Buhari, NASS and unlawful use of $469m ECA funds

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, economy, Legal, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, PMB, Politics

On April 9, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, lied to worried and inquisitive Nigerians that the president was yet to authorise the payment of $469m from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to buy 12 Super Tucano military jets from the United States government. It turned out that as far back as February, despite repeated denials, the president had both approved the said sum and authorised disbursement. It was only the Defence minister, Mansur Dan Ali, who somewhat truthfully hinted early February that the procurement had been done in order to meet the deadline set by the American government for the deal to be consummated.

It is unlikely that Sen Enang, who is himself very conversant with legislative appropriations process, did not know that the approval had been given and the payment made. Nor is it likely that he does not know the gravity of the executive branch arbitrarily and unilaterally authorising the disbursement of funds not appropriated. The special assistant knew; he only chose to lie. Here is what he said when the public initially suspected that the president had made the unauthorised disbursement of ECA funds: “…That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President. That in accordance with best practices, Mr. President, having received approval of the sum from National Economic Council made up of all the governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others, to collate the needs of each of the services and the money available for appropriation…As of now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing executive standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation.”

When Sen Enang told this open lie, members of the National Economic Council (NEC), the president himself, and the vice president already knew that the money had been disbursed. They chose to keep quiet, associated with the lie, and perhaps sought for ways to blunt both public and legislative reactions to the unlawful use of ECA funds. The governors who in December authorised the withdrawal of $1bn from ECA on the grounds that previous governments periodically accessed the account for one reason or the other also knew by experience in their states that the executive arm, in this case the president, could not spend a kobo without appropriations. Instead, they incredibly decided at a meeting headed by the vice president that their collective assent was as good as legislative assent because no one complained when previous governments made similar withdrawals.

To put the whole matter at rest, and knowing that the infernal lie told by Sen Enang and connived at by the presidency could not be sustained for too long, the president finally wrote to the National Assembly this April to inform them that he had spent the money from ECA, and asked for their understanding. Other than implying that the urgency of the spending necessitated the illegality, the president offered no other substantial or persuasive reason for breaching the constitution. According to him: “I wish to draw the attention of the House of Representatives to the ongoing security emergencies in the country. These challenges were discussed with the state governors and subsequently, at the meeting of the National Economic Council on 14th December, 2017, where a resolution was passed, with the Council approving that up to US$1 billion may be released and utilised from the Excess Crude Account to address the situation… It would be recalled that, for a number of years, Nigeria had been in discussions with the United States Government for the purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft under a direct Government-to-Government arrangement. Recently, approval was finally granted by the United States Government, but with a deadline within which part payment must be made otherwise, the contract would lapse.”

The president continues: “In the expectation that the National Assembly would have no objection to the purchase of this highly specialised aircraft, which is critical to national security, I granted anticipatory approval for the release of US$496,374,470.00. This was paid directly to the treasury of the United States Government. I am therefore writing, seeking approval of this House for the sum of US$496,374,470.00 (equivalent to N151,394,421,335.00) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly is currently finalising. The balance of the requirements for critical operational equipment is still being collated from the different security services and will be presented in the form of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill, in due course.”

There is no question that the president knowingly and subversively took the money from ECA. But nothing justifies it: no emergency, no urgency, no security situation. There was nothing to suggest that since the governors decided on that course of action last December, the president didn’t have enough time to present a supplementary estimate to be thoroughly scrutinised by the legislature. He missed the point by giving the impression that critics who denounced the executive arm for disbursing ECA funds were unmindful of the country’s security situation, or insensitive to the urgency of making the military purchases. Critics in fact sensibly suggested that though the motive of the purchase was sound, it was nevertheless wrong to eye the ECA fund meant for the three tiers of government, let alone make the disbursement outside due process. For neither the president nor the governors, nor yet the local councils, approximated the legislative assemblies of their various tiers. Moreover, even the seller of the jets, the US, would be privately appalled by the illegitimacy of the process through which the $469m was released. Such flagrant abuse could never be countenanced in the US. It also beggars belief that those who kept the money feigned ignorance of the proper process by which the funds are to be shared constitutionally between the three tiers of government

It is disturbing that President Buhari, sitting at the head of a government that prides itself on being ethically different from its predecessors and intolerant of past abridgement of financial regulations, could countenance that constitutional affront. By his letter to the legislature, he seems to think that both the urgency of the purchase and the intensity of the insurgency problem justified the spending from ECA. It is even worse that he indicated in his letter that he expected the legislature not to turn down his request, hence his approval of the unlawful ECA spending. This unilateral action is truly shocking. How could he tell the mind of the legislature? Does he not know what the law say very clearly? The truth is that the Buhari presidency and the federal government under him, including the cabinet and security agencies, think very little of the legislature. They think that if the public were forced to choose between the executive arm headed by the ‘saintly’ President Buhari, and the parliament headed, for instance, by the Machiavellian Bukola Saraki, the public would sack the parliament and embrace the executive. This is the classical beginning of fascism.

It is also strange that with all the lawyers and constitutional experts around the president, he could still subvert the constitution in the manner he has done. This speaks to the lack of cohesion in the government — in such a manner that suggests only a few people carried away by the importance of their offices take decisions for the presidency and present a fait accompli to the rest of the cabinet — or to perhaps the fear of confronting the president and educating him on the dangers of flouting the constitution and diminishing the importance of the parliament, as his government and cabinet have serially done.

A far more disturbing truth is that, given the arguments and logic of some of the governors rationalising the ECA spending, there are indeed very few democrats presiding over the affairs of their states in this Fourth Republic. The Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammadu Badaru, for instance, simplistically argues: “We forget easily. If you recall, we have been battling with approval from America to buy these equipment in 2014. We have been begging America to sell this equipment to us. We tried Dubai, they could not allow us; we tried a factory in Brazil, the federal government tried, we couldn’t get it. America still could not sell to Nigeria. Then luckily, President Trump said it was okay to buy. So we had to quickly buy before they change their minds. Because there is also deadline and this is a state to state transaction, no middleman, and we are all here concerned about security and they are raising questions on way and manner you protect people. This is an emergency situation.” The puerility of Mr Badaru’s logic is numbing. No less bewildering is the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, who sheepishly suggested that critics of the spending as well as the National Assembly should not just look at the law but the interest of Nigerians. Awful!

The National Assembly knows that it can only cry itself hoarse over this needless controversy. To impeach President Buhari, even if the divided legislature can be coaxed into unity, will be nigh impossible, not because an impeachable offence has not been committed but because the presidency seems to be counting on the masses who can neither understand the illogic of the ECA spending nor appreciate the role of the parliament in sustaining democracy. Had the people been educated enough to know that it is the parliament that sustains democracy — not the executive, not the judiciary, as important as they are — they would have found a way to force the resignation of the government. But the government is counting on the people’s ignorance to constitute a deterrence to the legislature, or if push comes to shove, join hands with the Buhari presidency in sacking parliament.

The NASS will have to find a way of saving face on this appalling matter. The cards are stacked against them. Meanwhile they can legislate away the temptations that so easily take the Buhari presidency prey, such as ECA itself. There is no reason for the dedicated. If President Buhari cannot discipline himself and his government to find legitimate and constitutional ways of raising money to execute their agenda, and the governors are either too obtuse or too timid to think straight, and the people will not eschew sentiment in public discourse, it is time for the legislature to anticipate other possible temptations beguiling the presidency and remove them.

http://thenationonlineng.net/buhari-nass-and-unlawful-use-of-469m-eca-funds/

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Those against Buhari’s re-election behind attacks in the country – Lai Mohammed Briefs International Media

2019 Elections, APC, Boko Haram, international News, News

Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian minister of information and culture, has commended the efforts of  the Buhari administration in pushing back insurgency in Nigeria. – He eqully gave this administration kudos in its economy development and diversification efforts,

buuuu President Buhari says he may have been part of the herdsmen/farmers clashes if he did not go to school Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, has blamed those opposed to the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari of being behind the attacks in parts of the country. The minister made the allegation in the US when speaking on the achievements of the Buhari administration.

“Most of the attacks we receive today are from people who have morbid fear of the President coming back in 2019,” he said. President Buhari is due in the US at the weekend for a meeting with President Donald Trump on April 30 in Washington DC, The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Mohammed, since his arrival, has been actively engaged with the media and some think-tanks. He said the Buhari’s administration has a lot of success stories, which needed to be told.

The minister was first in Washington, DC and later in New York, where he explained that Buhari’s administration has done very well and recorded so many achievements in less than three years. He said: “I’ve been to VOA – Voice of America, Washington Post, Washington Times; I’ve been to Al Jazeera. I’ve met a couple of think-tanks, the Atlantic Council and also the Foreign Relations Council. “In New York here, today, I’ve met with Reuters. I’ve met with Wall Street Journal. Today, I’m meeting with CNN and also the New York Times and probably the AP. “The whole idea is to give the government’s perspectives and narratives on the development and progress the government has made.”

Mohammed said he was able to explain that the administration has done very well in pushing back insurgency especially given what the situation was as at May 2015. He said at that time, about 20 out of 37 local governments in Borno alone was under the effective occupation of Boko Haram and about two in Yobe, and about four in Adamawa. “Today not one single inch of land is occupied by Boko Haram,” he said.

Mohammed said he drew attention to the fact that before 2015, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, was not safe as the Boko Haram breached security more than five times. “But between 2015 and today, every one lives with his two eyes closed in Abuja. So we discussed extensively the achievements of this administration in the area of fighting insecurity.” “Generally I was able to give a good account of what we’ve done in the economy,” he said adding, “the figures are there to see what we’ve done”. The minister said: “We were in recession, within two quarters we came out of recession, largely because of the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan of the government. “And today, we’ve been able to double our foreign exchange from about 23.6 billion dollars in 2015 to about 47 billion dollars.“We’ve in one year been able to climb 24 steps in the ladder of World Bank ranking of Ease of Doing Business. “Our (Nigerian) Stock Exchange has been rated as one of the six best performing in the world and return on investment was as high as 43 per cent.“And in the area of the economy again, we’ve been able to push down inflation for 11 consecutive months from 18 per cent to now about 13.5 per cent”.

In the area of diversification, Mohammed said the anchor-borrower programme was a big success adding, it has added additional almost six million rice farmers and cut down on importation of rice from 644,000 metric tonnes 24 metric tonnes. “We’ve increased the number of Integrated Rice Processing Mills from 13 to 21 and 10 new ones were just approved on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council and our diversification programme is working very well. The latest figure showed that apart from agriculture, mines, metal ore, electricity, gas, creative industry, are all reading positively. “We discussed also the issue of corruption and how this government is fighting corruption and how it is important for us to remain focus”.

NAN reports that Mohammed, while in New York, also visited the Nigeria House where he briefed senior officials of the Consulate and was received by Nigeria’s Consul-General, Tanko Suleiman and other officials of the Consulate. Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that had he not gone to school, he night have been one of those involved in the clashes between herdsmen and farmers, Punch reports. The president made the comment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, on Thursday, April 26, during his two-day visit to the state. SW gathers that the president urged Bauchi residents to allow their children go to school, as he addressed the thousands who thronged the stadium to welcome him on his first visit to the state since 2015. 

“Why President Buhari Needs To Be Impeached Now” – Senator Owie

APC, News, PMB, Politics

The former Chief Whip of the upper legislative chamber and one of the leaders of Action Democratic Party, ADP, Senator Rowland Owie, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive arm of government of carrying out the attack on Senate where the mace was stolen.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Sun, Owie condemned the invasion of the senate by thugs, alleging that the disgraceful act had the support of security agents. The former lawmaker also accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of not promoting democracy with its acts. He called on the National Assembly to start the process of President Buhari’s impeachment immediately for spending over 469 million dollars on helicopter without approval from the National Assembly.

In his words;

“It is a desecration of the order; all those that were involved certainly committed treason. When I was looking at the newspaper, I saw the vehicle that was used.

“I asked one of my sons the name of the vehicle and he said it was ‘Infiniti’, that the car cost almost 80million. That type of vehicle is not owned by a street hawker, it is not owned by a teacher, it must be owned by a top government official. “For thugs to go through the well fortified gates of the National Assembly and then enter into the chamber of the senate where there is electronic check, it means that there was total collaboration with the security agents. From all indications what happened was supported by the executive of this country.

“For them to be able to leave the National Assembly with the mace it is a shame on this nation, it is a shame on the security agencies. It means that all the security agents were aware and they were told to stand down. “Police at the assembly are not less than 100 officers, so I don’t see how thugs could have breached the security if it wasn’t planned. All those involved should be brought to justice.

“If Nigerians don’t wake up it will be a disaster. This APC government headed by Muhammadu Buhari is not people-oriented. It is unfortunate that there are very good people inside it but they are quiet. “And when you are quiet in the face of injustice it means that the individual doesn’t have the fear of God in him. My colleagues in the National Assembly have not lived up to expectation in checking the excesses of the executive.

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“The legislature is the most important tool in democracy; the legislature should endeavor to check the executive. There have been a lot of irresponsible actions taken by the executive which the senate has failed to address.” Asked what he specifically would you have loved to see the National Assembly do to the executive, Senator Owie added, “How can the National Assembly which has the authority of confirmation of appointees reject the statutory appointment of an official and then the executive goes behind to retain such person?

“How can the executive neglect the rejection of the legislature? If the Senate was not sparing the rod, the moment the executive went ahead to confirm the appointment they would have removed the allocation meant for the particular office or position, so that if the chairman works and is paid, whoever that paid him would have committed an impeachable offence.

“The executive in this government has looked down on the National Assembly time and time again. How can the president spend over 469 million dollars on helicopter without approval from the National Assembly? The Senate should immediately send Buhari a message and begin impeachment procedure against him.”

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source: nai

Senators, Reps Collecting Signatures To Impeach Buhari – The Cable

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics
by Dyepkazah Shibayan

buuuuSenators and members of the house of representatives have started collecting signatures for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari, sources told TheCable on Thursday.

The lawmakers, who are not happy with the decision of the president to approve $469 million for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the US without their backing, had given the impression that the matter was being resolved.

The issue of impeachment first arose at the house of reps on Wednesday. While deliberating on a letter Buhari wrote to the national assembly, saying he had anticipated that the lawmakers would approve the withdrawal, Kingsley Chinda from Rivers state, asked his colleagues to commence impeachment proceedings against Buhari.

The president had said he took the action because the US gave Nigeria a deadline for payment. He also sought to include the procurement of the aircraft in the 2018 budget.

But citing sections 80 and 81 of 1999 constitution, Chinda said the Nigerian law does not recognise anticipatory approval.

“There is nowhere in our law that talked about anticipatory approval. We cannot sit down and allow this to take place. It is an impeachable offence. There is no infraction that is worse than this. Let us not continue to sleep. I propose that we commence the impeachment of Mr President,” he had said.

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However, on Thursday, some members of the lower legislative chamber said they had decided that rather than initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, the committee on rules and business should look for a way to resolve the matter .

But a legislative source told TheCable that the lawmakers were only being diplomatic.

“As I speak to you, signatures for the impeachment of Mr President are being collected in both chambers of the national assembly,” the source said.

“The lawmakers are very angry and are ready to nail this act once and for all. Don’t forget that this is not the first time that the president would disregard the legislature in taking key decisions… the matter has been referred to the committees (in both chambers) and they will advise them on the way forward as regards the anticipatory approval. But based on the illegality of Mr President’s action, they have started gathering signatures for his impeachment in both chambers.

“Buhari had since September 2017 to consult with the leadership of the national assembly leadership over this issue but he did not do so.

Last year, a congress delegation met with the leadership of the national assembly based on Trump’s request to sell the aircraft to Nigeria but our president decided to do things his own way.”

The source said while Chinda is among those coordinating the collection of signatures in the lower legislative chamber, some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators are behind it at the senate.

There was a fierce argument between the PDP lawmakers and their All Progressives Congress (APC) colleagues at the senate on Thursday.

Matthew Urhoghide, a PDP senator from Edo state, and Chukwuka Utazi, a PDP lawmaker Enugu state, were among the opposition lawmakers who pushed for the ousting of Buhari, while some of their colleagues on the other side disagreed.

“There are serious consequences for violation of our constitution. I want this senate to resolve that what the president did is procedurally wrong and a violation of our constitution, it must be condemned and of course, the consequences of section 143 of our constitution should be invoked,” Urhoghide had said.

But Abu Ibrahim, an APC senator from Katsina state, disagreed, describing the impeachment plot as a conspiracy from PDP.

Ibrahim defended Buhari, saying the president approved for the withdrawal of the money “based on national interest”.

“This is the first time that money drawn from excess crude account is being brought to the national assembly (for approval). Since they began to operate this account, I have never seen any expenditure that was brought here for approval,” the lawmaker said.

“This is a PDP conspiracy. I will like the PDP to tell us which of their governors have taken the money released from excess crude oil account to the state assembly for approval.

Read:  $496m Aircraft Purchase, SEnate Demands Buhari’s Impeachment…

If this is a PDP conspiracy to tarnish the image of Muhammadu Buhari, they will not be able to do it because we are coming out with figures.”

Section 143 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) deals with the removal of the president and vice-president from office. It is a very long process, taking at least three months to complete.

TheCable filed a report on what the section says.

Yusuf Olaniyonu, spokesman of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Turaki Hassan, spokesman of Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, could not be reached for comments when this report was filed. None of them responded to calls or replied the text messages sent.

 

$496m aircraft purchase: Senators demand Buhari’s impeachment, Reps undecided

APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

buuuuSome senators at the plenary on Thursday, called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the withdrawal of $496m from the Excess Crude Account to purchase military aircraft without National Assembly’s approval.

Most of the lawmakers, who spoke on the withdrawal and spending pointed out that the President had breached Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution, while a few disagreed.

The 12 Super Tucano aircraft ordered from the United States would be delivered in 2020.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Wednesday read a letter from Buhari in which he admitted that the money had been withdrawn and paid to the US ahead of the legislative approval. This, he said, was done to beat the deadline for the arms deal.

On Tuesday, the letter was slated for consideration and referral to the relevant committee but Senator Mathew Uroghide, who had protested against the expenditure on Wednesday, moved a motion for Buhari’s impeachment for violation of the constitution.

Uroghide, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, specifically urged Saraki to allow the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution against the President.

He said, “Any amount of money that has to be spent from the Federation Account, must be appropriated by the National Assembly. This one has not been appropriated by the National Assembly and therefore breaches the provisions of the constitution.

“The Senate is not unmindful of the fact that the objective of this expenditure has been well established, but the procedure for this expenditure is wrong. There ought to have been appropriation before this money was spent.”

Uroghide added, “There are serious consequences for the violation of our constitution. As a consequence, the only thing that we can draw from on this is that, we call on you (Saraki) to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution. What it means is that this matter does not need to be investigated; it is clear that this offence has been committed by Mr. President.”

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that it was time for the legislature to be decisive. He noted that Sections 80 and 81 of the constitution stated the powers of the legislature on spending by the executive and how the executive should manage its finances.

Utazi added, “There is no other name to call this except an impeachable offence and we cannot allow that. We cannot stay here and this Assembly and Nigerians will be taken for granted. It should not be so. I rise and support the motion.”

Also speaking, Senator Shehu Sani has described the expenditure as “a gross abuse of the constitution.”

While Sani stated that he was not in support of the impeachment call, he asked that the payment be refunded and the transaction be started afresh to allow due process.

But Senator Abu Ibrahim described the impeachment call as “a PDP conspiracy.” Ibrahim challenged the opposition lawmakers to name any state governor in the PDP who benefited from the previous withdrawals from the ECA and sought the approval of the state House of Assembly before spending the money.

Senator Samuel Anyanwu, however, countered Ibrahim, stating that the matter was about respect for government’s institutions and not about party politics.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, however, argued that the executive might have considered Section 83(1-2) of the constitution, which allows the President to make extra-budgetary spending in an emergency situation.

N’allah said, “In view of the controversy that this has generated, my advice is that since we have the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, issues of this nature can be referred to that committee. Let them look at it properly and advise the Senate on the way forward.”

Saraki, in his ruling, noted there were two issues: the spate of insecurity and the flawed process through which the government wanted to tackle it.

The Senate President sought the  permission of the lawmakers to refer the probe to the Committee, which was unanimously granted.

But the House of Representatives was undecided on Thursday whether to approve a $496.3m  request by President Buhari to purchase 12 units of Tucano aircraft from the US.

The House referred the request to its Committee on Rules/Business to look into it and guide the members properly on the way forward.

The House, in keeping with its Tuesday resolution to debate the matter before taking a stance, had listed it on Thursday.

But, as the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, called on the Acting Leader of the House, Mr. Mohammed Monguno, to move a motion for the debate, some members kicked against it.

The motion sought to include the $496.3m in the 2018 Appropriation Bill still pending before the National Assembly.

It was the Chairman, Committee on Ethics/Privileges, Mr. Nicholas Ossai, who raised a point of order to observe that by the procedure of the House, the request was belated because Buhari had already spent the money.

Ossai quoted Section 80 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to remind members that no funds could be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, “except in the manner approved by the National Assembly.”

He argued, “This motion is not relevant because this money has been spent. This matter cannot be discussed at all. This matter ought to have been thrown away and I urge the House that this motion should be withdrawn.”

However, there were other members, who attempted to protest loudly, saying that the House should at least debate the letter and either approve or reject it.

For instance, the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, observed that the House would still be in order by debating the motion.

Some members like the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyema; Mr. Gabriel Onyenwife; Mr. Agbedi Fredie; and Mr. Sergious Ose-Ogun, backed Ossai.

They said the request was “belated” and trying to bend the House rules to accommodate the $496.3m either by a motion or a fresh money bill, would amount to self-indictment by the legislature.

The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, intervened to rule that in view of the divergent opinions, the debate should be suspended.

Breaking: Former ANPP Borno Governor and PDP national chairman Return Back to APC with supporters

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

Ali Modu Sheriff is expected to defect back to the APC – The former ANPP Strongman and PDP factional leader will be leading his supporters back to the APC secretariat – He will be received by top APC chieftains

A former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is set to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside his supporters. Sheriff was a factional chairman of the PDP before he was later removed by the Supreme Court.

Sheriff is expected to be at the APC secretariat today, Thursday, April 26. He will be received by John Oyegun and other APC officials.  Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, who served as deputy national chairman of the PDP while Sheriff was chairman was at the APC national secretariat in preparation for the defection. Meanwhile, the APC said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s reported support for Adams Oshiomhole as chairman of the party is not binding.

Media reports that this was reiterated by the national publicity secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, on Wednesday, April 25. He said: “What we were told at the meeting was that he was asked who he wanted and he told them his preference which has nothing to do with the meeting today.” According to him, they were reviewing the time table of the national convention because some governors noted that it was too close.

Read more: https://www.naija.ng/1165836-breaking-former-pdp-national-chairman-defect-apc-supporters.html?source=notification#1165836

SARS stops Senate delegation from seeing Dino Melaye at National Hospital

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

Operatives of Special Anti Robbery Squad have stopped the delegation of the Senate from seeing Senator Dino Melaye who is receiving medical attention at the National Trauma Centre unit of the National Hospital, Abuja.

DAILY POST which followed the Senate delegation learnt that Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district was in a state of coma as at Wednesday morning.

Senators on the delegation are the deputy Senate leader, Bala Ibn’Nallah, Francis Alimekhena, Emmanuel Bwacha.

The National Trauma Unit of the hospital was heavily guarded by stern looking operatives of SARS.

The leader of SARS was identified as O. F. Onche who insisted that Senators cannot seeDino Melaye which according to him, was an order from above.

“Senator Bala Na’Allah: We are Senators and we are here to see Senator Dino.”

“SARS leader: I know you. You cannot see him now. It is an instruction.”

“Bala Na’Allah: Instructions from above?”

SARS leader: I said it is an instruction, may be you can see the medical director..”

The delegation left without seeing Dino.

Meanwhile, on their way back to the National Assembly, another senator intervened and they were called back.

 

Details later…..

 

DailyPost

Benue Killings: Stop this mindless killings now, Secondus charges Presidency

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Terrorism, Uncategorized

…..Says the country is sliding dangerously under APC watch

The National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has charged the Presidency to halt the senseless killings going on in Benue state immediately before it degenerates into a national crisis.

Prince Secondus said in a condolence message he sent to the Benue State Governor Dr. Samuel Ortom and the Catholic Church in Nigeria on the Tuesday Morning’s brutal murder of two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers of St Ignatius Quashi Catholic Church parish in Ukpor-Mbalom in Gwer local Government area of the state that the latest of the killings in Benue state which began on a New Year’s Day is no longer bearable

The PDP boss said in a statement signed by his media Adviser Ike Abonyi, that the continued bloodletting in Benue and other parts of the country and the apparent inability of the government to stem it raises a lot of concern on the future of this country.

“From whichever angle you are witnessing what is happening in this country, one thing is agreeable that this country is sliding dangerously”

“Nigerians and the global community have continued to watch as all the tenets of democracy are being eroded and giving way to dictatorial tendencies.

“In the last one week we have watched as disturbing indices continue to crop up ahead of the forthcoming general election with APC administration either unconcerned or involved in a tactical endorsement of such act.

The PDP National Chairman alerted the nation and the international community that the choreographed tension in the land is being designed by the APC administration to charge up the polity to enable them carry out its agenda of abusing democratic process and the rule of law ahead of 2019.

Prince Secondus admonished the security operatives as professionals to bear in mind always the words of the former US President Theodore Roosevelt that ” patriotism means to stand with the country. It does not mean to stand with the President”

“I find it unexplainable that some group of gunmen should hold a state to ransom since January killing and maiming citizens and destroying their houses and the security operatives appear helpless.

“Where are the military operatives that carried out Python and Crocodile dances in South East and South South Region respectively lately brandishing their might to less dangerous citizens and who have been unable to tackle the Benue killings.

“How can anybody expect Benue state for instant to contribute its own share of the $1b security votes when the nation security architecture is not designed to protect their people?

“If we are to give in to the President’s assertions lately that these killer herdsmen are foreigners trained by late Libyan leader, Muamour Gadhafi, where then lies our pride as a nation that a dead Gadhafi could leave behind such deadly force that a living President and its army have no answer to.

Finally, Secondus asked the APC administration to accept one huge fact that under their watch the country has collapsed irreparably and there is no evidence of the existence of government in the land.

Signed

Ike Abonyi

SA, Media to the National Chairman.

Breaking: Police storm Zanklin Hospital where Dino Melaye is being admitted

APC, News, PMB, Politics

By Joseph Erunke

dibbeABUJA-THE Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force are are currently at the Zanklin Hospital where Senator Dino Melaye is being admitted following injury he sustained while being conveyed to Lokoja this afternoon for a possible parade. Senator Dino Melaye The team of the officers have so far arrested five persons seen at the premises of the hospital who they suspected to have close link with the senator. The operatives mainly from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, have taken over the hospital premises. Some have moved to the amenity ward of the hospital where the hospital is being admitted.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/04/breaking-police-storm-zanklin-hospital-dino-admitted/

Dino Melaye Taken to Lokoja; to be Paraded with other arrested Criminals

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

Dino to be paraded with other arrested criminals by Kogi State Police Command today

dibbeSENATOR Dino Melaye, who was arrested Tuesday morning by operatives of the Nigeria Police drawn from its Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, is at present being moved to Lokoja. Senator Dino Melaye the embattled senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is expected to be paraded later this evening among other hardened criminals who implicated him in the crime that necessitated his arrest.

SW learnt that the senator who was taken into SARS detention facility, located opposite the old Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN junction along the Area 1 expressway, Abuja, was moved out around 12 noon Yesterday in police vehicle heavily manned by SARS operatives. The detention facility where hardened criminals arrested for theft, murder, cultism and other criminal acts are being kept.

Media sources claimed that the parade of Melaye and other criminal suspects among them the re-arrested suspects who had escaped from prison cell, is to be conducted by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Aremu Adediran, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP. He is to carry out the parade assignment on behalf of his immediate boss, Jimoh Moshood, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, who is currently in China on a course.

Our source said before being moved out into the waiting vehicle for onward journey to his home state, Melaye was handcuffed to avoid possible escape from the security operatives. Attempts for inquiry from the Force Headquarters’ deputy image maker were not successful as he refused to pick calls made to his known telephone lines. Recall that the men of the Nigeria Police Force reportedly forcefully carried out the arrest of Melaye without arrest warrant or court order in the early hours of Tuesday. Initial attempts were made by the police to arrest the senator after immigration officials disembarked him from a flight to Morocco on Monday morning. Following his release after three hours detention at the immigration office at the airport, the lawmaker’s house was besieged by over 80 armed police men from Monday noon until the early hours of Tuesday.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/04/breaking-police-move-melaye-lokoja/

National convention: President Buhari reportedly asks APC governors to support Oshiomhole

APC, News

oyegun-buhari-and-tinubu

Former governor Adams Oshiomhole has been reportedly endorsed by President Buhari for the chairmanship position of the APC – Buhari met with the APC governors at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday – An unnamed official claimed Buhari called the meeting with the governors to ask them to back Oshiomhole’s candidature

President Muhammadu Buhari met with the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors on Tuesday, April 24,at the presidential villa, Abuja behind closed doors between 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm. Presidency sources told State House correspondents that the president used the opportunity to endorse former governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, for the chairmanship of the party The unnamed official, stated that President Buhari had resolved to back Oshiomhole for the party’s chairmanship position. President Buhari with APC governors at the meeting last night. Photo credit: State House

 “The president called this meeting with the progressive governors to ask them to back Oshiomhole’s candidature. That’s the purpose of the meeting administration that is the President’s position,” New Telegraph quoted the source as saying. The ruling party had fixed it’s national convention for May 14 in Abuja, where its new National Working Committee members would be elected. Governors at the meeting included those of Edo, Kogi, Kaduna, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara, Imo, Kano, Borno, Niger, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Jigawa and Kebbi states. Before the meeting, the governors have been divided over their support for who emerges as the new APC chairman ahead of the convention. It is not clear yet if the party’s current chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, will be seeking re-election at the convention now that the president has resolved to support Oshiomhole’s candidature.

Oshiomole is generally seen as the candidate of a certain bloc in the party headed by former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Meanwhile, the APC on Monday, April 23, inaugurated its national convention planning committee. The 68-member national convention committee is chaired by the governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar. The committee was inaugurated at the APC national secretariat in Abuja by the national chairman of the party,

Dino Melaye: Ozekhome reveals what Buhari is trying to do

APC, News, PMB, Politics

mik

Mike Ozekhome, the lawyer to embattled Senator Dino Melaye, has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is trying to crush his opponents ahead of the 2019 elections, adopting strategies reminiscent of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime.

Speaking to Channels Television on Tuesday, Ozekhome claimed Melaye was abducted by the police with the aim of forcefully arraigning him at a Federal High Court in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

“It is a sad reminder of Hitler’s Gestapo strategies of attempting to annihilate all opponents.

“Nigerians have to wake up to the realities of the perilous times that we are now going through and more perilous times in the days, the weeks, the months ahead because of 2019 elections,” Ozekhome said.

Hours after Senator Melaye’s arrest on Tuesday morning by the police, he jumped from a moving police vehicle, injuring himself in the process.

He was subsequently taken to a hospital in Abuja .

Melaye Refused remand in Lokoja, Jumped Down from Police Vehicle

2019 Elections, APC, BBNaija, local news, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Senator Dino Melaye Tuesday was arrested by Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and initially detained at the SARS Headquarters in Abuja. While being moved to Lokoja by SARS operatives the Vociferous Chairman Senate Committee on FCT was reported to have jumped down from the Police vehicle transporting him and vowed he had rather die in Abuja than be taken to jail in Kogi

SW obtained a video of the Senator’s ordeal an post here::

Oshiomole’s endorsement foolish, childish – Oyegun

2019 Elections, APC, News
oyegun-buhari-and-tinubu

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has described the purported endorsement of Adams Oshiomhole by stakeholders of the party from the South-South geopolitical zone as childish and a foolish charade.

The South South APC leaders were reported to have endorsed former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as the concensus candidate of the zone for the national chairmanship position.

But few minutes after the meeting, four state chairmen of the party and other party leaders washed their hands off the resolution, saying they were “ambushed.”

Oyegun speaking to newsmen on Tuesday at the party’s headquarters in Abuja stated that Oshiomhole cannot be elected in Edo State government house.

He pointed out that the said endorsement was clear indication that “the trumpeters do not understand the rule of the game.

“The endorsement is childish, absolutely childish. The voting is done at the convention and not in State houses, not in government houses.”

When asked why he was being rejected by his hometown, Oyegun said it should be expected, adding that he was not bothered at all by the apparent hostility.

 

DailyPost 

Tinubu bans APC chairman, others from seeking re-election

APC, News, PMB, Politics

Senator-Bola-Ahmed-Tinubu-640x419
Tinubu said the decision was to allow fresh set of people occupy party offices with a view to taking the APC to the next level in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the national leadership of the party had recently fixed May 2,5, 9 and 14 for ward, local government, state and national congresses respectively.

With Tuesday’s pronouncement by Tinubu, the chairman of the party in the state, Chief Henry Ajomale, who had led the chapter for a very long period, will be unable to seek re-election.

Tinubu said: “We fought hard against tenure elongation, and now we are going to have our congresses.

“Some of you who have spent two, three, four terms as ward, local government and state executive members, it is time to go.

“We thank you, we appreciate you. But we want you to step aside. It is time for those who have been crawling for years to walk. It is time for the youths to take over.

“I mean if you have spent eight years, twelve years, you have tried. You should give us chance, let us now have new people.”

Tinubu added that party executive members who had only spent one term were free to seek re-election, provided they did not have records of misconduct in office.

DailyPost

Nigeria as Buhari’s ‘Suara Sobo’ lorry -Festus Adedayo

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

abuuuNigeria of the 1950s and early 1960s had very many interesting personalities. Western Region had its fair share of such. One of them was a man named Suara Sobo (Sobo pronounced as Sorbor). He was a prominent transporter who held the transportation industry of the time by its jugular. An Ibadan man of the Opo Yeosa clan who lived in an area now known as Ring Road, Suara Sobo was wealthy and had a fleet of lorries in his pool. As a trade logo, Suara Sobo’s lorries always had monkeys chained to their entrance which excited and attracted passengers to them. However, his lorries soon acquired very unflattering typecast.

Any passenger who boarded them was literally embarking on a journey that had no certain time or terminal point of dismebarkment as the lorry could be arrested for having no particulars and the inappropriate conducts of the drivers and conductors, which led to road accidents, were legendary. The otherwise pleasurable ride with a monkey on board to marvel at its close resemblance of man could turn awry. It thus became a peculiar refrain in the Western Region to say a man had entered Suara Sobo’s lorry, an equivalent of today’s One Chancelingo among youths. Odolaye Aremu, then Ibadan-based Ilorin-born dadakuwada musician, once sang of the untimely passage of Suara Sobo, years after. At a celebration in his house, said Odolaye, Suara Sobo had hosted the crème de la crème of Ibadan where roast mutton and turkey flesh were feasted upon. People were shocked when, six days later, Suara Sobo’s sudden death was announced to the world.

The anecdote of Suara Sobo may be necessary here. It may be pretty difficult to know what goes on in the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari. Much more difficult is it to download what drives him; what defines him and what he thinks of the other person. The President has one major ambivalent quality which prevents anyone observing him through the media to know his persona – he is terribly introverted. If the Nigerian society were as sophisticated as the west, getting to know the essential Buhari would be easier. The American public today has a triple advantage – it has the benefit of being a free society, an extrovert as president and the benefit of technology to help it un-bowel the mind of the character in the White House. For Nigeria, it is triple assaults: Buhari’s private and public life is guarded like the sentries in hell guard Lucifer, he speaks seldom and runs a double-speak government where his minders tell the world divergent lies without synchro, which, in any case, are far away from the composition of their principal’s mind. Thus, we are left to guess who really Buhari is.

The few snippets available to the public about the person of Buhari are very disgusting. In 1978, while he was the Minister of Petroleum under General Olusegun Obasanjo, he was embroiled in a N2.8 million oil money scandal. The military however gave him a clean bill of health. During his time as a military dictator, the bits were indeed really very frightening. We have Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor as examples. Lean as a cowpea tree but with shining epaulettes on his square shoulders, his first press briefing as military Head of State was a fiasco. Insouciant at what the public may think, when asked by the press if he would tamper with press freedom, he answered in the affirmative. For the months he sat in the saddle, Buhari ruled Nigeria with an iron fist of cudgel and scorpion, like the biblical Rehoboam. There was little or no public window into his private life, except that, upon his return from the detention slammed on him by his dictator successor, Ibrahim Babangida, he sacked the dotting mother of his children unceremoniously. Since then, very little was in the public domain about him. There was however this public perception of him as a very straightforward man.

As head of General Sani Abacha’s Petroleum Development Trust Fund, (PTDF) this public perception availed him. Though many of the projects constructed under the PTDF were marred in allegations of favouritism, nepotism and ethnic preferences of contractors, he still wore the lapel of honour on his shirt sleeve. Global condemnation of Abacha’s primitive heists notwithstanding, Buhari still chose to whitewash Sani’s apparels. He told the world that the Kanuri dictator never stole a dime of Nigerian patrimony. He is yet to recant this blind and I dare say silly, tribal defence of his fellow northerner.

His foray into politics opened the blind a little into his grim persona. As the Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) in the 2011 election, while the rat-a-tat firepower of Boko Haram raged and its hirelings detonated explosives which killed his kinsmen in their hundreds, Buhari said, by attacking Boko Haram, Goodluck Jonathan was attacking the North. He shocked Nigerians in 2012 while speaking in Hausa and addressing members of the CPC from Niger State, who had paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna. Claiming that he was quoting Professor Ango Abdullahi, Buhari identified three types of insurgents in the country. According to him, the Federal Government, led by Jonathan, topped the list, followed by those he described as “criminals who steal and kill Nigerians in the name of religion” and the third was the insurgent group led by late Muhammed Yusufu. Buhari then decorated the final cake with an icing of crimson: “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’

Buhari had earlier demonstrated clearly that he barely tolerated anyone outside his stock. While late Alhaji Lam Adesina was governor of Oyo State, Buhari, in company with Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Buba Marwa and others, he had stormed the state. Fulani Bororo cattle rearers, who have been held as a menace to farmers in the northern part of the state, had clashed with natives who apparently clearly routed them in a scuffle. On a courtesy visit to Adesina, Buhari had been quoted to have lamented how “your people killed my people.” Adesina, who was known never to suffer fools gladly, had pilloried the former Head of State for this clearly sectional statement, stating that as a former Head of State, he ought to have spoken as a nationalist. A couple of years ago, Buhari was also quoted to have told some Islamic brethren that he was committed to ensuring that Sharia was spread to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, a statement reminiscent of that incandescent and self-serving decree attributed to Uthman Danfodio.

In a saner clime, all the above should be enough to carve the effigy of what a Buhari presidency held in store for Nigerians. In the build up to the 2015 elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, among whom Bola Tinubu was a kingpin of renown, deodorized Buhari, latching on his alleged non-corruptive credentials as Nigeria’s hope of redemption from Jonathan’s Ali Baba and the Thieves government. We would yet know that the personal integrity of a leader doesn’t approximate national integrity nor does it put food on a nation’s table. As lacking mental depth as Jonathan was reputed to be, he was greatly pained that APC leaders filibustered on a proposed televised debate with Buhari. A debate would have shown Nigerians what a Suara Sobo lorry Nigerians were about to board.

The last three years but one month of his presidency have shown Buhari very clearly. Still terse in communication and disdainful of the other person, these attributes jutted out glaringly in the last three years. He demurred for months in appointing ministers, which economic experts said was one of the incubating indices of Nigeria’s subsequent collapse into reception and when he eventually did appoint his ministers, the credentials of the appointees could not be compared with that of Goodluck Jonathan’s. Things went bad on the economic front. The president’s bad health, shortly after he was assumption of office, literally halted the administration of Nigeria and the emergence of some hawks nicknamed cabal who are said to run his government rammed in the final nails. Things went so bad on the economic front that many Nigerians anguished at their choice of Buhari while thousands of jobs were lost in the process.

Corruption and security, two key prongs on which Buhari canvassed for votes, have not fared better. Like Jonathan, a curious kidnap of girls of a secondary school at Dapchi was inflicted on the nation by Boko Haram and a more curious release of the girls occurred weeks later. Even though his personal frugal and perhaps incorruptible nature have yet to be impeached, Buhari’s tendency to condone corrupt people who make a ring round him is legendary. With little or no conviction secured of corruption cases in the last three years, Nigerians have concluded that the Buhari government is merely fighting those who, in its very limited horizon, are corrupt; rather than fighting corruption.

If the Buhari government ever attracts investors to Nigeria, he shovels them away with the other finger. Each time he travels out of the country, he does so much damage to the name of the country in an inexplicable way. The latest is his claim on a trip to the UK that the youth of his country is afflicted by indolence and a get-rich-quick blight.

The Buhari government’s I-don’t-care attitude to hundreds of Nigerians killed by Fulani herdsmen and its rationalization of their deaths are another sore point of his government. Now that he has expressed the desire to contest again in 2019, with the above as backcloth, it may be a fitting description to call the government he has run and which he will run if voted into office again as akin to the Suara Sobo lorry and Nigerians, his captive passengers.

90 minutes at NASS’ Entebbe

Now that we have recovered from the palpable shock that a band of unarmed thugs invaded the Nigerian National Assembly (NASS) and bolted away with the legislative authority, the mace, one hopes that Nigerians have recovered their thinking cap lost in the process of our national bewilderment. Last Wednesday, three thugs were reported to have invaded the Upper Chamber, at about the same time that the suspended pro-President Muhammadu Buhari Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, walked in. Not only did the thugs bolt away with the mace, (it was eventually recovered where it was dumped) national outcry was diverted towards Omo-Agege who was promptly arrested but released later by the police.

Now, let us assume for a fleeting moment that the shame of this action on Nigeria never came; that parliamentarians from neighbouring Ghana did not witness Nigeria’s moment of national shame, but how did this shameful drama happen? What sorry pass won’t Nigeria sink into?

This writer has been to National Assembly a number of times and knows how fortress-like its security is. From the first sentry to the last, you would be accosted by about four posts where your entry would be subjected to rigorous scrutiny of policemen, DSS officials and the like. Did these sentries go on a journey like the biblical Baal, god of the Sidonians? How come some urchins not reported to be armed were able to dislodge well-armed officers patrolling Nigeria’s national parliament? After striking and snatching the mace, the three thugs were said to have jumped into a Sports Utility Van and sped off. Who opened the gates for them? How come three thugs overpowered scores of armed sentries?

If you ask me, I think Bukola Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu and the parliamentarians should look outside the parliament for the marionette who fiddled with the strings on the laughable Wednesday. It is not on record that those sentries are constitutionally under the legislature but the executive. The culprit of the invasion is resident outside. But methinks that the invasion is very amateurish and points to the fact that even when it plans to dissemble, the Nigerian state is incompetent on all fronts. Except if the aim of the invasion was to entertain Nigerians to some idiotic comedy, the Villa’s apparatchik ought to have read Ninety Minutes at Entebbe, the story of how Israeli police rescued 102 of their hostages held by Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Operation Entebbe, also known as Operation Thunderbolt, was a code name for a successful counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission which was carried out by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos at the Entebbe Airport, Uganda on July 4, 1976. If the Villa read this book, we would have got a more robust script that would engage future state attempts to force its way through some uncoordinated barbarians.

JUST IN: SARS Operatives Arrest, Detain Dino Melaye

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, Politics

Senator Dino Melaye, who doubles as the chairman, senate committee on the Federal Capital territory, FCT, representing Kogi West was on Tuesday morning, arrested by operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS.

dibbeMelaye was this morning, taken to the SARS detention facility located just opposite the old Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN junction along the Area 1 expressway. The SARS detention facility is reputed for imprisoning hardened criminals arrested for theft, murder, cultism and other criminal acts.

It was gathered that the Nigeria Police Force forcefully carried out the arrest of Melaye without arrest warrant or court order. In a telephone conversation this morning, Senator Melaye however sounded rattled, as background conversation suggested a struggle between himself and some of the operatives after which his mobile lines were switched off.
Recall that initial attempts were made by the police to arrest Senator Melaye after immigration officials disembarked him from a flight to Morocco on Monday morning.
Following his release after three hours detention at the immigration office at the airport, the lawmaker’s house was besieged by over 80 armed police men from noon yesterday until the early hours of Tuesday.

 

APC Splits Over Oyegun, Oshiomhole’s Ambitions

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

oyegun-buhari-and-tinubu.jpgThe ambitions of two leaders of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, have caused a split among state chairpersons of the party.

The current National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, and a former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, both seek to emerge the national chairman of the party at its forthcoming convention.

While Mr Odigie-Oyegun seeks to retain his position, Mr Oshiomhole, who is believed to enjoy the support of ex-Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, wants to lead the party for the first time.

Both challengers are from Edo State, South-south Nigeria, the region the chairmanship is believed to have been zoned.

A major indication of the split in support for both contenders emerged on Monday after a meeting of APC chairpersons from the South-south.

At the end of the meeting, four state chairpersons of the party held a press conference, alleging they were ambushed to support Mr Oshiomhole.

The video of the press conference was sent to newsmen by the national leadership of the APC hours after a statement claimed the APC chairpersons had endorsed Mr Oshiomhole.

The South-south state chairpersons said they were ambushed with Mr Oshiomhole’s adoption agenda at the meeting insisting that Mr Odigie-Oyegun be given a right of first refusal to seek re-election for the position.

The state chairmen that opposed Mr Oshiomhole’s endorsement are the Rivers State chairman; Davies Ikanya; Bayelsa State chairman; Joseph Fafi; Cross River State chairman, Etim John; and the Akwa Ibom State APC chairman, Amadu Attai; as well as the APC Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom.

The National Vice Chairman, APC South-South Zone, Ntufam Eta, had earlier in a statement said the zone had endorsed Mr Oshiomole after a meeting of executive members of the party held in Benin City.

He said Mr Odigie-Oyegun was invited for the meeting but failed to attend. Efforts to reach Mr Odigie-Oyegun via calls and text messages were unanswered.

However, the four APC chairmen in the video said they were at the South-south zonal caucus meeting held at the Edo State Government House on Sunday in protest at what they said were plans by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and Mr Eta to adopt Mr Oshiomhole as the zone’s candidate for the national chairmanship position.

The chairmen said any decision made is null and void as there was no voting done.

The Rivers State APC chairman, Mr Ikanya, said, “We were here for a meeting only to be ambushed by the National Vice Chairman of the Party (Mr Eta) to adopt a preconceived candidate.”

“Yesterday (Sunday), we held a meeting which he attended, only for him to come and manipulate, sort out every suggestion and he is trying to say he has come out with a resolution.

“First, I want us to know that the Zonal Executive Committee does not have the power to elect, nominate or to adopt candidates for national offices. It is the national convention that can do that.

“Secondly, there are very senior members in the zone that were shut out of this meeting purposely. Number one, the national chairman of the party who is from this zone and the national vice chairman of the party ought to seek the permission of the national chairman of the party even to convene this meeting because the constitution states that the national vice chairman shall assist the national chairman.

“So, in this zone where we have a sitting chairman and he is not invited to a meeting, you have six ministers, you have former governors, you have very senior citizens of this zone and they were shut out of the meeting only for the national vice chairman to ambush everybody, ignore every motion that was moved, even when somebody moved a motion that he should disqualify himself having shown bias from the beginning in this meeting, he still sat there and he is saying to the public that there was a resolution.

“We want you to know that out of the states of the zone, four states are saying that this was an ambush, it was not acceptable, there was no resolution. We have said that every person is free to run in the election.

“We stand by the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that there is waiver. The national chairman can recontest if he wants to recontest, any other person from the zone can recontest if they want to recontest.

“What has happened in this meeting is a farce, is not binding on anybody, it is null and void. Four states are saying no, whereas just two states – Edo and some parts of Delta are the people that are saying that they have a resolution.

“This is not how democracy should be practiced. Arising from this meeting today, the majority view is that there is no consensus on any candidate.”

The APC NEC had given a waiver to Mr Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the outgoing national executive to allow them seek re-election at the May 14 convention.

The NEC decision followed it’s reversal of a one-year tenure extension it initially granted the executives. The reversal was done following rejection of the extension by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Odigie-Oyegun’s reelection plan still faces an uphill task as it is believed to be opposed by Mr Buhari and Mr Tinubu.

(P.M)

Our Entire Democracy Is In Danger – Atiku 

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

Atiku Abubakar has condemned the theft of Mace at the Senate describing it as an assault on Nigeria’s democracy.

In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja and published on Facebook

Atiku Abubakar

, Atiku said he is disappointed.

“I am utterly embarrassed, shocked and outraged by this ugly development because it is not only a threat to a major democratic institution but also represents a grave danger to the survival of our democracy,” he said.

Atiku noted that using illegal and unconstitutional methods to threaten the authority of a key democratic institution is evil and unacceptable.

He wondered how the thugs could force their way into the Senate chamber and steal the Mace.

“If criminals could commit such security breach with impunity, it means that our entire democracy is in danger. Those behind this illegality to avoid creating a monster that could consume them.

“It is unacceptable and reprehensible to subject the National Assembly to this intimidation and humiliation. This attack by thugs should not go unpunished no matter who is involved”, the former vice president added.

Nigerian Youths are Achievers and Hardworking – Atiku

APC, local news, News, PMB, Politics

Atiku Reacts To President Buhari’s “Nigerian Youths Are Not Ready To Work” Comment

atikueFormer president Atiku Abubakar reacted via his Twitter handle to President Muhammadu Buhari reported comment that many Nigerian youths are uneducated, not ready to work and dependent on revenue from oil to survive.

He said the youths, who make up 60 per cent of the population, were waiting to get social amenities free without doing anything. The President spoke during a panel discussion at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, London.

 “I will never refer to Nigeria’s youth as people who sit and do nothing. They are hardworking. I should know, I have thousands of youths working for me all over the country who have been the backbone to our success. he tweeted.

I’ve always said oil is not Nigeria’s greatest asset. Our greatest asset is our youth who created Nollywood out of nothing and an entertainment industry that is second to none in Africa.

Our youth are charting new frontiers; creating a huge tech industry on their own! Their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities are things of pride and should be applauded, encouraged and nurtured.

 

APC releases timetable for National Convention, Congresses

2019 Elections, APC, PMB, Politics

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has released a time table for its National Convention and Congresses. The timetable was released by the party’s national organizing secretary, Osita Izunaso, on Wednesday, April 18. In a mail sent to NAIJ.com, it was noted that the ruling party scheduled its National Convention for May 14, while ward congresses have been slated for May 2. Congresses for local government will hold on May 5, while state congresses are taking place on May 9.  The timetable was released on Wednesday night, April 18. The ruling party had previously written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), requesting its presence at the events.

APCq.jpg

The All Progressives Congress constituted its National Convention Committee members. The party on Sunday, April 15, released a list of its members to serve in its committees, drawn from different hierarchy and positions in the party. The list included governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives and other caucuses in the party.

Saraki leaves for Washington

Africa, APC, Politics

 

Saraki leaves for Washington

sarakiThe President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki has departed for Washington DC to join other World leaders and economic experts at the spring meeting by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki Saraki is billed to participate in the African Finance Forum organized by the Corporate Council on Africa. According to Bamikole Omishore, Special Assistant to Saraki on Foreign Affairs and International Relations, the Senate’s President will be part of 100 project developers, financiers and African government representatives. They will be looking at how the fintech industry is transforming the financial sector and financing on the African continent.” Saraki was accompanied by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, and his counterpart in the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru.

The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank will bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organisations and academics. They will discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial system.

Breaking News: Senator Ovie Omo-Agege Arrested by the Nigeria Police.

2019 Elections, APC, PMB, Politics, Uncategorized

Reports from the Natinal Assembly hass it that Senator ovie Omo-Agege reported leader of the hoodlums that seized the maze in the Senate has finally being arrested by the Nigeria Police in Abuja.

omo agege.jpg

The Senator was suspended last week by the Saraki led Senate. Omo-Agege has been reportedly taken to the Nigerian Police Headquarters for questioning. More details later….

2019: I’m not bothered about politics – Buhari

Africa, APC, PMB, Politics

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari in London on Monday told the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, that though the country will be having elections in 2019, his primary concern was to tackle insecurity and also put the nation’s economy in a better position. President Buhari meets with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street London President Buhari stated this when he held a bilateral meeting with the British Prime Minister, at 10, Downing Street, London. Recall that the President had declared his intention to seek for re-election last week Monday at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja, before he left for London. But Buhari told the British Prime Minister that his administration from the onset was focused on three cardinal areas which were security, economy and fight against corruption, adding that as his opponents were interested in the forthcoming elections, his interest was to deliver on his election promises. According to him, “We campaigned on three major issues, to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption.

We have elections next year, politicians are already pre-occupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy.” President Buhari while going memory lane stated that Nigeria and Britain have a long history of cooperation on several fronts, stressing that, “People ought to know how they arrived where they are, if they would move forward. It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now.” He commended British companies like Unilever, Cadbury, and many others, “who have stood with Nigeria through thick and thin. Even when we fought a Civil War, they never left. “But like Oliver Twist, we ask for more investments. We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria. We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment.”

President Buhari in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, told Prime Minister May that his administration’s strides in agriculture, had put Nigeria firmly on the road to food self-sufficiency. He said, “I am very pleased with the successes in agriculture. We have cut rice importation by about 90 percent made lots of savings of foreign exchange, and generated employment. “People had rushed to the cities to get oil money, at the expense of farming. But luckily, they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going back to the land. We are making steady progress on the road to food security.” On education, President Buhari said more investment was being made, because “people can look after themselves if well educated. In this age of technology, education is very important.

may3.jpgWe need well-staffed and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation.” Speaking on climate change and environmental issues, President Buhari brought up the necessity of inter-basin water transfer from Congo Basin to Lake Chad. He said “The Lake Chad is now about 10 percent of its original size, and it is perhaps one of the reasons our youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, to get to Europe. “But if there is inter-basin water transfer, about 40 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and other countries stand to benefit. I made the case during the Climate Change Summit in France. If Lake Chad is recharged, it will reduce the number of youths coming to Europe to increase social problems. “We brought back about 4,000 people from Libya recently. Almost all of them were below 30, and Libya was not their final destination.

They were headed to Europe.” In her remarks, Prime Minister May said Britain would continue to work with Nigeria in the areas of training and equipping the military. She was particular about abduction of young schoolgirls by Boko Haram, noting that Britain would continue to give Nigeria needed assistance. The Prime Minister said the Buhari administration has “been making good progress on the economy,” and urged it to maintain the focus, despite approaching elections, and increase in political activities. On education and climate change, she declared: “Good grounding in education is good. It is important to equip young people for today’s world. It is also a good bastion and defence against modern slavery.

The issue of the environment and climate change is very important, because of its impact on many countries in the Commonwealth. Stability at home is important, to curb illegal migration.” While commending President Buhari for his efforts in improving trade and business for Nigeria, the British Prime Minister said it was also time to boost intra-Commonwealth trade.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/04/2019-im-not-bothered-politics-buhari-tells-pm-may/

Minute Talk: The Senate Attack by Thugs

APC, PMB, Politics

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the National symbol of our democracy. The highest point in representative democratic institution in Nigeria. Despite many rancourous sessions, fraud cases and executive propelled challenges to the current Senate: many would agree with me that the Bukola Saraki led Senate has seen a sort of stability and individuality that not any senate has enjoyed in Nigerian history.

The fact that the leadership of the senate belonged to the same party as the Buhari Led Executive, most of analysts had expected a smoother and collaborative approach to governance. Unfortunately, the 8th senate has refused to followed laid-down expectations of the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The Party leadership lost out in elections of the senate and House of Assembly leadership. With the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki alligning with the PDP Senator to execute a coup de grace that produced a PDP senator, Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President. Equally, the alliance occasioned several PDP senators chairing several important committee of the senate.

Saraki and his executives have continued to survive on their political dexterity against a group of sharks and lions from the APC planning and orchestrating a change of leadership in the senate. Three years and several scars latter, the Saraki team has shown great tenacity at holding on to the senate leadership seat, but current attack was the worst challenge not to Saraki and his men but to the Nigerian democracy which we all must resist otherwise our hard fought growing democracy might be the victim.

Today’s attack on the Senate by the Ovie Omo-Agege led coalition supporting the PMB refusal to accent NASS amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act is an affront on our democracy which raises several issues that must be addressed immediately, or we are really in greater trouble as the 2019 elections approaches.

Security: In a country where we have nothing less than six different gun totting security agencies supposedly guarding and providing coverage for over 400 NASS VVIPs; That translating to over 400 security aide on premises of the National Assembly -not minding the Police and SSS Units deployed to secure the Institution on permanent basis- as at time of attack; the Mace of the Senate was carted away  by a few hoodlum. This is a great challenge on our security agencies intelligence abilities, response time to incidence and understanding of their assigned duties.  Who really was in-charge of the National Assembly security and protection details? Aside from running after their bosses, carrying bags for their wives, and assaulting the public, are there any real security functions for the security aides to politicians?

Discipline: The political class are getting loose in their acts in recent ties. apparent lack of concise political leadership occasioned by a senile and partial party leadership has created a culture of individual empires within the Nigerian political class. This lack of respect has been ascribed to the loose arrangement that midwives the APC and produced its leadership before the 2015 elections. Senator Omo-Agege (the reported leader of these hoodlum) has reached above his head and there is a need to caution such move immediately. Regardless of his angst, no-one has the right to rob the senate of the Federal Republic. The Nigerian elites have to forget which side this senator stands on and call him to order. He should be as a matter of national emergency, be arrested and stand trial for robbery and nothing lesser. He should be made to understand that the National assembly is not a village meeting in anyone’s village.

2019 Elections: More at risk is our commonwealth as a nation if great security risks like this are occurring at the eve of our national elections. While direct efforts should be concerted on the recorvery of the stollen Mace, a rethink of our security mix and strategic response during an attack should be undertaken as a matter of national emergency. maceThe security of the nation is at risk and we must really call all to task in propagating a fool proof, thug and hoodlum free elections come February 2019.

Editor.

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