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Atiku outlines challenges confronting Nigeria, backs restructuring

By NewsDesk,

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has indicated that Nigeria was going through numerous challenges, such that were threatening unity, economy of the nation, and that most worrisome of all, was in area of security, that seems tougher than monster Nigerian government could handle.

Atiku said that until Nigerians collectively accept that difference between Nigerians was not North and South, Christian and Muslim or that of political parties’ preference,  the nation would persist yearning for ways out of the challenges plunging the country in crisis on daily basis.

To him, Nigeria needs to be restructured and that the nation must embrace restructuring as a tool that must be done to fix Nigeria’s broken systems and not just a campaign gimmick.

In his analogy, difference must be between good and bad people and that the country as a whole must demonstrate that good forces were much more than bad ideologies.

Raising concern on state of security, Atiku noted that a group of girls were few days abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi axis of Yobe State and were yet to be located, just as Chibok schoolgirls too were kidnapped years ago by Boko Haram militants, the abductors of the former.

Delivering a key note address at Silverbird ‘Man of Year’ yesterday in Lagos, the former vice president also noted that the challenges facing the country were symptoms and not ailment and that Nigeria was caught in a modern-day Malthusian Trap, with population growing faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He added that the nation’s increasing population drives competition for resources that were not keeping pace with population growth and that after contracting for five consecutive quarters, Nigeria came out of recession in second quarter of 2017 with a GDP growth rate of 0.55 per cent, fared better with 1.40 per cent in third quarter of same period

He claimed that Nigeria has overtaken India as world’s capital of extreme poverty and that there were more extremely poor people in Nigeria than in the latter, a country that has six times Nigeria’s population.

“Our nation is going through a lot of challenges. There are challenges to our unity, economy. Most worrisome are the security challenges we are currently facing.

“When people do not have jobs and the means to start a business are beyond their reach, they are incrementally much more likely to engage in criminal behaviours like terrorism, kidnapping, militancy and armed robbery.

“Nigeria has a median age of 18.3 years. Our population is young. So when we have successful and laudable initiatives like YouWIN, we must continue them even when there has been a change in administration.

Admonishing gathering at the event on solution to the nations problems, Atiku stressed that fighting corruption would not be enough for the country to tackle issues, but moving beyond sentiments and media trials, as well as  looking at fact.

He added that despite the country fight against corruption in past years, Transparency International scored Nigeria even lower than in 2014, the situation of which signified that the nation need more and advance tactics to combat the vice and that of others.

“We talk of fighting corruption, but let us move beyond sentiments and media trials and look at the facts.

“We must try to identify why, though we have been ostensibly fighting corruption for the past few years, Transparency International is scoring Nigeria even lower than in 2014

“We have to kill the snake of corruption that swallows the commonwealth that should lift our people up from poverty. Whether that snake is in a JAMB Office or any other government office, we must kill it or it will kill us”.

Atiku reminded that during his tenure as vice president, his government reduced recurrent expenditure by introducing monetization policy and privatizing government enterprises, the system he claimed had been abandoned and recurrent expenditures had ballooned.

“We cannot spend 70% of our budget on recurrent expenditure at a time Nigeria has more unemployed or underemployed people than the entire population of the Republic of Cameroon.

“We have to enact laws to prevent leaders from diverting public funds from the public health sector to the treatment of the elite in the best hospitals abroad.

“If you can afford it from your own private resources, then pay for it. But do not make the tax payer pay for it.

“Our elite are treated in Europe. BBNaija is being broadcast from South Africa and Nike is unveiling our FIFA World Cup Jersey in London. Is this the extent to which we have outsourced Nigeria?, he raised concerns.

 

 

Between decamping and governance

By Azibola Omekwe,

The other day Dele Agekameh continued the hype of Atiku’s decamping from the APC to the PDP. It is clear it has generated a spirit that has possessed Nigeria in recent times.

The hullabaloo is buzzing, akin to Nigeria having successfully won the World Cup, or the Nigerian economy having overtaken that of the USA and China.

More to that, it is being believed to be a criminal thing since words like “political prostitution” were used to describe this lawful and basic right of a public figure who has been a champion in the public service, business and politics.

In a country where it is believed that most public office holders have skeletons in their cupboard, Atiku has thrown a challenge to the whole world for anyone who has evidence of any thievery by him to come forward with it.

The truth is that there are enemies of Nigerians who do not want him to be president come 2019. And they believe that the surest way to stop him is to tar him with corruption. But none has come forward to the challenge.

This is the most delicate open declaration by someone who has been in a Nigerian cash agency like the Customs Service and has been a Vice President for eight years. The person he is likely to contest against, in an apparent challenge to Atiku, dared him to go to the United States as if that country is more concerned about corruption in Nigeria than he who claimed he was going to arrest corrupted people and jail them.

But as at now, this purported austere president of ours who has led us in evidence against Atiku’s decamping is being linked to one of the best built residential estates in Nigeria.

Surprisingly, the press missed that. If I may ask, how can Atiku’s decamping raise dust more than an exuberant first family?

 The most shocking of all is how the media has decided to oblige the present APC-led regime by being diverted to talk about Atiku decamping. Why do we have to cast aspersion on what is lawful? We urge the media to rather look at Atiku’s character of sacrifice for democracy. What about his journey from grass to grace? Can the youth learn and hope in such a model? What is his position on restructuring and devolution of power? Why is he not intimidated by such a new national phase? We believe those are the things that should engage us. Why criminalise a lawful act?

Truth be told, this provides us with a choice come 2019. Should we undermine the opportunity of choice to talk about a lawful action which most politicians including the president are guilty of? If we enact a law that all Nigerian politicians who ever decamped be banned from politics, we might require a microscope to sift through those who never did.

Since the advent of democracy, the Nigeria media has shown itself to be the best guardian of Democracy. They had severally mobilized Nigerians to oppose obnoxious government actions. A classic example was the role they played on the occasion of bedridden late Yar’Adua. A major newspaper based in the north in collaboration with Obasanjo told Yar’Adua to give way for the necessary things to be done. Obasanjo said exactly what Nigerians wanted. That was the deadly blow that quashed the stalemate. Barrage of opinions ensued. And then death came calling and Nigeria moved forward. The rest is history.

In virtually every sector in the country, the Nigeria media has performed creditably. On Goodluck Jonathan, they preferred a Buhari replacement thereby throwing decorum overboard. Admittedly, while many worked behind the scenes for Buhari, a handful were objective, which automatically did not work in favour of Goodluck Jonathan. The ones who wanted GEJ out went on unsolicited whistle-blowing of everything he touched. It was a hysterical blitzkrieg. Some papers did what they did under the guise of for ‘God and Country’, and for ‘trust’ while a handful of them desperately wanted Jonathan.

Buhari won. High Chief Raymond Dokpesi spoke about the written and unwritten reasons GEJ lost that election. They are obvious. Perhaps for national expediency and the tragedy that has continually haunted Nigeria, nobody would be bold enough to come out to put it in black and white. In fact, it was better we let it be and face the restructuring we want.

 Coincidentally when Buhari came to power, executives of some popular media houses got appointed to ‘juicy’ positions. They are Nigerians. It is their right. They had been very critical of governance throughout the days of PDP. But we are lucky those that criticised the government came to power. Nigerians have never seen worse poverty like today. Bomb blasts have considerably been reduced with a great takeover by cattle herdsmen. There is increased insecurity on our roads. Nigerians are generally afraid to travel. Surprisingly, the media has gone to sleep on a general note. They are silent over practically everything that has gone wrong: joblessness, runaway unemployment, inflation and insecurity. They probably have decided to ‘siddon and look’ before they react.

 But how come they are now agitated about Atiku’s decamping when no doom statistics roused them? When foreign debt has attained a frightening position? Are they sold by the ‘righteousness’ of Buhari? How does righteous and austere living substitute for good governance? How can we trust austere character more than Nigeria’s future? Is it true that soon there will be an increase in pump price of petrol? Lest we forget, a section of the media, political parties and civil society had insisted there must not be increase in price of petrol during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime. But this administration doubled the price of petrol and wants to do so again. However, because ‘our mumu never do’, we saw nothing wrong with it. There is no need for a strike again because some people have crossed the bridge and are no longer sorrowful. They are however on guard against anyone who decamps and leaves their party for another to challenge them. They are sure of our gullibility to remind us of how staying in one party is morally right. But then they would have us forget that the political party they started with has gone into extinction. The government of the day has performed so creditably that some columnists have decided to partner with it to make sure Nigerians remain in the government party – apologies to Dele Agekameh. In fact, those who provided a platform to tell late Yar’Adua to resign are now commissioning already-made railway and dry port with no tangible start-up facilities in the face of poverty. That Nigeria would soon produce the highest population of the poor in 2018; what percentage would the north take under Buhari? All eyes on Atiku’s decamping rather, says the media.

Recently, Rotimi Amaechi accused Goodluck Jonathan of squandering the Excess Crude Account. Everybody was stupefied for this crass falsehood. In fact, the fight to squander the ECA as propounded by Amaechi was his journey to stardom then in opposition circles. We have not forgotten how Amaechi and his co-travellers rushed to court and defeated the government to bring the ECA for sharing. The future did not matter at all. But few weeks ago, he had the temerity to tell Nigerians that he fought to protect the ECA. Sadly, Atiku’s decamping noise completely dwarfs that part. The government machinery redirected our attention to a mere moral bias that is even lawful instead of reprimanding Amaechi for peddling falsehood. The media did not find it fit to rebuke the government for Rotimi Amaechi’s action. Our children, future leaders, have been taught one lesson: if you are feeding fat, nothing matters again. This terrible silence by a section of the media has sown a seed and raised falsehood to statecraft. But can it be admitted that this government has degenerated to this extent? We were told he is a man of integrity. In short, he is on the verge of rewarding Amaechi with re-appointment as a campaign DG. Telling lies apparently is going to be the thrust of this government.

But let it be clear, this government is not really against decamping even if it happens a million times. What made Atiku’s decamping distasteful is that he decamped from APC to a party that would unseat them. Just steal all the money you can, you could even be the most sought after guy in the EFCC. But all you need is to decamp to APC then walk majestically; the chief host of the party would be at the gate welcoming you with a lot of hype and razzmatazz. Then the EFCC will eventually understand. Then the money you stole will have gone forever. Even the media does not see such commando decamping as anything. Truth is, they have crossed the bridge and feel no more sorry. 

 Nigerians, remember nobody knew who reinstated Abdulrasheed Maina. By the utterances of his lawyer, it shows the man is in the good books of the government and the last has not been heard about him. The latest frivolous application of the Attorney General of the Federation before the Federal High Court shows the silhouette position of the government in Maina’s case. Nigerians have moved on despite Buhari’s henchmen knowing and protecting him. The Nigeria media and civil society that kept vigil in Abacha’s regime have been kowtowed. Emboldened by Nigerians pliability, the in-thing in town is that the dead and zombies are now on our pay roll! That is upping the stakes. Since some are preoccupied with Atiku’s decamping, ghost workers now hold sway. And if you complain too much, they will tell you it was a mistake.

Atiku has decamped from the APC to the PDP. We know. But how does that surpass the inaccurate lies that have characterised the fuel crisis since December last year? For the sake of hapless Nigerians, Atiku needed to decamp. Some are decamping to save their loot while he decamped for good governance that he is obsessed with. He can decamp for the sake of the Nigerian state. Remember, even a section of the media and the civil society have decamped from vigilance.

 

Hon. Omekwe is a former member of Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

PDP justifies Atiku latest decision, presidency differs

By Abdulwaheed Usamah 

Following former Vice President’s, Atiku Abubakar, latest decision that he would be returning to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after tendering his resignation to All Progressive Congress (APC) recently, his new party has justified the VP’s action by explaining that his return to the part was in good faith and benefit to Nigerians.

The party said that there was no better way Atiku could have expressed his dissatisfaction over the APC non performance and failure to deliver its promises before Nigeria threw support behind the party during 2015 election than to exit from the party.

Although the party’s submission was contrary to presidency position against the former VP’s rejoining the abandoned PDP, a ground President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide claimed was feeble and tantamount to ambition appetite.

A member of the PDP, Olademaji Fabiyi, stated that Atiku has only carried out his constitutional right and that his defection has only been between two parties, that of the PDP and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which merged with other political parties that formed APC.

Speaking during a televised interview in Abuja on Tuesday, Fabiyi juxtaposed the former VP’s return to PDP with that of Buhari’s defections from other parties before APC.

He kicked against members of APC describing Atiku as series defectors, just as he submitted that the former VP tendering of resignation at his former party recently was a result of the APC renege on the party’s promise made before assuming office in 2015.

Fabiyi, who also returned to PDP alongside Atiku, noted that APC had failed on its agenda promised Nigerians during campaign, which includes restructuring of government, three million jobs integration among others, but contrary was the result after two years in office.

He affirmed that the former VP president was pro-Nigerian who has created jobs in the country than any other Nigerian, adding that, Atiku was a bridge between old and young citizen of Nigeria due to his passion for the nation’s progression.

“Atiku has created over 500, 000 direct jobs and three million indirect ones and he had been passionate about youth, succession plan and good governance in Nigeria.”

When asked if Atiku would run Nigerian presidential seat come 2019, the PDP returned member optimistically confirmed the former VP’s readiness for the race even though he was yet to personally announce his decision.

“Atiku is more qualified to contest for post of president by 2019, it is a constitutional right and it is also there in the party’s constitution.”

Clearing air over his return to PDP, Fabiyi maintained that his decision was that of personal interest and that it was for good of Nigerians particularly youth.

But for president Special Adviser on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojodu, Atiku has not provided enough reason for his return to PDP after thee years in APC beyond the stated excuses during a live stream over the weekend.

He said that presidency and APC were not surprised about Atiku defection and that the party and its members had seen it coming before its arrival.

 

 

 

EFCC deny investigating Senator Makarfi, warns public against misinformation

By NewsDesk

Following a purported report on social media, that $42 million was found in Senator Ahmed Makarfi, ffarm by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the commission has denied the report and warned social media mercenaries against misinformation.

It was gathered that after the Supreme Court judgment in the case of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where it ruled in favour of the Makarfi’s faction, and less than two hours after the Supreme Court judgment, the duo of Innocent Onyekachi Oritsetimeyin Akpotedja Adejenuhgure and Adeola Sam Opeyemi, posted on their Facebook Timeline that $42 million was found in the house of the senator by the EFCC.

Meanwhile, in statement signed by the Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, and made available to newsmen on Friday, the commission denied the false report on Makrafi and described it as misleading and misinformation.

“We have considered it necessary to set the records straight and to advice social media activists to be wary of Adjenuhgure and Opeyemi who are out to sow seed of discord among Nigerians as there is no EFCC investigation on Senator Makarfi,” the statement reads.

According to the statement, the general public should be wary of the activities of the duo of Innocent Onyekachi, Oritsetimeyin Akpotedja Adejenuhgure and Adeola Sam Opeyemi, who have been misleading Nigerians with false information about the activities of the Commission.

“Barely six hours after the Supreme Court judgment in the case of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where it ruled in favour of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s faction, Adjenuhgure posted in his Facebook Timeline that $42 million was found in Sen. Makarfi’s farm by the EFCC, “less than 2 hours after the Supreme Court judgment,” the statement added.

EFCC stated in the statement that while many unsuspecting Nigerians shared the unfounded post, others simply copied and reposted as original, which generated myriad of reactions suggestive that the Commission was a tool in the hands of the Executive to further destabilize the PDP.

“Following efforts by the Commission to correct the erroneous and misleading information through its social media platforms, some who had no ulterior motive apologized and deleted the post. Sadly, ADJENUHGURE and OPEYEMI stood their grounds as they insisted that the story was true”, the statement said.

“We have considered it necessary to set the records straight and to advice social media activists to be wary of ADJENUHGURE and OPEYEMI who are out to sow seed of discord among Nigerians as there is no EFCC investigation on Senator Makarfi,”.

Edo governor commends Buhari, Osinbajo, Oshiomhole, others after Supreme Court verdict

By Newsdesk

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President,Yemi Osinbajo and the people of the state supports that lifted his spirit before his declaration as the state’s elected governor by Supreme Court.

Obaseki, yeterday, noted that the apex court’s judgement invariably validates the perfection of the triumph of the will of the people and establishes the masses as the true and ultimate power of democracy in the state.

The governor revealed in a statement yesterday that the validation of his victory was stronger because both the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal gave verdicts, which mirrored the Supreme Court’s judgement, and confirmed that truth indeed was immutable.

“These serial victories at the polls and the various courts have undoubtedly given me and the good people of Edo State joy, but it should also teach us a vital lesson that at all times, no matter the severity of the odds, we must stand on the side of fidelity, honesty and truth, ” he said.

“It goes without saying that we have received invaluable support and guidance from a vast number of friends, supporters and well-wishers, and there are no words that can adequately convey our gratitude, “Obaseki added.

Expressing his gratitude, the governor appreciated Buhari for what he described as his immovable support, wise counsel and firm commitment to democracy and good governance, while he also praised Osinbajo, for his wisdom, encouragement, relentless support and skillful leadership.

Meanwhile, he emphasised that the leadership of All Progressives Congress,(APC) under John Odigie Oyegun, remained an uncompromising pillar, stressing that he reserved a tremendous amount of gratitude to the immediate past governor of the state, Adams Aliu Oshiuomhole, for his commitment to democracy.

Obaseki said he hoped that the verdict by the Supreme Court, which according to him the last and final judicial authority of the land, would give the oppositions parties to join hands with him to continue the building the state.

It would be recalled that the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, dismissed the appeal by the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in the state,  Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

It upheld election of Obaseki of APC, just as it also consequently affirmed concurrent verdicts of Court of Appeal in Benin City and Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which had earlier dismissed Ize-Iyamu’s case and upheld Obaseki’s victory.

The lead judgments in both the interlocutory and substantive appeal were prepared and delivered yesterday by Justice Iyang Okoro.

“After careful consideration of all the arguments and processes filed by parties in this matter, I am of the firm view that this appeal is devoid of merit and deserves an order of dismissal and accordingly the appeal is hereby dismissed,” Okoro said.

PDP house in witticism, fusionism, egoism et al

 
By Muhammad Ajah 
 
That the political ruckus ripping the opposition party in Nigeria, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has reached a crescendo is an understatement. The party has been rendered a prey hunted by two lions of different worlds. This is a party that has been in opposition for less than two years. This is a party whose diehard loyalists still yearn to reclaim powers at the center come 2019.
Though these stalwarts have disagreed to agree, one is enthused with a proof that the party displays like a cat with seven lives. Ordinarily, just like other parties frizzled, one thought the PDP would join the suit. But the more it is thought to be dead, the more it shakes its tail and head in resistance.  
 
At least some of its stalwarts led by former President Goodluck Jonathan are still optimistic that the crisis would be resolved for the party to come out stronger. This was Jonathan’s hope at his hometown Otuoke, Bayelsa state when he received the report of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led PDP reconciliation committee where he described as abnormal the resorting to courts for political disagreements. Initially, it was as if Jonathan was backing Sherriff, basically because of the Appeal court ruling in Port Harcourt. 
 
What is the problem with the PDP? In the simplest words, the party has no problem of its own. Two senior, highly educated and witty citizens of the nation are at loggerhead over who leads the party to ‘sustain relevance’ in the nation’s politics. These two intelligent, egoistic and passionate former executive governors of two northern states and also former distinguished senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Senator Ali Modu Sherriff of Borno state in the northeast geopolitical zone and Senator Ahmad Makarfi of Kaduna state of the northwest zone are drifted apart by their individualistic concepts against political agrarianism. In attempts to gather sympathy and outsmart the other, both have been running from one pole to the other, meeting people that matter in the party. Many nocturnal meetings are being held by each faction to outwit the other. Each is accusing the other of being an agent of the ruling party. Besides, the hurly-burly and idiosyncratic egocentrism hang the matters beyond any immediate technical approach for resolution.              
 
Sheriff recently in Minna met with a former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, who revealed a personal belief that PDP, though ailing, was not dead. And when the Strategy and Inter-Party Affairs Committee of the party led by Jerry Gana presented its report on how to move the party forward, IBB opined that PDP will take back power from APC and rule for 60 successive years, if the schisms rocking the party are solved. According to him, PDP’s presence is felt all over Nigeria because, at the grassroots, the ordinary man talks about PDP which is an asset that the party should use to spring back.  An accepted and known fact, he averred, all that is require is harder work to convince the people back to PDP fold. Gen. Aliyu Muhammad Gusau, also met by the group, advised the two factional chairmen to resign. Sheriff was ready to comply while Makarfi was resistant.
 
At the time Jonathan was meeting with Sherriff in Maitama District of Abuja with the Deputy National Chairman, Cairo Ojougbo, the National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, the acting National Publicity Secretary, Benard Mikko, the Financial Secretary, Adewole Adeyanju, and the National Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge-Niyi in attendance, the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction met at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja to resolve to challenge the Appeal court judgment. Jonathan was said to have referred to Sheriff as “my chairman,” and proclaimed that PDP was not fictionalized but one. He acknowledged the differences in party politics; such differences as human beings and that which make leaders. “I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others. I will still meet with others so that we will be able to do what is expected of us as a political party.”
 
Sheriff claimed he has not been fighting anybody but rather wanted everybody to come back to the party because the party’s constitution does not recognize caretaker committee. For him, there is only one PDP and there is only one national chairman; thus a group of people can meet and discuss as only a group of people but not as PDP. He had taken the stand not to exchange words with his opposition, noting that “As a father of the party, I will make sure everybody is united. I will make sure that everybody gets what they want in PDP. By the time I finish my convention, Nigerians will know that we mean well for the party”, he assured.
 
The crisis once took a new twist as some top members of the Makarfi faction were said to have applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register an alternative platform as the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party (APDP). The faction discredited the statement of the chairman of APC Governor’s Forum, Rochas Okorocha, that PDP should respect the ruling of the Appeal court of February 17, 2017, instead of heating up the polity. It claimed that the APC has the unseen hand stoking the fire of crisis in the PDP and that Sheriff and his cohorts were puppets in the APC’s hands.
 
However, the number of state chapter chairmen throwing their weight behind Sheriff rose to 23 out of the 36 states. They endorsed recommendations made by Dickson’s peace and reconciliation committee which called for a unity national convention to hold not later than August 2017. The met and issued a communiqué. The Federal Capital Territory PDP chairman, Yunusa Suleiman said he and his colleagues were supporting Sheriff because of the judgment of the Court of Appeal. They applauded the political solution being proffered by Jonathan. They expressed worried over the loss of PDP members to APC across Nigeria since the loss of power.
 
But Ekiti PDP dismissed the stand. In a statement by the state publicity secretary, Jackson Adebayo, majority of the ‘so-called’ state chairmen were people appointed by Sheriff and not those duly elected at the party congresses prior to May 21, 2016; thereby accused Sheriff of single-handedly constituting his own national working committee by appointing people into positions that can only be filled through the national convention.
 
Chairman of the reconciliation committee, Henry Seriake Dickson wants all key actors in the party to embrace peace. He foresees dialogue, consultation, and meetings as a panacea to the lingering crisis. He is saddened by the loss of Edo and Ekiti states to APC. He met with the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the PDP National Assembly caucus, Senator Ike Ekweremadu to present the committee’s reports him. A member of the committee Muhammad Gana eulogized Jonathan for epitomizing peace by conceding defeat at the last general elections, a development that stabilized the country. He recalled Jonathan’s efforts in rebuilding the party, thereby urged party loyalists to support the recommendations of the reconciliation committee.
 
On March 22, 2017, the split worsened as both groups held separate meetings in Abuja and passed a vote of confidence in their leaders. 26 member state chairmen led by the chairman of Akwa-Ibom state, Obong Paul Ekpo, backed Seriake’s committee report but demanded that it must be submitted to all organs of the party. Ekpo accused four of their colleagues of using the names of the forum to convene a meeting of PDP Chairmen on March, 17 without their authority.
 
Nonetheless, the crisis nearly ended when the two groups were said to have agreed to accept the peace move by reconciliation committee. In a communiqué said to have been signed by the factional PDP acting national publicity secretary for Sheriff’s group, Bernard Mikko and Makarfi faction’s Prince Dayo Adeyeye, all inimical activities that were capable of further weakening the party are to be halted immediately.; all actors of the party should desist from making derogatory, inflammatory and divisive statements against party officials, stakeholders, and members; the party should not dissipate her energy amongst itself but to focus on how to unite and be a formidable opposition capable of taking over power from the failed APC led government.
 
Now that the two contenders are to meet to start the final battle at the Supreme Court from April 4, what will happen if both chicken out or the court rules in favor of one of them or a faction finally breaks out to register a new party? Though it will not be the first time because, at the heat of politicking for 2015 general elections, a new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) was born, the further splitting of the party will definitely spell doom for it. We need a strong opposition in Nigerian politics, so PDP should not kill itself.  

Lawmaker charges PDP governors on democracy dividends

By Newsdesk with agency report

A member of House of Representatives member representing Edo State on the platform of People Democratic Party (PDP), Johnson Agbonayinma, has advised state governors under the control of PDP to focus more on dividends of democracy and de-emphasise  Governors’ Forum activities.

Agbonayinma, in an interview with newsmen in Abuja,explained that it was necessary for state governors to prioritize their programs by caring for the people and ensure that dividend of democracy instead of focusing on governors’ association.

“I am not against anybody having governors’ forum or such, but what have we achieved with years of governors forum? I want to know?“Some of the governors have done worst in their states. I was speaking with one of the governors and he said he had stopped attending the meeting,” Agbonayinma said.

He said the governors should  spend more time in their respective states, instead of going to Abuja spending the taxpayer’s money that belongs to the state in the name of governors’ forum.

 

DSS probes Anambra Gov. over PDP chairman’s death threat

By Newsdesk

The Department of State Services (DSS) in Anambra, has commenced investigation into alleged threat to life by state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ken Emeakayi, by the state governor, Willie Obiano.

The PDP chairman, had alleged that the governor threatened him for calling for his impeachment over constitutional breaches.

Emeakayi, who visited the state headquarters of the police and DSS in Awka on Monday, explained to newsmen that the purpose was to enquire if his petition on the matter was received and action being taken.

Director of DSS, Yusuf Isyaku, while receiving Emeakayi in his office, assured him that the agency was investigating the allegations leveled against the governor.

“I have respect for you, you would have come to my office, without coming with these people here today over the matter,” Isyaku said.

Emeakayi in a letter dated March 7, alleged that the state governor personally threatened to kill him in a telephone discussion.

“In a telephone conversation at about 8.pm in February, the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, personally, and by himself, threatened to kill me if I fail to stop questioning unlawful activities of his administration,” he said.

He appealed to the police and DSS to get core record of the conversation from telecommunication company between him and the governor, adding that they should also investigate the threat and provide him with security.

Reacting, Senior Special Adviser to the governor on strategic communication and legislative matters, Oliver Okpala, said the allegations had no basis and were neither here nor there.

“When did mere telephone calls transform to violence? That is why I said they are neither here nor there. Since he has reported to the police and DSS, he can now wait and see outcome of the investigation,” Okpala said.

2 PDP Nasarawa legislators defect to APC

Peter Moses, Ilorin

The Minority Leader and Deputy Minority Whip of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Alkali and Mohammed Muluku on Monday defected to All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Alkali represents Lafia North constituency, while Muluku represents Nassarawa Eggon East constituency in the state assembly.

The Speaker, Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, who read the duo’s defection letters on Monday, congratulated them for taking the right decision.

“We will continue to partner each other in order to move the party, the state and the country forward for the benefit of our people”, he said.

Balarabe-Abdullahi assured of the assembly’s readiness to continue to enact laws that have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state.

Earlier, the duo attributed their defection to the APC to crisis rocking the PDP at the national level.

Alkali said, the crisis rocking our party at the national level is the reason why I defected to APC after due consultation with my constituents.

“After due consultation with my party stakeholders, my constituency and other people in the state, I deem it necessary to dump PDP for APC to contribute my quota to the development of the state and Nigeria at large”, he said.

They, however, appreciated the PDP for giving them the opportunity to contest and win election to the House.

 

Reps rejects motion to probe FIRS over alleged rule breach

By Newsdesk

The Federal House of Representatives, on Thursday in Abuja, rejected a motion to probe Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over alleged breach of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

The house, however, mandated the sponsor of the motion and Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Chukwuka Onyema (Anambra-PDP), to provide evidence of breach for the House to take necessary steps.

The lawmaker had argued that the FIRS, as an agency of the Federal Government, was required to comply fully with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act of 2007.

He alleged that there were numerous infractions bordering on gross abuse of the letters and spirit of the said Act by the FIRS.

Onyema listed the allegations to include non compliance with requirements for competitive bidding and abuse of the restrictive tendering option.

Also include alleged award of contracts beyond approved threshold to companies, some of which were registered on the day of award and to companies not having the required compliance documents/certificates among others.

He said that such gross abuse and violation of the Act were partly responsible for the numerous challenges bedeviling the nation, including the current economic recession and infrastructural deficit.

According to him,  the FIRS has consistently shown strong penchant to deliberately violate the Act, as it is the case in its engagement of McKenzie which resulted in huge loss of foreign exchange to the nation.

He said that if urgent steps were not taken to investigate these allegations and address any infractions, “the abuse is likely to continue, resulting in further losses to the nation”.

The motion, when put to vote, majority of the lawmakers refused to give their support.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, however, charged the mover of the motion to provide evidence of breach to enable the House take appropriate steps.