Hours after election, new Ondo assembly speaker decamps to APC from PDP.

The newly-elected Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, representing Ifedore Constituency, has decamped to the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Oleyelogun was controversially voted as the new speaker of the Assembly after he polled nine out of 13 votes against Mr Olamide George, representing Akure-North, who got four votes.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how 13 other members of the 26-member Assembly were absent from the sitting and said they were not told the sitting would hold. The 13 have vowed to remain in the PDP and include Jumoke Akindele, the former speaker.

Mr. Oleyelogun, accompanied by some principal officers of the House, made the announcement at a news conference on Monday in Akure.

He added that he would be decamping officially with some other members on Tuesday, on the floor of the house.

“We are here today to signify our intention to join the ruling party, APC. The other ceremony will be done tomorrow (Tuesday).

“At the national level, they have factionalised our party. The same scenario is also at the state level. This declaration is for our followers and those we represent.

“We are ready to work with the executive without any problem, and all necessary things to be done are in place. Be rest assured that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is ready to work and we are ready to support him,’’ he added.

Ogundeji Iroju, the newly-elected Deputy Speaker, representing Odigbo Constituency II, said people should not be surprised by their move to cross to the ruling party.

Mr. Iroju said it became imperative for them to cross to the ruling party because the PDP was in a serious mess.

He added that it was the APC that could deliver good governance to the people of the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, who received them on behalf of the state government, said he was happy they were increasing the party at the state level.

Mr. Abegunde said the more the members of the party in the state, the more the party would be growing in confidence, to deliver the electoral promises to the people.


Source: Premium Times

Bola Tinubu has earned his place in Nigeria’s history – Osun APC

All Progressives Congress in the state of Osun has congratulated its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the chain of remarkable achievements he has had since he became involved in Nigeria’s politics.

According to the party, “whether you like or hate Tinubu, or you are his ardent admirer or critic, nobody can remove from the fact that in the last 17 years ( and counting), the national leader of the APC has earned a place in history as one of the most spectacular politicians who effected monumental democratic change in the country’s political evolution.”

This statement of endorsement was contained in a release from the party’s directorate of publicity signed by its director, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi and made available to the media in Osogbo yesterday.

The statement continued; “In the last two decades, your (Tinubu’s) deft political strategies have not only warded off political crimes against the Yoruba nation by those who sought and still seek to humiliate and subjugate us, you have also steered the course of events in Nigeria to make what was thought impossible happen.

“You piloted the APC into an epic electoral battle, which, for the first time in Nigeria’s political history, led to the defeat of a government in power at the federal establishment.

“That by itself is a signature achievement – the first of its kind in Nigeria – and a milestone in our democratic as well as electoral evolution. It is an uncommon feat”, the party claimed.

‘At 65, Asiwaju is comparatively still young and our prayer is that Allah should grant the Leader good health to continue in his good work, most of which is impacting positively on people’s lives.

“May Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s days, months and years bring further progress, stronger and greater democracy to Nigeria in general and Yoruba land in particular.

‘The APC and the people of Osun stand firmly behind the Leader and support his lieutenant and governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who like the Jagaban of Borgu, has distinguished himself as the greatest achiever, Osun has ever had since the state was created over 25 years ago”, the statement said.

‘May Asiwaju’s star shine ever more brightly. Happy Birthday!” the APC saluted

“The enemies of your government are within”, APC senator tells President Buhari.

Isa Misau, an All Progressives Congress (APC) senator from Bauchi state, says the enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari are within the presidency.

Misau said this on Wednesday, while contributing to the debate on the refusal of Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), to appear before upper legislative chamber in uniform.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had written a letter to the senate, saying Ali could not appear before it in uniform because the matter was in court.

But the lawmaker said it was clear that the people close to the president were creating tension, following the “relatively calm atmosphere” the country experienced when Buhari was on medical vacation.

He said Malami’s letter could create tension between the national assembly and the executive.

He also called on Nigerians to pray for Buhari to be able to deliver on his promises.

“I’m not going to speak on constitution or senate standing order, I’m going to talk on common sense. Mr. President, with what is happening, you will see that the enemies of this government are within the presidency,” Misau said.

“So many times we stand here to see that there are people within the presidency who don’t want the president to succeed and it is coming out clearly.

“If you look at the kind of advise people close to the government are giving to the presidency, you will know that they are trying to distract the president from working.

“The president went on leave to attend to his health for about 49 days. Did you hear about Niger Delta Avengers? Did you hear about Fulani herdsmen? Did you hear of any media attack? Do you hear of any tension in the country?

“Now just two weeks that the president is back, the people surrounding the president are creating tension. The enemies of this government are very close to the government, they are very close the president.

“I therefore call on the Nigerians to pray for the president.

“Look at the kind of letter coming from the attorney-general, somebody who is supposed to bring peace and stability is trying to create a problem between the national assembly and the presidency.

“If the attorney-general will write a letter like this, then you should know the kind of advise he is giving the president. Therefore the people surrounding the president are his enemies.”


Source: The Cable

JUST IN: Another PDP lawmaker decamps to APC

A member of the House of Representatives from Benue State, Hassan Anthony, has defected from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Anthony’s defection was announced on the floor of the House at the start of Wednesday’s plenary.

The lawmaker who represents Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu constituency, cited division in the PDP as his reason for leaving.

Reacting to the defection, Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) raised a point of order, urging the speaker to declare Mr. Hassan’s seat vacant.

“The Court of Appeal has on 17th February declared Modu Sheriff the authentic Chairman of the PDP, therefore there is no faction in the PDP,” Mr. Ossai said

But his argument did not see the light of the day as he was ruled out by the Speaker, telling him to bring a copy of the Court of Appeal judgement.

The defection of Mr. Hassan to APC has brought the number of APC representatives to 226 and that of PDP to 124.


Source: Premium Times

PDP is a creation of God, it cannot be destroyed — Sheriff

The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has said the party is a creation of God and cannot be destroyed by anybody.

Sheriff made this known while briefing journalists on Monday in Abuja on the recommendations of the party’s Reconciliation Committee, chaired by Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.

He said, “Everywhere in our party, we are working across the board; everybody is working for the party to come back to its position in 1999.

“We are for peace and that does not mean that we are afraid of anybody; we will not be relenting.

“We need our party back in power and we will carry everybody that means well for PDP along.”

“I assure you that PDP will not be destroyed; PDP is a creation of God and cannot be destroyed by anybody.

“We are on course and we will go as planned. For everybody that believes that it is not political solution, they are on their own.”

The chairman said that he was also talking with lawmakers at the National Assembly and State Assemblies on the platform of the party as part of political solution recommended by the Dickson committee.

He added that he had commenced consultation with the Board of Trustees through its Chairman, Sen. Walid Jibrin, who, he said, had promised to get back to him for a formal meeting with BoT members.

He said that by next week they would meet with the party’s national ex-officio members from the 36 states.


Buhari is back with new determination to fix Nigeria’s challenges – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says President Muhammadu Buhari has returned back to the country “with new vigour” to fix the challenges facing Nigerians.

Buhari returned to the country on Friday after a 49-day vacation in the United Kingdom.

After a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said his deputy will continue running the affairs of the country while he continues his rest.

But in a statement, Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesperson of the APC, said Buhari was back to fulfill the party’s promises to Nigerians.

“The party believes that President Buhari is now well rested and has returned with new vigour and optimism to fix the challenges facing our people and fulfil the promises our party made to Nigerians during the 2015 elections,” the statement by Abdullahi read.

“We thank the president for following due process and properly handing over to his deputy, vice-president Yemi Osinbajo and thereby saving the country the needless controversies and crises that we experienced in the past.

“The Party also commend the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for competently holding fort on behalf of Mr. President and for his loyalty and commitment to the change agenda of our party.

“We thank Nigerians and all men and women of goodwill who have been praying for the health and safe return of the President and note that the government is fully committed to the Party’s manifesto of Change, couched on true transformation in every area of national life.”


Source: The Cable

“I left N20 billion in state’s coffers for Akeredolu’s government” – Mimiko

The immediate past government in Ondo State led by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko said it left N20 billion in the state coffers, refuting allegations by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that it inherited N150 billion debt.

It said the claim by the APC spokesperson, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, that the new government met a debt profile of N150b, “is a lie from the pit of hell.”

It advised the APC to face the business of governance instead of indulging in cheap blackmail that won’t justify its mandate. The Commissioner for Information in the last administration, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, reacting to the debt profile claim in Akure yesterday, said the Mimiko administration which did not enter into any contractual obligation to warrant any increase in the external debt inherited by it when it assumed office eight years ago, was able to reduce the debt profile to $49.9 million.

He said Adesanya is obviously intimidated by the performance record of the past government and will rather continue with his pre-election falsehood and lie-selling to seek attention, than live with the reality.

Akinmade explained that the foreign debt were overseas contracted obligations initiated by the two previous governments before the immediate past one.

He put the domestic debts incurred by the last administration at about N53 billion with salary arrears of about N20 billion, submitting however that the Mimiko-led government left over N20 billion in the state’s coffers for the APC government.


Source: The Guardian

FG frustrating plans to reconstruct Oshodi-Airport Road – Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday said his administration’s plan to carry out a total reconstruction of the International Airport Road from Oshodi was being frustrated by the Federal Ministry of Works.

Governor Ambode, who spoke to Government House Correspondents at the Lagos House, shortly after carrying out an extensive inspection of some critical projects in the state, said Muritala Muhammed International Airport Road required immediate attention.

He said the State Government has a design for the reconstruction of the road as well as the funds to embark on the project but the Federal Government was yet to grant approval.

He said, “The road linking Oshodi to the International Airport, you would all agree with me is a national embarrassment. In the spirit of the regeneration and urbanisation that this administration has set out to achieve, we believe strongly that the image that is exhumed by the decadence of that road must be repaired and we took it upon ourselves to appropriate the 2017 budget that the House of Assembly should approve the total reconstruction of the Airport Road from Oshodi to the International Airport.

“The State currently has a design of 10 lanes to come from Oshodi to the International Airport with interchange and flyover that would drop you towards the Local Airport. The contractor is already set to go and everything as I said has been completed and we already have the cash, but alas we are having challenges with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. This is a Federal and not a State road. The Federal Ministry of Works believes that they should do the road, but they have not been able to do it all these years past.”

He lamented that despite the fact that the FG was indebted to the State to the tune of N51bn, which was spent on repairing Federal roads over the years, the LASG’s effort to transform the Airport Road to world class standard was being frustrated.

Governor Ambode said if given the approval, his administration was ready to hit the ground running and begin construction of the Airport Road within two weeks and finish same within a period of six months.

Besides, the Governor also implored the Federal Government to avail the State of the N2bn appropriated for the Airport Road in the 2017 National Budget to carry out the project.

He said, “I just want to remind Lagosians that prior to my becoming Governor, the Federal Ministry of Works has been owing Lagos State a total of N51bn as reimbursement for reconstruction that was carried out by the State Government on federal roads in the State.

“So obviously, what we are asking for is that whatever it is that we are asking for, it can never be up to the N51bn that they are owing us.

“I just want to appeal to the Federal Ministry of Works, to let go or reimburse us with whatever it is that they are owing us and even if they are not willing to pay us now, we have the money to do it. It is a national disgrace and we would not be part of it. We would like to do it as part of the celebration of Lagos at 50.”

Only Labour Party Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege decamps to APC.

The only Nigerian Senator elected on the platform of the Labour Party, Ovie Omo-Agege, has decamped to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Mr. Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central, announced his defection on Tuesday, citing leadership crisis in LP.

He came to the Senate after his predecessor, Igboyata Amori of Peoples Democratic Party, was sacked by the court.

Mr. Omo-Agege, a native Urhobo, had openly romanced with the APC caucus before his formal defection today, Tuesday.

In one instance, he joined the APC caucus last year to counter the PDP caucus’ accusation that the anti-graft campaign of the Buhari administration was lopsided.

With his defection, APC now has 66 members in the Senate, after gaining for decampees from the PDP previously.

Joshua Dariye, Plateau; Yele Omogunwa, Ondo; Nelson Effiong, Akwa Ibom; and Andy Uba, Anambra are the four Senators who cross-carpeted from the PDP to the APC.


Source: Premium Times

Soludo is correct… this govt is intolerant of criticisms – Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, says the points raised by Chukwuma Soludo, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on the economy, are correct.

On Thursday, Soludo said President Muhammadu Buhari inherited a bad economy but made the situation worse.

Reacting, Laolu Akande, spokesman of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said the former CBN governor ought to have offered progressive ideas and join hands with the current administration.

“What would have been more patriotic is that people of goodwill will join several others working with us in this administration and offer progressive ideas and join hands with a government and administration that everyone knows are led by a President and Vice-President who are trustworthy and are people of unabashed honesty, and integrity,” Akande said in a statement.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Ezekwesili said if Soludo had given his views to economic managers of another country, they would have used it to improve the economy.

Accusing the federal government of intolerance, Ezekwesili said the government made things worse by labelling Soludo “unpatriotic.”

“The FG really should desist from the unhealthy habit of assuming ill-motive on the part of people who think differently. Soludo was correct. Soludo spoke sound economic policy and FG as usual responded in prose but worsened it by tarring him and a ‘few others’ as ‘unpatriotic,” She tweeted.

“It is extremely intolerant of the FG and its spokespersons to assume that differing views on how the economy is run is ‘unpatriotic’. In a democracy, the culture of healthy debates help to coalesce best ideas for solving society’s problems. First, the FG must learn to listen.

“Second, the FG must learn to respond to criticism in a way that elevates democratic public debates. Provide evidence based counter factual. Third, the FG must know that no amount of tagging those who disagree with policy thrusts will stop some voices. Voice is core to democracy.

“If Soludo gave that feedback to another country economic managers, they would most likely appreciate it and review for improvement. Do same.”

Why I will never Criticise Buhari’s government – Reuben Abati

Ex-Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati, has said that he will never criticize President Muhammadu Buhari no matter the number of policy mistakes the federal government makes under his leadership.

Abati, who said this in Lagos during a chat with the media, maintained that President Buhari had good intentions for Nigeria and sincerely wants to leave good legacies behind him.
He, however, said that running the federal government of Nigeria was filled with difficulties that were amplified by the rising expectations of the people.

He said that critics should understand that all the rising expectations of the people may not be immediately met and some may not be met at all.

“But, since government is a continuum, progress will be made from one administration to another.

“I’m not going to sit here and criticize President Buhari’s government, because if you go into the arena, you will see it is difficult.

“I can say categorically that it is not easy to run a country, and even more difficult to run a government in Nigeria.

“Every President has good intentions that is one of the things I discovered working with politicians. Politicians want to do well. They want to be liked. They enjoy public attention and they like to win elections.

“So no president will get to the top in Nigeria or anywhere and his intention will be to offend the people or to be remembered negatively. Once they become president, the first thing they begin to think about is legacy. How will they be remembered? That is the highest office in the land there is nothing after that. So when they get there they would want to leave a legacy that they would be remembered for. I have seen that either by interacting with a seating president or a past president.

“And you see our democracy is evolving – you keep learning things. I think one of the early articles I wrote after I left office talks about the lessons we have been learning. Since 1999.and we will continue to learn these lessons in different direction.

“One of the issues with democracy in Nigeria is the issue of rising expectations. People have very high expectations. A government comes in after a while people will start criticizing the government. People immediately react to what they see. It is called optics in government.

“But at the end of the day, all of those expectations may not be immediately met. All of those expectations may not be met. But from one government to the other, we have been seeing that there is progress since 1999. That is something to be cheerful about”, he stated.

Why corrupt Nigerians hide stolen money in caskets, uncompleted buildings – Dino Melaye

Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has alleged that some corrupt Nigerians now hide their loots in caskets and uncompleted buildings in remote villages in some parts of the country.

Melaye said this while moving a motion tagged ‘discrepancies in subsidy payment and non-remittance of funds by the NNPC to the federation account’ on the floor of the Upper Legislative Chambers on Wednesday.

According to Melaye, “Monies are not accounted for and that might be the reason why we now see petro-dollars buried in caskets and uncompleted buildings in remote villages in some parts of the country.”

Recall that the lawmaker had on Tuesday, drawn the attention of the Senate to the refusal of the Federal Government to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which he said got 51 out of 100 per cent share of companies sanctioned to import petroleum products into the country.

He had said all the oil marketers currently facing trial over alleged subsidy fraud.

Melaye had said, “Surprisingly you (Saraki) are one of those who raised the issue of subsidy in the 7th Senate. The Federal Government is prosecuting marketers and these marketers only constitute 49 per cent of imported refined products. The NNPC is responsible for the importation of 51 per cent.

“While we are prosecuting the independent marketers whose proceed from subsidy is about N3.83 trillion, NNPC collected a total of N5.1 trillion on subsidy and this has never been investigated.

“This has never been looked at and we are busy chasing independent marketers. The time to look at the books of NNPC as regards petroleum subsidy is now.

“We have taken the lead in the fight against corruption in this chamber and I want to say we must do everything within our powers to investigate and bring whoever is found wanting to book.”

APC rejects Taraba local government election results

The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Taraba on Tuesday rejected the results of the February 25 local government elections in the state and called on the State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, to refund the monies it collected from APC candidates for the election that, it said, never held.

The State Chairman of the party, Sani Chul, said this on Wednesday at a news conference in Jalingo.

Mr. Chul said that the commission deceived the party by its promise of a level playing ground for all political parties and participants and collected their monies when they knew that there was not going to be any election but a mere charade.

“The chairman of SIEC, Dr Philip Duwe, had assured us of his impartiality in the discharge of his duties but as it turned out, it was only a false promise.

“What happened was a mere charade calculated more at inciting the people than the pretext for an election. The election was a theatre of absurdities and in most cases, no vote was cast at all and yet results were announced and winners declared.”

Mr. Chul accused the electoral body and the Nigeria police of working to ensure that the entire process was a failure, citing instances of ballot box snatching, non delivery of elections materials, disruption of the process by violence, and said where election were not held at all results were announced and winners declared.

He, therefore, called for the refund of all the monies the candidates were “deceived” into paying to obtain forms under the pretext that there would be election.

“In the light of the irregularities that characterised the elections and given our strong objection to injustice, we strongly condemn the conduct of the exercise and reject in totality its result. We also demand, as of right, that all the monies paid to the SIEC for the purchase of forms by our candidates be refunded forthwith,” Mr. Chul said.

The Executive Chairman of SIEC, Philip Duwe, on Monday admitted that the exercise was not devoid of challenges but called on all parties to remain calm, assuring that the commission had learnt its lessons and would work to improve on the process subsequently.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state Independent Electoral Commission had on Monday declared the PDP as the winner of the 16 chairmanship and 178 councillorship seats in the state.


Source: Premium Times

I’ll not contest against Buhari in 2019 – Tinubu

Former Lagos governor, Ahmed Tinubu, has ruled out the possibility of contesting against President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

Mr. Buhari, who is on extended sick leave, has not said he will seek a second term.

But Mr. Tinubu, a senior leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, and one of the party’s strongest backers, said he would never contest against the president, or support anyone who does, should he decide to seek re-election.

Mr. Tinubu was reacting to a ThisDay report suggesting he was preparing for a presidential run, and was set to dump a purported alliance with the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

A statement signed by Tunde Rahman, for the Tinubu Media Office on Tuesday, said the report was a “fantasy” seeking to place Mr. Tinubu at odds with President Buhari.

“Writing such a baseless report is a very foul and wrong thing to do,” the statement said.

“As long as that patriotic and committed man named Muhammadu Buhari holds and seeks to hold the mantle as our president, then Asiwaju Tinubu stands behind him in unwavering support and confidence,” the statement said.

Read Mr. Tinubu’s full statement below:

The front page story of the February 28 THISDAY newspaper alleging that Bola Tinubu is actively planning a presidential run is an example of bad fiction masquerading as professional journalism. The story is a manufactured tale weaved by its authors to try to create division where there is none. Those who wrote this fantasy seek to place Mr. Tinubu at odds with President Buhari. Writing such a baseless report is a very foul and wrong thing to do.

The story carried the headline “Tinubu Prepares for Presidential Run, Dumps PDP, Mega Party Alliance”. The headline is remarkable in the fact that every bit of it is utterly wrong.

First, Asiwaju Tinubu is not gearing up for a presidential run. So there will not be any doubt about this core matter, we shall state Tinubu’s position clearly and unequivocally so that even THISDAY reporters cannot misinterpret his position. As long as that patriotic and committed man named Muhammadu Buhari holds and seeks to hold the mantle as our president, then Asiwaju Tinubu stands behind him in unwavering support and confidence. Asiwaju Tinubu remains faithful to the mission of progressive reform and change that President Buhari, he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started. Tinubu was instrumental in the formation and success of the APC. His toil and efforts helped establish this government. He is not one to tear down something he laboured so dutifully to build.

Instead of trying to convey the truth, the THISDAY report opted to gain false sensation by completely mocking the tenor of the brief banter Asiwaju Tinubu had with journalists at the inauguration of Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. When asked about future political office, Asiwaju said he could not discount that possibility if the nation called upon him for such service, provided, he emphasized, that all political conditions were appropriate; particularly the office in question would have to be vacant, even if it’s local government chairmanship. In our political lexicon, this means the office is not held by a member of the APC in good standing. We all know this.

Moreover, if you really listen to his words, Asiwaju did not mention any office or any time-frame. The conditions he mentioned may not become ripe for years to come and they might not pertain to the presidency. In effect, all Asiwaju said was the position that any political figure would hold.

As a politician, he cannot preclude the possibility of running for office in the future because no man knows what the future will hold. To translate this general statement of political reality into a tale that he is actively preparing for a 2019 presidential run is reckless in the extreme. For that newspaper reporters to have engaged in this great leap of counterfeit logic means they purposefully bowed to the pressure to create false headlines instead of following the ethics of their craft to follow the truth even if the truth is more pedestrian and less volatile than what the reporters would have liked to hear. They have turned themselves into newsmakers instead of remaining true to their calling of being neutral conveyors of events.

Asiwaju Tinubu has not held any planning meetings for any such presidential campaign and is not contemplating any such meetings. He has no present list of possible running mates because he has no present intention of running.

The headline also libels Asiwaju by asserting he was going to join the PDP. This is as shameless as a lie can be. Asiwaju is acknowledged to be the intellectual father and the driving force behind the APC. It makes no sense that he would abandon the party that he worked hard to build in order to enter the dilapidated building the PDP has become. Asiwaju worked for over 16 years to break the PDP yoke on the nation. After breaking that yoke, it is not in his nature to voluntarily place it back on our necks. Anyone who has followed his career, even his staunchest critics, knows Asiwaju for his partisan consistency. He is not a party hopper. He is loyal and sticks with the party to which he belongs. After fighting for so many years to elevate his party to the position of national leadership, he would not give that away in order to join with those who blame him for their currently bleak political circumstance.

We understand all too well the genesis of this false news report. For their own reasons, THISDAY has joined with those who seek to put Asiwaju Tinubu at odds with our President.

This scam will fail. Asiwaju supports and stands behind President Buhari. He wishes the president well and that he returns soon. Whether the president is here or away, he has the full loyalty of Asiwaju Tinubu. President Buhari can rest assured on this point: Asiwaju Tinubu will never contest against him nor will he support anyone who does.


Source: Premium Times

Why I am angry with Goodluck Jonathan – PDP Lagos chairman, Moshood Salvador

The Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Moshood Salvador, has expressed displeasure over former President Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged indifference towards the leadership crisis in the party until it degenerated to the current state of affairs.

Salvador, who was a former member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003, said that Jonathan had been in a very good position to resolve the matter but turned a blind eye.

He stated this in Lagos while fielding questions from the media on the current crisis rocking the party at the national level.

The ex-lawmaker chided the former President for not deploying his capacities and experience early enough in nipping the leadership crisis in the bud.

He said that if he were in Jonathan’s position, he would have advised Sheriff to call a national convention without delay and resign with pride and honour; stressing that the most logical thing to do was to remind Sheriff that he had hitherto given up his leadership position in party when he convened the controversial Port-Harcourt convention that threw up the National Caretaker Committee led by Ahmed Makarfi.

Salvador alleged that the Justices of the Appeal Court that ruled in favour of Ali Modu Sheriff while declaring the national caretaker committee illegal did not study the party’s constitution.

According to him, the party’s constitution stated that the convention is the supreme organ of the party, and the convention has the power to organize a committee that can be given a special assignment. Hence, the Ahmed Makarfi-led committee was in no way illegal since it derived its operating powers from the convention that Sheriff convened in Port-Harcourt.

He said: “I’m not just happy with our former president for abandoning us this long. Well, former President Goodluck Jonathan is in a very good position to resolve the matter. I can assure you, he has the capacity; he has the experience. He abandoned us for too long to let this crisis develop to a very terrible state to let this crisis before coming on board.

“If I were in a position to resolve the PDP crisis, I will just advise Ali Modu Sheriff to pipe-down having gotten the judgement from Court of Appeal, I expect him to now call everybody and go back and resign, because he was the one that convened the convention which was his responsibility.

“At the time he was convening the convention, he has already appointed a convention chairman. Now, the convention chairman takes over the affairs of the party during the convention. Also, Ali Modu Sheriff collected forms, paid for it, submitted himself to screening and at that particular point, he was no longer the chairman but an aspirant of chairmanship position we need to clear this.

“Nobody can say the constitution of caretaker committee is wrong. The court declared the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee illegal because it refused to study the PDP constitution before passing its judgement. This is where the real problem came from.

“The constitution of the PDP clearly stated that the convention is the supreme organ of the party, and the convention has the power to organize a committee that can be given a special assignment.

“Having given them the court order that the convention must not contest election into some offices, you can see that the PDP obeyed that order. The party did not contest election into those offices. That was why we had to introduce caretaker committee which is within the purview of the party to do that.

“I don’t know who the court stops and he refuses to stop. Already court has given judgement at the court of appeal but as long as the Makarfi faction of the party has filed a stay-of-action and has appealed the decision, I think status quo should remain. The status will be that the secretariat should remain as it is pending the decision of the Supreme Court.

“As long as the ruling has been appealed at the Supreme Court, it is enough to tell that there are dissatisfactions with the ruling of Court of Appeal, and it is tantamount to a stay-of-execution injunction. Therefore, it is nonsensical for someone to say Makarfi is parading himself as chairman of caretaker committee. That is less than acceptable.”

Call it what you like, budget-padding will continue – Gbajabiamila

Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that irrespective of the nomenclature given to the act of budget-padding, the National Assembly will continue to pad the budget for certain reasons.

Gbajabiamila, who initially claimed not to understand what budget-padding means, explained that lawmakers, even in the most advanced democracies of the world, pad the budget to be able to generate extra money for providing democracy dividends to their respective constituencies especially when their constituencies are not captured in the national budget.

The lawmaker disclosed this during an interview on Channels TV that was anchored by Seun Okinbaloye.

He said that it was legislative malpractice for a lawmaker to sit back and do nothing when a national budget that does not make provisions for his constituency is been appropriated.

The Majority Leader said that in some advanced countries, budget- padding is not only practised but called ‘earmarking’ or ‘pump-up legislation.’

He said that since the National Assembly holds the power to the national treasury, it will continue to scrutinize the level of budget-padding from the executive, stressing that it’s not a rubber stamp.

Gbajabiamila said that since suspended Rep. Abdulmumuni Jibrin decided to take the issue of legislative budget padding to the law enforcement agencies, it was proper for the House to sit back and let them do whatever they want to do, adding that there was no regret over suspension of Jibrin, if indeed he was a true whistle-blower like he claimed to be.

He said: “Abdulmumuni Jibrin did what he needed to do. He took the matter to the law enforcement agencies – the EFCC, the police and the rest of them. He has done his. The National Assembly does not agree with it. He put the ball in the court of the law enforcement agents. It is up to them to do whatever they want to do. I’m not aware of any padding. I don’t understand what that means.

“When it comes to money and I represent a particular constituency but I look at the budget and I don’t see my constituency represented in that budget and I know that throughout the year people of my constituency have needs – they want this; they want that. It is only me they can talk to. They are not going to talk to the President.

“I actually consider it as malpractice not padding, if during the budget circle I have opportunity to attract something to my constituency and I sit back and do nothing and go back in four years to seek for their mandate again when I promised them all these years that I will do this and do that. What do I go back and tell them? ‘Oh, I am not allowed to pad the budget.’

“If for instance, I represent a constituency and a budget is sent to National Assembly. It is one of the most important pieces of legislation to come out of the National Assembly. By my representation, I should attract federal presence to my constituency.

“Even in the most advanced of democracies, you have heard of earmarks, you have heard of pumped-up legislation. It is the same thing. It is done everywhere in the world otherwise you are not worth the sit you seat on.

“Let me explain something to you about padding. That’s what Nigerians need to understand. It doesn’t mean that if you hear anything thing negative about the National Assembly and you are not objective. You will not understand what is going on.

“In terms of padding from the executive, there are checks and balances. That’s why we have always argued that the National Assembly is not a rubber stamp. It is trite that the legislature holds the power of the purse. We will go through this budget and look at it item for item; item by item. Whatever padding means, I don’t know.”




Call it what you like, budget-padding will continue – House Leader, Gbajabiamila

Developing agric sector vital — Osinbajo

Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has insisted that developing the agricultural sector of the country is a good starting point in the quest for not only diversification of the hitherto mono-cultural economy of the country, but also guaranteeing rapid industrialisation.

Professor Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at Kuru, Jos, during the inauguration of the Senior Executive Course, SEC, 39 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, noted that this year theme, Science, Technology and Innovation for the Development of Agriculture and Agro-Allied industries in Nigeria, had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari because of his belief that the agriculture sector provides enormous potentials for quick industrialisation.

Represented by Plateau State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden, he stated that the theme could not have come at a better time, as the present administration was committed to revamping the agricultural sector through the application of science, technology and innovation to the development of agriculture and agro allied industries.

According him, “Nigeria remains an agrarian economy, with over 70 percent of the informal sector jobs created from this sector. It also has other multiplier effects.”

That could drive rapid economic recovery and growth in Nigeria in the shortest possible time. “We must radically transform agriculture to improve its contribution to GDP as well as promote sustainable food production in the country. When science, technology and innovation become the key drivers of agricultural sector, food security will not only guarantee sufficiency for our teeming population, but also industrial development, which would enhance employment opportunities for youths as well as take a substantial number out of poverty.”

I will deal with disloyal APC members who worked against the party – Rotimi Akeredolu

The new Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has revealed that some members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State, worked against the party during last November’s governorship election.

He said such disloyal members would not be condoned by his administration.

Mr. Akeredolu made this known at the inauguration dinner organised for him in Akure, the state capital.

He alleged that some chieftains of the APC in the state worked against the party during the last governorship election.

Mr. Akeredolu said such disloyal members, whom he did not name, should go and reapply if they still wanted to be members of the party.

The governor specifically accused a serving senator in the state of working against the APC in the last governorship election.

He berated the senator for going to buy a space in a newspaper to congratulate him after his victory.

Mr. Akeredolu, who did not mention the name of the senator, insisted that those who were involved in anti-party activities could not come through the back door.

“A Senator that won his seat under the platform of APC, chose to openly work for AD during the last governorship election, and later paid for congratulatory advert for me on pages of newspaper,” he said.

“It looks strange to me, this is someone that didn’t even call to congratulate me.

“Tell the senator he is not a member of APC; everyone that involved in anti-party activities can’t come back through the back door, they would have to go back to their various wards to re-apply for APC membership card and apologise openly, they should also do the needful.”

Although the governor did not mention the senator, he is believed to have been referring to Ajayi Borroffice.

Mr. Borroffice, representing Ondo North senatorial district, contested against Mr. Akeredolu at the APC primaries and lost.

He also contested the outcome of the primaries, and had refused to recognise Mr. Akeredolu’s candidature at the early stages of the crisis.

Despite reaching an understanding to sheath his sword, Mr. Borroffice stayed away from Mr. Akeredolu’s campaigns and was believed to have supported the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke.

The governor however, commended the Deputy Chairman of the APC, Ade Adetimehin, and some other chieftains of the party for their efforts towards ensuring that the APC won the election.

When reached to react to Mr. Akeredolu’s statement, Mr. Borroffice said he would not respond to such statements when his name was not explicitly stated.

“I am a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, I cannot respond to statements where my name is not clearly stated, I am too big for that,” he said.

Also at a thanksgiving service held at the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew Anglican Church, Owo on Sunday, Mr. Akeredolu promised not to disappoint the people of the state.

He said he would serve them better and record more success and achievements in the state.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Ondo Province of Anglican Diocese, George Lasebikan, urged the governor to face his duties squarely and contentiously.

Mr. Lasebikan also appealed to him to take the payment of workers’ salaries as a priority.
“He should pay salaries; many of our people have not been paid, not only in Ondo State but in different parts of Nigeria. It is in East, North and every part of the country,” the bishop said.

“It is not good, a labourer is worthy of his wage and government needs to do something that the public will know that the government is taking care of them otherwise people will not respond to the politicians.

“I know recession has been a bad thing for the nation but there should be a way that workers are paid.”

Let’s stop disturbing God, my successors are resposible for Nigeria’s economic woes – Obasanjo

“I banned importation of toothpick in 1977, because it was the most stupid thing to import when we can produce it here. But, about 40 years after, one of my successors, I won’t mention his name, unmanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the President told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at his successors, blaming them for the nation’s economic woes. He said God was not responsible for the problems hindering the development of Nigeria.

Obasanjo spoke while chairing the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair Seminar with the theme: “Promoting Public Private Partnership as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development”.

The ex-President said “that Nigeria is where it is today is a question of leadership and not God”.

According to him, “somebody came to me and said we need to pray to God and I said, for what? He said, so that God can do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves. And I said, no, let us stop troubling God, because God has done all we need for us, we only need to play our own part.
“But, if we must pray to God, our prayer should be that God should not take away all He has given us as a nation.

“God, in His mercy, has given us all the needed resources, both human and natural, but we have not been able to put them together and manage them effectively. The countries that have developed and are performing better are not better than Nigeria in terms of resources.

“One problem that must be corrected is the problem of leadership. This is because our leaders lack focus, commitment, continuity and sometimes proper knowledge about economic and development issues, hence we have not been able to achieve meaningful result.

“Another problem is that, we take one step forward and two backward. Nigerian leaders must be tough and ready to bite the bullet, because Nigeria cannot have it easy. Until we get the right leadership, the problem will continue”, he said.

Registering his displeasure over inconsistency in policies, Obasanjo said: “I banned importation of toothpick in 1977, because it was the most stupid thing to import when we can produce it here. But, about 40 years after, one of my successors, I won’t mention his name, unmanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the President told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it.

“Another thing is that, he came in saying he will generate additional 30,000 megawatts to the 3,500 megawatts we left behind, and I told him, don’t trouble yourself, if you can add 3,000 megawatts to the one we left behind, you will receive awards. But, to my greatest shock, he couldn’t add one megawatt before leaving office”, he narrated.

Speaking on the public-private partnership, the former President said lack of synergy in public-private sectors was responsible for the set back in the nation’s economy and growth.

He said: “The public sector perceives the private sector as a profit making industry that reaps where it does not sow, but in actual fact, they are two legs that when brought together can accelerate development in all sectors of the economy.

“Public and private sectors must work together to accelerate growth and development. When we were in office, we privatised the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and sold to Dangote and partners, but the government that succeeded me revoked it and that is why till today, NNPC cannot work optimally.

“But, today the same Dangote that was denied ownership of NNPC is building a refinery that can produce in excess of what NNPC can produce and what Nigeria can consume. So, it means he will even export.”

In his lecture, former Minister of Finance Shamdudeen Usman said Nigeria was facing backwardness in economic growth and development because of the lack of continuity in governance and poor will by political leaders to complete projects started by their predecessors.
According to him, “delay in budgetary approval process and also padding of the budget contribute to the slow acceleration of growth and development experienced in the nation.

“Short term policies affected PPP projects across the country due to inconsistencies in government. Though several governments gave high support to PPP, only President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration recorded about 90 per cent completion of PPP projects and they include the Garki hospital in Abuja, Lagos International Airport, port terminals, amongst others.

“However, the Jonathan administration took a huge step in adpoting a 30-year National Integrated Infrastructure master plan, which targets core infrastructure in the country, but nothing much has been achieved so far,” he said.

Buhari’s Absence: APC National Chairman assures citizens of stable leadership

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr John Oyegun, says Nigeria is still under a stable leadership under the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, as he believes strongly in both what the president and the party stands for in terms of effective leadership.

Mr Oyegun was speaking when a delegation of the national leadership of the party paid a condolence visit to Okwuosa family in Oraifite, Anambra state on Saturday.

He, further assured Nigerians that the temporary absence of the president did not affect the conduct of government business.

According to him, the president had already built a firm foundation for national leadership and everything was still in perfect shape for the good of the entire nation, even as citizens look forward for his return in good health.

He said, “Well the president is there, he may not be physically with us right now. the nation is on course, no question about that because we are lucky. We have a very cerebral acting president and vice president.

“We have a man who believes strongly in what the president stands for and what the party stands for and we have an administration that is strong, firm on the ground and very much in charge.

“The temporary absence of Mr President does not affect the conduct of government business.

“Of course we will like to have him here, of course we will love to have him in good shape, strong, as the leader of the team, but we thank God he has built a very strong and firm foundation of national leadership, we miss him but business is going on.”

Vacate PDP secretariat now, Makarfi faction orders Sheriff

Sacked National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi has asked the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to vacate the party’s national secretariat immediately.

He said Sheriff, who was declared the authentic national chairman of the PDP by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, should wait until the Supreme Court makes its own pronouncement on the matter.

The spokesperson for the faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, accused the Police of favouring the former governor of Borno State in the crisis.

Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works, said that Sheriff must leave the secretariat in order to avoid breakdown of law and order.

Lagos PDP chairman Aeroland blasts FG over Gbadamosi’s arrest.

The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Otunba Segun Adewale has condemned the continued detention of Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, a PDP gubernatorial aspirant in the 2015 general election describing it as an attempt by the ruling APC to silence opposition voice. ?
The chairman handed down this condemnation while speaking with journalists today on his arrival from Abuja where he went to pay a solidarity visit to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. He said “the intolerance attitude of the ruling APC of opposing views signal danger for our nascent democracy.
The recent acts of dictatorship exhibited by our security agencies sadden my heart, how could we have gotten to this stage in our democratic history? How could we have descended from a nation that signed into law the freedom of information bill at one point to a nation where anyone with opposing view to the ruling government is arrested, intimidated and molested by state security apparatus.
This action goes to confirm allegations that the APC led administration was never prepared for inclusive governance and that it is a  government of deceit built on lies and vendetta”
It would be recalled that Gbadamosi was arrested by the DSS on the 22nd February for reasons not made public and he has since being detained at the agency headquarters in Abuja.
Adewale described Gbadamosi as “a forthright, enterprising and illustrious son of Lagos State as well as  a very active member of the state chapter of the party”.
Adewale cautioned the APC led federal government on the danger of turning the country into a one party state by squashing those who regularly criticize their mal-administration saying that “objective criticism and a vibrant opposition are necessary ingredients in any thriving democracy”.
The PDP chieftain called on the Directorate of State Security (DSS) to resist every attempt by politicians to use the agency as a tool to oppress the citizens; stressing that this trend is alien to our democratic culture especially since the commencement of this democratic dispensation. He stressed that the DSS should allow the rule of law to prevail by setting  Gbadamosi free without further delay.
Finally he called on the international community to closely monitor the federal government as regards actions that constantly violate the rights of the Nigerian citizens. According to him, “most actions of the federal government against opposition voices are capable of pushing globally accepted democratic norms into extinction.”

Bola Tinubu in Ondo as Rotimi Akeredolu takes oath of office.

At exactly 11:34am on Friday, Rotimi Akeredolu, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), took oath of office as the sixth executive governor of Ondo state.

Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was among the dignitaries that witnessed the occasion.

Senate President Bukola Saraki; Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo state; Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun state, also attended the event.

Earlier, Agbola Ajayi, also a legal practitioner, was sworn in as deputy governor.

In November, Akeredolu, candidate of the APC, defeated Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the state governorship election.

He polled 244,842 votes, while Jegede secured 150,380 votes.

Olusegun Mimiko, the immediate past governor, handed over power to Akeredolu late Thursday, after serving two terms.


Source: The Cable

Nigeria needs credible policies before 2019 elections – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Nigeria’s window for bold reforms is gradually closing, and the country needs coherent and credible policies before 2019 elections.

“On Nigeria, it is currently facing a challenging outlook. As we have said before, the authorities have initiated some measures, but more remains to be done,” Gerry Rice, IMF director of communications, said at a press conference in Washington.

“Urgency is needed in implementing a coherent and credible package of monetary, fiscal and structural policies as the window for bold reforms is closing as the 2019 elections are approaching fast.”

Rice confirmed that Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), or any other government official, has not approached the IMF for a loan.

He said the fund is however providing technical assistance for Nigeria and is willing and ready to help, if the need arises.

“It is true the Nigerian authorities have not approached the IMF for a programme, as such, there are no discussion, negotiations going on, regarding a programme with Nigeria,” he adds.

“As we have said before, the fund continues to render technical support and we stand ready to help, should the country make a request for financial assistance”.

The IMF said it would conclude its “Article IV Consultations” with Nigeria in March 2017, and would give an update on the global economy at its Spring meeting, scheduled for April, 2017in Washington.

South Africa issues statement over Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians, MTN properties

South African government has said that there is need to collaborate with major stakeholders in Nigeria to find lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

This is coming as Nigerian protesters on Thursday attacked and vandalised the head office of Africa’s biggest mobile firm in Abuja in apparent retaliation for anti-Nigerian violence in South Africa.

The retaliation also coincided with the visit of South Africa’s mobile operator MTN Group, who paid Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo a visit in Abuja.

The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, on Thursday stressed the need for the South African Government to collaborate with major stakeholders in Nigeria to find lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The Commissioner stated this while receiving the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Shehu Sani, in Abuja.

While condemning the recent attacks on foreigners, particularly Nigerians, Mnguni said there was need for the two countries to work together to bring an end to the problem. He said that it was important for Nigeria and South Africa to bring strategists together to discuss the issues at stake in order to find lasting solution to the problem.

“We will look for ways to contain the tension and come up with ways to encourage interaction between the two countries and other African countries.

“South Africa cannot see itself as an island. Instead, it will continue to work towards peace building and integration,’’ he said.

The High Commissioner further said the South African Government had always advocated for respect for human rights, stressing that there was no justification for the attacks. However, he called on foreigners to always abide by the laws of the countries where they live.

He pointed out that there were concerns among South Africans that a few foreigners, including Nigerians were involved in drug peddling.

Earlier, Sani expressed concern over the recurrent nature of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, saying that if allowed to continue, it would portray the continent in bad light, adding that it was time for major stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the problem. “Nigeria’s relationship with South Africa dates back to the time of Apartheid.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa also condemned strongly any attempts to mobilise communities against African brothers and sisters.

“This is totally unacceptable

He said: “African neighbours are our brothers & sisters. We are all Nigerians, we are all Zimbabweans, we’re all South Africans”.

Makarfi furious as Sheriff takes over PDP secretariat

The police yesterday reopened the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for National Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff.

But that seemed to have escalated the main opposition party’s leadership crisis. The Ahmed Makarfi faction called on the police to flush out Sheriff. He should wait for the legal battle for the party’s control to end, the faction said.

Sheriff, accompanied by some members of his National Working Committee (NWC) and a retinue of aides and supporters, arrived at the secretariat at 6pm.

With him were Senator Buruji Kashamu; Deputy National Chairman Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; National Secretary Prof. Wale Oladipo and National Auditor Adewole Adeyanju.

Sheriff went straight to his office where  he spent about 15 minutes. It was dusty.

He said he only came to access the situation. He plans to resume work on Tuesday.

”We came to see what renovation and cleaning to be done. While that is going on, we will continue with our consultation. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that nobody is victimised for holding different opinions,” Sheriff said.

He reiterated his resolve to take the party back to the people at the grassroots, adding that “it is not enough for some people to sit in Abuja here and say they want to choose party leaders for the people in the village”.

The secretariat was sealed off in June 2015, at the peak of a fierce leadership tussle between Sheriff and the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.

All the critical organs of the party had taken sides with the Makarfi committee and the combatants fought from one court to the other for the control of the party.

However, the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal last Friday, pronounced Sheriff the authentic chairman of the party.

The Makarfi camp has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling of the appellate court.

It yesterday accused Sheriff of entering the secretariat “illegally”.

A statement by the spokesman of the Makarfi faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said:

“As far as we are concerned, the forcible entry of Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team into the party secretariat is illegal and most unwelcomed.

“We say this because the keys to the secretariat are with the Board of Trustees (BoT) and we have checked with them, and can confirm that the keys were not handed over to Sheriff or any of his followers.

“The implication of this was that he broke into the secretariat which is a criminal offence.

“We also expected that Modu-Sheriff should have waited for the conclusion of the appeal we filed at the Supreme Court before he forced himself in just like we held on when we got court judgement favouring us last year.

“We are condemning his action in totality and we view it as an affront on the rule of law.

“Given his act of illegality, we stated clearly that he should be held responsible for any loss of documents or damage to the property within the party secretariat.

“The administrative staff as accounting officers, were not around to see the event happen, and as the custodians of the property of the party, they refused to participate in the illegal entry made by Ali Modu-Sheriff.

“His action is provocative and is capable of causing another round of crisis in the party.

“We advise him in his own interest, to vacate the secretariat immediately.

“We also call on authorities of the Nigerian Police to prevent chaos by flushing Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team out of the PDP secretariat and let all parties wait for the judgement of the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land.”

Osinbajo summons Nigeria police chief over kidnap of German archaeologists

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over the kidnap of two German archaeologists, Peter Breunig and Johannes Behringer, in Kadarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

A source told the News Agency of Nigeria that the police chief briefed the Acting President on efforts so far made by police to rescue the victims unhurt and apprehend the kidnappers.

While the Germans were kidnapped, two Nigerians who tried to rescue them were killed in the process.

Usman Kagarko, a witness who joined many others in going after the assailants, said their effort ended when the kidnappers turned back and opened fire.

“We had to scamper for our safety when they opened fire, shooting sporadically at us, killing two local hunters who were in our lead as we chased them on our motorcycles and on foot,” ,” he told newsmen. “If only we are armed or in company of armed security, we would have stopped them because they are on foot.”

He gave the names of the two victims as Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim.

He said many locals were familiar with the Germans who for many years frequently travelled from Abuja to Kaduna for their work.

“So we felt personally concerned that this very friendly foreigners are innocently abducted by criminals under our nose,” he said.

The police have since dispatched a team of special forces and to work in synergy with the police command in Kaduna State and indigenes of towns and surrounding villages where the archaeologists were kidnapped.

The special force deployed comprise the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), the Anti Kidnapping Unit, the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Police Mobile Force and Police Surveillance Helicopters.

The Special Investigation Team on Kidnapping and Terrorism Cases under the Command of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations, is also participating in the rescue operation.

The kidnapped archaeologists, working in collaboration with National Commission for Museum and Monument on the relics of NOK Culture in Nigeria, were kidnapped on Wednesday morning at an excavation site in Kadarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Corruption, threat to good governance in Nigeria – Okowa

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, regretted that over the years, corruption has constituted a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, including development programmes aimed at tackling poverty and economic backwardness in the country.

Okowa, at a one day anti-corruption summit held in Asaba, said that the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government would be more effective if it was free from all social, religious and political persuasions.

He said, “Corruption is one of the most recurring discourses in our national life, because, virtually every Nigerian agrees that it undermines the fabric of every aspect of society.

“The fight against corruption is not an easy task, but it can be won through advocacy such as this one that aims at drastic reduction and where possible, total elimination of the practices in every facet of our national life, which our anti-corruption agencies, namely, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal, are in the forefront of the fight against corruption.

“In the pursuit of our anti-corruption agenda, greater success will be recorded if our actions and practices are blind to all social, religious and political persuasions. Our actions must be civil and be such that engineers public confidence and participation if the battle is to be won.”

Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo Seeks strong Nigeria – US Ties

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said the time has come for Nigeria and the United States to deepen the long-standing relationship between the countries based on mutual trust.

Osinbajo spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving the Commander of the US-Africa Command, Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser and the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Hon. W. Stuart Symington.

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Acting President said : “We will be very open and willing to build a relationship based on trust, so that we would benefit from it and of course our relationship as nations would benefit tremendously from it.”

Nigeria’s relationship with the US, he observed, is a very important one “and has been so for many years, even so now at a time like this for us.”

He said the Federal Government is appreciative of US support over the last few years.

Osinbajo said it is the belief of the Buhari presidency that the US is committed to helping Nigeria tackle some of its challenges especially in the Northeast.

In his remarks, Gen. Waldhauser expressed the readiness of the U.S government to “accelerate” its contributions, adding that there is a sense that “we want to get on and solve the problem.”

Why most Nigerians are corrupt – Abike Dabiri-Erewa

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said that contrary to the common belief that greed and poverty are to blame for the indulgence of most Nigerians in acts of corruption, lack of adequate sanctions is the reason corruption continues to thrive in the country.

She stated this while making her remarks at the flag-off of South-West Women Against Corruption (WAC) project in Lagos.

Dabiri-Erewa said that many young Nigerians are inspired to engage in acts of corruption when the society celebrates those who have been handed light sanctions for looting large sums of money from the national treasury.

She urged members of the public to rise against corruption and impunity in Nigeria; adding that the recession the country is currently facing was a direct product of corruption in the country.

The presidential aide called on women from the South-West geo-political zone to support President Muhammadu Buhari and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in their efforts to tackle the malaise of corruption in Nigeria.

Dabiri-Erewa further enjoined women to inculcate the qualities of contentment, integrity, value, virtue, and valour on their children, stressing that as mothers of the nation, women can be agents of change.

She said: “The reason there is so much corruption in Nigeria is not greed but lack of adequate sanctions.

“As long as we see corrupt people go to jail, come out and we celebrate, we worship, we clap for them; corruption will continue to thrive.

“I think we are at a point where we need to say ‘enough is enough! Never again should we go back to the days where we are coming from. Never again should we have anybody steal our commonwealth, live with impunity and get away with it.’

“That is why I want to appeal to you; let us support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption. For the first time, we are having a president who is fighting corruption headlong. We need to support him.

“I am ashamed that at a function today, when I said ‘women against corruption’, people shouted me down. But I say ‘one bad apple should not spoils the whole bunch’

“We, as Nigerian women, are people of integrity, value, virtue, and valour. Most importantly, if we have contentment we have everything. If there’s no contentment we will keep stealing until we steal our on hearts out. We need to raise our children with the virtues of contentment.

“As women and mothers of a nation, we can be agents of change. We can do it.

“Let us also support the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu because; we love what he is doing. We hope the Senate confirms him because we know that he will earnestly fight corruption.

“Let us all support the WAC project. If we get it right, the nation gets it right.

“Let’s support the fight against corruption and be determined that we will take Nigeria out of this recession, and this recession is corruption.”

Another PDP lawmaker, Emmanuel Ukoetu defects to APC

Barely 24 hours after Senator Andy Uba formally defected to the All progressives Congress, APC, another House of Representatives member, Emmanuel Ukoetu (Akwa Ibom) has decamped from the PDP to joined the ruling party.

Hon, Ukoetu cited irreconcilable differences between the factions of Ali Modu Sheriff ad the Makarfi team as the reason for his defection.


Source: www.nigerianeye.com


Osinbajo refuses to sign 4 bills, returns them to Senate

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday refused to assent four bills and returned them to the NASS for correction.

Senate President Bukola Saraki read the letters today at Senate plenary.

The four bills are: Dangerous Drugs Amendment Bill 2016, National Lottery Amendment Bill 2016, Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund 2016, and Currency Conversion Freezing Order Amendment Bill 2016.


PDP Crisis: I did not endorse Sheriff – Jonathan claims

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied endorsing Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Since Friday when the appeal court recognised Sheriff as chairman of the opposition party, he has been consulting stakeholders.

He visited Ibrahim Babangida, former military ruler, over the weekend, and was with Jonathan on Monday.

After the meeting, there were reports that Jonathan had endorsed the PDP leader. But in a statement issued on his behalf by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, the former president said he only received Sheriff in the interest of peace.

The statement said Jonathan met Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the other faction of the PDP, and Walid Jibrin, chairman of the party’s board of trustees (BoT), after Sheriff left.

“Jonathan as a former president and foremost leader of the party welcomed Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house, in line with a mediation role he is playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP,” Eze said in a statement.

“Indeed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former president also met with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, leader of the PDP caretaker committee, and the party’s board of trustees chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, later in the evening.

“As a peace-loving leader of the party, the former president’s interest is to help reposition PDP to enable it play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy.

“I wish to let those spinning this falsehood know that it just doesn’t add up to fly a contrived banner of endorsement in one breath, and in another, concede that the former president explained his commitment in meeting with different interest groups, towards resolving the differences in the party.”

Eze reproduced the  exact words of Jonathan in the meeting with Sheriff.

He also appreciated the interest shown in covering activities of Jonathan, but urged journalists to avoid misleading the public.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the following are the former president’s exact words during the interview with newsmen, as had accurately been reported by most online and major national newspapers, as well as broadcast organisations: ‘We (PDP) are not factionalised. We are one. We are solving our problems. There are bound to be differences in politics. It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others.

“While we appreciate the interest of journalists in the coverage of the activities of the former president, we urge accurate and constructive reporting, as it is a known fact that we cannot truly develop our nation, if journalists continue to twist and fabricate stories with the intent of misinforming the public.”


BREAKING: Another federal lawmaker defects to APC from the PDP

Emmanuel Ukoette, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Ukoette, who represents Uruk Anam/Ukanafun Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State, won election to the House under the platform of the PDP.

The federal lawmaker announced his defection, Monday, in a letter he wrote to Gideon Samani, the Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said in the letter that he was leaving the party because of “the rudderless nature of the (party) leadership”.

The PDP has been thrown into a protracted leadership crisis after the party lost the 2015 presidential election to the APC. The party has two separate factions laying claim to the position of its national chairman.

A factional leader of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, last week secured a victory at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, which declared him the authentic chairman.

Ahmed Makarfi and his faction have rejected the judgment and have indicated their intention to head to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ukoette’s defection is coming 32 days after a PDP senator, Nelson Effiong, also from the state, defected to the APC on January 19.

Mr. Effiong had hinted that more senators would be leaving the PDP.

Mr. Ukoette told PREMIUM TIMES that besides the “animosity” within the PDP, there was so much uncertainty about the future of the party.

He also said that he and his federal constituency have been marginalized in the state.

“The sharing formula of the dividends of democracy in the PDP has been faulty, and I have made persistent complaints about this without redress.

“I feel that to key my people into the mainstream of national development, my movement to the APC is inevitable.

“I am also seeing a situation whereby I will team up with other progressives to salvage Akwa Ibom from the grip of a certain few hawks who have formed an oligarchy in order to enslave and perpetually keep Akwa Ibom in a state of ruin,” he said.

The lawmaker said it was erroneous to think that the PDP is in control of Akwa Ibom State.

“I want to tell you that come 2019, the APC shall win Akwa Ibom. I want it to be on record that I said it,” he said.


Source: Premium Times

JUST IN: PDP caucus asks Saraki to remove Andy Uba from senate.

The senate caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to sack Andy Uba from the senate.

Uba, who represents Anambra south at the upper legislative chamber, formally announced his defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday.

Speaking after Saraki read a letter conveying Uba’s decision on the floor of the senate, Godswill Akpabio, senate minority leader, asked the senate president to declare Uba’s seat vacant.

He also asked him to remove Uba as chairman of the senate committee on public accounts. But Saraki did not grant his requests.

Akpabio had made the same demands when three other senators from his party defected to the APC recently. But none was granted.

The PDP seats at the senate have plummeted to 41, while the APC maintains the majority seats of 65.


Source: The Cable

BREAKING: Senator Andy Uba Officially Defects To The APC

Senator Andy Uba formerly of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has officially defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

This was made known by the official Twitter account of the Nigerian Senate this morning which stated that the announcement was made by the Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Further details of the defection will be communicated as it unfolds.


Katsina rally: APC investigative panel summons Kano’s Ex-Governor Kwankwaso.

An Investigative committee set up by the Kano state chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) has summoned the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso to appear before it on March 3, 2017.
According to the letter of summon dated 19th February, 2017, signed by chairman of the committee, Surveyor Muhammad Nadu Yahaya, Kwankwaso will face the committee at the APC’s state secretariat along Maiduguri road in the state metropolis.
The letter, a copy obtained by Daily Trust, indicated that Kwankwaso was expected to explain why his supporters attempted to gatecrash into Katsina government house, venue of APC’s zonal meeting when the meeting was in progress.
The letter reads in part: “The committee is inviting Senator Kwankwaso to appear before it to explain why he organized a rally in Katsina state on 29th January 2017 when the APC leaders were holding zonal meeting in the state.
Source: Daily Trust

Ali Modu Sherrif’s victory, an end to the impunity of APC – Lagos PDP chairman

Segun Adewale, Lagos state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has described the victory of Ali Modu Sherrif at the appeal court as a precursor to the end of the “impunity” of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC).

On Friday, a court of appeal in Port Harcourt declared Sheriff as the legitimate national chairman of the party.

Ahmed Makarfi and Sheriff factions of the party have tested their claim to the leadership of PDP in courts in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, resulting in contradictory court orders.

In a statement issued on Monday, Adewale said the ruling of the court will afford the party the opportunity to reunite and form a formidable force ahead of the 2019 general election.

“The affirmation of Sen Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the PDP is not just a victory to those of us that believes in his leadership but a victory to the grassroots members of the PDP that now have a voice,” Adewale said.

“It is also a victory to our democratic institutions, the rebirth of a formidable opposition which will definitely engender the delivery of good governance and bring end to the impunity of the ruling APC government.”

He congratulated Sherrif, referring to him as the hope of the common man in the party.

Adewale added that Nigerians were looking up to the PDP to save them from the current economic crisis plaguing the nation.

“This victory by all intent and purpose signals an end to the era of impunity, disregard to our party constitution and blatant egocentric behaviour of some individuals that have virtually turned the party into their private estate. All these clogs in the wheels of progress of our great party is what Senator Sheriff seeks to end and that is what this victory has ensured,” Adewale said.

“It is crystal clear that Nigerians are anxiously looking up to the Peoples Democratic Party for solutions to the present economic holocausts ravaging the nation. Nigerians are regretting the monumental error of voting a visionless party into power, a party that has subjected Nigerians to an unprecedented hunger.

“Let me use this golden opportunity to appreciate immensely the relentless effort and passion of senator Ali Modu Sheriff towards securing an enduring future for ordinary members of our party. Without doubt, his resolve to ensure grassroots participation in decision making within the party is the most assured way of building an enduring political party structure.

“Without any fear of contradiction, APC has failed Nigerians woefully, posterity will therefore not forgive us, as the last hope of a common man if we fail to bury our differences and rise up collectively to the challenges of rescuing the nation from this APC confusion.

“The nation is in serious danger if left in the hands of these incompetent politicians that are obviously mismanaging our common heritage.”

Makarfi has rejected the ruling of the appeal court, vowing to file an appeal at the supreme court.


Source: The Cable

INEC opens defence in Edo governorship election petition

The electoral commission, INEC, on Friday opened its defence in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in Edo, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, before the Justice Ahmed Badamasi three-member tribunal in Benin.

The PDP and its candidate are challenging the declaration by INEC of Godwin Obaseki of the APC as winner of the election.

The petitioners listed INEC, Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents respectively.

The petitioners on February 10 closed their case after calling 91 witnesses and tendering several documentary pieces of evidence before the tribunal.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, the INEC counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, informed the tribunal that his client was ready to open its case although witnesses may not be called.

“We have led copious evidence through cross examination of the petitioners’ witnesses.

“We propose to tender few documents when we need to confront them and enhance evidence already led and at the end of which, if need be, we will call witnesses,” he said.

Mr. Ikpeazu thereafter sought the tribunal’s permission to tender as evidence 10 copies of form EC8B, being ward collation result for wards in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state .

The counsel to the petitioners, Ize-Iyamu and PDP, Kemi Pinheiro, counsel to Mr. Obaseki, Ken Mozia and APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, all did not oppose the application for tender.

Mr. Pinheiro, however, observed that since the documents sought to be tendered as evidence by INEC were same as those before the tribunal as exhibits, “it will make proceeding smoother if we harmonise the documents with a schedule during trial,’’

He argued that the form EC8B document tendered was the same as exhibit PO4(154-163) tendered by the petitioners.

“ If not harmonised for different exhibit numbers, this will create precipice of confusion.

“I am saying that since the petitioners’ document and those sought to be tendered by INEC are from same source, I thought INEC should call oral witness to identify the exhibits before the tribunal,” he said.

Mr. Ikpeazu, however, replied saying, “we have brought documents we have front loaded to support our case. They have done theirs; it is not for the petitioners to determine how we should organise our defence even if these documents are the same.”

“I am therefore asking for an adjournment to Monday while I concede to the suggestion that parties examine the documents sought to be tendered.

“I also intend to interact with electoral officers we may call as to who I wish to tender as witnesses,” he added.

Ruling, the tribunal chairman admitted the documents as exhibit IR(1-10) and ordered INEC to serve the petitioners and the other respondents with its schedule of the other documents to be tendered before the tribunal.

Mr. Badamasi also ruled that parties should use Saturday to examine INEC documents sought to be tendered before adjourning till Monday.


Source: NAN

PDP loses 6 lawmakers to APC in Lagos State.

Six of the eight Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the Lagos state house of assembly have announced their defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Azeez Sanni, acting clerk of the house, read a letter dated February 16, and signed by the defectors, indicating that they had decided to join the APC.

In the letter, the lawmakers said they were taking the step due to the division and infighting which had factionalised their party.

The lawmakers are Akeem Bello (Amuwo Odofin II), Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II), Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo II), Dayo Famakinwa (Ajeromi Ifelodun II), Oluwa Fatai (Ajeromi/Ifelodun I) and Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I).

Speaking at plenary, Famakinwa said the achievements of Akinwunmu Ambode, governor of the state, inspired him to join APC.

On his part, Oluwa said he joined the ruling party in Lagos because of the feud between Ali-Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi factions of PDP.

Idimogu said: “APC is better. I don’t know how to appreciate the good work of the governor than to join his party to move the state forward.”

Sokunle said the decision to align with the ruling party was borne out of his desire to move his constituency forward.

Sangodara, the only woman among the defectors, said she took the step to serve her constituents better.

“We are all aware of what is happening in PDP,” she said.

Mudashiru Obasa, the speaker, welcomed the the lawmakers to APC and commended them for their decision.

Other APC lawmakers also received the defectors into the party.

PDP lawmakers criticise non-inclusion of their member to meet Buhari in London

Some opposition lawmakers on Thursday questioned the non-inclusion of one of them in the National Assembly delegation that recently visited President Muhammadu Buhari.

The lawmakers, including House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, suggested there was a decision to exclude members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the visit even though one of them – Ike Ekweremadu – is the Deputy Senate President.

Notwithstanding, the PDP lawmakers —exactly a half dozen in total— who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES in separate telephone interviews ,Thursday evening, said they were happy to learn from the media that the visit was productive and the president was in good health.

The reactions came a day after Senate President Bukola Saraki travelled to the United Kingdom with Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, to see Mr. Buhari in London.

The trio arrived in London around Wednesday evening and met with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Buhari left Nigeria for London on annual vacation January 19, with a promise to return on February 6. He also noted that he would see his doctors while there and handed over power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

But on February 5th, a day before he was due to return, the president sent another letter to the National Assembly, informing lawmakers of his intention to extend the trip until his doctors complete ‘a cycle’ of medical examination on him.

The prolonged absence, which came amidst raging economic crisis, got many Nigerians worried.

Although he had telephone conversations spread over several days with individuals, including Messrs. Saraki and  Dogara as well U.S. President Donald Trump, startling rumours about his health persisted.

But the visit by the National Assembly leaders on Wednesday helped convince many Nigerians that the president was not dead or bedridden.

Mr. Saraki declared in a Twitter update shortly after seeing the president that there was “no cause for alarm.”

Mr. Dogara reported Mr. Buhari was “fit as a fiddle.”

But some PDP lawmakers said Messrs. Saraki and Dogara should have included at least one member of the opposition on the trip.

Even though the lawmakers did not allege foul play or cover up during the visit, they raised concerns about absence of one of them.

Mr. Ogor likened the visit to a similar one paid by APC leaders, Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande.

“You’re aware that the first visit was done by Tinubu and Akande,” Mr. Ogor told PREMIUM TIMES. “There was no PDP member that participated in that visit, so you can clearly see that it is more of a political party thing.”

Mr. Ogor, from Delta State, said he got wind of the visit early enough and was elated to see the president in good spirit.

“I have a hint of the visit much earlier. I saw the president smiling. I saw the Senate President smiling. I saw the Speaker smiling. And when I saw that picture, I also smiled.

“We thank God for his live. We wish him well,” Mr. Ogor said.

But he insisted that those who made the journey did so in their own personal capacity because there was no consensus amongst lawmakers delegating any group of persons for the journey.

“But I am convinced that that visit was purely based on political colouration. So, it is totally inconsequential because we were not invited.

“It is at the discretion of the president to invite whoever he wants to see him.

“It is not a National Assembly delegation. It is like a private visit to see the president. First, you know we’re not in session. Neither was there any resolution of the House or that of the Senate to go and see the president,” he said.

Mr. Ogor’s position was echoed by another lawmaker from Kogi State.

“I did not hear about this visit before,” the lawmaker said. “I read it last night on PREMIUM TIMES and I was initially shocked, but then said to myself: ‘no need to be surprised about anything these people do.”

“Since we weren’t told ahead, I think it’s very clear that they weren’t making the trip on our behalf,” the PDP lawmaker, who sought anonymity so as not to be seen criticising the House leadership, said. “And they’ve clearly expressed that in the manner they picked those who went on the trip.”

A source in Mr. Ekweremadu’s office claimed the Deputy Senate President was not informed about the trip.

“They didn’t invite the Deputy Senate President on the trip,” the source said, refusing to be quoted. “They bypassed him down to the Senate Leader for reasons we still don’t know.”

The source’s claim could not be independently verified.

The source said Mr. Ekweremadu just returned from a trip abroad but would have followed them to London if invited.

“Yes, he just returned from abroad, but that could not have hindered him from being part of the delegation if they had extended him the courtesy,” he said. “If only to make him be the representative of the southern part of the country instead of all the northern politicians that made the trip.”

The House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas, and his Senate counterpart, Sabi Abdullahi, did not respond to requests for comments Thursday evening.

The spokespersons for Messrs. Saraki and Dogara also declined comments.

But Nicholas Ossai, a PDP lawmaker from Delta State, said he had no reservations about the makeup of the delegation.

Mr. Ossai said even though adding a PDP member would have been good, it would not make much difference since the delegates were duly elected by all lawmakers to represent the National Assembly as an institution.

“We believe in the Speaker and the Senate President,” Mr. Ossai said. “We have confidence in them that they’ll tell us the true position of things.”

“We didn’t elect them as APC Speaker or Senate President of the APC. We elected them on the basis that we have confidence in them and we believe in them to tell us the truth.”

“This is a leadership of complete explanation and transparency. Probably taking an opposition along would have been a boost, but, all the same, we believe in our leadership,” Mr. Ossai said.

Magnus Abe: Wike bought cars for PDP lawmakers but those in APC use taxis.

Magnus Abe, senator representing Rivers south-east senatorial district, has alleged that lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Rivers state house of assembly take taxis to work.

Abe said while the state government bought vehicles for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislators, no provision was made for the six lawmakers of the APC.

He accused the administration of Nyesom Wike, the governor, of divisiveness, saying the action of the governor could lead to disunity in parliament.

Abe was speaking in Port Harcourt during a stakeholders’ meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

“Mr. President Sir, the Rivers state house of assembly has 32 members. Out of the 32 members, six are of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Only these six people take taxis to the assembly,” he said.

“All other members drive cars that were bought by the Rivers state government, and the governor tells us it is his personal contribution to the house and these other six people are not entitled.

“In an atmosphere of that nature, it is clear that there can be no unity because it is not the words that we say in the front of television cameras that will bring unity. It is the actions that we take when nobody is watching.”

Efforts made to reach Simeon Nwakaudu, spokesman of the governor, did not yield the desired result. He neither answered his call nor responded to a text message sent.

However, Abe also alleged that there was a “deliberate scheme” by the state authorities to prevent APC stakeholders from attending the meeting.

Abe, who is the chairman, senate committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), said the publicity materials which the APC mounted in strategic places to welcome Osinbajo, were destroyed by PDP members.

“At the forum, people talked so much about unity. How we all are united and how what was happening in government house is the united position of all Rivers people,’ he said.

“But, Mr President Sir, let me say that unity is not what we say or do when the acting president of Nigeria is seated and all the television stations are tuned in to what we are doing, unity is what we do when the acting president is not there; when the cameras are not there.

“As a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, I did not receive an invitation to the meeting. It was at the airport your own staff tried to give us invitation. That is not an act that will promote unity.

“We put up our banners to welcome you to this state, a leading member of PDP had the boldness to go and pull them down. We have reported the matter to the Police. We believe that action must be taken so that the impunity that existed before can no longer exist under this administration.

“I want to thank you for coming here today because if you did not come here, you will not have known that these numbers of Rivers people were shamelessly excluded from the forum.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the federal government to take a very clear and decisive step to try to bring peace in Rivers State.”

Restructuring depends on what Nigerians want, says Atiku.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday said any decision on the restructuring of the country would be taken by the people and not by the politicians alone.

Abubakar said this in Minna, Niger state capital, after visiting Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, who recently returned to the country after a medical vacation in Germany.

He said he was at the residence of Babangida to know how the former president was faring after his medical trip abroad.

“The issue of restructuring the country is left to Nigerians to decide whether they want it or not,” he said.

On the issue of recession, he said he had been advising the federal government positively on how to tackle the problem, even outside the media.

“I have been in the corridors of power before, so it is not easy. Using the media always to advise government is a disservice,” he said.

“I know I have been making positive contributions to the government aside the media to enable us come out of recession.”

Abubakar was accompanied by Abubakar Bello, governor of Niger and some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Valentine, Baba’s vacation and other stories – By Reuben Abati

“Happy Valentine’s day, my friend”
“You don’t wish someone Happy Valentine’s day with ordinary mouth, my friend”
“Are you a woman? The gifts are for women, not male friends.”
“You see, yourself? You are a bush man just like one of my friends who got a text message from his girlfriend, and he started asking what is the meaning of bae and boo. The girl used those words and our friend was lost.”
“Bae. Boo. I have no idea either.”
“Of course, you are old school. You better stay away from young girls.”
“I don’t carry girls. I am a responsible man. So, I am not into this Valentine thing.”
“What will I do with you, this man? Valentine’s Day is not only for boys and girls. It is a day of love. You can show love to everyone around you. It is a day when you show that you care.”
“This whole thing about Valentine’s day is just a business idea. You know even schools collect money from their pupils to celebrate Valentine Day and the kids are asked to come to school, wear red, and bring gifts for any member of the opposite sex that they admire.”
“Primary schools? “
“Yes. Those who profit from Valentine’s Day are beginning to catch them young in order to grow a future market. Virtually every business outfit is into this madness. But if you ask me, I think every day should be Valentine’s Day in Nigeria. We should love one another. We should learn to be each other’s brother’s keeper.”
“Keep preaching. The only thing that bothers me about Valentine’s Day is a certain report I read somewhere indicating that last year, February 14, one particular condom-making company recorded its highest sales worldwide on that particular day in Nigeria!”
“That is precisely the problem. It is all about sex, no longer love. I hear if some women don’t get a gift or some form of special attention on Valentine Day, they would feel as if they are washed up. I once settled a quarrel between a friend and his wife, because he forgot it was Valentine’s Day and he came home very late. The wife refused to talk to him for weeks.”
“On a day like this, every woman will be monitoring her man.”
“Well, may be because we have reduced the idea of love to nothing but sex and waywardness, and that is probably why they have had to ban Valentine’s Day in Pakistan.”
“Ban Valentine’s Day?”
“Banned. The Islamabad High Court ruled this week that there should be no celebration of Valentine’s Day in public. The Pakistani media has also been banned from reporting any Valentine Day activity.”
“What kind of court of law is that? Of all important matters to worry about in Pakistan.”
“Obviously the matter of Valentine’s Day is very important in Pakistan because even the President of the country has declared that Valentine’s Day is not a Muslim tradition, but a Western one.”
“Oh I see. It is a Sharia thing.”
“Not necessarily. What of the situation in Japan where a group of men, the Kakuhido or the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women Find Unattractive have staged a public protest calling on the Government of Japan to ban Valentine’s Day.”
“Are there some men that women find unattractive?”
“What kind of men are those ones?”
“They obviously exist in Japan. And they claim that public smooching on Valentine’s Day is a form of terrorism, oppressive love capitalism and they feel marginalized, completely discriminated against because women find them unattractive.”
“They actually sound as if they will take the law into their hands. But definitely there are no such unattractive men in Nigeria. I have seen poor, ugly, impossible Nigerian men with some of the prettiest women around and you are forced to ask: what exactly did she see in him?”
“Nigerian men are better lovers than the Japanese. Even oyinbo women don’t joke with our men. That was how one Kenyan athlete came here for the Lagos City Marathon last week and she didn’t want to return to Kenya. She said she would remain here if she could find a Nigerian man to marry her because Nigerian men are wonderful.”
“Oo-o-shey! Our brothers! They must have shown her some good, good loving…”
“But talking seriously, you know, I think love is all we need in this country. Our leaders should love the people and the people should love their leaders and we would be a much better country.”
“I hear Baba sends his love.”
“Which Baba?”
“Our Baba in London”
“I won’t join you to comment on that subject. We are all human beings. We can have medical issues at any time.”
“Who is talking about medical issues? What we know is that Baba is on working leave in London and he used the opportunity to do some medical tests”
“Working leave”
“I was in fact going to say that those tests should have been conducted in Nigeria here. It is sad if Nigerian doctors can’t conduct ordinary tests.”
“If you are President of Nigeria, you’d go and hand over yourself to Nigerian doctors, you will? The same doctors who are always complaining about allowances and threatening to go on strike. These same doctors, many of whom are card-carrying members of the opposition, MASSOB and Niger Delta Avengers. It’s alright.”
“Medical tourism is a threat to the Nigerian economy. We have good doctors here. Nigerian doctors are among the best in the world.”
“I know somebody who wanted to buy Nigerian medical practice. Whatever it was they diagnosed after carrying out tests was completely wrong. When he eventually went to London, he was told he had been on wrong medication for three years! So when you become President, Governor or Senator, carry your body and give to a Nigerian doctor for trial and error diagnosis.”
“But when will Baba return?”
“When the results of the tests are released”
“I am not a doctor but I hear some tests could stay in the medical lab for up to three months”
“Why are you screaming? It is a working leave. Anywhere the President is, that is where power is. After all, Baba spoke with Donald Trump yesterday and he is also likely to have a telephone conversation with South African President, Jacob Zuma. He is also constantly on the phone with the Acting President.”
“Zuma. Zuma. Zuma. I hope Baba will remember to sympathise with President Zuma over the embarrassment he got at the parliament the other day when the red-jacket wearing members of the Democratic Alliance started calling him a thief. Baba should give him some tips about how to deal with rude and arrogant lawmakers.”
“No. Baba should not meddle in South African affairs. He should talk to President Zuma about the continued attack on Nigerians living in South Africa. Some South Africans will just wake up one day and start attacking Nigerians, and they don’t get arrested for doing so or punished. We must let South Africa know that Nigerian lives matter!”
“What I have even noticed is that those South Africans only attack Nigerian men. They don’t attack Nigerian women.”
“I have information on that.”
“I am all ears”
“I hear our Nigerian brothers in South Africa are into South African women like ki’lode. And the South African women love them back like crazy, because you know your guys, when they want to impress a woman, they really go all out.”
“You just look at it. Only a few days to Valentine’s Day, some South African hoodlums started attacking Nigerian men and their businesses. I am surprised that the South African Ambassador to Nigeria has not yet been summoned, even the Foreign Affairs Ministry has not uttered a word. Is it because Baba is in London?”
“Well, well, well, I think the new oga on top is trying his best to be on top of everything.”
“Who is that?”
“Acting President Pastor Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN”
“He is doing well”
“A child of the Most High. An erudite, loyal, hardworking…”
“Una don start oh. That is how you people will cause problems for the man. As far as I can see, he is focused on the assignment that he has been given and he is humble and hardworking. The Christian body in Nigeria and you, Yorubas should not distract him. Some Christians are already saying their time has come. And all of a sudden, some Yoruba Obas want to visit the Villa. I saw some Yoruba boys the other day, they were very busy weaving conspiracy theories and suddenly quoting the Constitution.”
“What I know is that there is no way a man will ride a horse and his head will not shake.”
“Just be careful how you shake your head.”
“You don’t have to worry about all that. You said the truth when you said the Acting President is doing well. In the last two weeks, the man has been working as if he does not know how to do anything else other than to work. Even primary school students in seven states are beginning to eat one hot meal a day, free of charge. About 12, 000 cooks have been employed, farmers are also involved.”
“The hot meal per day should be extended to some households, street beggars and em…em. There must be a mechanism in place to make sure the teachers don’t end up diverting the hot meal. Some teachers are so hungry, they’d take the food home to their families and deprive the children.”
“What kind of teacher will do that?”
“I am telling you the truth”
“But there is another scheme that should cover the teachers. It is called the Social Intervention Programme (SIP).”
“That is for the poorest members of our society -N5, 000 per month. Teachers don’t fall into that category.”
“You are sure about that? You think if the Federal Government offers you N5, 000 every month, you won’t take? With N5,000, you can buy recharge card.”
“Look, the best thing to do is to just share the money from oyel every month. They can start with every Nigerian who has a bank account. Instead of state governments going to collect the money on our behalf every month, just put the thing directly into every Nigerian’s bank account.”
“That is not how to run a government.”
“We have to start thinking out of the box. Look at the benefits. If we adopt that strategy, all Nigerians abroad will come home. There will be nothing for anybody to steal, because the cake will be shared equitably. Everybody gets a share of it.”
“And the Nigerians who have no bank accounts?”
“You don’t get it. They will all rush and open one. Oyel money, na im you dey take joke like that? In due course, we will have accurate census figures.”
“You are beginning to sound like those Niger Delta people who gave James Ibori a heroic welcome party.”
“Those ones? They were defending African culture.”
“And what culture is that?”
“You better don’t bother yourself about things you can’t understand. You and I will be here one day when a certain James Onanefe Ibori will hold brooms with two hands and declare for the APC… Enjoy the rest of your day. Go home and make your bae happy.”

FG plans to employ youths engaging in illegal refinery – Osinbajo

Acting-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said the federal government has plans to engage youths of the Niger – Delta region who are involved in illegal refining of crude oil by employing them in the modular refineries the government will establish in the region.

He also debunked rumours that the amnesty programme of the federal government has been scraped adding that more resources has been earmarked for the sustenance of the programme in the 2017 budget.

Osinbajo disclosed these during a special engagement on Niger-Delta matters held in Port-Harcourt on Tuesday.

He said: “We have talked about those young men and women who are involved in illegal refining of crude oil

“Our approach to that is that we must engage them by establishing modular refineries.so that they can participate in legal refining not illegal refining. And we are committed to making sure that young men and women of the Niger-Delta region are properly engaged.

“We’ll look at the amnesty issues, we’ll make sure that amnesty continues. Some people have been trying to suggest that we have remove the amnesty programme. That’s not true. We have made more provision for amnesty than has ever been made.

“We have made more provision for social intervention. Rivers state has the second largest number of unemployed young graduates who have been employed by the federal government under our N-Power scheme.”



FG will employ youths involved in illegal crude oil refining – Osinbajo

“Forget presidency until Buhari finishes his tenure”, Anenih tells PDP.

Tony Anenih, a former board of trustees’ chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has told the former ruling party to forget about the presidency until the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari is over.

Speaking when the leadership of the Jerry Gana strategy review and inter-party affairs committee visited him in Abuja, Anenih said it was very shameful for members of the party to be struggling for the presidency and other elective positions when the party was not yet in order.

The former ruling party is torn between two opposing blocs – Ahmed Makarfi camp and Ali Modu Sheriff camp – over leadership.

Four of its members in the upper chamber of the national assembly defected to the All progressives Congress (APC) within three months.

Commenting on the challenges, Anenih said reorganisation of the PDP should be the main focus.

“When Buhari’s tenure finishes, we will know who takes over from him. When he finishes his tenure, there will be more conventions on both sides and God will lead us to choose somebody who will help Nigeria,” he said.

“He may not be a party member now, either APC or PDP, but if God says that is the person, we will vote for him.

“God will direct the party to go and bring him. If He says it is President Muhammadu Buhari, of course, he can finish his tenure, but one day he will hand over. So what is important is to organise a party.”

Anenih said selfish interest landed PDP where it is at the moment, and advised the party leaders to organise a convention that would lead to the emergence of credible leaders who can offer constructive criticism to the APC.

“Right from 2014, we have missed many opportunitiesto reorganise PDP. It is because of the selfish interest of some party leaders that PDP is where it is today,” he said.

“PDP should have been in power now but everybody wants to be a presidential candidate, national chairman… It is never done.”

He told the party leaders to stop saying they were waiting for the court of appeal judgement before reorganising PDP.

Anenih also appealed to Nigerians to pray for the speedy recovery of Buhari and his return to Nigeria, expressing worries over some negative comments about the president’s ailment.

“I think what Nigerians should do now is to pray for Buhari to come back home in good health, bring out Nigeria from the woods and reposition things,” he said.

“Let God give him speed recovery so that we can receive him. That is more important to me than talking about Osinbajo would have to resign.

‘’Why should we be talking about this? It is silly and very unfortunate.”

The elder statesman spoke after former President Goodluck Jonathan said he was happy that PDP was planning to  regain the presidency.

Worried by conflicts, APC sets up reconciliation committees.

The national working committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says has set up a peace and reconciliation committees to address conflicts in some states.

Bolaji Abdullahi, the party’s national publicity secretary, made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the decision followed reports of internal crises rocking some state chapters of the party.

“Concerned by this ugly trend and as part of preparation for its non-elective national convention which is expected to hold not later than April 2017, the NWC has decided to set up the committees to resolve all outstanding issues in order for the party to have a united front going to the convention,” APC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, on Monday.

“Recently, some state chapters of the APC have been engulfed in internal crises, leading to suspensions of party leaders and other members.”

He added that the committees would be expected to resolve all outstanding issues to enable the party have a united front ahead of the convention.

Abdullahi said the committees would be made up of senior members of the party and some members of the national executive committee (NEC).

He added that the committee members would have the mandate to investigate all issues with a view to finding lasting solutions and reconcile members in affected states.

Abdullahi said where actions had been taken and disciplinary measures applied, state chapters should be strictly guided by the relevant provisions of the party’s constitution on disciplinary procedures.

“Therefore, where those actions have been taken in breach of the processes and procedures that are laid down in the party’s constitution,” he said.

“Such actions should be reversed and the status quo maintained pending the intervention of the peace and reconciliation committees.”

On January 25, APC constituted a 10-man committee to review its constitution ahead of its mid-term, non-selective national convention.

John Odigie-Oyegun, the party’s national chairman, while inaugurating the committee, said the decision to review the party’s constitution was taken at its last NEC meeting.

He explained that the decision was particularly taken to review aspects of the party’s existing constitution which did not really address issues of disciplinary measures to be taken against erring members as well as membership requirement.


Source: The Cable

Get ready to see Buhari in flesh – Presidency alerts Nigerians

The Presidency has said that Nigerian should be ready to see President Muhammadu Buhari as soon as possible.

The senior special adviser to the President on Media, Mallam Garba Shehu stated this in a telephone interview with Channels Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

On US President’s phone conversation, Mallam Shehu said: “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that President Trump made the choice of making the first African call to the President Of Nigeria”.

“Nigerians should be getting ready to see the president in flesh, as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his sadness over the death of Hajiya Tasallah Fika, the wife of former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Adamu Fika, Wazirin Fika.

In a telephone call from London to the bereaved Wazirin, the President said the loss of such a devoted wife of many years was particularly a painful and challenging moment in the life of any husband.


Source: www.nigerianeye.com

To say I didn’t visit Buhari is simply crazy – Tinubu

Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), says it is crazy for anyone to insinuate that he did not visit President Muhammadu Buhari in London, United Kingdom.

The former Lagos state governor had last week visited the President in the company of Bisi Akande, chairman, APC board of trustees.

Reacting to reports that he didn’t travel to London, Tinubu said no one in their right senses would peddle such falseness when there were pictures to prove that he visited Buhari.

A statement was released to this effect by his media aide, Tunde Rahman.

Tinubu was quoted as saying that, “The report about the so-called denial of the visit is the handiwork of mischief- makers. I felt we should not dignify that with a response.

“That report beggars belief. Asiwaju Tinubu and Baba Akande were in London. The reason they travelled to the United Kingdom was to see President Buhari.

“And they visited him last Thursday and held discussions with him at the Abuja House in London. After the visit, the President, as a mark of respect, saw off his guests to the door.

“Pictures were taken during and after the visit and released to the media by the Presidency. These pictures were international headlines. How can anybody in his or her right senses be saying there was no such visit? It’s simply crazy! I can’t just get it.”

Source: pulse.ng


Obasanjo Never Wanted Me To Become Governor – Mimiko

Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko has denied betraying National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and two former governors of Ondo State, the late Adebayo Adefarati and the late Olusegun Agagu.

He revealed this in his yet-to-be presented book ‘Mimiko’s Odyssey: A Biographer of Revelations’ which was released by Punch.

Mimiko also narrated how he was threatened by former President Olusegun Obasanjo



He said, “You don’t know the situation I was in then. Look, you don’t know Obasanjo. I worked with him. In history, go and check it out. There are not too many people who were able to resign from Obasanjo’s government.

“In fact, you can’t do it. Sir, you can’t just do it. I did not only resign, when I came to the Federal Executive Council after resignation, everybody thought they were seeing a ghost.

“Obasanjo hounded me out of Abuja, virtually. We came out with a new party.

“Anybody that gave N1m then, you can’t imagine how we would celebrate him or her. Four months to election, we were raising money in hundreds of thousands: N100,000; N50,000; N20,000



Source: politics.naij.com

Boko Haram created 54,000 widows, destroyed 541 Borno schools – Shettima

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said on Monday that at least 54,000 women had become widows due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect between 2011 and February 2017.

He added that the terrorists destroyed 5,335 classrooms in 541 schools.

Shettima said this while delivering a speech at the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture, an annual event held in commemoration of the third Nigerian head of state who was assassinated on February 13, 1976.

While delivering the keynote address titled, ‘Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State: Experiences and Lessons for a Multi-party, Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious Nigeria,’ the governor opined that the cure for religious extremism remains quality education.

He said, “In Borno, there are currently 54,000 widows,” adding that the political class needs to step up its humanitarian efforts.

The governor added, “Virtually all our schools are being rebuilt in Borno. As I said earlier, a total number of 5,335 classrooms in 503 primary schools and 38 high schools and two tertiary institutions were destroyed in the state.”

Shettima urged the western world to assist Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and the rehabilitation of victims, adding that the Syrian refugee crisis will be nothing compared to Nigeria’s if the nation’s crisis is not well handled.

He added, “Believe me, unless we wear our thinking caps as leaders, the future is very bleak. We either take advantage of the demography and its dividends or reap demographic disaster. As I said in Washington, Syria has a population of less than 30 million people. I think it is in the interest of the Western world to see that Nigeria works. Just two million Syrians knocking on the door of Europe and the Europeans have become agitated. What do you say of about 30 million English-speaking Africans knocking on the door of Europe?

“And in Nigeria, South is the Atlantic Ocean; up North is the Sahara desert. We can eat up the food reserves in Niger, Mauritania and all the countries in the Sahel within a week. The other side is Togo which is not bigger than Ogun State.”

Also speaking, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo urged political and religious leaders not to encourage violence but peace.

Osinbajo noted that great leaders like the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa; Martin Luther King junior in the United States are remembered for promoting peace even in the face of persecution.

Acknowledging the guests for their solidarity to one of Nigeria’s heroes past, the Chief Executive Officer of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation and daughter of the late head of state, Aisha Oyebode, praised the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for its achievements in the fight against terrorism.

She added, “For those that knew my father intimately while he was alive, you would agree that beyond the mien of the no-nonsense general, he was generous and kind-hearted. He was more at home in the company of the masses, and understood the pains and suffering of the downtrodden, and used all the power and resources he had to fight for the weak and the oppressed within and outside Nigeria. General Murtala Muhammed truly had empathy, which is why 41 years on, his sacrifice and legacy as a man of the people, is still very worthy of commemoration.”

“We, at the MMF, believe that our theme for this year – Humanitarian Crisis and Response in a Plural State: What Role for Leadership? – is a fitting tribute to General Muhammed’s legacy.”

Buhari will return, Nigeria needs him – Sheriff

The Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday prayed for good health and return of President Muhammadu Buhari.

At an expanded South-west PDP Committee meeting in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state, the faction said Nigeria needs Buhari “in order to continue his anti-corruption crusade”.

This is contained in the nine-point communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, read by the faction’s National Vice-Chairman, South-west, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe.

It acknowledged efforts of leaders to reposition the party and get PDP back to winning ways.

The communique said PDP remained the only alternative to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government.

The communique urged members to prepare for the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun States.

In his remark, Sheriff said he would continue to work for the progress of the party and return it to the grassroots.

Sheriff, who stated that he would not be provoked by the statement of Chairman of the PDP Strategy Review Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, challenged him to go and contest election in his locality and win before he could talk to him about party administration and management.

In his keynote address, former Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, also the Deputy Chairman of PDP Reconciliation Committee, attributed the crisis rocking the party to lack of internal democracy, imposition of candidates and impunity.

Mantu said: “The national leadership is doing its very best to rebrand and reposition our party positively before the Nigerian public in readiness for 2019.

“In spite of the crack in the family, the leadership is moving steadily in the right direction; encouraging mass participation of members in the activities of the party, thereby giving them sense of belonging.

“All hands must be on deck to ensure total victory in the entire South-west and Nigeria in 2019. We must therefore not allow seeming differences affect our victory at the polls.

“Our detractors had expected the crack in the family to be the beginning of our end. Tell them that the lion was just sleeping in order to conserve more energy for 2019. No matter how much weight an elephant loses, it can never be compared to a cow”.

The meeting was attended by the Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojuigbo; National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo; Senator Sam Anyanwu (Imo West), Senator Buruji Kashamu (Ogun East) and former FCT Minister, Mohammed Abba Gana.

Others included Senator Hosea Ehinlanwo, Hon. Adesegun Adekoya, Hon. Segun Odebunmi; Hon. Victor Akande, Hon. Bowale Solaja, former Presidential adviser, Ahmed Gulak and the leadership of the party from Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Ogun States.

APC Women Plan National Prayer Summit For Buhari

The All Progressives Congress women will hold a national prayer summit for quick recovery of the President Muhammadu Buhari.

APC Deputy National Women leader, Tina Ekwueme-Adike,  who disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri on Friday, said they were worried by speculations over the health of President Buhari.

She said that the Prayer Summit would be organised by the office of the APC deputy national women leader at Enugu and to be attended by mainly APC women from the entire Southern zone.

She said that the prayer which would be non-denominational cuts across all political parties.

“The prayer is specifically meant to implore God to re-enact  back those  values which Africans  and Nigerians  in particular  are noted for, especially respecting human values and praying for our leaders,’’ she said.

Ekwueme-Adike condemned what she described as the unwarranted and unnecessary death wishes circulating in the social media on the health of the president.

The APC deputy national women leader reminded Nigerians that  to die was never for the elderly only but also for the young and infants  alike.

“Those speculating the death of someone, his or her business are rather putting their own life and business at risk because the law of nature will befall them,’’ she said.

She urged Nigerian women to demonstrate a sense of commitment, patriotism, and selflessness in their daily life, noting that it would surely be well for the nation in the near future.

She explained that the proposed prayer summit for the nation and its leadership was also for all Nigerians irrespective of their political parties, religion and tribal afflictions.

Nigeria can’t grow without stopping corruption – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday explained that every time the Federal Government fights corruption hard, there is a major fight back, “because corruption in this country is wealthy, powerful and influential”.

He said there would be no sustainable growth without winning the battle against corruption.

Osinbajo spoke when he received Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba and labour leaders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

They led protest to Aso Rock, demanding good governance.

Osinbajo said: “We commend you for taking this laudable campaign to the villa on behalf of the Nigerian people. For a democratically elected government, we must constantly report to the people and we must show that we are accountable to the people.

“That is why positions like yours have to be received properly and we must find ways to positively take action on the many demands that were raised.

“When we came on board, there were 22 states that were not paying salaries – some up to six or eight months. That was despite that oil prices were still high. President Buhari decided that salaries of workers across the states must be paid and that was what informed the first bailout.

“We were bailing out at a time we were losing 60 per cent of our revenue on account of what was going on in the Niger Delta. We later did the second bailout; the third was the Paris Club refunds.

“These are sums of monies owed to states and nobody has ever paid that sum of money,” he said

Osinbajo added: “Management of resources is critical, especially when those resources are as small as what we are witnessing today. We want to ensure that everyone is held to account. If resources were not efficiently managed, we will not be able to do even the things we are doing now because we are operating at less than 60 per cent of revenue as at 2015, today.

“Every time you fight corruption the way we are trying to fight corruption, there is a major fight back, because corruption in this country is wealthy, powerful, influential and it is in every aspect of our lives. It is in practically all institutions including religious institutions.

“The social media campaign of bring back corruption is an orchestrated one. Nobody that is suffering can say bring back corruption. Attempts by those who are being tried for corruption to delay trials are also part of the orchestrated campaign.

“If we don’t speak up against corrupt officials, who make it look as if there is a witch-hunt, then we will not succeed in the fight.

“Government needs everybody to speak up. We have a serious battle in our hands and if we don’t win that battle, this country will never get to the path of sustainable development. The major problem that this country has suffered so far is the looting of its resources. We must fight corruption hard. It is a tough one, but we must fight it.”

He added: “The government is committed to ensuring due process and rule of law.

“The President is a process-driven person that accounts for the steps he has taken so far.

“There is no gain without some pain. There is no way you will eat an omelet without breaking an egg.

“There is so much we can do with the Nigerian economy. We are going to be consulting with the labour union and civil societies on our economic recovery and growth plan, which we intend to launch this month.

“There is supposed to be a consultation on it so that we can take a look at the issues that are important, especially to labour and civil societies and we can incorporate them into the plan.”

The protesting labour movement was led by Wabba and Bobboi Kaigama of Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Wabba, who spoke on behalf of the 18 union leaders, said labour was concerned about good governance and corruption.

Salaries are low, exchange rate is high, I hear you – Saraki tells NLC

Senate President Bukola Saraki addressed the Nigerian Labour Union protesters, promised a review of National Minimum Wage and support for the executive to get Nigeria out of recession.

He said: “We are on the same side, because we all want Nigeria to be better!”

“I hear you! The exchange rate is high, the tension is high — the only thing that has stayed low are your salaries.”

“As we continue with the budget process, we must find palliative measures. We cannot continue like this!”.

Buhari called me last night, we discussed food security for Nigerians – Dogara

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday evening called Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Mr. Buhari, who just extended his vacation in the UK called Speaker Dogara on Wednesday evening.

The speaker stated this on his personal twitter handle on Thursday.

He said: “@MBuhari called me yesterday evening. He talked about what the Executive/ Legislature must do to to ensure food security for all Nigerians”.

“He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he’s resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves

“He also asked me to extend his best wishes to all Hon Members”, he tweeted.


Similarly, on Wednesday, the senate president also said the President called him and they joked about working late night.

Edo: Tribunal Begins Recounting of Ballot Papers

The recounting of ballot papers used in four local government areas in the September 28 Governorship Election in Edo State has begun.

It is being done in the open court as ordered by the tribunal.

Representatives of the petitioners and the respondents are monitoring the recounting.

The People’s Democratic Party and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu are expecting to prove their allegations of over voting during the election.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal has rejected an application of the petitioners seeking for extension of time to present its witnesses.

The petitioners were expected to close their case by 1pm on Friday but pleaded for extension of time to enable it call more witnesses and conclude the recounting of ballot papers.

As at press time, the petitioners have only called 90 witnesses against 400 witnesses lined up to testify.

Lead Counsel to the PDP, Yusuf Alli, urged the tribunal to allow the reign of mercy to flow and grant them time but Counsel to respondents refused.

Buhari is a victim of his own transparency – Lai Mohammed

Following the controversy surrounding the vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has declared that the President was a victim of his own transparency.

Mohammed made the declaration while addressing State House Correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Noting that the President while embarking on his vacation informed the National Assembly and transmitted power to his Vice, Mohammed said it was surprising that Buhari was pronounced dead by some people, less than six hours after he arrived London.

Mohammed lamented that even those who saw the President aboard the aircraft in Abuja en route London, claimed that he was flown to UK in an air ambulance.

According to the Minister, “Mr. President, like I said elsewhere, is probably a victim of his own transparency. He was going on leave, he did what the constitution said he should do, transmitted it to the National Assembly and Acting President was put in place. And he said `while I am on leave, I am going to conduct some medical tests’ which many, or all of us do without announcing it.’’

Buhari, who was expected back in the country on Sunday, following the completion of his vacation, sent a letter to the National Assembly same day extending his 10-day vacation in the UK  to enable him complete and receive test results from his doctors.

Controversy trails suspension of APC federal lawmaker

Some All Progressives Congress, APC, loyalists and officials in Malumfashi and Kafur Local Government Areas of Katsina State have disassociated themselves from the purported suspension of a federal lawmaker, Babangida Ibrahim-Mahuta.

Mr. Ibrahim-Mahuta, who represents Malumfashi/Kafur Federal Constituency, was suspended by his party on Tuesday over comments he allegedly made during the just-concluded North West APC stakeholders meeting in Katsina.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that his suspension was announced by the APC Chairmen of Malumfashi and Kafur Local Government Areas.

He was also accused of abandoning his constituency and refusing to participate in party activities among others.

However, some of the party loyalists and officials faulted the decision, saying it negates the principle of fair hearing.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Kabir Tela and Surajo Ibrahim, the APC Chairmen of Dayi and Gora Wards in Malumfashi local government described the suspension as “unfortunate and undesirable.”

According to them, the lawmaker, who is also the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Finance, is representing the constituency well.

The duo also claimed that they were lured into signing the attendance register of the meeting which purportedly endorsed the suspension.

They also argued that the lawmaker was not allowed to defend himself of the allegations, as such he must be given an opportunity to do so, to ensure fairness.

The two ward leaders, therefore, disassociated themselves from the suspension, describing it as “selfish”.

According to them, the remarks made by the lawmaker during the stakeholders meeting on which he was suspended reflected the true feelings of loyal party members.

Also, Suleiman Bello, the APC Secretary, Karfi Ward, who spoke on behalf of ward level party secretaries, disassociated himself from the suspension.

He urged the party leadership at the state level to investigate and ensure strict compliance to the APC constitution.

Mr. Bello claimed that the suspension order violated Section 21 (3) of the party’s constitution, and was a distraction to Governor Aminu Masari’s efforts to unite the party.

Other officials including Magaji Ayaga, Ashiru Abubakar, Mansur Umar, Muntari Ado and Amina Rabi’u said the suspension would only destabilise the party and erode its progress.

However, the APC Chairmen of Malumfashi and Kafur local governments, Yahuza Adamu and Sama’ila Garba, respectively, said the suspension order was issued after complying with party’s guidelines.

They added that the suspension letter had been forwarded to the APC state secretariat through the party’s zonal office.

Responding to NAN inquiries, the APC Zonal Vice-Chairman in charge of Katsina South Senatorial District, Bala Abubakar, confirmed receipt of the letter, but declined further comment.

When contacted on the matter, the embattled lawmaker, Mr. Ibrahim-Mahuta, said that he was not consulted to respond to the issues.


Source: NAN

Nigerians have the Right to Protest against the Government – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that Nigerians have a democratic right to conduct peaceful protests.


The party made the comment in reaction to a nationwide protest championed by popular musician, 2Face Idibia to protest the policies of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.


“For us, it is about the constitution of Nigeria, Tuface or any other citizen of the country has the right to stage a peaceful protest,that is the position of our constitution. We as a party will not be part of anything that will abridge or take away the right of citizens to protest, especially in a democracy,” APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi told ThisDay.


“We have as a party benefited greatly from citizen’s right to express their democratic rights and our being in government is not going to change that orientation to promote the liberties and right of citizen hold dissenting views,” he added.


He also spoke on a threat made by the police to prevent the protest from holding as planned.
“Well I don’t know exactly what the police are saying about banning the protest.  I think what the police will probably be saying is that they are concerned about the issue of safety and threat to lives and property in the course of the protest,” he said.


“There are always fears that hoodlums might hijack a peaceful protest and use the opportunity to perpetrate violence on innocent citizens. I suspect this might be the consideration of the police.  But this should not be good enough reason to deny citizens the full enjoyment of their constitutional rights however they wish to express them.


“We believe that protests are a form of feedback, although we may not agree with the grievances but at same time, it may be an opportunity for us to communicate more about what we are doing that the citizens may have had sufficient information on. It may an opportunity for us to give better clarification on what our government is doing.


“But fundamentally, it will be a form of feedback for us to do more in citizen’s engagement and enlightenment and to focus more on our commitment to the promises we made to our people. I do not see it as anything that is antithetical to our democracy,” he added.

VP Osinbajo inaugurates task force to reduce food prices

Moved by the need to enhance affordability of food prices across country, the Buhari administration has constituted a Presidential Task Force to urgently consider measures that would ensure a steady flow of produce to the market and reverse recent price increases.

Giving the directive Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, expressed concern at some of the inflationary rates of food prices, noting that the Task Force will explore options to promote availability and affordability of food items to Nigerians.

According to him, the Task Force, which has seven days from Wednesday to report back to the Council, will consider how to remove some of the cost-raising factors that come into play between the farms and the markets and therefore “bring relief to our people.”

While there have been reports of bumper harvests in parts of the country, the prices of food stuff still end up rather high, while some of the produce even end up wasted due to a number of reasons preventing effective transportation delivery to the markets.

One of the focus areas of the Task Force, the Ag. President noted, would be to review the transportation and preservation processes, and see how government can intervene in those aspects to bring down food prices.

The Task Force, which would be meeting with the Ag. President in the discharge of its urgent assignment, will therefore draw out a practical plan and present same to the Council next week.

Members of the Task Force include the following:

Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

Minister of Industry, Trade & Development, Dr. Okey Enelamah

Minister of Transportation, Honorable Rotimi Amaechi

Minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu

Minister of Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige

The Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, would also be on the Task Force.


Rivers APC Blames Wike, PDP For Loss Of Oil Wells To Neighbouring States.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state has hit out hard at the State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the PDP, over the loss of oil wells to Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states, asking them to bury their heads in shame over the ceding of the oil wells.

In a statement issued on Sunday in Port Harcourt by the SSA Media and Public Affairs to the Rivers State APC Chairman, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the party berated Governor Wike and the state PDP for attempting to shift the blame to former Governor Chibuike Amaechi over the unfortunate development.

“We are shocked by Wike and PDP’s brazen attempt to shift the blame to Rt. Hon. Amaechi via a statement issued by one Jerry Needam titled, ‘Oil Well Politics: Accept your empty promises, PDP tells Amaechi, APC’.

“This simply shows how shameless both Wike and the Rivers PDP leadership can be.

“It was Nyesom Wike and his confused PDP members who collaborated with the then President Jonathan Goodluck to cede oil wells belonging to Rivers state to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states to show their disdain for Rivers State and her people.

“’Instead of hiding their faces in shame, they have the audacity to remind Rivers state and her people at this period of their golden age celebration, of how they wickedly connived with the then PDP-led Federal Government to deny Rivers State her entitlements as an oil producing State just because of their hatred for Amaechi.”

The Rivers APC advised Wike and PDP not to celebrate their “ugly feats in ruining the state that was being made Rivers of Gold under the watch of Amaechi to Rivers of Blood under the watch of Wike.

Also according to the party, Governor Wike, and the state PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah “have made politics to lose its meaning in Rivers and are dissipating their energies on a vain plot to pull down Amaechi, who did all he could to give Rivers state purposeful leadership and is now serving Nigeria at the Federal level in the capacity of Minister of Transportation.

“But we are glad that good people of Rivers state are too intelligent to be swayed by misguided elements that never meant well for the state.

“It is a pity that some PDP leaders who are desirous to milk the Rivers state treasury dry, are attempting to compare Wike’s administration with that of Amaechi, forgetting that you cannot compare light with darkness.

“Amaechi is far ahead of Wike in all aspects of life except, of course, in killing and using blood to sustain oneself in power,” they added.

Senate ex-President, Nnamani, emerges leader of South-East APC

A former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, has been chosen as the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-East geo-political zone, comprising Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi states.

The party in the zone has also resolved to support President Muhammadu Buhari for second term. The decisions were taken during a stakeholders’ meeting of the party held at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), Owerri, at the weekend.

In attendance were Ken Nnamani, Emeka Offor, Ifeanyi Araraume, George Moughalu, Tony Eze, Ebuka Onunkwo, Jombo Offor, deputy governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, national organiser of the party, Senator Osita Izunaso and other members of the national working committee.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State had said he declined the offer to lead the party in the zone despite pressure from many members of the party, proposing Nnamani as a suitable person.Okorocha said: ‘’Now that Igbo leaders are together in APC, Nigerians will hear us. There is a vacuum of leadership in the South-East APC. I am a governor. My brothers, Chris Ngige and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, are ministers. Hence, the importance of Ken Nnamani coming at this time. I decline the leadership of Ndigbo in APC. With Ken Nnamani, the question of who is the leader of APC in the South-East has been answered. Ken Nnamani is the leader of APC in the South-East.

“Senator Nnamani should then work with other leaders like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Jim Nwobodo and a host of others to give Ndigbo political direction.”
‘’We are going to support President Buhari for the eight years he is going to lead the nation. This is the time for Ndigbo to come and work together. We are also going to use the Anambra election to show that APC has arrived in South-East. The Igbo played bad politics in 2015. Today, we have lost a lot.

We are not anywhere because of our bad politics,” he added. Speaking, Nnamani said the party needed more of the Igbo leaders at the ‘’national leadership of the APC where decisions are made, and even at the National Assembly and other strategic areas and levels.’’

He said: “Some of us going into APC are not doing so because of hunger, but in the interest of the Igbo. We should play politics of ideas, and avoid abusive words. Ndigbo do not have the ingredients for opposition politics. We do not have the media or business or money to play opposition politics, but we won’t ask for handouts.

‘’How the Yoruba voted in 2015 should be an eye-opener. They voted both sides, but the South-East put their eggs in one basket. I am not of the view that everybody should be in APC, but those have seen the need should do so. If Okorocha has realised that he needs more hands in APC, he should be commended. We are worst enemies of ourselves. If we work together we will go very very far. This is the time to play national politics.

“Some people could say we have the Deputy Senate President but he does not attend the meeting of APC caucus where important decisions are taken. We must think ahead. The benefit of that office is therefore personal and does not enhance the political fortunes of the South-East people.”

I didn’t join APC for contracts – Sen. Nwobodo

Former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, has declared that his decision to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, was for the overall interest of Ndigbo.

Nwobodo spoke in reaction to what he called a deliberate misrepresentation of his comments on the media.

The former Governor, who re-registered as a member of the APC, in the on-going national re-registration exercise, declared that he joined the APC one year ago not for any selfish interest.

On claims that he joined the APC because his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, denied him contracts, he said: “it is total lies; I couldn’t have said that; I’m too sensible.

“I know those who are doing that; they have no electoral value. Their joy is to destroy anybody coming to the APC. It is a total lie.”

While noting that he laboured so much as one of the founding fathers of the PDP, Nwobodo stated that “there is no prominent politician in Enugu PDP today who I did not help.”

He called on the APC members to stop all forms of bickering and join forces to move the party forward.

“Your job should be to build the members, build the party, not to destroy the members; that will not do the party any good”, he advised.

Also re-echoing Nwobodo’s stand, the South-East publicity secretary of the APC, Mr. Hyacinth Ngwu, recalled that the ex-governor joined the party shortly after the 2015 general elections.

“He told us he was coming to help build the party in the South-East, so that by the time the ?zone will have a strong, fortified political structure that can gun for the presidency when the time comes.

“He hasn’t come to contest any position with us or for contract but to help us. In Enugu, he is the father, the grandfather, which transcends beyond 1999”, Ngwu further stated.

We have no plan to reduce petrol to N70 per litre -FG

The federal government has announced that it will not reduce the pump price of petrol following a recommendation from the House of Reps that the commodity shouldn’t cost more than N70 per litre.

The PPPRA on Thursday held a meeting to discuss the issue.

A top ranking PPPRA official said all the stakeholders came to the table to decide how much a litre of petrol should be sold.

“PPPRA should not take the blame alone. The whole stakeholders should be blamed for the current template. Whenever we review, the stakeholders and the government approve for execution. The template is only domiciled in PPPRA,” he said.

He argued that but for the Federal Government’s intervention, the price of petrol should have been higher than it is presently in view of the foreign exchange challenges.

According to him, petrol price was calculated at less than N300 to $1 whereas the exchange rate is almost N498 to $1, noting adding that marketers cannot even access dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


Source: news2.onlinenigeria.com

Oyegun plans to sack Tinubu, Atiku from APC – Timi Frank

Embattled Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has alleged that the Chairman of the party.John Oyegun has made moves to sack Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from the party.

In a release he signed and made available to newsmen, he warned the National Chairman to stop running ruling party like a dictator, stressing that the plan by the chairman to review party’s constitution “is a grand plot against the national leader of the party, Bola Hammed Tinubu, myself and other leaders who oppose his leadership style.”

The National Chairman had, on Wednesday, set up a constitution review committee headed by the party’s National Legal Adviser Muiz Banire, with a charge to closely look at the provisions for discipline members he (Oyegun) described as problem within the party “to be speedily neutralised.”

“Chief Oyegun is vigorously working to ensure that he pushes out some prominent members of the party including the National Leader Bola Tinubu, myself and so many other leaders who have spoken against his leadership style which is now more of a dictator,” he said.

Comrade Frank also noted that it is shameful for the National Chairman to talk of indiscipline “when he has breached the same constitution more than any other persons. His leadership has breached party constitution several times, even as regard to National Convention which the party law states clearly that it must be held every two years.

“Oyegun is talking about indiscipline when there are several allegations of bribery and favouritism yet unanswered hanging on his neck.”

The APC deputy spokesman challenged his national chairman to tell the world how he plan to fill some vacant positions in the NWC when “he is talking of non elective national convention.”

He said if APC is a Democratic Party, members should be allowed to criticises the wrong doing of the handlers.

“Some of us have prepared to meet them at the convention no matter the evil agenda they are planning against us,” Frank said.

 Source: naij.com


NYSC scheme, major unifying factor – Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, yesterday, described the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, scheme as a major unifying factor for the nation, appealing to the Federal Government to ensure it was sustained.

This came as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State tasked NYSC members to shun unhealthy conducts and be patriotic citizens of the country.

Governor Obasaeki, who spoke during the swearing-in ceremony of the Batch B Corps members at the Orientation Camp in Okada, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state, emphasised the need for all Nigerians to support the objectives of the scheme.

Represented by his deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu, the governor said the scheme had integrated and unified the vast and diverse cultural differences of the country since “our corps members from Hausa, Igbo, Edo, Yoruba, among others, are brought together and sent to serve in different parts of the country irrespective of where they come from. I believe it should be encouraged and fortified by the Federal Government because it has been a huge success.

“It is noteworthy to state that the contributions of the scheme in Edo State has over the years impacted positively on the psyche of our people and have contributed immensely to the development of rural areas through various community development projects. Its contributions can be seen in educational, social and health care delivery services, particularly in the rural areas.

It will interest you to know that here in Edo State, the government has a tradition of rewarding excellence among corps members who distinguish themselves during the service year through the execution of community development services meant to leave their host communities better than they met them.

On his part, Governor Wike spoke during the swearing in ceremony of 2640 Batch B stream II corps members deployed in the state at the NYSC permanent orientation camp, Nonwa/Gbam Tai, Tai Local Government Area of the state.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, advised youths to be of good conduct, noting that the reason for the programme is to reorient youths on hardwork.

Wike said: “The one year ahead holds a lot of challenges as you will be required to join the current efforts of government in the mobilization and sensitisation of your host communities toward understanding and embracing our reform programmes.

Your skills and services will be required in our continuous fight against HIV/AIDS scourge, provision of free legal service to the less privileged, sensitisation of the public on fundamental human rights, enhancing the education standard of your host communities, promoting and sustaining healthy environment, promoting and providing medical services to rural dwellers, supporting agro allied activities in your host communities and creating awareness on disaster management among other things.”




20 APC Senators Set to join PDP – Akpabio

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio says about 20 serving senators of the ruling APC have perfected plans to join the PDP once the leadership crisis in the opposition party is resolved.

Speaking at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the PDP held yesterday at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Akpabio, who did not give names of the senators, regretted the leadership crisis bedevilling the party, which he said was responsible for the loss of Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.

“As I speak, so many senators from the ruling party are eager to join PDP. All they want is return of peace to the party. Once that is done I can assure you that 20 senators are on their way to joining the PDP,” he said.

Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said those who left PDP for the APC in the South- East have no electoral value, saying they only defected to look for contracts and employment opportunities.

“We should allow them get the contract they are looking for, to get employment they are looking for. At the appropriate time we would know who is who in the South -East. There is nothing to worry about, we are completely in control,” he said.





Akpabio urges PDP governors to emulate Fayose, says 20 APC senators will soon defect

Godswill Akpabio, minority leader of the senate, has urged governors elected on the platform of the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to emulate Ayodele Fayose, their Ekiti state counterpart.

He commended Fayose for speaking for the PDP, and said some senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have made up their minds to join the opposition the party after the crisis rocking the PDP is resolved.

Akpabio said this at the expanded caucus and the 73rd national executive council (NEC) meeting of the PDP held on Thursday in Abuja.

He claimed that despite the defection of some PDP lawmakers, the party still had very significant number of lawmakers.

“There is no election that will be conducted in the former PDP 28 states that the party will not win. That is a matter of fact,” he said.

“As I speak, so many senators from the opposing party are eager to join PDP.

“All they want is return of peace to the party, once that is done I can assure that 20 senators are on their way to joining the PDP.

“Message to those who are thinking of defection is to retrace their steps because PDP is bouncing back to victory in 2019.”

Akpabio regretted that the PDP lost elections in Edo and Ondo states, and advised the party to put its house in order ahead of Anambra and Ekiti elections.

Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, said those who recently defected from the PDP to the ruling party had no electoral value.

“We should allow them get the contract they are looking for, to get employment they are looking for,” he said.

“At the appropriate time, we will know who is who in the south-east. There is nothing to worry about, we are completely in control.”

Fayose wondered why people were still defecting to the ruling party when Nigerians were tired of the APC, and “waiting for another change”.

He promised to keep speaking for the party urged other leaders to keep supporting PDP.


Source: The Cable

APC summons Shehu Sani to explain “insecticide and deodorant” comments

According to a Thisday report,  the All Progressives Congress, APC, has written to the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, demanding his appearance to explain his attack on the  anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari.


The letter was reportedly drafted on Wednesday evening by the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.


Sani is expected to appear at the party’s office in Abuja to discuss his criticism of President Buhari’s on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.


While reacting  to Buhari’s letter to the Senate on the indictment of Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Sani accused Buhari of telling lies.


“When it comes to fighting corruption in the National Assembly and the Judiciary and in the larger Nigerian sectors, the President uses insecticide, but when it comes to fighting corruption within the Presidency, they use deodorants,” Sani had said.

“I am not a member of APC”, says Ex-CBN Governor Charles Soludo.

Charles Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says he is not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and cannot contest the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state on the platform of the party.


Emeka Ibe, chairman of the Anambra chapter of the party, had included Soludo’s names among those seeking the party’s ticket.


But in a statement on Thursday, Soludo, who said he had received several calls, texts and emails seeking clarification on the matter, maintained that Ibe’s statement was incorrect.


“I wish to clarify that I am not a member of the APC and cannot therefore contest for its party nomination,” Soludo said.


“I have received hundreds of calls, texts and emails on the matter. Because of the pressure, I sought and obtained the phone contacts of the party chairman to ascertain the veracity of the story.


“I wish to clarify that I am not a member of the APC and therefore not seeking its party nomination.”


Ibe has since explained that the inclusion of Soludo and Uche Ekwunife, a former senator, was not intended to create confusion within the party.


He said the party had since discovered that Soludo was yet to register at his ward as being speculated.


“Soludo has not registered from the ward level; Ekwunife has also not indicated interest in contesting,” he said.


“We premised our action on the fact that Soludo is a friend of government and that a friend of government is assumed a friend of the party.”


Source: The Cable

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu talks about his triumphs and setbacks in politics.

Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says in his public life, which spans over three decades, he has had his own “share of triumphs and also felt the sting of setback”.


Addressing participants of course 25 at the National Defence College, Abuja, on Wednesday, the former governor of Lagos state said his experiences in politics have taught him to remain committed to a well-articulated vision


He also spoke on the strategies he used in fighting his battles, recalling his contributions to the growth of democracy in the country.


“My public life spans over three decades.  I have had my share of triumphs. I have felt the sting of setback,” he said.


“Through it all, I have tried to keep faith with the overarching vision I earlier set forth – of a more democratic Nigeria with a robust economy that provides sufficiently for all.


“Throughout most of this time span, the strategic focus has been on politics, free enterprise and assuring democracy. I believe the toil and sacrifice has been worthwhile. We have secured democracy in Nigeria. Now, our strategic leadership must focus on realizing the second part of that vision, the economic component.


“It was first necessary to getting the political equation right. From this platform, we can then better reform the economic side.


“The profound lesson my experiences as a political leader have taught me is the need to remain faithful to an achievable, well-articulated vision. Then develop practical strategies and tactics to progress toward that vision. The vision is the unchangeable lodestar. Strategies and tactics may change as events unfold.”


He also appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.


Tinubu said for his party to end the 16-year reign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he studied the voting patterns of all prior elections since 1999.


“The challenge before us is a difficult but not impossible one. If we stick to the progressive beliefs of the APC, we shall overcome these difficulties to place the economy on surer permanent footing,” he said.


On the strategies deployed in the buildup to the election, he said: “We fashioned a tripartite campaign message and strategy message. Security, Economy and Corruption.  We would drive these three messages home as if with military artillery. However, we have only our leadership and strategic hammer.


“Still all of this would have been to no avail without the right candidate. Given his stature and reputation for integrity, honest dealing and patriotic commitment, there really was no other candidate to have carried the day, than then General Muhammadu Buhari.


“Yet, even with such a figure as our candidate, we foresaw the need to construct a public relations strategy to counter false accusations of religious intolerance and parochialism that would be hurled at him. We did this with great success because we prepared for these attacks beforehand.


“We established other democratic and leadership strategies for our success, details of which time would not permit me to reveal here. We did not have the vast war chest of the PDP. Our efforts had to be sharper and more compelling. We accomplished this task.


“We did not win the election by accident. I had studied the resulting and voting patterns of all the prior elections since 1999. Our team did an honest assessment and detailed assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and those of our opponents.


“To win, we knew the votes we needed and identified the likely places and demographic constituencies from which the bulk of those votes must come. We did not waste time chasing votes we would not get. We concentrated on our strengths and the other side’s weaknesses, realising that our defence must be as tight as if we are inside the War College here in Abuja.”


Tinubu commended the armed forces for the role played in stabilising the country. He said his opposition to the military ended when it stopped involving in politics.


Source: The Cable

NURTW, NACTOMORAS urge President Buhari to revert to old pump price of N87 per litre

National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners & Riders Association (NACTOMORAS) have urged the Federal Government to revert to the old pump price of N87 per litre of petrol.

They reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that it was the grassroots people that voted him into power and hence he should feel their pains “or another time is coming”.

The associations while making presentations yesterday before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the review of the pump price of petrol, headed by Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe, said in spite of the increases in petrol pump price, the country has ended up with “bad roads, power failure, unemployment, poverty, as well as medical care deterioration and high inflation of essential commodities”.

NURTW President Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin, who was represented by Mercy Ibeh of the union’s legal department, kicked against any planned hike in pump price and said the association rather preferred a downward review of the petrol price.

NACTOMORAS National President Alhaji Muhd Sani Hassan said: “We write to object, reject and disagree with any plan or move to increase the pump price of PMS fuel, without leniency, sympathy or consideration of the already depleted economic realities being experienced in the country.”

The association said hardship was being “meted out to millions of Nigerians, most especially our members, who are the grassroots transporters, with population of over 13,793,150 in the country”.
Hassan said of the fuel increments made by government since 1973, only the one of 1994 benefitted the masses through the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) projects.

“Therefore, if the government wanted to maintain its good name, it should abandon the idea of increase of the price and revert to the old price of N87.00 per litre.”


Soludo, Andy Uba, Ifeanyi Ubah vie for APC ticket in Anambra.

Charles Soludo, former CBN governor, and twelve other aspirants have indicated interest to contest for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election later this year.


Other contestants are Andy Uba, Ifeanyi Ubah, George Muoghalu, Barth Nwibe, Obinna Okonkwo and Paul Chukwuma.


The rest are Chike Obidigbo, Raph Okeke, Tony Nwoye, Uche Ekwunife, Obinna Uzor and Donatus Okonkwo.


Emeka Ibe, chairman of the party in the state, made this known to reporters in Awka, the state capital, on Tuesday.


Soludo, Ifeanyi Ubah, Andy Ubah have all contested for the governorship seat in the past, either on the PDP or Labour Party platforms, but failed.


Ibe added that there would be no automatic ticket for any aspirant. He said they would all participate in the state’s primary before a candidate would emerge.


“We will give all aspirants equal playing ground. There is no special interest in any aspirant,” he said.


“We will hold transparent primary for them because they are all qualified to unseat Gov. Willie Obiano.


“Any of them who emerges as our candidate in the state is capable of removing Obiano from office.”


He added that the party would embark on continuous membership registration exercise before the end of the month to accommodate those who want to join in the state.


However, Ibe said anybody with criminal records would not be allowed to join the party in the state.


He maintained that there was no zoning arrangement in the party, adding that new members would have equal rights as old ones.


Source: The Cable

Court Orders Release of Ex-NSA Dasuki Again

An Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and five others in the arm deal trial involving $2.1 billion.

Justice Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Mr. Dasuki on the ground that he was entitled to it and having been admitted to same since 2015 when the federal government brought criminal charges against him.

Mr. Dasuki and five others were re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf on the criminal charges that were transferred from Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court to the new court.

However after the 22 charges were read to the six defendants and all pleaded not guilty, counsel to Mr. Dasuki, Ahmed Raji, applied to the court to reaffirm the bail granted to the ex-NSA even though he has not been allowed to enjoy same since December 2015.

The counsel submitted that it was on record that the FCT High Court 24 admitted Mr. Dasuki on bail before he was illegally arrested and detained by the State Security Services (SSS).

Mr. Raji argued that with the transfer of the case from Justice Affen to Justice Baba Yusuf, the SSS had been separated from the matter, adding that the court record indicated that the ex-NSA was being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and not SSS.

The counsel further said that the illegal act of SSS should not be used to divest the court of its power to reaffirm the bail granted Mr. Dasuki earlier because he is entitled to it.

He urged Justice Baba Yusuf to adopt the bail conditions earlier granted Mr. Dasuki before Justice Affen and reaffirm same in the interest of justice.

The counsel argued that it is wrong of the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, to have objected to the reaffirmation of the bail condition on Mr. Dasuki.

He said that Mr. Dasuki has in his possession a judgment of the ECOWAS Court which last year set aside the unlawful detention of the Ex-NSA and also imposed a fine of N15,000,000 on the Federal Government as compensation to his client.

Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Lateef Fagbemi, who spoke as a friend of the court, argued that there was no dispute that Mr. Dasuki was granted bail but has not been released by the SSS to enjoy the bail.

The senior counsel described the action of SSS as most unfortunate and urged Justice Yusuf to resist the temptation of being drawn into the illegality of actions of the SSS on Mr. Dasuki.

The Federal Government Counsel, Mr. Jacobs, told the court that he had no objection to the affirmation of the bail earlier granted to five other defendants in the trial.

He however urged the judge not to make any pronouncement or order in respect of the bail for Mr. Dasuki since he had not been allowed to enjoy any bail.

“Court must not act in vain, there is no point making an order in vain. Dasuki has been in the custody of the DSS since 2015 and is still there till today,” he said.

However in his brief ruling, Justice Yusuf said that it was an undisputable fact that ex-NSA was granted bail in 2015 and that it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm the same bail irrespective of the action of another arm of the security agencies.

The judge adjourned trial in the matter to February 24, 2016.

Others charged along with Mr. Dasuki are former Finance Minister of State, Bashir Yuguda; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu; Dalhatu Investment; Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa.

They were charged with corruption and breach of trust contrary to Section 215 of the Penal Code and Section 17B of the EFCC Act 2004.




Okorocha Urges Igbos To Join APC.

The Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged his fellow citizens and Igbos in the south-east to register in large numbers with the All Progressives Congress (APC) during its ongoing nationwide registration of members.

The Governor made the call at a meeting with APC members and state development council members at the Sam Mbakwe executive chambers in the government house in Owerri, the state capital.


He said that the All Progressives Congress in Imo state was hoping to register not less than one million people into its fold so as to strengthen the party to give the necessary support to the APC-led federal government.


This, he said, would help the government to ensure that Nigerians continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.


“In the ongoing APC nationwide registration, we in Imo APC are targeting not less than one million people to register with APC.


“There is wisdom in joining the APC which is the ruling party. So I want to urge all Imolites and by extension the Igbos to join APC so we can attract more dividends of democracy to our people,” he said.


The Governor also commended the recent move by the former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and former minister, Jim Nwobodo who recently joined the All Progressives Congress from the Peoples Democratic Party.


“I want to commend former Senate President, Ken Nnamani for his recent move into APC, it is highly commendable. Ken Nnamani is a man I respect and for this, he has earned more of my respect,” the Governor said.


Source: Channels TV

Fayose lacks decorum & capacity to lead PDP Governors’ Forum – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State says Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State lacks decorum to function as the Chairman of Governors’ Forum of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).


APC made its stance known in a statement issued in Akure on Monday by its Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya.


“PDP is on a voyage of total destruction and abandonment with the emergence of uncultured governor like Mr Fayose that lacks decorum, whose past records, attitude and public utterance are seen as affront.


“It shows PDP is lacking in men and women of proven integrity with high level of mental alertness considering the enormous challenges facing our dear country as a result of the PDP’s 16 years of misrule.


“It is unfortunate that Fayose, who was alleged to have beaten up a Judge in his state, who is seen to be suffering from ‘diarrhea of the mouth’ could be allowed to lead PDP Governors’ Forum,’’ Mr. Adesanya said.


He said that the PDP was in comatose under the leadership of the outgoing Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, as the chairman of its governors’ forum


Mr. Adesanya advised the opposition party to criticise constructively in the interest of Nigerian democracy and to always propagate good leadership.


Source: NAN

Former Nigerian Minister, Joel Ikenya dumps PDP for APC

Joel Ikenya, a former Minister of Labour and Productivity, has announced his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr. Ikenya hails from Taraba and served in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He told journalists on Monday in Jalingo that his defection was informed by the numerous achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration.

He urged Nigerians especially those from the North-East, to key into the policies and programmes of the president for the socio-economic development of the country.

“My reasons for decamping from the PDP to pitched tent with the ruling party are based on the many achievements the president have recorded within his first one year in office.

“The success he achieved in restoring peace to the troublesome North-East zone alone is something we cannot shy away from no matter our political party differences.

“Buhari’s fight against corrupt practices is also one of the major factors that motivated me to dump my former political party to the ruling APC,” Mr. Ikenya said.

The former minister pledged the “unflinching support” of his and his supporters to the president to enable him (Buhari) lead the nation to greater heights.

“My supporters and I will support Mr President because a close look at his appointments will show you that no region benefited from his appointments like the North-East.

“I want to use this platform to call on citizens from the northeast region to put aside sentiments and support the president in reciprocity for all the good things he has done for us,” he said.

These are Boko Haram’s dying days, APC says.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the days of Boko Haram are numbered despite its recent attack on the University of Maiduguri.


On Monday, suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked a mosque in the university, killing five and injuring 17.


In a statement on Tuesday, Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesman of the party, said the attack on the university was a desperate attempt to remain in the country’s consciousness.


“The APC condoles with the families of victims of the bomb blasts, which occurred in a Mosque inside the University of Maiduguri on Monday, leading to the death of a professor of veterinary medicine, Aliyu Usman Mani, and four others,” Abdullahi said.


“The APC strongly condemns this cowardly act by Boko Haram, and we view this latest act of terror as another confirmation of the group’s desperation to remain in the national consciousness, having lost its former stronghold to the Nigerian army.


“Even as we mourn with fellow citizens who have fallen victims to the terrorists, we are consoled by the knowledge that Boko Haram’s days are numbered and these indeed are its dying days.


“We once again salute our gallant men in uniform for their heroic efforts and their invaluable sacrifice to our nation. We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping the promise that our Party made to Nigerians that we would end the insurgency and restore peace to the north-east of Nigeria.”


The party further assured Nigerians that with their support and prayers, the attacks by Boko Haram would soon be a thing of the past.

Senate denies plot to impeach Ike Ekweremadu

New Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan and Whip, Prof. Sola Adeyeye, yesterday refuted reports of alleged subterranean moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus to move against Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.

Speaking to newsmen when he led some principal officers to the party’s national secretariat on a courtesy call on the National Working Committee (NWC) members in Abuja, Lawan described his election as an elixir for stability within the Senate and the party.

Lawan, a representative of Yobe North, was last Tuesday picked by the caucus to replace Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC Borno South).

His words: “My election is a part of the yearning for party supremacy. The significance here is the unity and stability in the Senate, the unity of our party, and of course this will transform into the high level of productivity for our government.

“It will consolidate the unity and togetherness within our party and will consolidate unity of APC Senate Caucus and of course, we will now be operating on the same page.”

Adeyeye described the report as mere speculation, noting that such was not new in politics.

In the meantime, the reported call on Ekweremadu to jump ship in order to save his seat may have begun to bear the APC apart in his home state of Enugu.

While its state chairman, Mr. Ben Nwoye came out publicly yesterday to distance the party from a statement credited to its Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Kate Offor that the Deputy Senate President should stay put in the PDP, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, however, backed Offor.

Offor, had in a statement on Sunday in Enugu, urged Ekweremadu to remain in his party to “help clear the mess he contributed in creating there.”

But Nwoye told newsmen that the party was opened to all genuine democrats and progressives in the Southeast, adding that its three-week registration exercise in the zone was “open to all and sundry, including Ekweremadu without any tariff.”

He hinted that notable PDP leaders in the state, including former Senate President Ken Nnamani and erstwhile Speaker of the House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh, had joined the party.


Source: Guardian

Ekweremadu will not defect to APC to remain Deputy Senate President – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Thursday condemned the call on Ike Ekweremadu to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC, to retain the position of Deputy Senate President.

The PDP made the condemnation in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee, Dayo Adeyeye, on Thursday in Abuja.

The party said that its attention was drawn to a statement credited to Kabiru Marafa in which he advised Mr. Ekweremadu to defect to the APC in order to retain his position.

It described the call as unconstitutional, undemocratic, adding that the section of the 1999 Constitution which Mr. Marafa quoted as backing his advice to Ekweremadu was untrue.

Mr. Marafa was quoted as saying ‘I am using this medium to call on Ekweremadu to simply decamp. Section 68(G) of the 1999 Constitution captures this.’

“There is no section or clause of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) that provides that one must be a member of the ruling party before he could be elected into any position in the Senate or the House of Representatives,” Mr. Adeyeye said.

“Equally, it is very distasteful and uncharitable for any senator to stand on the floor of the hallowed chamber and ask his colleague to violate the Constitution by cross-carpeting from his own party to join the ruling party.

“It is Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Senate of the APC,’’ the PDP said.

It added that it was laughable for Mr. Marafa to cite the internal issues in the PDP as a reason for Ekweremadu to defect to the APC.

“For the umpteenth time, let us reiterate that there is no faction in the PDP.

“A party is only factionalized when its organs are in disarray, but this is different in the PDP where all the organs are intact, behind the National Caretaker Committee under the chairmanship of Sen. Makarfi.

“A mere rebellion by a small interest group within the party cannot be referred to factionalisation of the party, ‘’ the statement said.

It cautioned that any PDP member using the current leadership disagreement caused by the “rebellious group’’ to defect to another party was doing so at his or her peril.

It said that Mr. Marafa or any other member of the APC had no power to make such demands on a member of the PDP.

“Let us remind Sen. Marafa that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu was elected as Deputy President of Senate by majority votes from both the PDP and APC senators.

“Any attempt to remove Sen. Ekweramadu for being a member of the opposition party and not because of a constitutional breach or incompetence is a call for anarchy.’’

The PDP recalled that the current situation in the Senate where the Senate President and his deputy were from different parties should not continue to appear strange to anybody in a democratic system.

“For instance, in the Second Republic, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Edwin Umezuoke, was from opposition NPP while the Senate President was from the Ruling Party, the NPN.

“It is worthy of note that both of them worked harmoniously with the cooperation of the Executive in moving the country forward,’’ it recalled.

The party urged the National Assembly members to remain strong and united behind Ekweremadu with determination not to allow anybody to truncate the hard-earned democracy through undemocratic tendencies.

It also called on APC lawmakers in the National Assembly to work together with other lawmakers to protect and advance Nigeria’s democracy.

APC Women Leader accuses party official of corruption

The All Progressives Congress North-west zonal women leader, Aisha Kaita, has called for investigation of the zonal vice chairman, Inuwa Abdulkadir, for allegedly misusing party funds totaling N21 million and violating the party’s constitution.

She also asked for the immediate resignation of Mr. Abdulkadir from the top party position.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna on Wednesday, Mrs. Kaita accused Mr. Abdulkadir of insincerity in resolving the crisis in the Kano and Kaduna state branches of the party.

She said Mr. Abdulkadir was sabotaging the party in clandestine promotion of alleged presidential ambition of Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, ahead of 2019.

Mrs. Kaita urged the APC to thoroughly investigate the issues she had raised to salvage the party from imminent crisis. She vowed to tender evidence against Mr. Abdulkadir before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or an investigative panel of the party if called upon to do so.

The women leader absolved Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and former governor of Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso, of any role in her campaign against the zonal vice chairman.

“After carefully reading and digesting the zonal Vice Chairman’s vain attempt to rebut the above stated issues raised in my firs press conference, I once again feel indulged to call for this conference in order to set the records straight and redirect this whole matter to be focused on the allegations against the person of the zonal Vice chairman, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, which are not based on hearsay but facts”, she stated.

“The issues I raised against him are not a controversy between myself and the zonal Vice chairman, these are issues that are fundamental to the growth of internal democracy of our party as they border on total disregard for the provisions of the constitution of our party and misappropriation of the finances of the zonal office.”

Apart from the money she accused Mr. Abdulkadir of misusing, Mrs. Kaita also accused him of converting to personal use two of three vehicles donated to the zone by the party’s Presidential Campaign Council.

“Based on all the issues I raised, I am calling on our zonal Vice chairman, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, to immediately resign for an acting chairman to run the affairs of the party in the zone” Mrs. Kaita declared.

Mr. Abdulkadir was not immediately available to comment on the development.

ONGOING: Tinubu, Akande, others in Ibadan as APC South West stakeholders meet

Stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in the South West geo-political zone are currently meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

Among those who beat the time to arrive early at the meeting billed to take place at 1pm include former interim National Chairman of the party and former governor of Osun state, Chief Bisi Akande; Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Muhammed and his Finance counterpart, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

Others include the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Ogun state Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Osun state, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode who arrived about 12.50 pm.

Also attending the meeting include Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye; Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu. Governor Ibikunle Amosun, and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state have all arrived the venue of the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is yet to be revealed.

Ex-PDP governor Suswam allegedly set to join Kalu, Ifeanyi Ubah in APC

The former governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam, is set to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), The Guardian reports.

According to the report, sources claim that the former governor aims to actualize his senatorial ambition come 2019 on the platform of the APC.

A close ally to the ex-governor speaking on the condition of anonymity said: “We are not sure how the stalemate in the PDP will end up so we do not want to take chances that is why we have begun preparations to have a smooth sail in the forthcoming election.”

A former speaker of the State House of Assembly, David Iorhemba who is the national acting legal adviser of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP, has also admitted Suswam’s plans to leave the PDP.

Although he noted that the former governor is bound to leave the PDP, because of its unending crisis that has put the party in a disadvantaged position in the forthcoming elections, the former speaker dispelled insinuations that Suswam is defecting to the ruling APC.

According to Iorhemba, Suswam may be heading to the Action Democratic Party (ADP).


Source: NAIJ

“I was praying when I was removed” says Senator Ali Ndume

Ali Ndume, former majority leader, says he was slyly removed from his position.

Ndume said he had left the chamber to pray and handed over to Bala Na-Allah, only to return in 10 minutes to find out he had been ousted.

“I was leading the business of the senate and when it was 12.45, as usual, I asked my deputy to sit in for me while I go to pray,” he said.

“On coming back, I discovered that the session was over and one of your colleagues [referring to journalists] approached me and said ‘leader, what happened?’ I said ‘what happened?’ And he said I had been removed.

“I didn’t know that there was change of leadership because I was not there. I went for prayers and I didn’t know what actually happened and I cannot say much than this.”

Ndume’s removal was announced on the floor of the senate by Bukola Saraki, senate president, who read a letter from the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus.

“This is to inform your excellency and the senate that after several meetings, upon due deliberations and consultations, the APC caucus of the senate hereby wish to notify you of the change in the leadership of the senate. The new senate leader is senator Ahmed Lawan, representing Yobe north,” Saraki said.

Ndume and Saraki took opposite sides when the senate declined to confirm the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). While the senate, led by Saraki, declined to confirm Magu, Ndume told the media that this was not the case

Lawan, the new majority leader, said: “I did not see it coming but with God nothing is impossible.

“Our colleagues in the APC caucus decided to effect the change. I thank God and my colleagues for the privilege giving to me. I will do my utmost best to ensure that the Senate continues to work for the benefit of Nigerians.”

“We’ll vote Buhari in 2019 but APC will never have breathing space”, Umahi says.

Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state, says President Muhammadu Buhari has led well, so the Ebonyi people will vote him if he contests in the 2019 presidential election.

Umahi, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Buhari had won the hearts of Ebonyi people and had become the only recognisable figure in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The governor said this when a delegation from Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo federal constituency as well as leaders from Onicha-east constituency paid him a New Year homage in Ohaozara local government area.

Umahi berated Ebonyi APC chieftains, saying they did not care about the welfare of the people.

“I have always said that APC is one man and that’s the president. The president is a man with good character and that’s why we are supporting him and he is supporting Ebonyi state,” Umahi said.

“Ebonyi state is very dear in the heart of the president but not in the hearts of the masquerades who have not given anybody chalk. If APC will get a vote in Ebonyi state, it will get vote by the President alone and nobody else.”

He said besides Buhari, the APC and its chieftains would never have breathing space in Ebonyi.

“Our people doing handiwork have refused to produce brooms again,” he said.

“When you have broom in Ebonyi state, where will you sweep? Is there any place to be swept? Is Ebonyi not clean? Is Ebonyi not neat?

“There is nothing to sweep. They have to take it (broom) to places that are dirty and continue their sweeping. But in Ebonyi state and because of the kind of people in APC, our people doing handiwork have refused to produce brooms again. So, there are no brooms in Ebonyi State because we have made everywhere to be very clean.”

2017: FG to Award Oil Blocks, MarginalFfields, Pass PIB – Kachikwu

The Federal Government has unveiled a number of plans for the petroleum industry under the current fiscal year, which include conducting a new licensing round for the award of oil blocks and allocation of marginal fields in order to raise revenue for the country.

Besides, it promised that the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has been renamed; Petroleum Industry Governance Bill will be passed this year, while also reducing petrol consumption in Nigeria from an estimated 50 million to 28 million litres daily, thereby saving about N3.2 billion daily from unaccounted volumes.

Given the reluctance by the international finance community to grant Nigeria the much-sought after loans amid dwindling oil proceeds, to enable the government execute its socio-economic programmes, the current administration need to rely on other ways and means to raise fund domestically.

Licensing rounds are a veritable avenue to raise quick funds for the government, which award a large expanse of land/oil block to exploration and production companies while also expanding the country’s production capacities, which is also.

The last administration had tried to execute a licensing round, but could not pull it off due to lack of confidence in the process, as it was feared that the oil block usually awarded to oil drilling and exploration companies would end up in the hands of political cronies, who will go hawking the licences.

If the plan works, the country will be on the way to meeting new production targets of 4 million barrels daily and 40 billion oil reserves, which it had consistently missed since 2010.

The PIB on its part is expected to form the nucleus of Nigeria’s aspiration to becoming one of the most industrialised nations in the world by the Year 2020, by boosting investment opportunities in the oil and gas industry, which had hitherto been stalled due to the non-passage of the Bill.

The Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed of the plans in a podcast posted on his Facebook page titled: “Nigeria Petroleum Sector 2017 Outlook,” said the oil and gas sector is expected to run in ‘rocket pace’ this year.

He added that the areas of fiscal policy in the Petroleum Governance Bill is being finalised and would be looked at by the Executives and pushed out as the PIB.

He stated: “We have so much to do. We should be able to gazette our oil and gas policies and pass the PIB. We are going to accelerate Federal Government revenues by looking at more areas where the government can make more money.

“There is going to be improvement in royalty collection, improvement in early renewal of leases and every other area where we feel there is a gap.”

Kachikwu said government also hoped to finalise all the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) it entered into with China and India on crude oil export this year, adding that it is planning some road shows in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, to attract more investors into the oil industry.

He noted that the industry is expected to witness more activities in the year, while also reaffirming government’s commitment to providing long-term sustainable policies that would move the industry forward.

He said: “We have embarked on market liberalisation in the downstream sector. For the first time in over two decades, petrol is available all over the country and selling at the same price in all the states. We did not have the people in the Eastern parts of the country buying at a higher price while the people in the West buy at lower rate. It has been available all over the country at the same price per litre.

“We noticed that the consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has shifted from over 50 million litres a day to about 28 million per day. This means we have been able to take away unaccounted fraud impacted volume of petrol, which is nearly 40 per cent of the country’s consumption.”

On the industry stability, he said Government will continue to look out for policies that would include a well-managed security apparatus that would bring lasting peace in the Niger Delta, adding that the engagement between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants has reduced the level of unrest in the region.

This, he said, led to an increase in the country’s crude oil production from 1.3 million barrels per day recorded during the unrest to 1.9 million barrels daily.

News Alert!!! Senate Rejects Closure of Abuja Airport

The Senate has kicked against the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and diversion of flights to the Kaduna airport.

The lawmakers also summoned the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, service chiefs and other stakeholders in the aviation industry, giving a 48-hour deadline.

The senate, after a lengthy discussion on the matter during plenary on Tuesday, January 10, resolved to have the minister come around to explain why the airport had to be closed down for the repairs.

Details later…

Fresh Trouble Brews As Ali Ndume Insists He Remains Senate Leader

Trouble appears to be brewing in the Senate as Senator Ali Ndume who was Tuesday removed as the leader of the senate insist he maintains his position in the upper legislative chamber.


The senate had Tuesday removed Ndume and appointed Senator Ahmed Lawan representing Yobe North in the Senate as the new senate leader.


Ndume described as laughable, the report of his removal as the Senate leader, insisting he still remain the leader of the Upper Legislative Chamber.


Ndume, in a press briefing on Tuesday shortly after the news of his removal broke, said he is unaware of his removal by the APC Senate Caucus.

APC Plotting To Remove Me, Says Fayose.

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose yesterday raised the alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is planning to remove him from office him before the expiration of his tenure in October, next year.

The governor complained to the Acting Chief Justice, Justice Walter Onnoghen, that the ruling party was planning to compromise a section of the Judiciary and muzzle democracy to oust him from office.

Fayose said the essence of the plot was to silence him as the voice of the opposition, following his “refusal” to defect to the APC.

Vowing to intensify his criticism of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, he said: “I refused to be silenced. I will never be silenced.”

The governor told reporters in Lagos that APC chieftains were making subterranean moves to manipulate and compromise some judges to remove him through the back door.

He said this followed their failure to displace him through the ballot box, the election petitions tribunal, the Appeal and Supreme courts.

Fayose listed the arrowheads of the alleged plot as Oni and the Minister of Steel and Solid Minerals Kayode Fayemi.

He added: “The duo had boasted that ‘there is no going back on the latest plans to subvert the will of the people of Ekiti freely given, wrest the governance of Ekiti from me at all costs before the expiration of my tenure in October 2018 through orchestrated but dubious legal process. They will thereby render nugatory the sacred mandate given to me when I won in all the 16 local governments while the then incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi recorded zero.”

The governor accused Oni and Fayemi, who he called governorship aspirants, of having the blessing of the Presidency.

Fayose said: “A concocted fresh suit is being rehashed. It is to be filed against me any moment from now on the same old allegation that have been trashed all the way from the tribunal to the Supreme Court. But, this time, the plotters plan to procure the service of a compromised or malleable judge to get self-serving Jankara and kangaroo judgment with the intention of having the Supreme Court reverse itself on the June 2014 Ekiti election.”

The governor said Oni and Fayemi also boasted that they had assurances from some judges on the proposed suit, which would be hinged on the report of “a useless, senseless and orchestrated military report not known to the electoral law”.

Describing himself as a leader at the receiving end of judicial irresponsibility in the past, the governor urged the Acting Chief Justice to “take note of judicial pronouncements by courts of concurrent jurisdiction and scathing remarks of appellate courts on how a judge had been used in the past by anti-democratic forces to endanger democracy and engage in deleterious miscarriage of justice”.

He said the Judiciary should not succumb to devious plots to undermine its independence and integrity while undermining its good name and hard-earned reputation.

Fayose urged Justice Onnoghen to ensure that judges are not enlisted into the “diabolical act” allegedly designed to harass and intimidate him as an opposition leader.

He vowed to remain an opposition voice, adding that a democracy without a virile opposition is a prelude to dictatorship.

Fayose said: “I express the confidence that Justice Onnoghen and the Judiciary would not only refuse to fall for APC’s cheap and pedestrian blackmail, but would also resolutely and confidently defend the hallowed grounds of the Judiciary and secure them from the desecration by the anti-democratic forces.

“I also have an unflinching faith in the Omnipotence of God, who rules in the affairs of men.  The battle, like the others before it, is not mine but God’s. He will fight for me, like he has always done and He will give me victory.”

Dr Fayemi’s Special Assistant on Media Mr Yinka Oyebode said he would rather not dignify Fayose’s ranting with a response.

Oyebode said: “It would appear that Governor Fayose wakes up daily in search of new controversies and make one spurious allegation after another. It does not really matter to him whether such allegations are reasonable, logical or sensible.

“This allegation is not only irresponsible, it is quite unfair to the two former governors of the state.

“One is not surprised at this because under Fayose falsehood has been elevated to the level of statecraft, sustained by machinery of state.

“My advice to him is: Let the governor go and honour the promises he made to the Ekiti electorate. Let him pay workers their salaries, take governance more seriously and make the state safe for lives, property and investments. If he can do these, then he needs not fear no one.

“However, this is certainly a poorly contrived alibi for his ineptitude and apparent low capacity for the serious business of governance.

“It is purely a cheap blackmail that will not fly.”

I won’t dignify your rantings – Fayemi

In his response, minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi has said that he would not dignify Ekiti state Governor Ayodele Fayose’s rantings with a response.

“It is simply a case of the wicked running when no one pursues,” Special Assistant on Media to Fayemi, Mr Yinka Oyebode, said.

“It would appear, Governor Fayose wakes up daily in search of new controversies and making one spurious allegation after another.

” And it does not really matter to him whether such allegations are reasonable, logical or sensible.

“This allegation is not only irresponsible, it is quite unfair to the two former governors of the state.

“And one is not surprised at this, because under Fayose falsehood has been elevated to the level of statecraft, sustained by machinery of state.

“My advice to him is: Let the governor go and honour the promises he made to the Ekiti electorate (IF HE EVER MADE ANY). Let him pay workers their salaries, take governance more seriously and make the state safe for lives, property and investments. If he can do these, then he needs not fear no one.

“However, this is certainly a poorly contrived alibi for his ineptitude and apparent low capacity for the serious business of governance.

“It is purely a cheap blackmail that will not fly.”

He is raising false alarm – Oni

On his part, former governor Segun Oni accused Governor Ayo Fayose of raising false alarm over allegations that he (Oni) is part of a plot to compromise the Judiciary to sack the governor from office.

Oni, who is the Deputy National Chairman (South) of All Progressives Congress (APC), described Fayose as a comedian who will not stop entertaining Nigerians with wild allegations.

The former governor said the governor’s latest allegation showed the deep-seated fear agitating his mind.

Speaking through his media aide, Ayo Akinyemi, the APC chieftain said he had the utmost respect for the Judiciary and would not bring it into ridicule and opprobrium.

Oni said the purported meeting where he and another former governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, boasted to APC members of the intent to use the Judiciary to sack Fayose only existed in the governor’s imagination.

He said: “Fayose himself knows that no Judiciary can remove him now because he enjoys immunity until the expiration of his tenure on October 15, 2018. He can only be investigated. So, what is Fayose talking about?

“Perhaps Fayose is afraid of facing the law after his immunity might have expired next year. That is why he is labouring to spill the beans in anticipation of his doom. He is a drowning man trying to clutch the last straw and smear anybody.

“In a normal setting, should Fayose have contested for governorship in the first instance? This is a man having corruption cases hanging on his neck and was facing trial in the court. This is a man accused of complicity in murder incidents that happened during his first tenure.

“It is unfortunate that our system allows a character like that to run for the exalted office of governor.

“With series of allegations coming out on how funds meant for the purchase of arms were diverted to his campaign, as revealed by his man Friday, Dr. Tope Aluko, and confirmed by Musiliu Obanikoro in his evidence before the court…

“Fayose should stop raising false alarm, even though he has a date with the law at the end of his tenure, to answer for the past crimes and the well documented ones he has committed in his present tenure.”

APC: Payment of N5,000 stipend shows Buhari’s commitment to transformation

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the payment of N5,000 stipend to poor and vulnerable Nigerians has proven the commitment of the Buhari administration to fulfilling the party’s promise of true transformation.

On Monday, the federal government had announced that it had started paying N5,000 monthly to the poorest and the most vulnerable Nigerians through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes (SIP).

In a follow-up statement on Tuesday, Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesman of the party, urged Nigerians to have “confidence in the ability of President Buhari to design programmes and policies that will provide succour to the masses”.

“The party notes that with the commencement of payment of N5000 to one million poor Nigerians through the conditional cash transfer scheme of the government, the Buhari administration has demonstrated its commitment to the party’s change manifestos which is couched on true transformation,” the statement read.

“We recall that as part of SIP, the government has begun implementing three other major campaign promises of the party designed to provide jobs and lift the most vulnerable Nigerians out of poverty.

“These include; the N-Power volunteer corps which will provide jobs to 500,000 young Nigerian graduates; the national homegrown feeding programme which has commenced in selected states, and the government enterprise and empowerment programme (GEEP), which provides soft loans ranging from N10,000 to 100,000 to artisans, traders, market women, among others.

“The APC views these achievements as historic and unprecedented in the history of Nigeria even as it assures Nigerians that the government is committed and working hard to make significant progress on the economy, and other sectoral areas.”

The party further implored Nigerians to support and pray for the Buhari administration “so that our dream of a more prosperous, secure and stable nation will be achieved”.

Atiku Will Be Forced Out Of APC, Tinubu May Be Poisoned – Prophet

The head of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, Prophet Emmanuel Omale, has given series of revelations concerning the new year saying that God told him that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, will “be forced out of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)”, even as he added that the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, “may be poisoned.” even as he called for fervent prayers.

Reading out 2017 prophecies and vision God showed him in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Prophet Omale, also said that if “President Muhammadu Buhari chooses the Mandela option, (that is, not to contest again in 2019), a very powerful man will be anointed by him from North West to rule after him.” 

He also revealed that if fervent prayers were not said, the Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose “may face impeachment.”

He said God told him that the proposed Mega Party will not come to reality in 2017 added that aside two People Democratic Party (PDP) governors “cross carpeting to APC,” another “South-South  strong man who rose out of the walls will join the ruling party.”

On corruption, Prophet Omale said 2017 will witness the anti-corruption hammer landing on three serving ministers in President Buhari’s cabinet.

On economy, the man of God said Dollar will move from last year prediction of $350 to $570, even predicted that “No oil in commercial quantity will be found in the North, NNPC should seek the Divine Hand of God to know where to find oil in the North.

“I see peace in Niger Delta, but federal government should make peace with former President Jonathan and his family to sustain that peace.”

While calling on the country to “pray against a plane crash in early 2017”, he also warned that prayer should be said “against Boko Haram efforts to create mayhem in Abuja: residents of Gwagwalada should be vigilant.

January 27th keep ringing bells  in my head, let us pray for ourselves, for our country, we deserve political stability to enable economic prosperity. Let us pray! There will be no shedding of blood.

“Let us pray for the health of a former President to avert  bereavement.

“I see fire outbreak in Lagos and Abuja markets.

“I see changes in INEC Leadership

“Taraba should pray to avert a very severe Ethno-religious crisis.

“A very important Emir should pray against bereavement.

“Nigeria should pray to avert deadly inter tribal clash in Lagos state.

“A former governor should pray against sudden death.

“I see massive oil spillage around Kogi that will lead to seven days fire.

“Three banks will collapse.

“A service chief of one of the armed forces  will be dropped.”

On international level, the prophet said he “foresee a massive typhoon in Thailand that may be worse than the last tsunami.

“The new Ghana President-elect should pray against liver and internal organ sickness after inauguration.

“Yahaya Jammeh will hand over to President-elect Barrow.

“Robert Mugabe may not survive 2017.

“Jacob Zuma may still be in trouble, adding that “big tragedy will happen in China.”

“The English Queen should pray against life threatening health challenges.

On sports, he said a “famous Nigerian Athlete should pray against injury that may end his career.”

The Prophet however admonished that some of these danger can be averted if serious prayers are done.

He also encouraged people to be fervent in prayers and to have strong faith in God saying “with God all things are possible.”

We’re Ready for Dialogue, Niger Delta Militants Reply Buhari

NIGER Delta militants on Tuesday expressed their readiness to engage the Federal Government in dialogue to ensure that peace reigned in the oil-rich region.

The militants said the decision to embrace dialogue was reached after a meeting held on Tuesday under the auspices of the Coalition of Niger Delta Groups.

The militants, who made their position known in a statement via an electronic mail to newsmen, said they had no personal grudge against President Muhammadu Buhari and were ready to work together with his administration to make Nigeria better.

President Buhari had on Sunday called on the militants to come forward for dialogue over the Niger Delta crisis.

The leader of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, General John Duku; General Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers, Commander Henry Okon Etete of the Niger Delta Peoples Fighters and Commander Asukwo Henshaw, the spokesperson for the Bakassi Freedom Fighters who signed the statement, agreed to embrace peace.

“We wish to assure Mr. President that the Niger Delta militants and the people are 100 per cent ready for dialogue. We have no personal grudge against him and his government and we promise to work together to make Nigeria better,” the agitators said.

The militants commended President Buhari for calling on the Niger Delta militants to negotiate with the Federal Government.

They, however, condemned the call by the Senate for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr. Babachir Lawal, saying such a call was not in the interest of the country.

Explaining that they had uncovered a plot by some politicians to sponsor militants to protest for the removal of Lawal, the militants warned that they would resist any attempt to sack the SGF.

“We strongly condemn the recent call for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the Senate. The call on Mr. President to remove the SGF is uncalled for, unpatriotic and not in the interest of the nation.

“The allegation levelled against Mr. Lawal is baseless, without facts and the handiwork of saboteurs, who are planning to bring down and destroy this government by all means, knowing very well that the SGF is the engine room of this government, hard working, 100 per cent loyal to the President and a threat to some self-centred politicians.

“It is on record that the SGF has resigned his position as the Managing Director of the company (his accusers talked about) as soon as he was appointed as the SGF.

“He neither presided over nor acted on behalf of the company anymore. However, a Senate committee refused to invite the SGF for public hearing because they know what they were up to and must deliver based on the directive from their paymasters,” the statement read.

The agitators stated that they were aware of plans to move millions of naira into the Niger Delta to mobilise some youths and militants to protest against the SGF, using some powerful governors in the oil-rich region.

“The masses will rise against APC-led government in 2017”, Governor Fayose predicts.

Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose has predicted a tumultuous 2017 for Nigeria, noting that the year would see an uprising against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government due to economic hardship.

“2017 will be a defining year for Nigeria as there will be major revolution and uprising against the Federal Government because of economic hardship,” Fayose said in a statement on Friday.

While he acknowledges the government’s effort at boosting agricultural sector, Fayose said: “there will be no solution to power problem as power generation will drop to all time low.”

Fayose warned against trifling with his ominous projections for 2017, especially since up to 9% of what he predicted for 2016.

“I predicted 20 things that will be experienced this year 2016. Almost 90 percent of what the Holy Spirit led me to predict came to pass,” he said.

According to the governor, $1 would exchange for N600 at some point next year. He also said the “APC-led Federal Government will still not have a solution to the economic problems of the country as the economy will move from recession to depression.

He claimed about four ministers will be sacked and that there will be more pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

Other predictions as offered by Fayose are:

  • Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) will absolve Senate President Bukola Saraki.
  • Crisis in the APC will deepen as former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will officially show intention to leave the party and declare his intention to vie for the office of the president in 2019.
  • A former Head of State/President may pass on.
  • A new (major) party that will wrestle power from the APC will emerge.
  • More Shi’ite Muslims will be killed and Federal Government will not release the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
  • Disobedience to court order and abuse of human rights will continue.
  • Hardship will be more as poverty will continue to ravage the country.
  • The academic community will further lose confidence in the APC-led Federal Government approach to the country’s economic and political challenges.
  • Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano will be re-elected.
  • $29.9 Billion Loan: Federal Government will find it difficult to source the loan.
  • Magu may face prosecution.
  • There will be boost in agriculture.
  • Haliburton gate may still be revisited.
  • Performance of the Federal Government 2017 Budget will be the worst in the history of Nigeria.

CAN slams appointment of Emefiele as Islamic liquidity corporation chairman


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday condemned the appointment of the governor of Nigeria’s central bank as leader of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILMC).

In a statement by CAN’s president, Samson Ayokunle, the association described the appointment of Godwin Emefiele as the IILMC chairman, as unconstitutional and totally unacceptable.

According to CAN, the government’s decision to accept the appointment amounted to denouncing Nigeria as a secular state, in negation of section 10 of the 1999 constitution.

“There have been reports that the IILMC recently appointed the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele as its Chairman during its 17th Governing Board meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Section 10 states that The Government of the Federation or a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion. This action by Nigeria’s government is in clear negation of the constitution, especially this section,” the statement said.

The association re-emphasised its earlier allegation that the Nigerian government plans to make the country an Islamic state.

“What is Nigeria doing in Islamic and Shariah compliant organization? Who authorized the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to join this organization? What provision of our constitution supports our membership of a religious association as a secular state?

“When did the National Assembly pass the law to do away with our secular status? When did our Constitution change to allow this alliance that seems to portray Nigeria as Islamic? Is the National Assembly aware of all the treaties regarding these Islamic organizations to which Nigeria is now a member?

“Do we need to repeat our concern that almost all the heads of security paramilitary agencies in Nigeria today are Muslims as if Christians have become second class citizens or rather lack competent officers to in charge! Has Nigeria become an Islamic state?,” CAN queried.

CAN said the situation goes against the plans of Nigeria’s founding fathers, adding that the association’s concerns do not imply that it has any thing against Nigerian Muslims.

“This is not the Nigeria dreamt of by our founding fathers and it is high time the government woke up to its constitutional responsibilities.

“Christians have equal rights with our Muslim counterparts since the 1999 Constitution recognizes the multiplicity of religions and we will no longer pretend as if all is well with Nigeria.
“Let it be stressed here that we love our Muslim brothers and sisters in this nation and we are aware that we cannot do without one another.

“However, we need to drum it loud to the ears of this present administration to always consider our plural state in terms of ethnicity and religion and ensure balance not only on the issue of appointments but on other issues which would continue to portray the government as being partisan towards one particular religion.”

Mr. Emefiele was appointed leader of the IILMC on December 15 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
As stated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, on its website, “IILMC is an international institution established by central banks’ monetary authorities and multilateral organizations to create and issue short-term Shari’ah-compliant financial instruments to facilitate effective cross-border Islamic liquidity management. By creating more liquid Shari’ah-compliant financial markets for institutions offering Islamic financial services (IIFS), the IILMC aims to enhance cross-border investment flows, international linkages and financial stability.

The body’s major mandates include developing a robust Islamic liquidity management as a catalyst for cross-border financial linkages and facilitating effective cross-border liquidity management instruments for institutions that offers Islamic financial series.

The organisation is also charged with the responsibility of enabling a future global finance industry with greater connectivity, stability and sophistication.

Ekweremadu Blasts FG: “Obey Court Order, Release Nnamdi Kanu”

Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu on Thursday in Enugu charged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to show regard to rule of law.

Ekweremadu stated this in his speech at the South-East Economic and Security Summit, where he chided the government for not releasing detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

He said it was not in the interest of the country for the government to show disregard to orders of court.

“We must give everybody his due; if the court says somebody should be released from detention, government should comply with such order.

“This reminds me of the continuous detention of Nnamdi Kanu; whatever is his offence, he is still presumed innocent until found guilty by the court. He must have his day in court and government should obey court order and release him.”

Ekweremadu equally called on the Federal Government to pursue an inclusive government, stressing “issue of inclusivity borders me a lot; it is very important because as I speak today, no Igbo man is at the commanding level of the Security Agencies.

“What this means is that no Igbo man attends the Security Council Meeting; no Igbo man sits where the security of this country is discussed.

“I must say that if any part of the country unjustly treated, we cannot think of peace”, he noted.

The Deputy Senate President equally
called for restructuring of the country and
establishment of state police, stating that “a unified system of economy is not going to work.”

I spent N54.762 billion on roads in Ondo in 8 years – Mimiko

The outgoing Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, has said his administration spent a total of N54.76 billion on road construction in the eight years of his administration.

He said the amount was besides outstanding financial commitments to contractors handling various road projects in the state.

Mr. Mimiko has been largely criticised by opposition parties for failing to provide extensive road infrastructure for the people, particularly those linking rural communities.

They had cited potholes along roads in Akure despite huge funds available to the government in the last eight years.

The parties, especially the All Progressives Congress which won the November governorship election, made road construction and rehabilitation as one of its campaign focus.

However, Mr. Mimiko stated on Thursday at the official commissioning of NEPA -Arakala Road Project, Bus Shelters and Terminals in Akure, that his administration had performed well above his predecessors in the area of road construction.

The governor revealed that the Arakala dualisation which was being commissioned ,was to be undertaken alongside with the dualisation of Oba- Adesida road in 1977,but was jettisoned for lack of political will to relocate the ancient buildings, shrines and artefacts along the corridors of this project.

Mr. Mimiko noted that therefore pegged the developmental stride for over 30 years as successive administrations did not proceed with it.

Although NEPA-Arakale road and other projects commissioned had been completed since 2013 and 2014, the commissioning barely two months to the end of his tenure may be a way to highlight his achievements ahead of the governor’s handing over.

“A total number of 439 houses were enumerated, and compensation totalling N987,358,985 only was paid to the affected landlords, to successfully dualise the Arakale road,” he said.

“We are proud to be part of history and a government that benchmarked good road infrastructure, consistent street light, consistent bus shuttle facility, geometric increase of dualised roads from 2 to 8 while another one is just commencing at Ikare Akoko.

“I wish to emphasize at this junction that while we were working on this road, we were also fixing other roads simultaneously especially within the Akure metropolis.”

Mr. Mimiko however appealed to the people of the state to see the roads as a collective heritage that should be protected by all.

Addressing the gathering earlier, the Commissioner for Works, Gboye Adegbenro, stressed the fact that successive administrations had tried since 1976 to dualise the roads, but found it impossible due to the opposition of the landlords and traditional chiefs.

“The road is home to ancient shrines and sites revered by the Akure people,” he said, noting that the sacredness of the road accounted for the delays in constructing it.

“Also, no provision for walkways and parking lot along the road resulting in heavy human traffic, coupled with shops extending so close to the road.”

“1100 by 600x150mm thick cover drain of 4.8km length was constructed for provision of adequate drainage system and to serve as pedestrian walkways along both sides of the road,” Mr. Adegbenro said.

“And intervals service ducts were constructed for service lines that may likely be drawn along the corridor in future; 200mm thick stone base and 90mm thick asphalt was laid on road surface to accommodate heavy axis loads.”

Other facilities commissioned include 14 bus shelters, two bus terminals, and three parking lots of 1000 vehicles capacity, which were constructed to curtail traffic congestion on the road.

“Illumination on the road in the night was also taken care by constructing bright street light installed along the concrete median of the road,” he added.

Fear of mass defection looms in Enugu PDP as President Buhari visits.

There are strong indications that a mass defection capable of impacting on the political dominance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State may happen soon.

The Guardian gathered over the weekend that some prominent PDP politicians in the state led by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani are on the verge of concluding arrangements to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) hopefully by January next year.

Sources claimed that the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state today would be used to further cement the emerging relationship as he is billed to meet with members of the party and those intending to join in the state.

Majority of those said to be talking with the national leadership of the APC are persons believed to have played prominent roles in the state during the immediate past administration of Sullivan Chime including former members of the National Assembly, former State House of Assembly members as well as those who served as cabinet members in the administration, among others.

Nnamani had earlier in the year disclosed that he was quitting PDP because the platform had abandoned “the path of its noble vision and values”, stressing that “the PDP as present is not the party I joined years ago to help change my country”.

Although, he had since then not announced his new party, his romance with the presidency clearly signposted that he would likely pitch tent with the APC should current discussions which sources said, “Is almost concluded.”

It was gathered that those itching to defect to the APC are allegedly disenchanted with the style of leadership of the party, which had shut some of them out of the scheme of things in the state.

For instance, they are said to be pointing at the recently held ward, local and state congresses in the state in which many of them were allegedly not allowed to make input or make recommendations for appointment into the party hierarchy.

Former governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo; former Senator, Fidelis Okoro; Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu; as well as Mrs. Dorothy Nwodo, are among prominent politicians that have joined the APC in the state.

The development is said to be unsettling the PDP, as there are heightened fears that the move could threaten the chances of the PDP in the 2019 general elections in the state.

Efforts to get the comments of the State Chairman of the PDP, Augustine Nnamani on the development proved abortive, but the immediate past Publicity Secretary of the party, Dr. Okey Eze stated that nothing has happened to threaten the political dominance of the PDP in Enugu and even beyond 2019.

He said that PDP has remained formidable and that her dominance in Enugu politics was based on the confidence the people reposed on it as a party they could always trust, explaining that the party had done things according to its guidelines.

He said: “Those who have left the party in the state have not communicated us that they are leaving. But these are big time politicians whom you may not know where they are until the chips are down. I want to assure you that PDP is Enugu state and Enugu is PDP. We have been in this business since 1999 and no other party has won Enugu and till thy kingdom come, Enugu will remain PDP. The highest political office holder in PDP is from Enugu state. PDP has never failed the citizens of this state and therefore they have absolute confidence in PDP. So many had left before now and they later came back. PDP will continue to exist in Enugu state and will certainly retain the state in 2019”.

Wike sets up parallel judicial commission of inquiry to investigate election violence

Barely 24 hours after the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the panel constituted by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Idris Ibrahim, to investigate the violence that marred the December 10 legislative rerun in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday set up a parallel judicial commission of inquiry to undertake same task.


A communication issued by the secretary to the state government (SSG), Kenneth Kobani, said the panel would be inaugurated today in Port Harcourt.


It named Justice Chinwendu Nwogu as chairman while Mrs. Grace Akpughunum-Okwulehie, Prof. Okene O.V., Anthony Uzoma Ozurumba, Rev. Canon Hossanna Nnaewi and Ekeh C.B. are members. The chief state counsel, Alphonso Sibi, is to serve as secretary.


Meanwhile, the All Progress Congress (APC) in the state has urged the governor and his party to submit to the probe by the federal authority, stating that the constitution was very clear on the way out when a state law conflicts with federal’s.

New Whistle Blowing Policy: Nigerians to Make Money when They Expose Corruption- Kemi Adeosun

The Federal Government has approved a new policy on whistle blowing that aims to encourage Nigerians to report financial and other related crimes to relevant authorities.

The highlight of the policy is that whistleblowers whose revelations lead to recovery of money will be entitled to as much as 5 per cent of the recovered sum.

The new policy was approved Wednesday at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council , chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari inside the Council Chamber of the Aso Rock Villa.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who announced the new policy to State House correspondents, said it is being put in place “in conjunction with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice”.

She said the policy is a stop gap initiative until the National Assembly formally passes a law on whistle blowing.

She said the new programme encourages Nigerians with information on financial crimes to disclose it.
She said the aim is to strengthen the fight against corruption by the Buhari administration.

She said anyone who provides information leading to the recovery of fund will be entitled to not more than five per cent of the recovered sum.
Ms. Adeosun said the government will set up a website and provide a phone number and email for people to use.

She said anonymity and protection of whistleblowers will also be guaranteed.

Ondo election: Akeredolu commends Jegede, Oke for conceding defeat.

Ondo State Governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu has praised his opponents at the election for not challenging his victory at the court.

Akeredolu was declared winner of the governorship election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Two of his major opponents, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) did not

file petitions at the Election Petition Tribunal within 21 days they are required to do so.

Akeredolu while speaking at his hometown Owo, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State said the election commended both candidates.

He said, “I have to praise my other contestants, especially, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede and Mr. Olusola Oke. I am sure that they have seen, as senior lawyers, that we are in a position to accept the result of an election, having assessed all the parameters, we believe the election was free and fair and I want to believe that their attitude is worthy of note and all of us, at least should try to emulate that in subsequent elections.

“They must have weighed all the options that there must have been substantial compliance to electoral acts by deciding not to challenge the result, that is a decision that is worthy of note and I want to thank them.”

Magu, DSS, Nigerian Senate and Buhari’s Anti-corruption War – By Chido Onumah

There is serious doubt about APC and Buhari’s change mantra but nowhere is this apprehension more critical than on the issue of the war against corruption. This will be a true test for President Buhari’s anti-corruption credentials. There are two options open to him: re-submit Magu’s name for confirmation or allow him stay on as acting chairman of EFCC.

There are very few moments in a nation’s history that can equate the infamy that took place at the Nigerian Senate on Thursday, December 15, 2016. Of course, this is Nigeria, where infamous acts by those who have purloined our country are an everyday occurrence.

Two days ago, after months of prevarication, the Nigerian Senate, one half of the National Assembly that was described as a den of thieves and “unarmed robbers” by ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, finally summoned the shameless audacity to “reject” the nomination of Ibrahim Mustapha Magu as the chairman of Nigeria’s foremost anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Anyway who didn’t expect that outcome must be from Mars.

In a sentence, that despicable act was a coup against the long-suffering people of Nigeria; a clear attempt by a self-absorbed and rapacious elite to continue to reap the fruits of corruption. The elite capture of the Nigerian state has a long history and manifests in various guises. Listening to a quivering Aliyu Abdullahi, the spokesperson of the Senate, read the terse handwritten declaration, while the Senate was still in session, “rejecting” Magu’s nomination, I was reminded of that infamous act twenty three years ago when Nduka Irabor, the press secretary to the then military vice-president, Augustus Aikhomu, read a short handwritten speech annulling the result of the June 12, 2016 presidential election before the electoral umpire could announce the results. We shouldn’t forget that that contemptible and criminal usurpation of the will of Nigerians was supervised by the “evil genius”, Ibrahim Babangida, and his cohorts, including David Mark, a retired general, who would resurface in 2007 as president of this same Senate.

It would be too clichéd to say what is going on is corruption fighting back. That would amount to honouring our senators, many of them former executive scoundrels who have found a safe haven in the Senate. But we can’t really blame the Senate. It did what it had to do. It needed an alibi to reject Magu and it found it in the “damning” security report submitted by the Department of State Services (DSS). How a bunch of wastrels, acting as distinguished senators, can hold a nation to ransom beggars belief. A few years ago, one of their own and a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, described the National Assembly as the greatest problem of Nigeria. After reviewing what transpired in the Senate on Thursday, it is difficult to fault Kwankwaso.

Was Thursday’s decision a unanimous one? How many Senators, if any, opposed the vote? If there were any, they should stand up and be counted because when the history of the Senate, and indeed that of the country is written, Thursday’s action will go down as one of the greatest political heists since the military-inspired civilian rule came to being in 1999. Anyone who wants to really appreciate the Magu confirmation imbroglio must look no further than the procedural inconsistency that trailed it. Clearly, no hearing of any form took place in the Senate on December 15, 2016. Assumedly, the so-called security report was submitted to the Senate so that senators could consider it in making “informed judgement” on whether to confirm Mr. Magu or not. That didn’t happen.

…the Presidency bears some culpability in this national show of shame. All of Magu’s purported crimes were committed before his name was sent to the Senate. Is it possible then that the DSS did not do a security check on him before the Presidency sent his name to the Senate?

The anti-Magu hysteria that has gripped a section of the media and civil society hoodwinked by our duplicitous Senate and its collaborators is appalling. It is necessary, at this juncture, therefore, to do a quick review of the trajectory of this orchestrated plot. Magu’s confirmation letter was read in the Senate on July 14, 2016. It took our do-nothing Senate exactly five months, on the day it was going on recess for the year, to get around to “screening” him.

The letter, signed by the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, read in part, “…I hereby draw your Excellency’s attention to the vacancy that existed in the EFCC. Having carefully considered EMINENTLY SUITABLE QUALIFIED NIGERIANS (emphasis mine) for the vacant position, I am pleased to inform you of the appointment of the following and to propose them for confirmation of the Senate as provided by the EFCC Act. 1. Magu Ibrahim Mustapha, ACP – Chairman; 2. Nasule Moses – Member; 3. Lawan Maman – Member; 4. Garandaji Imam Naji – Member; 5. Adeleke Abebayo Rafiu – Member. The curriculum vitae of the appointee are attached for the information of the distinguished senators. I hope the screening will as usual be carried out expeditiously by the distinguished senate.”

Many other nominees whose letters of nomination were sent to the Senate after Magu’s were expeditiously screened. Then late Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Magu’s name appeared on the first page of the Order Paper, the Senate’s daily agenda, for Thursday, December 8, 2016. It read: “Confirmation of nomination: That the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President, C-in-C, for the confirmation of the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in accordance with Section 2(3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).” The same day, the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, announced at plenary that the confirmation hearing would hold the next day after five months of delay.

By the morning of Thursday, December 8, 2016, a new Order Paper, without any mention of Magu’s confirmation, appeared. The news from the Senate was that because of the importance of the confirmation, it wanted to create room for more senators to be involved in the process. Fast forward to Thursday, December 15, 2016. Magu’s name appeared again on the Order Paper and he was expected to be at the Senate to be grilled by distinguished senators on how he has run the EFCC since his appointment on November 9, 2015, as acting chairman. It was also a veritable opportunity to raise any concerns the senators might have about any allegations against him. Well, as it turned out, it was all a ruse. Once it resumed, the Senate went into an executive session – which meant the public was not privy to its deliberations – and cooked up a reason to reject Magu’s nomination.

The Senate just “resolved” that since there was a security report, it could not go ahead with the confirmation hearing. Of course, it is important to find out the role of the Senate committee on anti-corruption in this mess? Did it investigate the DSS report? Did it make a presentation to the Senate on the issue? Did the Senate only receive the DSS report or there were other petitions from the public against Magu? If the Senate felt so strongly about the security report, why were senators not availed of the content before Thursday? If the Senate didn’t do its own due diligence, why was the acting chairman of EFCC made to appear before the Senate without being allowed to state his side of the story?

Of course, it is only in Nigeria that criminals who should ordinarily be in jail for their egregious crimes against the country are the ones who define moral codes and sit in judgement on how to punish crime.

As soon as the Senate formally “rejected” Magu’s nomination, it released the “damning” security report – which had been in the public domain for many months – and its spin doctors and sympathisers went on overdrive and its lapdogs started foaming in the mouth. Magu was accused of various crimes, including living in a N40 million mansion allegedly paid for by a shady character, Umar Mohammed, a retired air commodore. I will leave Magu to speak for himself. But if this allegation is true, it is not something the Senate and the DSS should treat with such levity.

Of course, the Presidency bears some culpability in this national show of shame. All of Magu’s purported crimes were committed before his name was sent to the Senate. Is it possible then that the DSS did not do a security check on him before the Presidency sent his name to the Senate? Did the DSS invite Magu to “defend” himself over their finding? Could it be, to borrow a local parlance, a case of the insect destroying the leaf lives inside the leaf? Undoubtedly, there are those within the Presidency who are vehemently opposed to Magu and they found willing collaborators in the Senate.

Clearly, there is a serious lack of coherence and control in the exercise of power in the Presidency. Why would a nominee of Mr. President before the Senate be undermined by a report by the DSS? Can the president send the name of a nominee to the Senate without DSS clearance? There is serious doubt about APC and Buhari’s change mantra but nowhere is this apprehension more critical than on the issue of the war against corruption. This will be a true test for President Buhari’s anti-corruption credentials. There are two options open to him: re-submit Magu’s name for confirmation or allow him stay on as acting chairman of EFCC.

Sure, Magu is not the only Nigerian who can lead the EFCC, but it will be hard to find someone – within the limitations placed by the EFCC Establishment Act – who has the experience, and above all, courage and determination, to confront some of the most despicable and vicious characters who have occupied public office in Nigeria.

Of course, it is only in Nigeria that criminals who should ordinarily be in jail for their egregious crimes against the country are the ones who define moral codes and sit in judgement on how to punish crime.

We recorded 70 cases of electoral violence in Rivers – INEC

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the commission records over 70 cases of electoral violence during the legislative rerun election in Rivers State.

Yakubu disclosed this while addressing a world conference at the opening ceremony of a two-day Capacity Development for INEC Press Corps on Friday in Abuja.

Yakubu said the level of violence witnessed in the rerun was alarming.

He said, “Indeed, in many instances, we had to deploy directly from the local government areas to PUs, contrary to our plans.

“Amidst heavy shooting by political thugs, vehicles transporting materials and personnel to PUs were hijacked.

“Voter registers, ballot papers, result sheets and Smart Card Readers were brazenly snatched at gun point.”

He said INEC will take proper action on the violence recorded.

He said, “The INEC shall carefully scrutinise them and take appropriate action under the law and its guidelines and regulations.”

Yakubu further said INEC will work with security agencies to punish those who disrupted the distribution of election materials.

He said, “INEC will work with the security agencies to uncover and punish those who disrupted the distribution of election materials

“To uncover the hijacking of election materials in Andoni, Oyibo and Ogu-Bolu, the hostage taking in Akoku Toru, the physical attack and kidnapping of election personnel.”

He said INEC officials who tried to disrupt electoral processes will also be punished.

He said, “We also acknowledge that in Ahoada East and West, a Supervisory Presiding Officer unsuccessfully tried to abscond with ballot papers and result sheets.

“We are also investigating the allegation of bribery involving other staff, particularly those deployed to Etche and Ikwerre.

“We wish to assure all Nigerians that the Commission is instituting an administrative inquiry as part of a comprehensive review of the Rivers re-run elections.

“Needless to say that any INEC staff found to have disobeyed clear rules and regulations will be appropriately sanctioned.”

Mimiko selling government properties to cronies – APC

The All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has raised alarm over alleged secret recruitment of workers by the outgoing government of Governor Olusegun Mimiko into various ministries and parastatals in the state.

The Publicity Secretary of APC in Ondo State, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, told newsmen on Friday that letters of appointment issued are being back-dated while Governor Mimiko is also selling government properties to cronies.

The statement alleged that the move was to ambush the incoming APC government.

It said, “We have been adequately informed of the unholy and unpatriotic dealings of the outgoing Governor Olusegun Mimiko, by secretly employing over 10,000 people into all the ministries, parastatals and agencies in the state, especially Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.

“This is in a bid to create problems and complexity for the incoming administration of APC when his eight years tenancy in Alagbaka Government House, ends in Feb. 2017.

“Mr Mimiko has been recruiting massively into the Health Sector, Local Governments, Education Ministry, among others.

“Properties of the State Oil Palm Plantation at Okitipupa, Irele, Araromi-Obu are being sold at give-away prices to the governor’s allies.

“Specifically, we are aware that one Mercedes Benz lorry, popularly called 9/11, was sold for just one hundred thousand Naira only (N100,000).”

The statement further alleged that government landed properties were also being sold and shared among some politicians without due process.

It alleged that several government vehicles had been driven away and were kept in various mechanics’ workshops across the state and neighbouring states, with registration number removed.

The party, therefore, urged senior civil servants in all the ministries and departments not to get involved in any sharp practice, adding that incoming government would deal with any corrupt act.

It said, “The party also cautions the heads of ministries and parastatals, especially permanent secretaries and directors, not to be part of these untoward acts, as full investigations and probe will be launched.

“Appropriate action would be taken when APC government takes over the reins of power by February, 2017.”

Reacting, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, said the allegation was a “total falsehood aim at misinforming the public’’.

“For political consideration, government did not reduce the workforce.

“We have done everything to reduce wages due to the economic situation in the country.

“Anybody who is talking about secret recruitment and selling of government properties is alien to the structure of government; moreover not at the wee hours of this administration,’’ Akinmade said.

Rivers rerun: APC reacts to leaked Wike’s audio

The All Progressives Congress says the leaked audio recording in which the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, is heard admitting to bribing some electoral officials and threatening to kill them if his instructions were not followed, has confirmed the fears raised by the party ahead of December 10 legislative re-run elections in the state.

The party said that going by the revelations from the leaked audio recordings, it was obvious that Governor Wike may have engaged in unwholesome conducts that might have compromised the integrity of the electoral process and undermined his office as the Chief Security Officer of a state.

“The only logical conclusion from this therefore is that the electoral victories of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have been achieved through underhand dealings and intimidation of officials,” APC said.

“Nigerians have watched with grave concern how the process of the just concluded legislative rerun election has led to the death of ordinary citizens in the state including security officers.”

In an audio first published by SaharaReporters, Mr. Wike could be heard threatening to kill officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission whom he admitted giving money.

He said would “deal with” and “kill” officials who took money from him without doing his bidding.

“The statement that Governor Wike appeared to have made on record has now pointed directly at where responsibility should be placed for the violence that attended the election,” APC said Thursday.

“It is also evident that the allegations by the Rivers State government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of an assassination threat on Wike and the allegation by Wike that APC Governors funded violence in the state during the election might have been deliberately contrived to cover-up the role that the Governor had played in the violence that attended the election.

“The APC condemns any form of violence as it relates to elections or any other matter. In this instance, we urge security agencies to do the needful and ensure that sponsors and perpetrators of violence, no matter how highly placed, are brought to justice,” APC said.

Listen to the leaked audio below:

I’m For All, Not APC Alone, Says Akeredolu

Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor-elect of Ondo State, says the administration he will form in February 2017 will benefit the interest of all groups and not just the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He spoke at his private residence in Owo when some women groups visited him to express their loyalty following his recent victory in the governorship election of the state.

SaharaReporters correspondent learned that the women were led on the solidarity visit by Tola Aworh, a former commissioner for tourism in the state.

The Governor-elect also told his guests that he will not run a one-man administration.

“I am for all, I am not only for one person, as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I do not belong to the party alone,” he said, Mr. Akeredolu said.

“I am for the generality of the people of Ondo State, I am on ground for everybody.”

He also said his administration would give more opportunities to women to enhance their potentials for the development of the society and the state at large.

Mr. Akeredolu had earlier in the day visited the outgoing governor, Olusegun Mimiko, in his office in Akure to discuss the smooth transition of power between them.

During the visit, Mr. Akeredolu, speaking humbly, said that it would take him ‘hard work’ to outshine the development accomplishments of the embattled Mr. Mimiko.

“We all owe you a debt of gratitude to the service you made to this great state,” he said, commending the governor for serving to the best of his ability.

Mr. Mimiko asked his successor to embrace peace as he takes over the reins of power in the state next year and advised the incoming APC administration to be tolerant in its political dealings.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that the peace we have been enjoying in this state is sustained,” he stated.  “In working towards this, it involves a lot of political tolerance to create a peaceful atmosphere and environment.”

Rotimi Amaechi: the Knife that Tore the Umbrella, By Majeed Dahiru

In an atmosphere of extreme sectionalism that pervades the Nigerian political culture, it is better to keep the home front united behind you, irrespective of political differences. The same friends cheering Amaechi on today will exploit the faultline in his home base to undermine him while using his public display of impunity to discredit him, in the case of a power struggle that may most certainly arise within the APC.

Frontline Niger Delta region’s oil producing Rivers State, host to leading multi-national oil companies, as well as the largest oil and gas infrastructure in Nigeria, is truly the treasure base of Africa’s second largest oil producer. Nigeria’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas export earnings (90 percent). It is not always gloomy in the Niger Delta. Oil producing states benefit significantly from the natural resource endowments of their land. A constitutionally guaranteed 13 percent derivation payable to oil producing states have put them ahead of other states in terms of financial resources. Rivers State is the most important of all the oil producing states.


Although the third largest oil producing state, it derives enormous resources from taxes as the host of the highest number of oil multinationals and oil and gas infrastructure in Nigeria. The state also has the largest population of all the Niger Delta coastal states due to the numerous economic opportunities that abound within its borders. Nigeria’s political culture thrives on a corrupt patronage system of crass cronyism; therefore, Rivers State is very important in the power equation at the highest level of government. Whoever governs this very important state is very influential and powerful in the politics of Nigeria. This explains why democratic elections in Rivers State are usually intense and sometimes violent.


Rotimi Amaechi, former governor and current minister of transport, proved the importance of Rivers State in national politics in the 2015 presidential elections. Amaechi was the man who led the revolt of five PDP governors, resulting in the break-up of the then ruling party. His boldness and political astuteness endeared him to millions of Nigerians across the country but alienated him from his people on the home front because the man he worked against, former president Goodluck Jonathan, is a son of the soil. The needless disagreements between Amaechi and the first family, were as a result of the former president’s little understanding of the Nigerian political space; an area in which Amaechi had a clearer understanding.


The minister of transport lived yesterday in order to exist today. He looked beyond Goodluck Jonathan, the first Niger Delta president of Nigeria, as the ultimate destination of the Niger Delta people. Unlike so many Niger Delta politicians who became regional ethnic champions because one of their own was president, Amaechi remained faithful to the broad alliance that was the PDP, by maintaining a nationalistic posture and outlook without falling for the immediate but temporary gains of sectionalism. He refused to compromise his position as the Governors Forum chairman on sectional considerations, by being fiercely loyal and faithful to his colleagues and pressing hard for the implementation of the resolutions of the body, which were sometimes in conflict with then Goodluck administration. When resisted, he was defiant in a manner which his kinsman perceived as disloyalty, if not outright despise. Amaechi was also not ready to tolerate the meddlesomeness of the then ebullient and provincial first lady, Patient Jonathan; a Dame no man could tame, not even her husband.

However, Amaechi’s main adversary and nemesis will emerge from behind his own shadow – Ezenwo Nyesome Wike, his closest political ally, confidant and nominee into the Federal Executive Council (as minister of state for education). Wike is a man of proven ability in the grassroots politics of Rivers State. He was like the field marshal of the Amaechi political family. Like most Nigerian politicians, Wike was driven by personal ambition for power. The only problem was that his ambition to become governor did not fit into the equation of his leader’s permutation of power rotation in Rivers State. Amaechi, as then political leader of Rivers State, openly expressed the desirability of the governorship seat to rotate to the riverine area of the state after his tenure terminated. Wike, who like Amaechi, is from the upland area of the state, was nursing the ambition to be governor.

Amaechi refused to cave in but instead led the revolt of five PDP governors to join forces with other political associations to form the APC. Amaechi was the knife that ripped the umbrella. He became Jonathan’s ultimate nemesis. He knew so much about Jonathan and systemically exposed the former president’s weak points to millions of Nigerians who craved change.

Amaechi’s position on moving the seat of power in the state to the riverine areas was not to spite or shortchange Wike, but was only fair and consistent with PDP’S inherent zoning and power rotation pact. Driven by the burning fire of his political ambition, Wike who came to terms with the reality that he may stand no chance under the leadership of Amaechi, suddenly, in a deft move, pitched his tent with the first family. Goodluck Jonathan who was also nursing the ambition to become president a second time – an ambition which he suspected Amaechi may not support on account of the understanding that power should rotate back to the north – found a natural ally in Wike. Both men were united in their personal ambition over the common interest of the collective interest. This alliance further aggravated their dispute with Amaechi. Wike knew too much about his former boss and ally. He knew his weaknesses and strength and was able to deconstruct and demystify him at the highest echelon of power.


Goodluck Jonathan found in Nyesome Wike a trusted and reliable ally, and tied his presidential ambition to the governorship quest of Wike. In order to neutralise Amaechi and reduce his influence and power within the ruling PDP, the Godspower Ake-led Rivers State executive committee of the party was dissolved on the order of a federal high court sitting in Abuja. This was speedily obeyed and Wike installed the Felix Obuah-led caretaker executive committee. This move effectively made Wike the leader of the PDP in the state. The full weight of “federal might” was deployed to support Wike’s ambition. In the ensuing power tussle, Amaechi’s exercise of his authority and power as a governor were undermined by federal agencies on “orders from above”.


Amaechi refused to cave in but instead led the revolt of five PDP governors to join forces with other political associations to form the APC. Amaechi was the knife that ripped the umbrella. He became Jonathan’s ultimate nemesis. He knew so much about Jonathan and systemically exposed the former president’s weak points to millions of Nigerians who craved change. Amaechi’s rhetoric against Jonathan was perceived as an “insider’s account” and were largely held to be true. The deep purse of Rivers State was used to oil the electioneering wheel of APC’s Muhammadu Buhari effectively. Coming from Jonathan’s region, Amaechi’s revolt was very instrumental to uniting opposition forces against the former president, which led to his defeat at the polls. Amaechi achieved his ultimate goal, while Wike achieved his ultimate ambition of becoming governor. Jonathan lost out. The former president was fighting Wike’s war thinking it was his.

Oyegun: After 2 years, time to ask if APC is moving in the right direction

John Oyegun, chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), says after two years in government it is high time the ruling party pondered if it was moving in the right direction.


Speaking with journalists on Tuesday before going into a closed-door meeting with Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, Oyegun said serious issues needed to be discussed and where necessary amendments would be made.


“The purpose is clear and straightforward and that is to put all these things behind us and now seat down to introspect, look at the party, look at the national assembly, look at the government. We are going to two years in government,” the national chairman said.


“If is high time that we sat down, asked ourselves questions, pondered whether we are moving in the right direction, discussed serious issues and where necessary make correction that are considered expedient.”


Also speaking, Dogara said the meeting was about charting a way forward for the APC in governance.


“It takes meetings like this to chat a formidable way forward. For us in APC, we cannot assume that progress is automatic, but it is inevitable. If we fold our hands, nothing will happen,” the speaker said.


“It is only by meetings like this that we will be able to put things in their perspective. We should be see what we have done wrong, what we can do and we should do to maintain the competitive political environment we have found ourselves.”

Rivers Rerun: PDP takes lead as more results are announced

The Peoples Democratic Party has overtaken the All Progressives Congress as the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday declared results of more constituencies in the Rivers State legislative rerun elections.

The process is now in its fourth day, and will extend to the fifth at least. Out of the 21 constituencies that went into the elections, final results of 12 have been declared with the PDP leading as of Tuesday evening.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how both parties stood after results of 10 constituencies were declared. At the time, PDP had two senatorial seats, two Reps seats and one State Assembly seat, while APC had one senatorial seat, two Reps seats and two State Assembly seats.

But results of two more constituencies – one federal constituency and one state constituency – were announced later Tuesday and PDP won the two.

In Opobo/Andoni/Nkoro federal constituency, PDP’s Awji Abante won with 16,234 votes, having defeated APC’s Samson Egop with 15,343.

In Andoni state constituency, PDP won with 10,729 to come ahead of APC that had 7,369.

As it stands, PDP has seven and APC follows with five.

PDP has two senatorial districts Rivers East and Rivers West), three federal constituencies (Okrika/Ogu-Bolo, Opobo/Andoni/Nkoro, and Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru) and two state constituencies (Andoni and Bonny).

PDP clinched one senatorial district that is Rivers South East, two federal constituencies (Gokana/Khana and Tai/Oyigbo/Eleme), and two state constituencies (Khana II and Gokana).

Nine results are still being expected from three federal constituencies and six state constituencies.

Ikwere/Emohua, Degema/Bonny, and Etche/Omuma federal constituencies are the remaining three from which final results are still being expected.

Also, Eleme, Asari-Toru I, Asari-Toru II, Etche II, Ikwere, and Degema are the remaining six state constituencies who results are being awaited.

The delay is a consequence of the widespread violence that marred the polls, INEC’s National Commissioner, Mustapha Lecky, said during a press conference in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Three days after Rivers Rerun, INEC yet to announce several results.

About three days after a total of 21 constituencies went into elections in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is yet to announce final results for most of the areas.

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, INEC conducted the rescheduled Rivers national and state assemblies rerun and supplementary elections across three senatorial districts, eight federal constituencies and 10 state constituencies.

The voting exercise – and later counting of votes and collation of results – took place amid widespread violence that claimed lives, including police officers, irregularities and ‘overt’ bias by security operatives and electoral personnel, reports by the media and observer groups say.

Of the 21 constituencies, as of early Tuesday, results are only known for 10 – the three senatorial districts, four federal constituencies and three state constituencies.

PDP Surpasses APC In Senatorial Contests

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won senatorial elections in the Rivers East and Rivers West districts, leaving one, Rivers South East senatorial district, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.

In Rivers South East, APC’s Magnus Abe clinched victory to earn a second term in the Senate. He polled 125,938 votes to trounce Olaka Nwogu of  the PDP  who garnered 25,394 votes, INEC said. The district witnessed cases of violence and irregularities with security operatives caught on video snatching election materials in Bodo, Gokana LGA and two persons dead in Luwii, Tai LGA amid gunfight.

Rivers East result was declared on Monday afternoon after confrontation between PDP members led by Governor Nyesom Wike and security operatives at the collation centre in Port Harcourt. There, PDP’s George Sekibo scored 93,098 votes to defeat APC’s Andrew Uchendu who had 34,193 votes. Arch rivals, Mr. Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, APC leader and Minister for Transport, are from Rivers East.

Shortly after return was made in Rivers East Monday afternoon, INEC announced Osinakachukwu Ideozu of the PDP winner in Rivers West, bringing PDP’s senatorial seats to two. Mr Ideozu scored 107,166 votes. He defeated Otelemaba Amachree of the APC who garnered 48,898 votes.

Parties reject opposing victories

PDP rejected the election of Mr. Abe as Rivers South East Senator-elect, saying there was no election in the zone; rather, INEC, Army and the Police aided APC to earn victory. The rejection came after Mr. Abe had urged PDP to accept his election, having been declared winner by INEC already. He said “Rivers people have suffered enough.”

But APC also vowed to legally challenge Mr. Sekibo’s election in the Rivers East. On Monday, Dakuku Peterside, an APC leader and NIMASA boss who was the party’s flag bearer in the 2015 governorship election, told journalists that results had not been conclusively collated in Etche, Port Harcourt City and Emohua LGAs, yet PDP was announced winner even without APC’s agent present.


APC candidates – Barry Mpigi and Maurice Pronen – were declared winners of elections to represent Tai/Oyigbo/Eleme and Gokana/ Khana federal constituencies respectively in the Federal House of Representatives.

Mr. Mpigi scored 48,760 votes to defeat PDP’s Jacobson Nbina with 11,737 votes, while Mr. Pronen had 68,219 votes to defeat Dum Dekor with 20,329.

In Okrika/Ogu/Bolo federal constituency, PDP claimed its first Reps seat in the rerun elections. PDP’s Gogo Tamuno with 11,668 voted defeated APC’s Maureen Tamuno who had 5,995.

Also, PDP’s Boma Goodhead won the Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru federal constituency. In the result announced by the Returning Officer on Monday at in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku-Toru LGA, Ms. Goodhead, said to be a younger sister to ex-militant, Asari Dokubo, scored 39,444 votes, to defeat APC’s Dewari George who had 8,817 votes.

Mr. Dokubo was said to have mobilised some supporters to the collation centre to demand result be announced after initial delay. Mr. Dokubo later joined his sister on street jubilation.

Eight federal constituencies went into the rerun and supplementary polls. With outcomes in four now declared – PDP and APC taking two each – results from the remaining four are being expected.

Ikwere/Emohua, Opobo/Nkoro/Andoni, Degema/Bonny, and Etche/Omuma federal constituencies are the remaining four from which final results are still being expected


It is only in three state constituencies that final results have been declared, with APC winning two, and PDP one.

In Khana state constituency II, APC’s Friday Nkeeh scored 15,000 votes to defeat PDP’s Dinebari Loolo who had 4,000 votes. Both winner and loser had round figures! In Gokana state constituency, APC’s Innocent Barikor won with 24,624 votes.

Bonny state constituency was won by the PDP. The party’s Abinye Pepple scored 6,610 to win the seat.

Thus, final results by INEC are being expected from seven state constituencies namely  Eleme, Asari-Toru I, Asari-Toru II, Andoni,, Etche II, Ikwere, and Degema.

Summarily, out of the 10 constituencies where results have been released so far, PDP and APC have five each. PDP has two senatorial seats, two Reps seats and one State Assembly seat, while APC has one senatorial seat, two Reps seats and two State Assembly seats.

The rerun polls were held following invalidation of the 2015 national and state assemblies elections in Rivers State. Although the elections had earlier been slated for March 19, violence marred the polls then, forcing INEC to suspend the exercise – and finally held during the week.

Rivers State has notorious history of electoral violence, and tough talks by opposing political actors helped stoke tension and prepare ground for violence that characterised the electoral exercise in the state on Saturday.

At least five persons lost their lives, but previous elections recorded greater tragedies. Although there were cases of overt bias, huge deployment of military and security personnel for the Saturday’s elections helped improve the security of exercise.

Senate Cuts down President’s Control of Nigeria Police Force

Nigeria’s Senate is stepping up efforts at saving democracy from executive abuse. It plans to amend the Constitution to decentralise the police force, whittle down the powers of the President over commissioners of police by giving state governors the power of the ‘last command.’

Through a gazetted Senate Bill 346 sponsored by Solomon Olamilekan of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) from Lagos East Senatorial District, the Upper Legislative Chamber has given full powers to governors to issue unconditional directives to the Police in their states.

A copy of the Bill specifically deleted the proviso in section 215 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended that empowered the President to overrule any orders given to a Police Commissioner by the state governor.

The Bill also seeks to nullify the provision in section 215(5) which had prevented any court from entertaining cases arising from such orders issued by the President to the police.

Greater control of the police by states will douse tension between the presidency and state governments over local policing, bolster efforts at fighting crime and ease governance. Effective policing at that level would also help states build the required infrastructure to create jobs.

There have been loud calls for political restructuring of the country for effective policing at the state and local government levels in response to rising spate of crime, including insurgency, armed robbery and kidnapping. The idea of state police has received increasing support despite Federal Government’s insistence on total control of the force. It was also part of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan which the current government has refused to implement.

Security experts have however said, without appropriate checks and balances in place, governors’ control of police commissioners in their states would be a “recipe for disaster.”

Managing Director of Beacon Security Consulting, Kabir Adamu, expressed worry that the political situation in Nigeria does not favour the decision, as its implementation would help political and self-serving interest prevail.

He said: “But I think it would be better if one sees the checks and balances the Senate intends to introduce in the new law and to ensure that this very vital institution of law enforcement is not used to serve either political party or self interest. If they do not introduce checks and balances, then it is a recipe for national disaster,” Adamu argued.

Aliu Umar Babangida, who manages the Abuja-based Goldwater & Rivers and Consult, a defence and national security firm, agreed with Adamu. “It is necessary but not yet the right time to allow governors exercise control over Commissioners of Police,” he said.

The Police force in its reaction said it would simply enforce any law made by the Legislature and signed by the Executive arm of government.

“I can’t comment on political decisions; we are professionals and law enforcers. Whatever law comes into force, we would obey, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Don Awunah, said.

He described the Police as an agency vested with the responsibility of enforcing the law, while the National Assembly makes the laws.

The specific amendment that removed the obstacle on the way of state governors in directing the police commissioners reads: “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (in this Bill referred to as “the Principal Act”) is altered as set out in this Bill. Section 215 of the Principal Act is altered by deleting the provision to subsection 4.”

The same section 215 is also altered by deleting immediately after the word “shall” in line 3, the word “not” in subsection 5. 3.”

The explanatory memorandum to the Bill states that it seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) by deleting the Proviso to section 215 (4) and removing the ouster provision of directions given to the Police on combating crime under section 215(5) of the Constitution.”

The amendment, according to sources within the Senate, became necessary following undue control of the police by the Federal Government and its agents in Abuja, which has made it difficult for governors to promptly address security issues in their states.

As if underscoring the move by the upper legislative arm, former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday urged Nigerians to give the police the necessary support for effective and efficient policing.

Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta at a maiden meeting of the Eminent People’s Forum (EPF) and launching of “Change Begins with me” of the Ogun State Police Command.

The State Police Commissioner, Ahmed Iliyasu, disclosed that the EPF is a collaborative group that works to make policing more efficient.

The former President disclosed that the work of the police is a difficult task; hence, society must help them to perform their duties.

Obasanjo explained that security of the society must be done collectively. He urged the people to assist the police in the community with necessary information.

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, a direct beneficiary of the proposed law, who was represented at the event by Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, lamented the total loss of public trust in the police and urged men and officers of the police to do everything possible to evolve new strategies at combating crime and restore confidence in themselves.

In a nutshell, the Senate is seeking the amendment of Section 215 (4) of the current constitution, which reads: “Subject to the provisions of this section, the Governor of a state or such Commissioner of the Government of the state as he may authorise in that behalf, may give to the Commissioner of Police of that state such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the state as he may consider necessary, and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with: Provided that before carrying out any such directions under the foregoing provisions of this subsection the Commissioner of Police may request that the matter be referred to the President or such minister of the Government of the Federation as may be authorised in that behalf by the President for his directions.”

And section 215 (5) in the current constitution that prevented courts from hearing cases related to presidential directives to police reads:

“The question whether any, and if so what, directions have been given under this section shall not be inquired into in any court.”

The Bill, when successfully passed by the Senate, will face little hurdle in the state legislatures which are required to endorse any amendment of the constitution by the national legislsture before it becomes valued. But with the governors already itching to enjoy powers similar to having a state police, the amendment could have a smooth sail in the 36 Houses of Assembly.

Full List: Results of Rivers legislative rerun election #RiversRerun

Results of the Rivers state legislative rerun election are still being collated in some constituencies.


So far, two senatorial districts, three federal constituencies, and three state constituencies have been declared.


Mustapha Lecky, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) national commissioner in the south-south, has said the exercise will not go beyond Monday.


See, at a glance, how things stand at the moment:



Name Party LGA Votes
Andrew Uchendu APC Rivers East senatorial district 34,193
George Sekibo PDP Rivers East senatorial district 93,098
Magnus Abe APC Rivers South East senatorial district 125,938
Olaka Nwogu PDP Rivers South East senatorial district 25,394
Otelemaba Amachree APC Rivers west senatorial district 48,898
Osinachukwu Ideozu PDP Rivers west senatorial district 107,166


Name Party Constituency Votes
Maureen Tamuno APC Okrika Ogu/Bolo federal constituency 5,995
Okwulehie Ikechukwu PDP Okrika Ogu/Bolo federal constituency 11,668
Maurice Pronen APC Khana/Gokana federal constituency 68,219
Dumnamene Dekor PDP Khana/Gokana federal constituency 20,329
Barry Mpigi APC Tai/Oyigbo/Eleme federal constituency 48,760
Jacobson Nbina PDP Tai/Oyigbo/Eleme federal constituency 11,737


Name Party Constituency Votes
Friday Nkeeh APC Khana state constituency 2 15,000
Dinebari Loolo PDP Khana state constituency 2 4,000
Henry Halliday APC Bonny state constituency 2,330
Abinye Pepple PDP Bonny state constituency 6,610
Innocent Barikor APC Gokana state constituency 24,624

Fayose: Buhari has destroyed Jonathan’s legacy of free and fair elections.

Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state governor, says President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) legacy of free and fair election.

Fayose described Saturday’s rerun national and state house of assembly elections in Rivers state, as a “sad reminder of the level of destruction already done to the country’s electoral process by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Mohammadu Buhari”.

“Free, fair and credible election is dead in the country and that whatever victory that is recorded by any political party in the Rivers state election will be nothing but victory at gun point,” he said.

He said it was worrisome that “the legacy of free, fair and credible election left by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been destroyed less than two years that the APC assumed power”.

“We thought that we had gone past this era of manipulated electoral process after the 2015 general election, which brought the APC and President Buhari to power, but the Buhari’s administration has taken us back to the Stone Age by merging his party, APC with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, military, and other security agencies,” he said.

In a press statement issued on Sunday by Lere Olayinka, his special assistant on public communications and new media, Fayose said what happened in Rivers on Saturday is a clear indication that Nigeria is under siege and that “only prompt intervention by the international community can save democracy in the country from this imminent collapse”.

“It is sad that snatching of ballot boxes, hijacking of voting materials and electoral violence, which had become a thing of the past, have now become part of our electoral process,” he said.

“It is even more worrisome that despite that votes are counted openly at the polling units, electorates are no longer sure of the results of elections until announcement by INEC, which has become an organ of the APC.”

He described Buhari as “a pretender who has only paid lips service to the sustenance of democracy in the country”, adding that “any president that looks the other way while the rights of his people to freely elect their leaders is being snatched at gunpoint by his own party men is not worthy of being associated with democracy”.

He reiterated his call to the US president-elect, Donald Trump, to focus his attention more on Nigeria, with a view to saving the country from disintegrating, saying.

“God forbid, if Nigeria disintegrates, the entire continent of Africa will disintegrate,” he said.

“The order of the day in Nigeria now is disobedience to court orders, abuse of human rights, extra judicial killings and mass burial of innocent Nigerians killed by the army.

“The reality we must all face is that should all these be allowed to continue, Nigeria faces imminent danger and the international community must not allow the country to get to that level of total collapse before it begins to call President Buhari and his APC to order.”

Atiku’s presidential ambition responsible for our crisis, says Lagos PDP

Segun Adewale, factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, says the ongoing crisis in the party is due to Atiku Abubakar’s 2019 presidential ambition.

In a statement, Adewale said there were external forces working to install Abubakar, a former vice president, as the party’s 2019 presidential candidate.

He accused the Ahmed Markafi faction of the party if working against the interest and progress of the party ahead of 2019 presidential election.

“These agents are working towards the nomination Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as our presidential flag bearer in the 2019 general election,” he said.

“They have resorted to cheap blackmail as it is becoming obvious that the efforts of Ali Modu Sheriff at frustrating every attempt to impose a non party member as our presidential nominee is beginning to gain the attention of well-meaning members.

“If you x-ray recent activities in the party and comments of the Markafi led illegal faction, it’s obvious who is working against the general interest of our party. Everything is about Abubakar Atiku’s ambition to be President in 2019. There is no point going through the back door as there is room within the party for every genuine member seeking elective office.”

He said the factions within the PDP had failed to reconcile because “Markafi reneged on the proposal that two of them step down and for former President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan to head the committee”.

“It is unfortunate that it seems while Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is all about rebuilding PDP to a formidable opposition party that can stand against the current charade and  political ineptitude of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the other faction is busy negotiating a mega party deal with some aggrieved members of the ruling APC,” he added.

Release All Rivers Re-Run Election Results, PDP tells INEC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate release of the results of last Saturday’s elections in rivers state, saying that the Independent National Electoral commission was withholding the results in order to allow the All Progressive Congress manipulate the results.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the spokesman of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye said the party was in possession of all the results as announced at the polling units and it was clear that the PDP had won.

The party also rejected the declaration of Magnus Abe as the winner of Rivers South-East Senatorial District saying no election was held in the area. ”

The whole world knows that elections did not take place in the Rivers South-East Senatorial District.

We therefore reject the declaration of Magnus Abe with the fabricated results, and demand INEC to conduct election in that Constituency.

We promise to avail ourselves every opportunity to seek redress on this matter in the interest of democracy and that of the constituents who are denied their right to vote” the statement noted. Making further clarification on results still being awaited, Adeyeye they include those of Rivers West and East Senatorial Districts, Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency and Andoni State House of Assembly Constituency. ”
We have the results declared at the various polling units which show that, Senator George Abiye Sekibo of the PDP won the Rivers East Senatorial District while Senator Osinakachukwu Ideozu also of the PDP won the Rivers West Senatorial District, respectively.

“Equally, we make bold to state that Hon. Abiante and Ikunyi Ibani both of the PDP won their respective elections into Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency and Andoni State Constituency, respectively.

“INEC is currently withholding these results in cohort with security agencies to pave way for the APC to manipulate the outcome of the Elections. We urge INEC to immediately release the affected results intact.

Anything short of this is unacceptable and the INEC, security agencies and the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi should be held responsible in whatever manner the people of Rivers State decide to react for robbing them of their votes.

“We again condemn in totality, the adverse role of the Nigerian Army, the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other security agencies during this Re-run Elections in Rivers State. It was a nightmare and a complete reversal of their constitutional mandates of safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Country and the protection of lives and properties.

There are incontrovertible evidence that the security agencies worked for the APC against the interest of the Rivers people.They followed the directives of the APC Chairman, John Oyegun and Governor Ganduje of Kano State during the Mega Rally of the APC. They killed, they maimed, they harassed all in the desperate need to help the APC win at all cost. Very sad!

“It is trite that the Army dishonourably left their primary assignments and worked assiduously with INEC in collusion with the APC leaders in Rivers State led by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and mindlessly wrote the results that produced Senator Magnus Abe in Rivers South-East Senatorial District. This action depicts sheer rape on democracy. ”

It is no gainsaying that this Re-run Elections in Rivers State was not only a contest between political parties but mostly the PDP in contest with the Army, the Police, the INEC, the APC, and the Federal Government of Nigeria represented by the Honourable Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and Co.

“We therefore call on all Nigerians to rise up to this challenge and stop the Federal Government, the APC and INEC from organising undemocratic elections as witnessed in most part of Rivers State and other previous elections in the Country since the assumption of this government. If Nigerian elections travesty continues, it’s goodnight to democracy” the statement noted.


Magnus Abe: My victory is a reward for faithfulness.

Magnus Abe, senator-elect of Rivers east, has described his victory in the legislative rerun election as a reward for faithfulness.

Expressing appreciation to his constituents, Abe said there is “no victor, no vanquish”.

He extended hands of fellowship to Olaka Nwogu, his opponent in the race, and called on Nyesom Wike, governor of the state to congratulate him on his victory.

Abe also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari; Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation; and his wife for the role they played in his emergence.

“First is to say that this has been a titanic struggle; it has been a very difficult two years for Rivers people and for all of us,” he said in a statement.

“My victory in this election is a reward for faithfulness. I have been faithful to my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).  I have been faithful to my people, the people of the Rivers south east senatorial district and I have been faithful to my leaders and I think God in his infinite mercies has rewarded me with this unprecedented victory. There is no victor, no vanquish.

“I want to thank my friend and brother, Distinguished Senator Olaka Nwogu for his very kind and peaceful words, which he has expressed to the people of this state.

“I also want to use this opportunity to extend a hand of friendship to the executive Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike and to say to him that he had promised that there was nothing personal in this contest and he has said that if I win he will congratulate me. The only barometer for measuring success in an election in this country is the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the commission has declared me the winner, I want to call on the governor to keep his words and send me his letter and words of congratulation because I have won.

“I want to also say that Rivers state has suffered enough and that it is time for us to bring this contest to an end.

“I want to thank my leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, my wife, my family and most importantly, the people of Rivers south east senatorial district. You have spoken and you have spoken loud and clear. We should respect your views. We should work together to make this district a better place for Nigerians to live.

“I want to thank my colleagues in the senate for their kind words, friendship and support and I look forward to joining them in the red chamber as soon as possible.”