Showing posts with label Nigerian Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nigerian Politics. Show all posts

Monday, 14 July 2014

Police rescue 10-year-old boy from abductors in Lagos


LAGOS— The Police in Lagos, Saturday, said they rescued a 10-year old boy and arrested one of the suspected kidnappers.

The command’s spokesperson, DSP Ngozi Braide, told the News Agency of Nigeria, that three other suspects were arrested for cultism and armed robbery.

Braide said all the suspects were arrested in different parts of the state in the last five days.
She said the policemen attached to Oworonsoki Division, last Monday rescued

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Insecurity, threat to 2015 Elections – Fashola

LAGOS—AHEAD of 2015 general election, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday said the level of insecurity in the country was a threat to free and fair elections.

The governor, who spoke during a courtesy visit by the students from the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom, UK

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

EXPOSED!! Buhari can never Be President because… — Sen Ikpo

Culled from vanguard
ELDER STATESMAN, Senator Nosike Ikpo was one of the leading lights in the Second Republic. Ikpo, in this interview, posits that former Military Head of State, General Muhammudu Buahri cannot rule Nigeria owing to his involvement in scuttling a democratically elected government. He also says the National Conference will succeed if well managed just as he bares his mind on other burning national issues. Excerpts:

By AUSTIN OGWUDA
Do you think the National Conference will bring the much needed solution to the nation’s problems?
It is good depending on how it is managed, how it is run. If there is sincerity in the whole process because there is a problem, the problem in Nigeria like some of us have always said is the problem of leadership.
If Jonathan has a clear idea of where, what he wants Nigeria to be and gives a proper direction to the conference, they will come out fine. Somebody has to give direction. When you talk of leadership, the number one person has to have an idea of what he wants to achieve for the people he is leading.
The uncompleted job of restructuring Nigeria could be completed in that place. Nigeria is so wrongly structured. The creation of states has led to pockets of dissatisfaction certainly amongst the people of Nigeria. There cannot be peace if there is no justice.


People in the North are not happy. I remember what late Tarka said when forming the separatist movement in the Middle Belt. He was fired by a statement made by the late Sarduana of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello on the 1st of October 1960 that the minorities of the Middle Belt would be the tools of Northern leaders to rule Nigeria.

The man took action, mobilized his people and started agitation for a separate state. The matter is still there; every young man, every active politician in the Middle Belt is still asking for a separate identity.
Talking about a viable opposition, do you see the emerging All Progressives Congress, APC …..?
(Cuts in) I do not see how Tinubu and Buhari can lead Nigeria. Buhari may be a very honest person but I don’t know him. He campaigned in 2007, he wanted to be president of Nigeria but he never reached this part of the country; he never reached Delta State.
And in any case anybody who overthrew a democratic government cannot be elected as president of Nigeria.


He is not entitled to. He has no moral justification to become a democratic leader of this country. So I don’t know where they are going. My friends are there. Most of them are my old colleagues in the UPN, they are all there and I am still attracted to them but the idea of the possibility of Buhari becoming presidential candidate of that party nauseates me completely.

I don’t know why they feel that he can be of any use to them. In any case they can still be a viable opposition without having Buhari as presidential candidate.

I didn’t know Tinubu in our time, because was still a young man then, probably he was still abroad so he wasn’t part of Awolowo’s children and he had never spoken as an Awoist.
I am not talking about what do you call them, fire eaters, no. He comes from an environment that he cannot run away from Awolowo. Look at his mother who died recently, a great market woman. When we needed money in 1962-63 during the Action Group crisis, we go to her.
So he came from the environment from where he can’t run away from Awolowo’s political views, he cannot.
All those who are supporting him (Tinubu) presently who are his disciples, definitely are disciples of Chief Awolowo.

That is not the same as saying that he can be a successful president. I don’t know his personal views and manifestos. What we want is a good leader.
For instance, a good leader is somebody like Uduaghan. You can’t identify his friends, you can’t identify his enemies only him alone can tell you who his friends are or vice-versa . He has ideas, he knows where he is going, what to do.

Look at what we are doing in Delta State. Whom can you tell me that Uduaghan is likely to hand over to? I don’t know. All of us are guessing.
What type of person do you think is fit to succeed Uduaghan?
All of them are my children. All the aspirants are my children particularly from the North. I made a statement the other day and many people misunderstood me that I probably sold out. I can’t sell out at this stage; I am 85 so what am I selling out for?

You don’t expect that after Uduaghan, another governor should come from the South.
It will be unreasonable, so people will expect that another governor should come from Delta North. But what I am quarrelling with our people is that for anybody to think that he can go to bed hoping because of rotation that governor will come to Delta North I don’t believe in that. So that was what I was opposed to.
Do you support the call on President Jonathan to run for a second term?
He has to go back. He has done reasonable well. I voted for him in 2007 because I had no alternative as I couldn’t have voted for Buhari.
Are you satisfied with the way corruption is been tackled?
It is the mindset of leaders of a country. Take Jerry Rawlings of Ghana for instance. He set out to clean Ghana and cleaned up the place. I am not saying that there is no corruption in Ghana anymore. But definitely, the situation cannot go back to what it was before Rawlings.
Are you saying Nigeria needs the Rawlings method?
We need that type of revolution. We have not seen a revolution; something drastic has to happen to make people behave.
I cannot even send my cook to the market today. I can’t afford the rising cost of food at Ibusa market, then somebody is hoarding billions not even naira but dollars. So somebody has to come out and decide to stop this thing called corruption.
Well, that is my idea. All these military coups have not even helped us. They have not done exactly what I would have done if I were a young man, if I were a soldier and I wanted to clean up the place. They are merely changing batons and from one bad ruler to the other that is all.
Looking back when you were in the Senate and now, any comparison?
There are two different scenarios. They can never be the same. My salary when I was in the Senate was N15,000 per month.
When I told my constituent at Agbor, they couldn’t believe it. And we were paying five percent to the party. At the end of every month, the cashier from the UPN office would come with his receipt.
As what?
Contribution to the welfare of the party and for the building of the party. When people said I brought College of Education Agbor, I didn’t go to build the place. It was the same thing I did for Asaba College of Education.
I did not go to build it or look for a contractor, I only influenced the siting of the colleges to those places. But it is not so now; now they give you the money. It is in the budget, then you take it and do what you like.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

‘Nyako’s impunity has killed Adamawa APC’


EMBATTLED Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako, who has consistently been accusing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of impunity and undemocratic operations has been branded as the “leader of impunity and unrepentant political sinner” by the former gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Marcus Gundiri.

Gundiri who addressed journalists on Monday in Yola on why he decamped to the PDP, said that Nyako did not only fail to implement the agreement reached during their reconciliation meeting with the Alhaji

Bello Masari committee, but ensured that a majority of APC members were denied registration cards.

 He said: “In our agreement the task force committee set up by the governor in the name of mobilising membership drive for the party was disbanded, but after the meeting the governor did not only empower the kangaroo committee, he expanded the team and made the committee officials the leaders of APC in the state.

“It is completely impossible for any mentally balanced politician to trust a man that his yes means no. This is because his level of deceit has taking over his political life style and that will kill any party that he decamped to.”

He explained that his return to PDP was as a result of the exit of the governor, who he accused of destroying the party due to what he described as unconstitutional and undemocratic activities of Nyako in PDP.

“I defeated Adamawa PDP because of Nyako. His activities are good campaign materials for any political party that faces the governor’s party in

any election. He is already campaigning for PDP due to his activities in APC now. With the governor as the leader of APC in Adamawa it is a good development for the state chapter of PDP, the game is over for APC,” he said.

Gundiri who urged his supporters to return to PDP, pointed out that

APC under the leadership of the governor cannot make any political impact in the state.

  Also, the  Interim Treasurer of  All Progressives

Party (APC) in Adamawa State, Alhaji Musa Kama, has declared that APC is heading for the rocks and the political supporters of Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd) might pull out of the party to join PDP if injustice perpetrated by Nyako’s leadership continues.

 Kamale who spoke to The Guardian in Yola said that many stakeholders were not comfortable with undemocratic practices going on in the party and are presently defecting in droves to the PDP.

 He said: “As long as illegality becomes the order of the day in APC, we are ready to leave the party with other stakeholders. Enough is enough! We will not continue working with Governor Murtala Nyako who does not believe in democratic norms.”

 According to Kamale, the so-called Task Force, put in place by the governor, has not been dissolved by State Interim Management Committee [SIMC], pointing out that the SIMC itself has been turned to a one-man

show.

“Council chairmen in five local government areas have hijacked registration materials from the authentic trained supervisors and finally as I am talking to you, the allowances and transport fees for the registration supervisors and officers are yet to be paid,” he said.

 When journalists contacted the state interim chairman of APC, Mr. Kobis Ari Thimnu, he sent a text message “he is free to go.”

“If this type of impunity can be perpetrated during

registration exercise, what should be expected during the forthcoming congresses is better imagined. These people that came from the New PDP with Nyako have shown us that there is no way a leopard can change his spot with the kind of impunity they brought to the APC.”

 Kamale said Gundiri has made a wise decision by returning to PDP because there is lack of internal

democracy in Adamawa APC under Nyako.

 He added: “Many things have been happening since our unification meeting. We have discussed the issue of being fair to all sides, but up till now some members are being treated like outcasts. So you cannot blame

anybody for defecting to the PDP and if this thing continues in the congresses, no one can guarantee the continued stay of some of our members in the party.” (GUARDIAN)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

President JonathanI: I won’t preside over Nigeria’s break-up


• Insists Sanusi still CBN gov.

•  Announces confab’s chair, scribe next week

• Declares result of conference to affect govt ‘marginally’

• Scores armed forces high on anti-terror fight, faults Shettima

• Denies plan to appoint military administrator in Borno

• Blames outage on sabotage, silent on 2015 ambition

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan last night said he would by Monday next week announce the chairman and secretary of the proposed national conference on the nation’s challenges.

  He also declared the issues surrounding the suspension of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as ‘unfortunate’, adding that whichever money is missing in the coffers of the Federal Government would be investigated and found.

  Jonathan said during his first media chat of the year that he would inaugurate the conference in two weeks’ time, barely one week after the constitution of its secretariat.

  The President also defended his policy that the issue of Nigeria’s indivisibility should not be part of the conference deliberations as “there is no President that will preside over the disintegration of the state.”

  He noted that the fall-out of the conference would only affect his administration ‘marginally’ as it would be a working document to be implemented after the 2015 elections.

  “Sometimes, some people talk of disintegration. Even on the committee that produced the guidelines for the national conference, only one memo talked about disintegration. By the 3rd of March, we will announce the name of the chairman and the secretary. They will then work out the details of the working of the conference. I will then inaugurate the conference. Nobody is saying that without the conference, Nigeria will disintegrate. No. Nobody is saying that. People make a lot of provocative statements. Even our own constitution, some people say it is not a peoples’ constitution. In the run-up to independence, there were constitutional conferences. We are entering a second centenary as a nation. If there are things to correct, we correct them now.

  “The fall-out of the conference will affect my administration marginally. The result that will come out of the conference will not affect my administration significantly. The conference is necessary for a new administration to come in with a new mindset. The outcome of the conference will be part of the 2015 political campaigns. If people agree at the conference and say, ‘this is what Nigerians want’, you follow it. I don’t want to dictate to Nigerians. They, through their representatives, will decide what is best for Nigeria.”

  On the suspension of Malam Sanusi, Jonathan noted: “Yes, the President has powers to suspend the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. Even the CBN is not well defined in the Nigerian constitution like other statutory bodies. The CBN Act only says that the President appoints the CBN Governor and deputy governors and sends the list to the Senate for confirmation. Sanusi has not been removed as the Governor of CBN. He is still the Governor. That is why there won’t be a substantive governor until all the issues are resolved. The issue of suspension came up because the CBN governor is the Chief Executive and chairman of the CBN board of governors. And there were issues raised by the Financial Reporting Council. The CBN governor who is a key figure as chairman cannot preside over the issues. The board of the CBN will resolve it. It is the issue of financial auditing and we must allow the Financial Reporting Council to work.

  “So, Sanusi has to step aside. When you are dealing with the treasury of a nation, you have to be careful. You consult widely. No President can just wake up and take such a decision. You consult widely. It was in February 2013 that the CBN governor sent the 2012 report of the CBN to me. There were statutory bodies that were to work on the report. So, it has been going back and forth.”

   On the reported money adjudged to be missing through the presentation of Malam Sanusi in his letters and presentation at the National Assembly, Jonathan noted: “We got calls from all over the world. We were alarmed. I did not know what to believe. But even if one dollar disappeared from the NNPC, we must find it. But we must follow the due process. If you don’t want to follow the due process, Nigerians will suffer. There are processes required to audit Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Even if one dollar is missing, and $20 billion is a lot of money, no President will accept that one dollar, not to talk of $1 billion will disappear either from NNPC or anywhere.”

  On the fight against terrorism, he said the administration is concerned that the incident has not subsided. According to him, “we are not happy when people are killed for no just cause. But I must say that it is not altogether a total failure, there have been successes recorded, but the only thing is that it is the negative ones that get noticed.”

  Tracing the genesis of the current crisis, the President said the dangerous phase of terrorism started in Abuja, recalling how the Police Force Headquarters was bombed, which also extended to the United Nations (UN) House in the nation’s capital, but noted that the security agents were doing their best.

  The President confirmed that Nigerian authorities were working with the Camerounian authorities to tackle the situation. According to him, “the activities of the terrorist sect are so deadly in Nigeria that no country wants to get to where we are now in terms of terror.”

  The President denied that the fight against Boko Haram had been left to the army alone, saying that all facets of the security agencies were involved in the fight to restore normalcy in the country.

  The President said while the option of dialogue was being pursued, the military option still remained viable because of the nature of the operation of Boko Haram. He said: “Terrorists are difficult to deal with effectively because they are brainwashed. Therefore, their approach is always difficult and deadly. In the light of that, while we believe in dialogue, the military option still remains on the card.”

  Jonathan described the comment by Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima last week that the terrorists were better equipped than Nigerian Army as an unfortunate situation, saying as leader of the people, the governor ought to have been more careful in his utterances.

  The President said if the governor did not believe that the armed forces were doing anything, he could withdraw the soldiers from the state “for just one month and let’s see what would happen to him, if he can survive as a governor in that state.”

  But the President denied reports that he had planned to appoint a military administrator for Borno State to tackle the insurgency, saying as a President, he did not think that he had that power to appoint a military administrator for any state, and as such, he could not have contemplated such a plan.

  The President, who also spoke on the aftermath of the recently-privatised power sector, blamed outright sabotage as responsible for the power outage being experienced in some recent times.

  According to him, while it might not be possible to start experiencing automatic improvement in the generation and distribution of power supply to the country, the new owners started on a clean slate, saying: “They have even gone beyond the expectations, but for the outright sabotage by some unpatriotic people, things would have been better.”

  The President spoke on “occasional deliberate sabotage on the power sector because a situation where people go to blow the pipeline where gas is transmitted is quite unfortunate. But nevertheless, that we have been able to successfully privatised the power sector alone without Nigerians raising objection is a big step for us.

  “If you know the history of Nigeria, it is not always that government would privatise such a huge government asset without Nigerians questioning the sincerity of purpose, but that we have successfully done that is a big credit to us in this administration and I can assure you that we are going to get over it.”

  Defending his trips to traditional rulers and religious leaders and his attendance of rallies to receive those decamping from other parties to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jonathan said that his attendance of his party’s rallies was in line with the constitution of PDP where the President is the leader.

  He said: “It is the tradition of the PDP that the President is the leader of the party. The President is expected to lead his party to victory. The political environment is very hot. But definitely, you will need to tell Nigerians that PDP is still the dominant party in the country.”

  On governors and other leaders who are cross-carpeting to other parties, Jonathan stated that “we are all elected by Nigerians. The days elected president, governors, senators or others impose their will on Nigerians is over. The issue is whether you are doing well or not. The outcome of the movement to other parties will depend on how the people assess you.”

   On when he would declare, he said that Nigerians should wait first as “I am a sitting president. If I say am contesting, there will be issues. If I say am not contesting, there will be issues. When I declared in 2011, it was not hidden. You will know when the time comes.”

  On the centenary celebrations, Jonathan said: “For us to stay together as a nation, it is worth celebrating. The essence of the centenary celebration is unity. We need to celebrate unity.”

  Meanwhile, there may be no end yet to the orgy of violence in Borno State as suspected Boko Haram gunmen on Sunday attacked Malari village and shot two people dead, before torching about 56 houses, shops and vehicles.

  Also, Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Osun North East (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye, has called on  Jonathan to declare a three-day fasting and prayer to check the Boko Haram menace.

  In the same vein, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has cautioned the Federal Government against going ahead with its reported plan to remove the elected governor of Borno and appoint a military administrator to oversee the affairs of the state under the guise of intensifying the fight against Boko Haram.

  In a related development, the Benue State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday staged a peaceful protest to Government House, Makurdi, against the incessant killing of farmers in the state by suspected Fulani mercenaries.

  President Jonathan stated in Abuja yesterday while declaring open an international seminar on the Observance of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Internal Security Operations that the option of dialogue with the Boko Haram was still open.

  He also recalled that the National Committee on Peace and Dialogue in the northern parts of the country was constituted to explore ways of dialoguing with the Boko Haram with a view to addressing their grievances, if any.

  The President, however, said that while waiting for response from the group, the military operations in the troubled areas would continue to safeguard lives and property.

  “I wish to use this platform to renew my previous call to members of the sect to lay down their arms and engage government in a constructive manner in order to address their grievances, if truly they have any reason to do what they are doing. However, while we are awaiting a positive response from the Boko Haram , it is important to note that government has the responsibility to protect the lives and property of our citizens. No efforts will be spared by this administration in discharging that responsibility,” he said.

  He added: “Our administration has committed tremendous resources and adopted several approaches to prosecuting the fight against terror in Nigeria.

  “The declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states is one of the measures taken to contain the activities of the terrorists.”

  The President commended the organisers of the seminar with the theme: “Engendering greater understanding of the legal underpinning of internal security operations.”

  He said the seminar was meant to ensure that the efforts to tackle the security challenges in the country were carried out within the confines of the laws, was apt, most critical and relevant.

  “This seminar comes at the most appropriate time given the degree of security threat facing our country and it is imperative for us to effectively address the threat within lawful and acceptable international norms,” he said.

  The President noted that because of the brutal nature the Boko Haram carried out its attacks, it was impossible to rule out counter-force.

  He said government had been guided by a commitment that any allegations of human rights abuses and non-adherence to applicable rules of engagement by the military were appropriately addressed.

  Jonathan said he had directed the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs to ensure that relevant human rights and international humanitarian norms were emphasised in the training of members of the armed forces.

  He admonished individual members of the armed forces to act within a high sense of responsibility and avoid any criminality in the discharge of their duties.

  “We are faced with the challenge of dealing with a group that does not feel oblige to observe the basic tenets of human rights and humanitarian precepts in their modus operandi.

  “The group is so brutal and so remote from modern civilisation, killing innocent people at will.

  “To effectively address these challenges, government has had to frequently deploy the military and other security service in maintaining law and order and restoring normalcy.

  “However, such interventions sometimes evoke concern on account of perceived collateral damage that may be associated with intense military operations.

  “As the Commander-in-Chief, I am particularly concerned about the manner in which the men and women of the armed forces discharge their responsibilities in spite of the daunting pressure.

  “I will like to re-affirm our commitment to ensure that the military at all times adhere to the rules of engagements,” he said.

  Malari village is on the Maiduguri-Bama Road, and 30 kilometres east of Maiduguri, the state capital. A top military officer attached to the Special Operations in the Sambisa Forest who spoke on the condition of anonymity noted: “Malari village was attacked last night (Sunday) around 1.35 p.m. where two villagers were gunned down; and several houses, including 37 shops and vehicles, were set ablaze by suspected insurgents who fled to the forest.”

  Speaking at the weekend during the breakfast outreach programme organised to mark the 5th Anniversary of Osun North East Diocese at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Lagos, the bishop, who lamented the continued carnage in the North, said it was high time leaders in the country rose up  to find solutions to the loss of innocent lives.

  “It is now crystal clear that what is going on in the North is a spiritual battle and you can only use spiritual weapon to combat spiritual battle. The arms of flesh and guns have failed us. Soldiers were unable to quell the crises and so our final solution is to turn to God.  It is only those who can see the invisible that do the impossible”, the bishop said.

  In a statement in Ibadan yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC said the Presidency should realise that there was always a limit to impunity, and that if indeed anyone should be removed over the protracted insurgency in the state and the entire North-East, it should  be Jonathan.

  ‘’What is happening in the North-East in general and Borno State in particular is failure of leadership at the highest level of government, especially because the imposition of a state of emergency in the three worst-hit states has given the President emergency powers to deal with the protracted crisis.

  ‘’As the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Jonathan is in full control of all the instruments of coercion available to the country, which he can and has been deploying at will. If, therefore, some seemingly implacable dead-enders have continued to kill, maim and destroy in any part of the country, no one but the President should be held liable. Everyone knows a governor does not deploy troops”, he said.

  The protesters numbering about 5,000 drawn from the 23 local councils of the state and led by the state CAN chairman, Bishop Nyiman Orkwar, among other state officials, started the protest from Wurukum Roundabout to Government House where they were addressed by Governor Gabriel Suswam.

   Orkwar said if Suswam had been compensating Fulani that had their cows killed by criminals, then the Federal Government should compensate family victims of the heinous Fulani killings in the state.

  They condemned the idea of creating grazing ground for the herdsmen in the state, demanding that rather, the Federal Government should build dams in the far North to enable them to grow grasses to feed their cows.

  Addressing the protesters, Suswam who commended CAN for the peaceful manner they expressed their disgust, further stressed that as representatives of the people, government was sharing the same pains.


Source;http://ngrguardiannews.com/

Monday, 24 February 2014

Mass defection of APC members to PDP in Edo State


BENIN—HUNDREDS of All Progressives Congress, APC, members in Owan West and Owan East Local Government Areas of Edo State, have defected to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with a promise by the leadership of the party to ensure that dividends of democracy were circulated among all members.

APC defectors, who were received in Sabongida Ora, headquarters of Owan West council, by former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Roland Owie, former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Zakawanu Garuba, and state deputy chairman, Mr Christopher Adesotu, who represented the state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, said: “You are making history today because the North and South of Nigeria were amalgamated 100 years ago.”

He charged the people of South – South geo-political zone to pray that President Goodluck Jonathan contests next year’s presidential election. He also called on the North to exercise patience and wait for their turn to produce the president.

Senator Owie said the PDP had been vindicated by last week’s verdict of the judges of the Edo State Local Government Election Tribunal that ordered fresh poll in Esan North-East council, calling on the members of Edo State Independent Electoral Commission to resign and face trial.

Among the APC leaders who joined PDP along with their supporters were Chief Sunday Ekehinde and Tunde Ehindero, who said they had to leave APC because the party was corrupt, promising to expose the corruption in the party soon.

Zakawanu Garuba, who represented the former Chief of Staff to President Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, said the days of the ruling APC administration in the state were numbered, given what the party members described as misrule and destruction of the fabrics of governance in the state.(VANGUARD)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Permanent voters’ card ready for 2015 election ready – INEC


LAGOS — SPURRED by the catalogue of criticisms trailing  its 2015 elections time table, the Independent National  Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday revealed that permanent voters’ cards for 2015 general elections are ready and it would begin the distribution of same for Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections from February 25.
The commission explained the reasons the 2015 elections would be staggered and not held in one day as earlier agreed with the political parties. The commission also answered some of the questions that trailed the faulty conduct of elections in the past and the efforts it is making to ensure hitch free elections.
In an interactive section with Editors yesterday in Lagos, the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega revealed that in line with constitutional provisions on conduct of elections, the commission has scheduled February 25 to March 12  to commence distribution of permanent voters cards for Ekiti and Osun  gubernatorial elections and March 12 to 17 for the  display of voters register for Osun governorship polls.
Represented by Dr Chris Iyimoga, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Publicity Committee, Jega said permanent voters cards for 2015 general elections are ready.

INEC officials at work:…
On why the polls would be staggered, he said holding all the  elections in one day as earlier agreed will be too tasking, coupled with the high level of illiteracy among voters.
“ We learnt lessons in the last general elections and this time we hope to take another look at the structure and processes involved. The key thing in any general elections is to have a credible election. We are committed to achieving the best and perfect voters’ register. We have gone through the biometrics since 2011 elections and we want to get it right.
“The nationwide process for distribution of permanent voters’ cards will commence as soon as all is ready and the logistics and every detail is in place. We want the permanent voters’ cards to be swiped by the card reader to determine their authenticity so we would avoid what we passed through in the past¼ and  certain parts of the Electoral Act which posed a  hinderance in 2011 would be reviewed by the National Assembly by July 3rd this year,” he said.
On the issue of security,  the INEC said it was putting everything in place to control snatching of ballot boxes and other forms of  electoral violence.
“We are putting everything in place to improve security at polling units and we are involving the police, and the army to work as a team and put intelligence together  to curb electoral violence. INEC is worried by the attitude of politicians and their scary utterances. We are worried by lack of internal party democracy and sometimes how the candidates emerge pose problems and that is why INEC is always invited to parties’ primaries to observe the conduct of the primaries.
The commission called for active participation of the electorate saying that “inactive citizenry participation in the preparations is also a problem. When the electorates don’t participate in preparations for elections, it poses a challenge.”
It also canvassed that the electoral umpire should not be burdened with handling electoral offences. “ INEC should not be saddled with the issue of electoral offenders as some of them are criminal cases that should be handled by the police. There should be a body in place to handle these issues. This current INEC has prosecuted over 200 people for electoral offences including rigging. Almost a million people are guilty of double registration nationwide. How do we begin to prosecute all these people?
“ Look at what happened at the Anambra elections. Even observer status cards were forged. There were fake media cards too. These people travelled across five states before they were arrested in Imo. We don’t know what they were coming to do in Anambra. They were arrested and that case is still on.
“ We failed in Anambra but it was not too woeful. Let’s just hope that Ekiti and Osun guber elections would be better. INEC cannot be everywhere. We employed 15,000 people as staff but during elections, we deploy about 500,000 people,” Jega said.


source: http://www.vanguardngr.com/

Boko Haram: I won’t reply presidency – Governor Shettima

Gov. kashim Shettima 

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, on Wednesday, said he would not reply the presidency on the latter’s statement accusing the governor of falsehood and ignorance.
The presidency, had on Tuesday, through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, berated the Borno governor for suggesting that the members of the Boko Haram were better armed and motivated than Nigerian soldiers battling the insurgents in the North East.
Mr. Shettima had made the statement on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on the recent upsurge in attacks on civilians in Borno by the Boko Haram.
On Wednesday, Mr. Shettima was again at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to further brief the president on the happenings in Borno including the early Wednesday attack on Bama by the Boko Haram.
The governor confirmed to reporters that the Bama attack occurred, but did not provide details. Security agencies are also yet to provide details with residents saying many people may have been killed.
“There was an attack on Bama,” Mr. Shettima told journalists after a short meeting with Mr. Jonathan. “We are yet to get the actual number of casualties but I am told that they have inflicted a lot of damage on the town, but the military are doing their best.’’
The attack, suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram members, reportedly took place at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday.
I won’t reply presidency
When asked whether he was summoned by the President on account of his earlier comment on Monday that the Boko Haram was better equipped than the military, the governor said “not at all.’’
He said he came to the Presidential Villa “to adequately update President Goodluck Jonathan on the happenings in Borno State.”
He, however, declined to speak further on the earlier comment he made and the response from the Presidency.
“I do not want to comment on that. President Jonathan is our president and I am here to update him on the Bama attack and I do not want to make additional comments.”
Earlier on Monday, after meeting with Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Shettima had said,
“What we are being confronted with is that we are in a state of war. It is what I came to update Mr. President; the sooner we stop playing the ostrich and rise up to the challenges of the day, and marshal all resources towards visualizing the antics of Boko Haram, the better for all of us.
“But the bottom line is that we need more resources, more vote on ground. In all fairness to the officers and men of the Nigerian Army and Police, they are doing their best given the circumstances they have found themselves in. But honestly Boko Haram are better armed and are better motivated than our own troops.”
Mr. Okupe had on Tuesday replied the governor, saying the military was winning the war against terror and Mr. Shettima, not being a military expert, was not in a position to assess and compare the sophistication of the weaponry of the Nigerian Armed Forces with that of the Boko Haram.
He added that “Nigeria is not in a state of war’’ as claimed by the governor, saying that what was being witnessed in some parts of the Northern region were guerrilla attacks.
(NAN)

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Cop Kills Inspector, Injures Corporal

It was a case of dog eat dog in Benin City, capital of Edo State when a police corporal, Oziegbe Omobude, on Monday night in Benin City, shot to death, a senior officer, a police inspector, while another corporal sustained bullet wounds. The incident happened at Iyoha Road near Guinness Nigeria Plc, Ikpoba Hill, in Benin City, capital of Edo State. THISDAY gathered that the police inspector was on his way to hus duty post, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), located at Agbor Road when he was killed by Omobude now on the run. However, the police corporal, who was said to have accidentally boarded the same vehicle with the suspect to Agbor park, was attacked and shot by the gun-wielding Omobude, who apparently suspected the injured corporal-colleague of his saw him kill the police inspector. The corporal, simply identified as Ayinla, was said to have alighted from the bus and was demanding for his change from the bus driver when the suspect shot at him and ordered the driver to drive off. At press time, the police authorities in Benin City had not come up with any reason(s) for the action of the suspect, who is an indigene of Uokhai community in Owan East Local Government Area of the state. When contacted, the state police command spokesman, Moses Eguavoen, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident. Meanwhile, the injured corporal is taking treatment at an undisclosed hospital at Ikpoba Hill area of the city which morgue the corpse of the late inspector has also been deposited. – Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City- THIS DAY

Friday, 15 November 2013

Heavy Traffic inOnitsha hours to polls

Onitsha (Anambra) Nigeria– A traffic gridlock on Friday crippled commercial activities in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra, barely hours to the governorship poll in the state. Commuters entering Anambra from the Asaba end were stranded as traffic at the Onitsha Head Bridge came to a snarl. Within the town, the traffic also crawled as people jostled to make purchases ahead of the 22-hour restriction of movement called by the security agencies starting from Friday night. A driver who gave his name as Ossai said that he was in the traffic for more than three hours from Asaba to Onitsha, a journey that usually took 10 minutes. Mr Clement Okolie, a businessman, said that it would have been better if the election lasted for a few hours to enable people to go about their normal life. Reacting to the situation, Mr Benjamin Okonkwo, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Onitsha Unit, said its officers and men had been working relentlessly to put the traffic under control. Okonkwo said the corps had been in the area since 10 a.m. trying to control and ease the congestion. He noted that the grid lock must have been caused by a broken-down truck at the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge. “Apart from the reported break-down at the Asaba end of the bridge, there is also an on-going repair of the Asaba end of the Onitsha-Asaba road by the Federal Road Maintanence Agency (FERMA). “I will assure you and Nigerians using this road that we will not leave until normalcy is returned to the road today,’’ he said. (NAN)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

PDP CRISIS Court rejects New PDP’s bid to reopen office,

AS President Goodluck Jonathan awaits the report of the Elders Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, indications have emerged that the committee set up by the president over the ongoing crisis has recommended “tough” actions against any recalcitrant member of the party. Sources in the administration confirmed that the political committee, which is one of the three strategic committees set up by President Goodluck Jonathan last week had concluded that the President should jettison the carrot and stick approach in handling the crisis and go for a frontal attack on his enemies. Sources said that the Committee believes that President Jonathan cannot continue to display statesmanship while others are busy with their efforts aimed at pulling down the house. The Committee it was learnt has recommended the dissolution of state executive committees in the G7 states including, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa, Sokoto and Kwara. Sources said that the committee recommended that with the posture of the aggrieved G7 members, it is obvious that they are up to something sinister for the PDP, the source said. The source stated that the report of the three strategic committees would be presented to Mr. president on Tuesday. According to a source, while the president was tinkering with a carrot and stick approach, the committee has recommended “a full blown action plan, which includes a dissolution of the state executive committees of at least five of the warring states activities of the disloyal members in the above mentioned states and possible expulsion of some of the indicted. “Chieftains of the PDP in those mentioned states have not complemented the peaceful disposition of President Jonathan all the while. Their actions amount to taking the president for granted. Action is needed to be taken after identifying those stoking the fire. “The states include Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Adamwa and Kwara.” Sources stated that other measures on the cards include a comprehensive X-ray of the activities of the G7 states. The committee was angry that while President Jonathan has been conciliatory in his approach so far, the G5 governors are not complementing the actions. The committee also described the situation thus: “While it is clear that the president has not declared his stand concerning the next presidential election, some persons have been orchestrating issues in a way to create confusion and prevent the President from focusing on governance. “This is an act of gross indiscipline that must be tackled head on, the committee reported. The two other committees (Legal and Contact), which were equally set up alongside the political committee last week were also said to have concluded their assignment and ready with their reports for the president. Sources also said that the legal and contact committees also resolved, refused to disclose the details of the recommendations prepared by the other two committees, to raise a standing team to watch the opposition groups, especially the bid to secure what was called “market place injunctions” against the PDP. Court rejects New PDP’s bid to reopen office Justice Ganiyu Safari of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Monday turned down the application of the factional Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Kawu Baraje seeking for an order to reopen its Abuja secretariat that was sealed off by the police on Saturday. The Baraje faction had dragged the old PDP led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to court asking the court to restrain the embattled chairman and his co-defendants from parading themselves as PDP NEC members and had at the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday asked for an order opening their office. Those joined alongside Tukur as defendants are Mr. Uche Secondus, Deputy National Chairman; Dr Kema Chikwe, Women Leader and Mr. Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary. However, Justice Safari refused to make a definite pronouncement to open the office on the ground that there was no concrete evidence before the court, adding that there was no evidence linking the Bamanga Tukur-led faction to the action of the police. The court held that if the party feels that the police is culpable, claimants should file a different application joining the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as defendant in that regard. Counsel for the Baraje faction, Mr. Robert Emukpaero, had alleged before the court that Tukur and others used the police to seal off the faction’s secretariat, describing the act as a violation of the order of the court directing parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the suit at the last hearing of the matter last Monday. He urged the court to order the police to remove their Armored Personnel Carrier vehicles from the secretariat and allow his clients access to their offices. Citing the case of the Supreme court decision in Lagos state governor v. Ojukwu in 1986, Emukpoeruo urged the court to order that the police move the APC stationed at the claimant’s office as the Supreme Court has said when a matter is in court that party should not do anything to pre-empt the court. In his reply, the defense counsel, Ajibola Oluyede dismissed the claimant’s allegation as a mere say which cannot be relied upon by the court, adding that there was no evidence linking them (defendants) to the sealing off of the secretariat. He further stated that it was only an assumption that the police had acted on the orders of his clients and only the police could explain why the office was sealed off. He argued that the claimant did not file any affidavit and documentary evidence to support his claims, saying it was a mere emotional outburst that is of no use to the court. Oluyede also argued that the claimant has admitted that their office was closed by the police and that the assumption that it was carried out on the orders of the defendants was of no moment. “The police is a statutory organization that has discretion powers that cannot be usurped by any one, even the court. They are the only proper respondent, unfortunately, they are not here and they are not parties to this case.” He, therefore urged the court to discountenance the submission of the claimant as it is only the police that can tell the court what prompted them to seal off their office. Justice Safari ruled that there was no evidence linking the defendants to the closure of the said secretariat, adding that while the defendants were high ranking members of the PDP, they had no powers to order the police to seal off the secretariat or deploy security agents to the area. However, he reiterated his previous order that both parties should maintain the status quo pending the determination of the matter and adjourned the matter till September 17, 2013 for hearing of the preliminary objection filed by the defendants. Before the arguments however, there was a mild drama in the court creating confusion in the camp of the defendants. Three counsel announced themselves in court and there was a tussle on who had the right to represent the old PDP faction Oluyede first announced his appearance as counsel to the defendants, Boniface Igwe also stood to announce himself as defendant’s counsel from Gadzama chambers to represent Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and other defendants while Emeka Etiaba also announced appearance for the Deputy Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; the Woman Leader, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, and the Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metuh. Oluyede had argued that he had the instructions of Alhaji Tukur to represent him and others which prompted him to file some processes in court while Igwe and Etiaba displayed letters from the PDP’s National Legal Adviser instructing them to represent the defendants. Justice Safari had resolved the controversy in favour of Oluyede, who was the counsel on record on the basis that the other lawyers, who had also filed processes in court, had not fulfilled the requirement of order 48 of the Lagos High court rules.

Friday, 6 September 2013

CAN PDP ELDERS UNITE THE DIVIDED HOUSE


BY: EMMANUEL OLADESU,THE NATION
In the past, the old political war horses were sidelined in the running of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) across the states. The governors, who are the party’s acclaimed state leaders, perceived them as threats and ambitious gerontocratic monitors. But when its protracted crises led to balkanisation, its anxious stalwarts turned to the founding fathers for intervention and reconciliation.
The elders’ intervention is the initiative of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who appears not neutral in the crisis. A section of the divided party fears that the move may pale into another diversionary antics of an unpredictable and cunning statesman.
Today, in Abuja, the PDP elders will be locked in sober reflection over the turn of events. The number of elders expected at the crucial meeting is not known. But the party has elders across the six geo-political zones. They include former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, Chief Solomon Lar, Mrs. Titi Ajanaku, Prof. Jibril Aminu, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Chief S.K. Babalola, former Anambra State Governor Jim Nwobodo, Alhaji Mohammed Abba-Gana, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Tunde Osunrinde, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Senator Ameh Ebute, Senator Ahmadu Ali, Chief Tony Anenih, former Information Minister Chief Edwin Clark, Commodore Bode George, Chief Peter Odili, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, Gen. David Jemibewon, Senator Olu Alabi, Chief Alaba Williams, Alabo Graham Douglas, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, Chief Dapo Sarunmi, Dr. Umaru Dikko, and Senator Yinka Omilani.
Not all the elders see eye to eye. For example, many of them criticised Obasanjo’s style as President. They believe that he set dangerous precedents as the pioneer PDP national leader between 1999 and 2007. Obasanjo and Anenih exchanged hot words over the Board of Trustees (BoT) chairmanship. The Uromi chief believed that he was displaced by the retired general before he regained the seat. Lar’s supporters have not forgiven the former president over the way the pioneer national chairman was shoved aside. Clark has also attacked the Ota farmer, accusing him of fuelling the crisis. Other elders have also taken sides in the divisive and potentially destabilising crisis. Therefore, the meeting may hold in an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion.
Esteemed elders, including Ekwueme and Nwachukwu have cause to be weary of critical intervention in logjam. Almost six years ago, the former vice-president spent precious time traversing the six zones as the Chairman of the PDP Reconciliation Committee. He collated the grievances of the aggrieved chieftains and wrote a report. But the report never saw the light of day. It was thrown into the dustbin. Had it been implemented, sanity may have returned to the divided family.
At the state level, the advice of the elders have also been ignored. In Lagos, when some elders, including Ajiroba Williams, Mr. Olorunfunmi Basorun and Senator Tony Adefuye, canvassed peaceful peaceful resolution of the crisis facing the party, the arrowheads of the party evolved a factional elders committee, which backed subscribed to their politics of exclusion. A PDP elder from Ogun State, Osunrinde, headed a reconciliation panel, which evolved a formula for the distribution of party and government positions among the four factions. The report was never implemented by the party. The chapter is still in crisis till today.
When the PDP leadership crisis escalated, Anenih, Tukur and President Joanthan had visited Obasanjo in Abeokuta separately. They discussed the future of the party that is now ebbing away. But their discussions did not avert the impending doom.
President Goodluck Jonathan and the mainstream PDP National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur actually need the elders’ decisive intervention. But the President’s camp has indicated that it will welcome it with caution and reservation. To them, it smacks of hypocritical commitment on Obasanjo’s part to initiate truce, while at the same time fueling the crisis.
Indisputably, the relationship between Obasanjo and Dr. Jonathan has been frosty. The former President had resigned as the BOT chairman in protest. Sources said that, rather than urging him to retrace his steps, President Jonathan welcomed the resignation with a mixture of shock and understanding. He never persuaded his benefactor to return to his influential position in the party. This, some insiders said, annoyed the former President.
Later, Obasanjo put the President on the weighing scale. Reminiscent of his verdict on his successor, the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, he said Jonathan should quit, if he lacked the capacity to shoulder the enormous responsibility of his office. The remarks did not go down well with the President. Also, when the former President was expected at Abuja for the second anniversary of Jonathan Administration, he went to Jigawa State, where he showered praises on Governor Sule Lamido. Party faithful came to the conclusion that Obasanjo had endorsed the former Foreign Affairs minister for the Presidency in 2015. Their evidence was that he deliberately hit Jonathan with a bullet of words and projected Lamido as his replacement.
Many suspect Obasanjo because five of the seven “rebellious” governors are his men. He was responsible for the victory of Lamido, Babangida Aliyu (Niger State), Admiral Muritala Nyako (Adamawa), Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), and Alhaji Kwakwanso (Kano) in 2007. Since then, the governors have been relating with him as godfather. In fact, when the “G5” started its offensive, the first port of call was Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta. It coincided with the visit of the president. But they dodged the number one citizen.
Niger State Chief Servant Aliyu had canvassed power shift to the North, claiming that the president had a pact with some Northern leaders on presidential zoning in 2011. He said the inexplicable pact should be honoured. Thus, when Obasanjo visited Jigawa and showered encomium on Lamido, it was interpreted as a subtle endorsement for power shift.
Obasanjo has unresolved issues with Dr. Jonathan. He is not happy with the removal of his associates; Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the National Secretary and Mr. Segun Oni and the National Vice Chairman (Southwest). Oyinlola’s election was not voided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which voided the election of other 17 national officers. The former Osun State governor and secretary of the Kawu Baraje’s faction is still in court challenging his revoval.
Also, the former President had threw his weight behind the Ogun State PDP faction led by Senator Dipo Odujinrin. But, following a court ruling, the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) headed by Tukur gave recognition to the faction headed by Adebayo Dayo, an engineer. The decision infuriated Obasanjo, who complained that the national leadership did not have the courtesy to discuss with him before taking action.
After today’s meeting, the elders committee may come up with a number of ideas and suggestions. But the elders’ counsels will only be advisory. The elders forum is not a formal party structure. It can bark, but cannot bite. It does not have the power to implement its decisions and whip the President and party chairman to line.
Trust is a scare commodity in the PDP. Mutual suspicion is the watchword. Thus, the intervention may be counter-productive. The Presidency seemed to have suspected a hidden agenda on Obasanjo’s part. Will that perception not shape or influence its response to any option that may be canvassed by the elders committee?

Fresh Boko Haram attack Kills 20 in Borno

The Boko Haram sect came back with fury yesterday, despite the serious efforts by the military to crush its insurgency.
Men suspected to be members of the sect, bearing sophisticated weapons, launched attacks in Borno State, killing no fewer than 20 people.
They attacked schools and hospitals, setting some houses on fire in Gajiram, headquarters of Nganzai Local Government and Bulabulin Ngawra village in Konduga Local Government Area of the beleaguered state.
Nganzai is about 73 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. Bullabulin Ngawra is 45 kilometres away. The local governments share boundaries with the terrorists’ major camps in Marte and the Sambisa Forests, which the military said had been destroyed since June.
The terrorists reported to be about 40, were armed with Ak47 rifles. No fewer than 15 people were killed in the ambush on Gajiram. The vigilance youths also known as “civillian JTF” and military men later engaged them.
The terrorists also laid ambush to the Damboa-Maiduguri road, which was reopened two weeks ago, where they were believed to have shot dead five people.
“The Boko Haram sect members attacked Bullabulin Ngawra in the early hours of today (Thursday) and killed five people. I believe that they attacked us because of how our volunteers have succeeded in curtailing their atrocities in our area,” an eyewitness said.
Some Maiduguri residents told reporters: “We saw two Hilux patrol vehicles of the military conveying bodies and the injured heading towards University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), but we could not ascertain whether they were victims of the latest attack in Nganzai or Bullabulin Ngawra”.
It was gathered that on Wednesday, the “Civilian JTF” and the military arrested 14 terror suspects with arms and ammunition in Bulunkutu ward, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) premises and Sulimanti ward of Maiduguri metropolis.
The suspects, according to sources in Maiduguri, sneaked into the hospital through the perimeter fence, before the youths sighted them with rifles and ammunition at about 10.35am on Wednesday.
“The suspects disguised as injured and sick persons with rifles hidden under their flowing gowns. They perforated the barbed wires; before entering the hospital premises to seek medical attention. The vigilance youths saw the suspects and arrested them on the spot, before handing them to us here.”
Some suspects were also arrested in Bulunkutu in Maiduguri when they were trying to collate information on the activities of the civilian JTF.
The military spokesman in Borno Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, said he was not aware of the incidents. He promised to get back to reporters after compiling his report.


Fresh Boko Haram attack Kills 20 in Borno

The Boko Haram sect came back with fury yesterday, despite the serious efforts by the military to crush its insurgency.
Men suspected to be members of the sect, bearing sophisticated weapons, launched attacks in Borno State, killing no fewer than 20 people.
They attacked schools and hospitals, setting some houses on fire in Gajiram, headquarters of Nganzai Local Government and Bulabulin Ngawra village in Konduga Local Government Area of the beleaguered state.
Nganzai is about 73 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. Bullabulin Ngawra is 45 kilometres away. The local governments share boundaries with the terrorists’ major camps in Marte and the Sambisa Forests, which the military said had been destroyed since June.
The terrorists reported to be about 40, were armed with Ak47 rifles. No fewer than 15 people were killed in the ambush on Gajiram. The vigilance youths also known as “civillian JTF” and military men later engaged them.
The terrorists also laid ambush to the Damboa-Maiduguri road, which was reopened two weeks ago, where they were believed to have shot dead five people.
“The Boko Haram sect members attacked Bullabulin Ngawra in the early hours of today (Thursday) and killed five people. I believe that they attacked us because of how our volunteers have succeeded in curtailing their atrocities in our area,” an eyewitness said.
Some Maiduguri residents told reporters: “We saw two Hilux patrol vehicles of the military conveying bodies and the injured heading towards University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), but we could not ascertain whether they were victims of the latest attack in Nganzai or Bullabulin Ngawra”.
It was gathered that on Wednesday, the “Civilian JTF” and the military arrested 14 terror suspects with arms and ammunition in Bulunkutu ward, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) premises and Sulimanti ward of Maiduguri metropolis.
The suspects, according to sources in Maiduguri, sneaked into the hospital through the perimeter fence, before the youths sighted them with rifles and ammunition at about 10.35am on Wednesday.
“The suspects disguised as injured and sick persons with rifles hidden under their flowing gowns. They perforated the barbed wires; before entering the hospital premises to seek medical attention. The vigilance youths saw the suspects and arrested them on the spot, before handing them to us here.”
Some suspects were also arrested in Bulunkutu in Maiduguri when they were trying to collate information on the activities of the civilian JTF.
The military spokesman in Borno Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, said he was not aware of the incidents. He promised to get back to reporters after compiling his report.


POLICE ‘WITHDRAW AMAECHI’S ESCORT’

GOVERNOR ROTIMI AMAECHI WITH MRS JONATHAN
Governor Rotimi Amaechi with Mrs Jonathan(left)
After a brief lull, the row between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and state police chief Mbu Joseph Mbu resurface yesterday.
Amaechi’s escort commander has been withdrawn by the police, Commissioner for Information Ibim Semenitari claimed last night.
Police Commissioner Mbu reportedly made a request, which was not in the purview of the police officer following which he was removed from his position, Mrs. Semenitari said.
The report could not be confirmed last night as Mbu did not pick his calls.
The police authority earlier in the week declared Amaechi’s Aide-de-camp a deserter for failing to report to the Inspector General of Police as requested. But the state government said the ADC was on medical leave.
The governor’s security is threatened, the Rivers State government said in the statement, which said:
“The redeployment, according to CP Mbu, was because the Escort Commander had refused his directive to “Furnish (the CP) with prior information of the movement of the governor. The Escort Commander is not in charge of the governor’s protocol and cannot have prior knowledge of the governor’s movement, especially in the prevailing circumstances regarding security in the State.
“After redeploying the Escort Commander, CP Mbu also requested the Camp Commandant of Government House, Port Harcourt, to give him prior briefing of the governor’s daily movement – a request which in practice would be difficult to comply with, unless the Camp Commandant gets prior knowledge of the Governor’s movement.
“The Government of Rivers State is most uncomfortable with these developments and their implications for the security of Governor Amaechi. This is more so, as the developments are coming on the heels of the Rivers State Police Command’s declaration of Governor Amaechi’s ADC (which is receiving medical attention) as a deserter.
“This sudden interest of CP Mbu regarding the daily movement of Governor Amaechi cannot be borne out of love. If his intentions were noble and above board, CP Mbu has Governor Amaechi’s telephone number and could have reached him directly to make the request of prior briefing of his movements. Alternatively, he could have written officially to the Secretary to State Government to make the same request.
“This would be the first time, since Governor Amaechi assumed office in 2007, that a Police Commissioner would be requesting prior information of his movement. This was not the case even in the heyday of militancy in Rivers State. As far as we know, this is an exception rather than the rule.
“The fact that CP Mbu waited for the Governor to travel out of Port Harcourt to issue the invitation to policemen attached to Government House is curious and indicative of ulterior motives. His sudden interest in the Governor’s movement is suggestive of a more sinister motive.
“ CP Mbu has not hidden the fact that he holds Governor Amaechi in disdain and would stop at nothing to either harm him or aid those planning to harm him. After all, in May 2013, he allowed ex-militants to barricade the gate into the Government House after parading major streets of Port Harcourt.
“He has even acknowledged before the media that he found nothing wrong in fraternizing with militants.
“We suspect that the request for daily prior briefing on the Governor’s movement may be to furnish strange persons with necessary details of his movement, thereby placing him in harms’ way.
“ At different times, CP Mbu has compromised Governor Amaechi’s security and safety, and even personally led an attack on Government House, Port Harcourt on July 10, 2013. As Commissioner of Police, CP Mbu, refuses to brief the Governor, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state, on the state of security in Rivers State.
“We, therefore, wish to alert Nigerians and the rest of the world that CP Mbu should be held responsible should anything evil happen to the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, any principal officer or top government functionary in Rivers State. We believe that his current actions are sufficient warning to us “as a tree that cries out cannot kill anyone on its path”.


PDP crisis: Jonathan tells elders to shun Obasanjo

Jonathan-Obasanjo-picture
Jonathan-Obasanjo-picture
Even before it got off the drawing board, former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s plan to lead the peace moves in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has collapsed.
The meeting of elders to resolve the party’s crises was slated for today in Abuja.
It was “technically” called off last night at the Presidency’s prompting, The Nation learnt.
President Goodluck Jonathan, it was said, advised the elders to shun the meeting, following intelligence reports that Obasanjo was behind the crises.
The former President could not be reached last night.
Among the elders expected at the meeting are former chairmen and notable leaders.
A pre-meeting session of some governors at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge went on for hours last night.
It was not clear what was discussed, but the news about the Obasanjo mission may have been broken.
“All was well, until this evening when we learnt the President was opposed to Obasanjo presiding at the meeting,” a source said, adding: “He believes that Obasanjo is the architect of the crises; he shouldn’t be called to settle it and be seen as a peacemaker.”
The meeting slated for next Tuesday will hold. President Jonathan will preside.
Brickbats continued to fly yesterday amid shaky efforts to rescue the PDP.
A group loyal to President Jonathan also accused Obasanjo of being the architect of the crises. He should call his associates in the Kawu Baraje faction of the party to order, the Media Network for Transformation (MNT) said.
The group said Obasanjo could not continue to be the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob at the same time.
In a statement in Abuja, signed by its Coordinator, Mr. Goodluck Ebelo, the MNT urged Obasanjo to either renounce his associates in the New PDP or be treated like those rated as rebels by the party.
The group said “no arbiter, who is the guiding light of the rebels can make peace”.
To the President’s camp, Obasanjo is the unseen hand pulling the string of crises in the ruling party. There is suspicion in the Presidency over his peace mission.
Some governors were meeting last night at the Rivers Governor’s Lodge in Abuja ahead of today’s meeting.
National Chairman Bamanga Tukur yesterday described members of the Kawu Baraje faction as “prodigal sons” who would be accepted back into the fold, if they retraced their steps.
But the Baraje faction told Tukur that his “time is up”.
The statement said: “We call on former President Olusegun Obasanjo to call his associates to order. Apart from being their sponsor, the rebel governors draw their inspiration from him.
“Apart from numerous clandestine meetings, former President Obasanjo started his public romance with the rebel flank when he became unavoidably absent at this year’s Democracy Day celebration in Abuja, but vigorously participated in the day’s activities in Dutse, Jigawa State. That was followed by the rebel governors’ visit to his Abeokuta home.
“Then came last Saturday, and Chief Obasanjo’s mischief literarily flew over the Eagle Square venue of the Special Convention. Unavoidably absent, again, he was to turn up the next day in church, at the Presidential Villa, made a few platitudinous remarks on the need for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and thereafter called a meeting . His meeting failed and will continue to fail.
“Obasanjo cannot continue to be hands of Esau and the voice of Jacob at the same time. No arbiter, who is the guiding light of the rebels, can make peace. Peace, in this matter, will continue to elude President Obasanjo because his activities are the very antithesis of the conditions precedent to peace.”
The group said it suspected that Obasanjo cannot resolve the crisis in the party with alleged partisan interest.
The statement added: “Unfortunately, his eight years in office provides no road map to resolving a political dispute. All that can be gleaned from the debris of his time in power are abuse of institutions of State in shutting down dissent, hounding political opponents into prison and forcing a party chairman to resign …. Little wonder that such baleful legacy dogs his attempt at making peace.
“President Obasanjo has to come out publicly to renounce his ties with the seven governors who are trying to impose their will on the remaining 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory or acknowledge them and be treated like them.”
President Jonathan is yet to speak on his political future, but MNT said he is free to run again. It said: “The governors are welcome to contest the PDP primaries, individually or present a candidate. That’s democracy. But for persons, who themselves, stood for elections for their second terms to demand that Mr. President cannot avail himself such amenity is not only rude but feudal.”
Obasanjo’s media aide Vitalis Ortese declined to comment on the statement credited to the group last night.
“I cannot speak on what a faceless group is saying”, he told our reporter on the telephone.