the swearing-in by President Buhari.

Wife, Daughter Of Local Government Chairman Kidnapped

Gunmen believed to be kidnappers allegedly adopted the wife and daughter of the chairman of Aniocha South Local Government Area in Delta State.

Confirming the report, the acting state police command spokesman, Mr Charles Muka, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), said that the victims were whisked away after the criminals stormed the Agidisei Ogwashi-Uku residence of the local council chairman, Mr Isaac Anwuzia at about 7.30 am on Monday.

Muka, who gave the name of the wife of the council boss as 32-year old Favour Ifeoma and her daughter, Goodness Anwuzia aged three years, said that the invaders took the victims away in “a Toyota Corolla car parked in the compound and drove to an unknown destination.”

The police spokesman, however, said that the police on receiving the distress call gave the criminals a hot chase, forcing them to abandon the victims.

Two of the suspected kidnappers were eventually arrested after fleeing into the bush, he disclosed.

Credit: ThisDay

Plateau LG Chairman Blames Attacks On Border Disputes

Management Committee Chairman of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, Titus Bise, has blamed incessant violent attacks in the state on communities with border disputes.

Bise disclosed this yesterday in Mangu, when the House of Assembly’s Special Committee on Security met with traditional and religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders in the area. It would be recalled that Langai District of Pyem chiefdom had consistently come under attack that left many dead, while property worth millions of naira were destroyed. The most recent attack was in Kadunung village of Langai District where many were killed, several others injured, while more than 197 houses were burnt down.

The chairman described the attacks on his people as ‘terrible’, saying they were comparable to insurgents’ activities in the north-eastern part of the country. “The crisis bordered on land ownership and that is usually deadly,’’ he stated. He said four communities in Langai District had been under siege in the past three days. “The attackers usually come in their numbers with very sophisticated weapons to maim my people. People are being slaughtered like animals on a daily basis; sometimes it is on the road. At times, the attackers follow them to their farms or houses,’’ he said.

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Saraki, Dogara Blast Ex-APC Chairman

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, debunked claims by the former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande that their election as Senate President and Speaker was facilitated by oil barons describing the allegation as baseless, false and unbecoming of a respected statesman.

The duo also said the allegation levelled against them was lacking in substance and merit and could best be described as figment of Chief Akande‘s imagination.

Chief Bisi Akande had on Sunday fingered fuel subsidy thieves and corrupt businessmen as being behind the current crisis in the APC which culminated in the emergence of Bukola Saraki as senate president and Yakubu Dogara as speaker of the House of Representatives.

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Mimiko Emerges Chairman PDP Governors’ Forum

Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has been elected the chairman the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors’ forum.

Mr. Mimiko was elected at a meeting of the PDP governors in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The Ondo governor was deputy to the former chairman of the forum, Godswill Akpabio, the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State.

The coordinator of the PDP governors’ forum, Osaro Onaiwu, had told PREMIUM TIMES last week that there had been informal meetings where about nine of the governors agreed that Mr. Mimiko be their new chairman.

According to Mr. Onaiwu, an earlier meeting scheduled for last week was shelved as the governors were engaged in the negotiations and horse-trading with regards to the elections of the new leadership of the national assembly.

The PDP presently has 13 governors.


Fresh Crisis Hits APC, Deputy National Publicity Secretary Calls For Chairman’s Resignation

The raging crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, took a different dimension with the call by one of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members, Mr. Timi Frank that the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun should resign.

Mr. Frank who blamed the chairman and some members of the APC’s NWC for the crisis that has resulted from the election of leaders of National Assembly, said it was unfortunate that the leadership of the party played hide and seek and over indulged themselves in the choice of Senate President and House Speaker.

Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara had emerged Senate President and House Speaker, respectively, against the wishes and position of the APC. Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila had been favored by the party after the initial conduct of a mock election which was won by the duo, to occupy the seats.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday, however, ?Mr. Frank who deputises for Alhaji Lai Muhammed in the party stated that the chairman and leadership of the party ought to resign having embarked on an embarrassing mock election that never had the blessings of the entire party’s leadership, more so that the leadership exhibited gross incompetence to manage the National Assembly issue until it blew out of hand. This he said was because of the vested interest manifested by the chairman and few of his colleagues in the party.

“If my party could not keep to the promise of change, then we must correct them to keep to that. I have no fear or favour than to say that the current leadership of the party has practically failed. With this incident alone, the chairman should resign from his position after taking a position against the people and the people’s position has finally come to stay. In the Western world, by today the party’s national chairman would have resigned honourably.

“Not just the national chairman but the entire leadership that took this decision of conducting mock election against the outcry of the larger members of the party. Against the bigger picture of Nigerians. A hand-full of? the party leadership came to take a decision, and by today the people have shown that the voice of the people is the voice of God,” Timi Frank stated.

He specifically blamed APC chairman, Odigie Oyegun for clearly failing to consult widely before embarking on the mock election which he said ridiculed the party. He submitted that the chairman’s action suggested that he acted under undue pressure to conduct the mock elections as admitted by him and was therefore of the opinion that if the ?APC was to rid itself of the mistakes of the PDP, it needed a chairman that would insulate himself from undue pressures no matter where such pressure emanated from.

“You ?could see the way the party including the national chairman was speaking? before the NASS leadership elections; it showed clearly that the chairman had totally taken sides which wasn’t meant to be. I understand, he took some of those decisions based on pressure. In this century, APC as a party, does not need a chairman that will be under pressure.

“?And the party’s national chairman caused it because times out of numbers some of leaders told him to come up with a zoning formula from the beginning. He was as?ked to take a decision and let people follow that but he didn’t do that. They were playing hide and seek with the issue until the last minute when they saw the danger, and they wanted to play hanky-panky, which led us to lose one position at the Senate,” Comrade Frank said.

On remarks attributed to the APC’s national publicity secretary that Buhari is a product of the party and not the party’s leader, Timi Frank who frowned at the statement, called on Lai Mohammed to desist from such comments as it was capable of putting the party in bad light.

” Let’s go back and ask Lai Mohammed who the leader of the party is. If he does not recognise the President as the leader. In my own view, If Lai Mohammed that is my direct boss could come up to tell Nigerians that the President is only a product of the party and not the national leader of the party, then he should have been able to tell us who the leader of the party is.

“We have seen that even in then PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan was the leader of the party. If in our own case the President cannot be the leader of the party, he should tell us who the leader is then,” Frank averred.

He described what transpired at the national Assembly as good for democracy, noting that Nigeria stood to be the overall beneficiary.

“Those that are calling for the deputy senate president to resign are anti-people, and I will campaign against it. I will continue to support Burkola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu and every progressive Nigerian should support this mission as it will take Nigeria to the next phase because failure to do this will disrupt democracy, ” the deputy national publicity secretary stated.


Lalong Appoints Ex-Commissioner Under Jang As Chairman Taskforce On Refuse Dump Evacuation

The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon Simon Bako Lalong has constituted an Ad-hoc committee (TASK FORCE) to immediately identify and evacuate all refuse dumps within Jos – Bukuru Metropolis.

The allegation of bad leadership trails the names of some commissioners who appeared on Simon Lalong committee on evacuation of refused dump.

As part quick of intervention to the environmental and health challenge posed by the heaps of refuse in the Jos and Bukuru metropolis, Barr. Nankin Bagudu   is appointed as Chairman, others are Bashir Musa Sati,  Santos Ayuba Larab , Engr. Apollos Samci  as members.

Other members are the General Manager Plateau State Road Maintenance Agency Dr. Steven Hirse, Representative of Nigerian Civil Defence Corp – Representative of the Ministry of Health   , Permanent Secretary,Ministry of Environment Secretary

This was content in a press statement sign by Samuel Emmanuel Nanle Director, Press & Public Affairs. The Task Force is mandated to liaise with all statutory Agencies of government to ensure the successful execution of the assignment.

Although the biggest challenge over the list of the people involved were those who contributed to the problem of Jang administration and also served as commissioner.


APGA Sacks Chairman For Supporting Ambode

The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Adeshina Olayokun has been sacked. Olayokun was removed for supporting Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the April 11 governorship election in the state.

Olayokun’s decision to support Ambode was at variance with the party’s decision to support the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje.

Kayode Alabi has been selected as Olayokun’s successor.

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Gunmen Abduct Chairman Of President Jonathan’s Local Govt Council

Two unidentified gunmen on Wednesday abducted Enaye Abah, the Chairman of Ogbia, local government area in Bayelsa, and took him to an unknown destination. President Goodluck Jonathan comes from Ogbia local government as well.

It is not clear why Mr. Abah was kidnapped. The kidnappers are yet to contact Mr. Abah’s family but there are fears that the abduction has political undertones. The abducted council boss played a key role in election logistics for the Peoples Democratic Party in the State Assembly election.

The result of the election for the State House of Assembly Constituency seat remain inconclusive following the violence in the area. The Independent National Electoral Commission is yet to fix a new date over insecurity in the area. The Police Spokesperson for Bayelsa Command, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident and said the command had alerted Rivers and Delta Commands of the development.

The kidnappers allegedly trailed their victim, overtook his car and blocked him. They shot sporadically to scare away people around the area. “They abducted him in his car and transferred him to a blue mazda car and when they got to Okaka waterside they burnt the mazda car and escaped with a waiting speedboat into the river,” Mr. Butswat said.

Read More: premiumtimesng