Barely three weeks to the June 23 national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the secretary of the Convention Planning Committee, Sen. Benjamin Uwajumogu has resigned his appointment due to what he said were “domestic” reasons beyond his control.
In his place, the party has appointed the Chairman of the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba.
Confirming the development in a chat with Sunday Vanguard, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said the party hierarchy had since accepted the resignation of Sen. Uwajumogu. He dismissed reports that the former secretary was forced to resign as a way of acquiescing to the demands of his state governor, Rochas Okorocha who had threatened to dump the ruling party should his request for a new Scribe be turned down.
“It is not a tradeoff. To the best of my knowledge, the reasons he gave were personal and the National Working Committee NWC has appointed somebody else, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba. I do not know how that can be a tradeoff because if it is so, I think his replacement should have been another person from Imo but the new appointee is from Cross River”, said Mallam Abdullahi.
There were speculations Friday night that Uwajumogu had tendered his resignation, but confirming the development at a news conference Saturday in Abuja, the senator said when he accepted the appointment, he had believed that the Convention would hold on May 14, saying the new date of June 23 would clash with his long term ambition to attend the graduation of two of his children from universities in England.
“I want to announce to you that yesterday, I tendered my resignation as the Secretary of the APC Convention Planning Committee and the resignation was accepted last night by the national chairman of the party”, he said.
Speaking further, he said; “The reason why I resigned, primarily is that when I was appointed, the date for the national convention, as we were informed, was to be on May 14. Eventually that date was moved to June 2 and there were hopes that the Convention would hold between June 2 and 9. However, the date has now been moved to June 23 and it will conflict with my family activities and responsibilities. For example, two of my children are graduating from the university in England within this month and I have a responsibility to be there and I have some other jobs at hands too. So, I decided that since I wont have the time for this convention, I should resign so that the position can be given to somebody who has the time. It is a decision that I took by myself. In my letter, I thank the national chairman and the Convention committee for all the support I received while I was here”, he said.
On whether he was traded off to accommodate the interests of his state governor, Rochas Okorocha with whom he has had a running battle alongside other stakeholders, Uwajumogu said; “For me, my relationship with him is nor a personal thing. It is something that all of us in Imo state are opposed to the way government in Imo state is being run. Our opposition to that is something that is based on principle; based on the fact that 95 percent of Imo citizens and indeed south easterners are not happy with what is happening in Imo state. South east citizens are ashamed, that the only state we, APC, have in the region is being run the way it is in the past three years and for me, I did not have a choice than to detach myself from that government. As a matter of fact, I am happy now that I have resigned, maybe it will be clear that the Convention which is slated to elect national officers,….I am aware that the governor is supporting some south east citizens to run for offices zoned to the region and so now that I have resigned, nobody will accuse me of manipulating the process”.
He said the Convention is not threatened by his exit as the committee had concluded virtually all arrangements to hold the exercise despite having received only N13 million so far for its activities.
Imo now a basket of fraud
He said he had read reports in the social media sponsored by some state elements saying he was sacked because he embezzled the Convention funds.
While he dismissed the claim, he said Imo state under Gov. Okorocha is now a massive basket of fraud. “Now that I have resigned, I can only hope that my governor, Rochas Okorocha will spend more time in Imo state attending to the various issues that he has created for himself because in the last two weeks, he has been here in Abuja running around for the Convention and trying to put only people that are favourable to his policies.
“Okorocha has always threatened to leave the party if the Congresses were not reversed. I hear he has threatened to leave if my position was not taken….This started more than two weeks ago and it is just a coincidence because I had made up my mind to leave. I am just hoping that now that I have left, he will return to Owerri. He has 27 hospitals he said he has built which have been overtaken by weeds. Imo state is a massive basket of fraud and I am very sure that the EFCC have their records.
“It is very clear today, that this is no longer an Imo issue but a south east issue. It is very clear now that the entire south east has lost confidence in the leadership of Rochas Anayo Okorocha and all we are saying is that Nigerians should take note that we no longer have him as our leader.
“My appointment was by the NWC and nobody has asked me to leave this position. The NWC met yesterday ams there was no where in their meeting where I was asked to resign. It is a decision I made by myself. However, in any decision you take, there must be political consequences”.
Confirms receiving nominees from the Presidency
“We have a total of about 20 members for each committee and the committees are 12. That makes it 240 members. In that regard, the NWC sent about 108 people to the committee. We got nominations from different groups. The Buhari Support Organization, the Buhari Campaign Organization, the wife of the president and various interest groups in the APC including diaspora organizations and of course, there is no way I will be a member and the Secretary of the national convention and I will not have nominees in the Convention. I brought about 18 members of my own which was granted to me and approved by the national convention chairman. Some of my nominees are Yorubas, northerners and Igbos. Aside the nominees to the subcommittees, I have a secretariat to run and I have my own staff who have been working with me from when I was a Speaker and who of course are people that I trust for this sensitive position.
“My supporters are always here all the time and the impression created is that all the people you find here are working for the Secretary. People come here so that their businesses could be patronized by the Convention committee and I have forwarded such proposals to the various subcommittees”.
He said six nominees of the NWC whose names were missing from the committee’s list have been reabsorbed.
Presidential Spokesman Femi Adesina had earlier denied reports that the presidency tinkered with the membership of the committee.
Sourced From: The Sun News
I Never Said I Will Probe Fayose – Gov. Fayemi
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has clarified his stance on the fate of the immediate past governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose.
Fayemi spoke with State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fielding questions whether he would probe his predecessor, Fayemi explained that there was never a time he said he would probe Fayose.
According to him, reports of such probe are on the table of anti-graft agencies.
“Well, I am sure I have never said anything about probe, and I do not say anything about probe.
“Looking into books is the duty of any new governor, you need to know what you found in place, I just talked about visitation panel into the education sector in the state.
“There are other sectors in the state, and it will be remiss of me not to check what we found when we came into office and share that with the citizens of the state.
“It is just accountability not probe. I am not EFCC I am not ICPC, there are institutions that are charged with the responsibility to do that and its entirely up to them if they want to probe the governor or not.
“ It is not my business, I leave Fayose to God, I have said that before.’’
Fayose is presently being prosecuted by the EFCC over an 11-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering.
Speaking on the state of education, Fayemi said that Ekiti had a tradition of being the intellectual capital of the country but it seemed to have lost that edge lately.
He said that his government was working toward repositioning the sector, particularly at the basic and tertiary levels.
The governor said that he had set up visitation panel in all the tertiary institutions in the state to review and recommend what the critical and challenging issues were and how government should respond to the yearnings of the sector.
He said the government was taking specific steps to address access to education in the basic education sub-sector.
“Before now, Ekiti used to be the leading state in terms of school enrollment in the country but the latest figures we received from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) makes it clear that we are lagging far behind.
“We have moved from 96 per cent enrolment in the entire country to about 45 per cent meaning that about 55 per cent of our school age children are of school.
“That is unacceptable in a state like Ekiti and we need to find out what has happened between 2014 and 2018 leading to this appalling figure in terms of school enrolment.
“And one of the very first things we are doing to improve enrolment is to make sure that all fees and levies in the primary and secondary sector are removed, so we have removed that.
“We have returned free compulsory and qualitative education to our basic education sector.’’
Fayemi said that the government was also doing all it could to encourage more students to come into school.
He said that the state government would commence the school feeding programme in Ekiti State in order to ensure that kids that did not have the opportunity to be in school were enrolled.
“We are also ensuring that we pay salaries regularly because you cannot expect parents who have not received salaries for six to 10 months on the one hand and the children are being asked to pay education levy on the other hand to have the capacity to send such children to school.
“So, it is a double whammy for such families, we need to make sure that education which we see in our party as a right and not a privilege at least at the basic level should be free, compulsory and qualitative and that is where we are returning Ekiti to,’’ he said.
The governor dismissed insinuations that he was having disagreement with the labour union in his state.
Sourced From: The Sun Nigeria
Why We Closed Makurdi Airfield – NAF
Rose Ejembi, Makurdi.
Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, AVM Oladayo Amao, has given reasons for the temporary closure of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) airfield housing the Makurdi Airport, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
AVM Amao, in a chat with newsmen, on Saturday, allayed fears that the airfield might have been closed for unjustifiable reasons saying the closure was to allow repairs and maintenance of the runway which had started giving way.
“The runway, as you may have been aware, has been closed for some time now for repairs.
“The sealants that were used to hold the runway together have given way and grasses are growing on it already which is very dangerous.
“The work would have been completed before now but the problem we have is getting the sealants itself.
“For now, because of the scarcity of sealants, we cannot tell when the work would be completed and the runway opened for use. But I can assure you that the runway will be opened as soon as work is completed.”
He said it was because of the closure of the airfield that the fourth quarter route march of the Command could take place on the runway.
“Today, unlike other similar exercises, we had the privilege to march through the runway.
“Our airfield here has been closed for a while due to the ongoing repairs at the runway and this afforded us this opportunity,” AVM Amao stated.
Sourced From: The Sun Nigeria
Army Dismisses B’Haram Video On Killing Of Soldiers
Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri.
The Nigerian Army has dismissed a video purportedly released by Boko Haram showing gruesome killings of scores of soldiers at a military base in Borno State last weekend.
Army headquarters, in its first reaction to the last weekend attack on a military base at Metele, Guzamala Local Government, contained in a release on its official web, said the video was part of the propaganda of the terrorists’ group to “misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not.”
“The spurious circulation of some of these videos only contribute to further propagate the propaganda intent of the terrorists; to misinform the populace and portray themselves as what they are not. So far, the situation is that the location is under control as reinforcing units have been able to repel the terrorists and stabilize the situation,” the army said.
It said the video trending was an “inaccurate and false” account of the incident, urging Nigerians to disregard the video.
Scores of officers and soldiers died in an attack on 157 Army Task Force Battalion at Metele, Guzamala Local Government in the northern part of Borno by Boko Haram last Sunday. The Nigerian Army did not confirm or comment on the attack for a week even as media reports claimed about 100 troops died in the attack which lasted for about three hours.
The army said it was following “laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who fall casualty in action.” It said families of the slain personnel are usually first contacted as a form of respect before it releases information to the public “so as to avoid exacerbating the grief family members would bear, were they to discover such from unofficial sources.”
The army thanked government agencies, other sister security organizations and Nigerians for sympathizing with the force over the incident.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks on communities and military base in recent times, leading to the killing of over 100 troops and civilians in three months.
Sourced From: The Sun Nigeria
79 School Pupils Kidnapped In Troubled Cameroon Region
Gunmen kidnapped 79 school students yesterday in the English-speaking region of Cameroon where separatists are fighting an armed campaign for independence, security and government sources said.
The abductions, the worst incident so far in 13 months of unrest, came just a day before longtime President Paul Biya was to be sworn in for a seventh term in office. “Seventy-nine pupils and three supervisors” were seized, Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary, who is also government spokesman, told AFP.
A government official said the three comprised the school’s principal, a teacher and a driver. A source close to the school said the abducted students “are mainly boys.”
A six-minute video seen by AFP, but which could not be immediately confirmed independently, showed 11 boys apparently aged about 15 giving their identity and name of the school in English, and adding that they were abducted by the “Amba Boys”, the name for anglophone separatists.
The first mass abduction in Cameroon follows two major such incidents in neighbouring Nigeria, where the Islamist group Boko Haram snatched more than 200 schoolgirls from the Borno state town of Chibok in April 2014.
Some 107 girls have since been released or found, but the Islamist group abducted scores more schoolgirls from neighbouring Yobe state in February this year. The students kidnapped Monday were enrolled at the Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda, capital of Cameroon’s Northwest Region, one of two regions hit by attacks by anglophone militants that have met with a brutal crackdown by the authorities.
“The search for the hostages has been launched, every man has been called in,” the government source said, speaking after a crisis meeting. Elsewhere in the region, a high-ranking local official was also seized, a security official told AFP.
The school’s website said that the student body numbers more than 700, drawn from “all the religious and linguistic origins of Cameroon.” The kidnappings coincide with an upsurge of political tensions in the majority French-speaking country.
It comes after elections on October 7 in which 85-year-old Biya, who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 35 years, was credited with 71.3 percent of the vote. The polls however were marred by allegations of widespread fraud, low voter turnout and violence.
Sourced From: The Sun Nigeria
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Military, Police Ring Abuja to Forestall Boko Haram Attack
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