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PDP to bar Amaechi, 27 lawmakers from national convention

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BARRING any last change of mind, the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, and 27 members of the State House of Assembly loyal to him will be stopped from attending the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party slated for August 31, 2013.

The Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt shortly after appearing before the Performance Evaluation Committee of the state PDP.

It will be recalled that the state PDP had been facing political crisis since April 2013, a development that led to the suspension of the state governor and 27 members of the House of Assembly.

Wike explained that though he was not going to lead the state delegates of the PDP to the national convention, he was sure that those under suspension would not be part of the event.

The minister said it would not be possible for any member of the party that had been under suspension to partake in the activities of the PDP until the suspension was lifted.

“I know that all party chairmen are delegates; I know that House of Assembly members are delegates. Unfortunately, some of our House of Assembly members are suspended. That means they will not be able to participate in the forthcoming PDP national convention.

“If you are suspended from the party, you cannot be taking part in the activities of the party until your suspension is lifted. So it has nothing to do with me,” Wike stressed.

On the speculations that he was interested in the governorship position of the state, the minister pointed out that he had not told anybody that he was gunning for such position, adding that his role was to ensure that the PDP wins the state in the 2015 elections.

He said, “As per governing the state, if we are doing something that is not in line with their plans, they always read meanings to it. Whether anybody wants to govern or not, nobody is stopping anybody. It is God that gives power.

“My role today is to make sure that PDP still takes the state. That is what we are doing. If that is their view, they can die with the view.

“I have never told anybody but if they feel that I am very active in what I am doing to suggest that there is something I want to do, that is their own interpretation. But what I know is that PDP must grow from strength to strength.”

Wike told newsmen that he was in the state to honour the invitation from the Performance Evaluation Committee of the state PDP, maintaining that he does not need to disobey the party.

“I don’t need to disobey the party. If the party invites me to come for them (PDP) to interact with me, I have to honour that invitation,” he added.

Reacting to the minister’s position, the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree, said the governor and the 27 lawmakers that were suspended were not bothered about the convention  coming up on Saturday.

Amachree, who spoke though his Press Secretary, Mr. Jim Okpiki, noted that the state and party were going through crisis, adding that until the crisis was resolved, it would not be necessary to bother about attending the PDP convention.

“We are not worried about convention, because we are currently in a crisis. Until the crisis is resolved, we are not bothered about the PDP convention. We are only interested in the return of peace.

“If this (not being part of the convention) is one of the sacrifices they (governor and 27 lawmakers) must make to ensure that peace returns to the state and the PDP, they would not go to ruffle anybody’s feathers,” he said.

The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Mr. Tony Okocha, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the despite the “illegally concocted suspension against the governor,” he (Amaechi) has remained loyal to the party.

Okocha said, “The governor’s suspension from the PDP was illegally concocted. One would have thought that they would waive it. But we are not bothered because it is a family matter and we are still loyal to the party.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency on Friday took a swipe at  the newly registered All Progressives Congress, saying its manifesto  could not take the nation to the next level as claimed by the party leaders.

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, said this in an interview with one of our  correspondents in Abuja.

The APC had on Wednesday in Abuja unfolded a seven-point cardinal programme.

The programme includes war against corruption, food security,   integrated transport network and free education, devolution of power, accelerated economic growth and affordable health care

Faulting the programmes,  Gulak said the opposition party that put security on number 27 on its manifesto could not be said to be serious with the welfare of Nigerians.

He said since Nigerians were not fools, they won’t entrust their lives to such a party.

He said it was so sad that opposition party leaders, who were known for their dictatorship, could turn around to say that President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party were not doing well.

But the APC National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, while responding to the Presidency’s criticism, said Nigerians had only harvested sorrow and blood from the Jonathan administration.

He stated,  “The joke  is actually on the Presidency as Nigerians have only harvested sorrow  and blood from President Goodluck Jonathan’s visionless  administration.”

Gulak, in his criticism of the APC, said, “You can see that they (APC chiefs) are quarrelling over manifesto. It is still inconclusive.

“That so-called manifesto can’t take Nigerians to the next level of development.

“Which serious party will put security on number 27 on its manifesto?

“They are saying the President and the PDP are not doing well and yet they are not talking about the railway that has started working again; they are not talking about the Almajiri schools that are enrolling many pupils; and they are not talking about the security challenge that the government is tackling headlong.

“It is so sad that opposition leaders don’t think? Who are their leaders? Is it (Bola) Tinubu, who replaced a cerebral person like Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora in the Senate with his wife and appointed his daughter, who is not a trader as Iyaloja of Lagos?

“Nigerians are not fools, they can’t entrust their lives in the hands of people like that. They (the APC leaders) have yet to start.”

Also,  the All Progressives Grand Alliance and Labour Party  criticised APC’s manifesto.

While APGA suggested that APC should be judged by the performance of its governors, LP said Nigerians should no longer be deceived.

The factional National Chairman of APGA, Mr. Maxi Okwu, told SUNDAY PUNCH that elected public officials should implement party manifestoes and not individual programmes.

He said, “My position is that we should assess the APC from the performance of their governors. When you assess their governors, you will be able to project how APC is going to look like. You and I have been in Nigeria and to me, there is no obvious difference between the APC, PDP and other political parties.

“You can see the performance of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, and that is personal to him. These days, performance of elected government officials is a matter of individuals and not the parties, as we had in the Unity Party of Nigeria and National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic.

“We don’t have a clear vision of the APC; parties differ from the other in terms of programmes and policies and we are not yet there. The cardinal programme of the UPN was very clear and all the UPN governors went for it.

“But now in Nigeria, it is a matter of individual governors and their idiosyncrasies. The party must own the ideology and also the programmes, anybody on the platform of any party must have to conform.

“The National Assembly is made up of so many parties and the (other) holier-than-thou party like the APC. They always join the PDP majority to share money in executive session. I expected that being in the opposition, they should walk out and refuse to share in public funds. It happened in the UPN and they walked out when the NPN did something wrong.”

In his reaction, the National Chairman of LP, Mr. Dan Nwayanwu, said the APC lacked the magic power to increase power generation.

He said, “Anybody can claim anything, the implementation and practicality is another matter. The problem we have in power generation and distribution didn’t start today, didn’t start yesterday. It started even when those claiming they will produce 40,000 megawatts were in power and there is no doubt about that.

“So how will they now come back and bring the magic wand with 40,000 megawatts? Nigerians can no longer be deceived. All we should do is for all Nigerians to come together and improve electricity supply. It is their right to claim anything they like.”

Still hitting back at the PDP, Mohammed said, “The ASUU strike is entering its sixth week with no solution in sight. The entire landscape is dotted with deaths and dangers. Millions of youths are roaming the streets daily aimlessly. Sixty-nine per cent of our people are living below the poverty line. Poverty in the rural areas is 73 per cent.

“Under Jonathan’s watch, 40 per cent of Nigerian children are stunted, nine per cent wasted or thin and 23 per cent underweight. Clearly, Nigerians know who is fooling them.”

And in a reaction to the Labour Party, Mohammed alleged that the party was suffering from “very short and selective memory.’

He said, “The defunct Alliance for Democracy under Asiwaju Bola Tinubu pioneered the independent power project in 1999 before the Labour Party was even registered as a political party.

“Fashola, another APC governor, is again blazing the trail in captive energy with the opening of two completed IPP of 10 megawatts each in Marina and Ikeja. We have the experience; we have the capacity; we have done it successfully before, so we shall deliver the 40,000MW as promised.”

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Posted in Nigerian Newspapers. A DisNaija.Com network.

Source: Punch Newspaper

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Tribune

Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110

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Tribune Online
Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 62 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 165,110. The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Friday. “55 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria; Lagos-21, Yobe-19, Ogun-6, Akwa Ibom-3, Kaduna-2, Plateau-2, FCT-1, Rivers-1.” YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE COVID-19: Nigeria Recorded […]

Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110
Tribune Online

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This Day

Military, Police Ring Abuja to Forestall Boko Haram Attack

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•Deploy more personnel as army chief vows to wipe out terror group
•Security beefed up at N’Assembly

Deji Elumoye and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of power, is under a massive security cordon following threats of attacks by insurgents and the increasing wave of banditry in the contiguous states of Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger States, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.

There has been a wave of kidnappings in the outskirts of the federal capital, notably Pegi, Tuganmaje and Kuje among others, which the police have battled in recent times.

The security situation in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was heightened by the pronouncement of the Niger State Governor, Mr. Sani Bello, that Boko Haram fighters who he said sacked 50 villages in the state and hoisted the terror group’s flag, were about two hours drive away from the FCT.

Security has also been beefed up at the National Assembly as operatives, yesterday, thoroughly screened every vehicle approaching the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

The deteriorating security situation nationwide prompted the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, to warn that the 2023 general election may not hold, demanding the declaration of a state of emergency as well as the convocation of a national conference.
However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, yesterday restated the Nigerian Army’s determination to annihilate Boko Haram.

But the Governor of Katsina State, Hon. Bello Masari, cautioned against declaring a state of emergency, saying doing so isn’t the solution to combat the security challenges facing the country.
The security of the nation’s airports was also in focus yesterday as the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) said there was no threat to them.

THISDAY’s investigations showed increased presence of troops, police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel and intelligence operatives at the three strategic entrances to the city notably, Keffi, Zuba and Gwagwalada.

More checkpoints were also mounted around Gwagwalada and Keffi.
THISDAY also observed increased intelligence deployment at the entrance and the borders of FCT with contiguous states.

Beyond the borders, there were more deployments and police patrols inside the city and increased intelligence deployments as well.
Security sources told THISDAY: “There are deployments here and there but they are routine. Alertness is key to a secure environment.”

It was also learnt that security agencies were involved in frenzied meetings throughout yesterday.
The meetings, coordinated by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff under the new joint operational strategy of the armed forces, were aimed at coordinating a joint response to possible threats of attack to the FCT.

“I understand the security teams have been meeting for some days now and if you look around you, you will notice that there are increasing patrols and numbers of security personnel. The threats are not been taken lightly,” a source said.

National Assembly workers, lawmakers and visitors also had a harrowing experience accessing the legislative complex due to heightened security in the area.
Security operatives thoroughly screened every vehicle approaching the National Assembly complex in Abuja, impeding both human and vehicular traffic.

The Sergeant-at-arm of the National Assembly and other security agencies supervised the operations, leading to huge traffic build-up inside the complex.

Legislative staff, visitors and lawmakers were seen patiently waiting for their cars to be searched so that they could go ahead with the business of the day.
Some staff and visitors at some point got tired of waiting and were seen alighting from their cars to trek from the gate to the complex.

Meanwhile, the ONSA has said there is no threat to the nation’s airports.
A statement by the Head of Strategic Communication, Mr. Zachari Usman, said the reports of threats to the airports were an internal correspondence of security threat assessment misconstrued as security threat to the airports.

PDP Demands State of Emergency

In a related development, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday demanded the declaration of a state of emergency, warning that the 2023 general election might not hold if the federal government failed to tackle insecurity.

He called on the federal government to summon a national conference to address the spike in insecurity.
Secondus added that the national caucus of the party will meet today to discuss the state of the nation.

Addressing members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, Secondus said: “We are worried Abuja is not even safe. It is no longer politics. We got alert of plots to bomb and burn down our airports.

“We urge the federal government to declare a national state of emergency in security. There is the need to call a national conference to discuss the insecurity in the country.

“There may not be any election in 2023 in Nigeria due to insecurity. This government must listen to the people. The Buhari government should call a national confab to discuss security and state of the nation. It is no longer politics. This time we are not playing politics. Let’s keep politics aside and move the nation forward.”
He said the country had been grounded, regretting that there had been no matching response from the federal government.

Secondus said in the past, terrorism in the North was confined to the North-east, but with the report of Boko Haram occupying villages in Niger State, terrorism had spread to the North-central
“Herdsmen are also menacing in the West; gunmen causing havoc in the East; and the militants in the South; all killing, looting, raping, maiming and burning down homes. The situation is bad; Nigerians all over are living in fear,” he said.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the problem of Nigeria was outside of the PDP headquarters, while pledging the support of the Senate to the declaration of state of emergency in security.

Abaribe said he deliberately decided not to speak on the floor of the Senate but to allow the APC senators to speak so as to avoid being accused of giving a partisan colouration to the issue of insecurity.

He stated that only electoral reforms would give victory to the opposition party in the 2023 general election and ensure a democratic defeat of the APC-led federal government.
Also, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, commended the NEC and the PDP leadership for their collective efforts at resolving the House leadership crisis.

The NEC meeting adopted the position of Secondus, calling on the federal government to convoke a national conference to discuss the state of insecurity in the country, according to a communiqué read by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.

Army Chief Vows to Wipe Out Boko Haram

The army yesterday reiterated its commitment to wipe out Boko Haram.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, told reporters in Maiduguri, Borno State that Boko Haram had been defeated in many encounters and would continue to be defeated until it’s annihilated from Nigeria.

“We will take on Boko Haram decisively, and we are committed to the focus of the operations, which is the total annihilation of Boko Haram from Nigeria,” he said.

The COAS, who was visiting the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri for the fifth time since his appointment four months ago, said the visit was to boost the morale of the troops, reassure them and listen to any issues affecting them.

Earlier, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Farouq Yahaya, lauded the visit, which he said had continued to boost the morale of the troops.
“We are honoured, we are grateful, we are encouraged by those visits. You provided us guidance, logistics and other things we required. We are most grateful for those visits,” Yahaya said.

State of Emergency Won’t Solve Security Challenges, Says Masari

Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Masari, has, however, said declaration of a state of emergency won’t solve the security challenges facing the nation.
Masari, who spoke yesterday with journalists after meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the State House, Abuja stated that he was against the recent call by the House of Representatives for the declaration of a state of emergency in the security sector as it would not solve the problem.
According to him, declaring a state of emergency will not achieve the desired effect as the security structure and personnel to be used to execute the emergency are already overstretched in a bid to safeguard lives and property.

Sourced From: THISDAYLIVE

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Premium Times

Insecurity: Lagos bans occupation of abandoned buildings

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The government said that no worker should stay back beyond 6:00 p.m. within premises of buildings undergoing construction.

The post Insecurity: Lagos bans occupation of abandoned buildings appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

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Vanguard

Attacks on S’East: We must explore all options of negotiation — Stakeholders urge Igbo

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By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The people of the South East region have been urged to explore the power of negotiation and mutual settlement in the face of ongoing killings and security challenges in the zone because the east can not afford another war at present.

Stakeholders from the South-East geo-political zone made the remark on Thursday, at the unveiling of the book, “Igbo, 50 years after Biafra,” written by Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage Services, Joe Igbokwe, held at Ikeja G.R.A.

Speaking at the unveiling of the book, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Cutis Adigba,
urged the people of the South-East to learn to build bridges across the country, so that they can realise their ambition of producing the next president of Nigeria.

Adigba urged leaders from the zone to discourage the move and agitation by some youths in the South East to go to war and secede out of Nigeria.

Also read: Banditry: Disregard viral video, Niger State gov’t urges residents

He said that Igbo have always found it difficult to rule Nigeria because they refused to build bridges across the six geo-political zones that made up Nigeria.

While describing the agitation as uncalled for, Adigba noted that after two decades that Nigeria returned to civil rule, the Igbo has predominantly identified with only one political party.

He maintained that remaining in one party can not advance the cause of the people of South East and cannot make them realise their objective of producing an Igbo man as president.

He maintained that the publisher of the book, Igbokwe played politics outside his state, so that the Igbo race can be integrated with one another race.

Adigba said the failure of the Igbo to reintegrate with other ethnic nationalities politically was responsible for the retrogression of the race in Nigerian politics.

Igbokwe, also addressing guests on the occasion, maintained that the Igbo are not advancing politically because they refused to be integrated into National politics, lamenting that, despite their success in business, they are not successful in playing politics at the national level.

Corroborating Dimgba, Igbokwe noted that there was the need for the Igbo people to stand up and build bridges so that their objective of producing the next president of Nigeria could be realised.

According to him: “I have decided to raise my voice, I hope my people will hear me while trying to quell the effect of the war, our people are spoiling for another war, mayhem is being unleashed in Igbo land, and there is palpable fear.

“Those who could speak have lost their voice, mindful of the consequences of their actions, I am calling on all Igbo leaders to speak up because all actions carry consequences, consequences of the silence will be too dastardly to sustain.

“Those silently supporting the wild wind should be careful or else they hand over to their children,” he said.

Igbokwe urged those spoiling for war to jettison their plan and embrace dialogue, urging them to learn from the South West region that despite the challenges faced after the annulment of the June 12, 1993, election, they did not go to war, and the region had the opportunity of producing two of her sons for presidential position in 1999.

“You have to build bridges to become president of Nigeria, but it is unfortunate the Igbo are burning bridges.”

Speaking at the event, Chief Uche Dimgba who is the coordinator of Igbo in All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos, described Igbokwe as “a Frank, fearless and reliable leader, who based his views on issues and stand by his opinions, and we the Igbo have confidence in him and believe he can lead us aright.”

“He is a leader we Igbo believe in and we will follow him. If he can serve all the governors produced in Lagos State since 1999, he is a better man to follow because he possesses all the experience that can be of benefit to Igbo both at home and in the diaspora.”

Vanguard News Nigeria 

The post Attacks on S’East: We must explore all options of negotiation — Stakeholders urge Igbo appeared first on Vanguard News.

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