http://www.vanguardngr.com A Nigerian newspaper and Online version of the Vanguard, a daily publication in Nigeria covering Niger delta, general national news, politics, business, energy, sports, entertainment, fashion,lifestyle human interest stories, etc Wed, 08 Feb 2017 04:48:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/sani-nigerians-lost-confidence-apc-engr-sani/ Wed, 08 Feb 2017 02:48:08 +0000
Engineer Yagbayi Sani, who hails from Niger State, is the Protem National Chairman of the new mega party, Action Democratic Party, ADP.
In this interview, the convener of the ADP boasts that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC will register the new party and after that, it will win the 2019 Presidential election.
The post Sani: Nigerians have lost confidence in APC – Engr. Sani appeared first on Vanguard News.
In this interview, the convener of the ADP boasts that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC will register the new party and after that, it will win the 2019 Presidential election. Excerpts:
By Henry Umoru
It’ll be suicidal for INEC not register mega party
YOU led other members of your association to INEC recently to submit your documents for registration. Are you sure that the electoral umpire will register your association to become a party?
Let me tell you that it will be suicidal for INEC not to register us because the fact of the matter is will APC be here today if INEC did not register it? They won’t be there, which means that Nigerians are watching to know whether this is the INEC they can trust.
I am not sure we are doing anything wrong, what we are trying to do is to deepen democracy, it will even help the present government. We are even expecting INEC at our head office for inspection, preparatory to the registration of the party.
Why did you decide to form another party when you have some 60 parties already in existence. Don’t you think that the number of political parties in the country is too much?
The constitution of the country allows free association and it also gives individuals rights to contribute their quota in any way possible especially if you have a developing society like ours and especially when you look at the democratic structures that we have and given the fact that the main structures we have today are weak. In fact, I am not sure Nigerians still have confidence in those parties. You said there are many parties. Well, there are many parties but we are different. This one is a movement, whose time has come. We are a party whose idea has come, we are not like any other party.
You said Nigerians have lost confidence in the parties, does that include the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC?
Yes. In fact, Nigerians have lost confidence in those parties. So, for us, it is a call to duty that we should rescue the political stage from imminent collapse.
Is your party a progressive party, a democratic party or a conservative one?
You can call us progressive. We are progressive in the sense that we want to deepen democracy. We don’t think democracy in this country, as it is now, is properly situated. Even the executive is not as democratic as it should be. So, we are coming to deepen democracy. When you have democracy, the issue of whether it is progressive or conservative or whatever is immaterial. You can say that our leaning is towards being progressive to ensure that the democratic tenets are allowed to really have a say. Why the APC got it wrong is that they were just after power. Otherwise they would have been responsive to the needs of the people.
Where are you going to draw the bulk of your membership from. Is it from the North, North-Central, South-South or South-West?
The dynamics of politics today has changed. Ours is a movement whose time has come. So, the idea of where we draw our membership from is just begging the issue. I don’t know whether you have watched or you know what happened before APC came to being. Why didn’t you ask them then where they were drawing their membership from?
We already knew that time that they had five governors from the South-West, they had one from the North and they were banking on the street popularity of Buhari in the North.
Street popularity of Buhari
That was the configuration at that time but today you have even a better environment in the sense that the governors that you are talking about, who probably are in PDP today, are in total disarray and for the PDP to come together, you now have to look at the factors that will force them to come together.
PDP may soon bounce back by ending its political quagmire and if that happens where do you hope to draw your members from?
This question is speculative because of the contending forces. If you are familiar with the reasons PDP is going through what they are going through, it is not just the issue of litigation. It is also the issue of the party that lost the centre of attraction.
Not just right now. You know the PDP has lost political power and the party in power, the APC will do everything possible to remain in power being their arch enemy. You know the PDP was able to hold together because they had power. They have lost political power now and I am not sure there is a centre of attraction anymore. I am also sure that the APC, which sees the PDP as enemy number one will not allow them.
Centre of attraction
When I say do everything possible, I mean that the bulk of those who formed the APC are from the PDP. The PDP does not have a centre of attraction and that is why they could not manage the litigations they were having. There’s nobody to call anybody to order and largely it is a very indisciplined party.
If you say there is no attraction for the PDP, what of the APC which has been receiving lots of defectors in recent weeks?
These are not people that can go back to their constituencies and tell anybody to join them and they will listen.
Mere mention of APC in some places will create anger between the proponents and the people. So, the party has really lost followers. Those defecting to join them are just individuals, who are just looking for business and business is not about masses.
The masses are looking for something different, something they can associate with, not individuals running from one party to the other to take positions or contracts. So, those moving to the APC now are people looking for something and the party also knows that they are joining them to take whatever they can get.
What about the situation in the South East where bigwigs keep defecting to the APC? Looking at the North too, it looks settled for the APC.
There are two different things here. You have to be able to separate the two. Why do you have political parties? You have political parties to win elections but the parties in existence have lost appeal. Even the APC
They are still in power you know…
Yes, they are still in power but the power rests with the people and the people have lost faith in that party. Today, we are creating a vibrant environment so that they will also become better. Maybe our coming will help them to also become better and to also manage their party affairs more efficiently. It is really in the interest of the government of the day to ensure they have a vibrant opposition; to keep them on their toes and I am quoting even the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun.
He was quoted to have said that he will welcome mega party because it will keep them on their toes, which is better for our democracy and even for this government.
But can we really say that the main agenda of your party is to get power in 2019?
I have told you that we are coming to deepen democracy. Our aim is to deepen democracy. So, we are not coming for the sake of grabbing power. No!
You know that when APC came they were very resolute on grabbing power
No, you don’t take power for its own sake. You must have a reason for doing what you are doing and our agenda, if you look at our party’s main principle, you see all-inclusive government, empowerment of young people and also party supremacy. All of these are missing in the present government. They are not in the government we have had. How can you say that somebody who is an elected governor, who was produced by the party, is now the leader of the party? It is finished. You have finished the party and the party is gone.
You said that PDP has no rallying point, who are the rallying points in your party?
The masquerades are the people. They are the masquerades. When we come out in our large number as we are doing now, you will see the masquerades.
What are some of the names in each of the geo-zolitical zones that we can go with?
I have already told you the big men are the people themselves. Democracy is about people now. Isn’t it? So it is the people themselves. Don’t forget that in today’s world, I can sit in my house and talk to one million people at the same time and it works. The politics of today is not like that of yesterday that requires one man telling the people where to go, it has gone beyond that.
The social media you mean…?
Exactly So. That is the politics of today. We are not thinking of big men from the North or from the West; that is not the issue today. Politics has gone beyond that already and like you know, even the Buhari administration also benefited from that largely. It is a fact that they came with the idea of change. So this is why when people ask me who is the masquerade, who is this, I say the masquerade is the people.
I don’t need to go to the East to talk to people before I can get to you in the East, there is already a network. Before you needed somebody they are looking up to who will tell them that this is what to do. This is no longer the way it is done. The politics of today is when you have the idea, if you can move the people; you can move them.
The post Sani: Nigerians have lost confidence in APC – Engr. Sani appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/ndigbo-re-leaving-pdp-apc-tony-nwoye/ Wed, 08 Feb 2017 02:44:24 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749604 Dr. Tony Nwoye, the member representing Anambra East and Anambra West in the House of Representatives, is one of those that can be described as grassroots politicians in Anambra State. Though elected on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
A former national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, and later the Anambra State chairman of PDP, who recently qualified as a medical doctor, Nwoye is one of those who have set their sights on the governorship ticket of the APC. He spoke to Vanguard on his quest among other issues.
By Vincent Ujumadu
SOME people are clamouring for the change of the APC executive in the state. Do you support it?
Why are we changing them? I don’t support changing anybody. Yes, we were PDP yesterday, but we have left the party and we have come into APC with all our PDP supporters. This was the party I was the state chairman, the House of Representatives candidate twice and Senatorial candidate. So I won’t criticise unduly. But the truth of the matter is that we entered APC and met the structure on ground. My position is that those officers have been there and should not be changed.
Let us allow them to finish their tenure. When their tenure elapses, most of them may even return. So we should support them. I will personally resist any move to change them. If I were to be selfish I would clamour for their change so that I will put my people who came with me from PDP.
But these are people who have been labouring to keep the party together. We should go to primaries with that executive.
There is also the fear that the influx of PDP members will create problem in APC. What is your take on this?
It will not because the PDP problem was self induced. The problem was caused by PDP national leadership. The then PDP federal government did not want PDP to win election in Anambra because they were supporting APGA to please the then governor, Peter Obi.
So they used few Anambra people to create problem in PDP. This time around, I believe that the more the merrier. Let more PDP people move into APC. I believe the APC primary will be free and fair and whoever wins will enjoy the support of others. So I don’t see what happened in PDP happening in APC. APC is a disciplined and focused party and it will not allow any crisis to come in.
Your name has been mentioned as one of those to contest for the governorship. Can you confirm that?
Yes, I am running. I have not declared yet, but I will do that in due course. I have consulted widely but I need to consult more with stakeholders and youths (you know I was one time national president of NANS) and religious leaders. As long as there is life I will contest. I won’t contest based on zoning. I will contest because I want to bring change. I want to put food on the tables of the oppressed people of this state whose local government funds are being deducted with impunity by APGA -led government.
Whipping up the propaganda
It did not start today. It started since 2005 with impunity, without caring for the welfare of the people. That is why there is so much hunger in all nooks and crannies of the state where the people don’t enjoy over 90 per cent of their local government allocation.
In fairness, it did not start with Obiano. In fact that is going to form the crux of our campaign because we want to change that bad system. Our campaign will be a mass movement. The APGA people have been whipping up the propaganda that APC is not for Igbo people and when we get to the field, we will tell our people that it is about the individual. Let them stop using APGA. They have used APGA enough to rob Igbo.
If APGA is truly an Igbo party, why is it that up till now, it is only in Anambra State? Why is it that in the House of Representatives there are only two APGA members and out of 109 senators, none is an APGA senator? Why is it that since the time of Ojukwu who is the symbol of APGA, they could not win one single state outside Anambra? They have been using it to hold our people down; to siphon our money and we must stop it.
Considering the fact that the incumbent governor is from your local government, how do you rate your chances?
Power belongs to God. When I ran for 2011 election, I won massively here. They did not allow me to enter. The same forces said Tony Nwoye should not be sworn in at the House of Representatives and I said no problem. In 2013, I ran for governor and won the PDP ticket, the same forces used Jonathan, the former president, to support APGA.
Jonathan did not know Obiano, but he was trying to please Peter Obi. A lot of things happened. They kept me in court and used the then INEC chairman to ensure that I did not campaign because they said I did not pay my tax on time. Less than 11 days to the election, they said I should campaign and it was so late.
The aim was to make my supporters to support the APGA candidate, knowing that I am from the same local government with Obiano who later became governor. God gave him power because He is the only one that gives power. Obiano is my brother and ordinarily I am not supposed to challenge him because we come from the same clan, but he has failed our people.
This is a man who has not put a project of N10,000 in my town, apart from the so-called N20 million he gave to every town. And in my town, we are supposed to have benefited from projects worth N350 million because we have calculated what should be our share from the local government allocation since he was sworn in as governor.
Local government allocation
We are not even talking of allocation from the Federation Account. So how can we not challenge him? To go to the House of Representatives, they nearly killed me at the collation centre. They stopped results from my town from being added. He brought a candidate from Anambra West and out of 10 electoral wards, I won him in eight.
They did everything to stop me and I went to court and the court gave me victory and that is why I am still here. Despite the fact that they added all the results they wrote in Aguleri, today I am in the House of Reps to the glory of God.
If God says he will continue to be governor, he will be. But if he is doing well, why should Chinedu Idigo from the same Aguleri, his town, who was chairman of his inauguration committee, be running for governor under PDP?
We have waited for him to come and execute projects in my town, but he has failed to do so. The only tarred road here is the one done by former governor Peter Obi because he signed an undertaking with us that we would support him if he did the road. But my own brother is the governor and he has not done a single project in my town.
The post IPOB warns over continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB yesterday warned that the continued detention of its leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu would spell doom for the country, arguing that he should be released immediately to avoid the calamity that might befall the country over his continuous detention.
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary Mr. Emma Powerful, said Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gunpowder, and what would soon befall the country following the continued detention of our leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu would destabilise her.
According to the statement: “The Almighty God is angry with the present Nigeria government and their failure to heed for the total release his prophet Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. There is a saying that a Prophet is not recognized in his own land.
“Mazi Kanu is God sent, but unfortunately a lot of people both at home and in Diaspora saw his moves and determination as divine while a few myopic people in the present Nigerian government see it as a huge joke of the century. Many saw him as another youth seeking for relevance. Many saw him as hungry man who wants to earn a living through defrauding the vulnerable; few people took the messenger and the message serious. The Nigerian state saw him as a rascal that must be tamed.
“The Nigerian government cannot stop him; instead those planning to stop him will be doomed forever. The Nigerian nation in their usual way instead of discussing and negotiating took a dangerous path of arrest and detention, however.”
, looking at the state of affairs in Nigeria since his arrest and detention, one can confidently say that Mazi Kanu is now a Prophet of God, the country has not moved forward”
“Nigeria APC government should not wait like in the case of Pharaoh till the nation receives the last plague before doing the needful. God is not a man that tells lies. Mazi Kanu is divinely sent on a mission and must be seen as such. No harm must befall the prophet of God.
The post IPOB warns over continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/okorocha-shuts-non-indigenes-free-education-programme/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:30:51 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749662 Citing rising costs and the principle of reciprocity, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State yesterday announced his plans to lock out non-indigenes from its free education programme in public schools.
The post Okorocha shuts out non-indigenes from free education programme appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Chinonso Alozie,
Owerri—Citing rising costs and the principle of reciprocity, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State yesterday announced his plans to lock out non-indigenes from its free education programme in public schools.
The decision according to the state government was hinged upon the huge success it claimed led to the ballooning of student enrolment from 200,000 when it commenced in 2011 to the present 800,000.
The government also claimed that the programme had cost it more than N40 billion.
A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, said the governor had pledged to deal with any traditional ruler who compromised the verification exercise to determine indigenes of the state who came.
The administration’s decision follows the recent exchange of words between Governor Okorocha and Governor Willie Obiano over the former’s claim that three incumbent Southeast governors had confided in him that they were set to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The statement revealing the decision read thus:
“The Imo State Government has decided to drop non-indigenes especially in its university and other state-owned tertiary institutions from its free education programme and the reason being that, for the more than five years the free education programme has been on, non-indigenes have been benefitting from the lofty gesture without indigenes of the state enjoying similar programmes in other states.
“And against the backdrop of this development, the state government is at the moment undertaking the verification of students in Imo State University and other state-owned tertiary institutions in the state and the verification exercise is aimed at making sure that bonafide indigenes of the state are identified to enable them continue to enjoy the free education programme that has become, not only a success story but somewhat a revolution.
“The verification exercise is being coordinated by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Sir George Eche. And the government has entrusted Sir Eche with such onerous responsibility to make the whole venture transparent and hitch-free.
Meanwhile, Governor Okorocha yesterday rated churches in the state as the highest beneficiaries of his free education programme.
Okorocha made this known through his Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public Utilities, Mr. Obinna Nshirim, while fielding questions on the state-owned radio station, Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC, in Owerri.
Nshirim, who was not happy that the enemies of the Okorocha’s administration had used rumour to puncture the free education policy of the government, also challenged citizens of the state to form a pressure group for the sustenance of the free education, by the time Okorocha left office.
While defending his statement on how churches in the state became the highest beneficiaries of the free education.
The commissioner said: “I said this the other day that the churches are the greatest beneficiaries of the free education.
He went further to say: “ I am a rural man. I stay in my village and I go to church in my village and 90 percent of those who populate the churches are poor. These poor peasant men and women in the villages, pay their tithes and do their harvest.” “To also ensure that the verification venture is thorough, forms are being issued to the Students which the traditional rulers of their various autonomous Communities and State Development Coordinators (SDC) of their respective wards would sign.
“In the past five years, the government has spent over N40 billion naira in prosecuting the free Education programme which the opposition never believed was possible. But the huge success the programme has recorded has also made doubting Thomases to swallow their words. “Generally, the School enrolment in the State has snowballed to over 800,000 (Eight Hundred Thousand) from the 280,000 (Two Hundred and Eight Thousand) it was in 2011.
“To say the least, the outcome of the free education policy of the State Government has been wonderful. For instance, the Registrar/CEO of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede recently disclosed that for six consecutive years now, Imo State has continued to lead in JAMB applications and admissions with Delta State maintaining the second position. And the registrar concluded that the Free Education Programme in the State was the reason behind the feat.
The post Okorocha shuts out non-indigenes from free education programme appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/apc-gives-pdp-quit-notice-enugu-says-will-defeat-party-2019/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:29:39 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749574 THE All Progressives Congress, APC, has given the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, a quit notice in Enugu State, saying it will sweep all the positions from councillorship to governorship in 2019, as more political bigwigs join the party.
The post APC gives PDP quit notice in Enugu, says it will defeat the party in 2019 appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Emeka Mamah
ENUGU — THE All Progressives Congress, APC, has given the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, a quit notice in Enugu State, saying it will sweep all the positions from councillorship to governorship in 2019, as more political bigwigs join the party.
This was made known by some APC leaders during a meeting to review the on-going registration of new members in the party at Agbani in Enugu East Senatorial District of the state,Monday evening.
About 50,000 new members were said to have joined the APC in the state mostly from the PDP.
Members of the party, who gave PDP the notice, included former governorship candidate of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the state, Chief Gbazuzgu Nweke Gbazuagu; former Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Chief Eugene Odo and the former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani.
Others are the former Chairman of Enugu Local Government and scion of the former governor of old Anambra State, late Chief Christian Onoh, Mr Gabriel Onoh; APC Chairman in the state, Dr Ben Nwoye and elder brother of Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, Dilibe Onyeama.
This was even as the founding vice chairman of the party in the state, Chief Anike Nwoga, praised Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for conceding his position as leader of the APC in the South East zone to the former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani.
Nwoga said the choice of Nnamani as the new leader of the party in the zone was to ensure cohesion and discipline and praised Okorocha for his pragmatism which he said had brought unity in the party.
Also, speaking, Chief Nnamani said: “In 2015, I, Okey Ezea, Emma Eneukwu and others, begged our people to join APC, but they didn’t talk to us. We went and begged the then Governor, Sullivan Chime to join, but he refused.”
“Igbo put all their eggs in one basket, it fell and the entire eggs broke into pieces. Somebody is now saying it is the turn of Igbo. It is deception. If we follow the people who are there now, the North, after them, it will be the turn of Igbo man.”
Former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Eugene Odo and the former Special Adviser to Governor Sullivan Chime in the state, Mrs Kate Nnamani said that they decamped from the PDP to the APC because the umbrella protecting the members of their former party was now leaking and predicted resounding victory for their new party in the next general elections. Odo said he had never seen a place where a party was doing membership registration and other parties were panicking, adding that by the time they start consultation and campaigns, nobody would remain.
“Nkanu is very critical in Enugu State. The best performing ward in the state should come and collect N200, 000 cash from me,” he added.
The post APC gives PDP quit notice in Enugu, says it will defeat the party in 2019 appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/dogara-queries-n2-7trn-spent-power-without-commensurate-result/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:02:51 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749624 Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, queried the utilisation of N2.74 trillion on power sector from 1999-2015, noting that it depreciated as more funds were pumped in.
The post Dogara queries N2.7trn spent on power without commensurate result appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Henry Umoru, Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA— Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, queried the utilisation of N2.74 trillion on power sector from 1999-2015, noting that it depreciated as more funds were pumped in.
His declaration came on a day Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged Nigerians and the leadership of the country to come together to find lasting solutions to the power sector and stop lamenting and complaining about the problems.
Dogara, who spoke at a two-day stakeholders interactive dialogue/workshop on the power sector organised by the National Assembly, in Abuja, also noted that the challenges faced by the sector called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address them.
He said: “Perhaps, the most important question is: what happened to the N2.74 trillion spent on the sector from 1999-2015? Why is it that the more we spent on the power sector, the more darkness we attract?”
He said it was to change the epileptic power situation that the National Assembly organized the workshop as a platform for power sector experts and other stakeholders to do a holistic diagnosis of the challenges impeding the development of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, and proffer practical solutions.
Dogara said: “These challenges run across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission and distribution. The myriad issues are apparently exacerbated by inadequate funding, poor energy mix, fuel supply issues, flawed regulatory framework, commercial issues among others.
‘’There is, therefore, a need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address these myriad problems.
“The diagnosis include but not limited to a critical analysis of the extant legislation and regulatory framework guiding the Nigerian power sector to determine if there is a need for amendments or enactment of new laws that will galvanize the sector to deliver the required results.”
Let’s stop complaining, we must get it working— Saraki
Meanwhile, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, said, yesterday, that Nigerians and the leadership of the country must come together in finding lasting solutions to the power sector and stop lamenting and complaining about the problems.
Saraki described as a wasted effort attempts to forge a solution to the nation’s perennial power problem.
Speaking at the dialogue/workshop, Saraki said the National Assembly is ready to support and drive every actionable initiative expected to boost the nation’s power sector significantly.
According to him, the legislature will continue to craft the right legislative instruments that will help deliver a new and more reliable power sector for the economy.
He said: “I am very delighted that we are gathered together today to seek a solution to, perhaps, the most significant challenge to our quest for economic development; the issue of providing adequate power for our economy.
“The Nigerian power sector, in spite of the enormous resources committed to it within the last 14 years. has remained in a perilous state, delivering very disappointing results.
“Today, we are on the verge of a total systemic breakdown and I see this as an opportunity to stop this train from derailing completely. Opportunities for both the Legislature and Executive to come together to forge a solution to this perennial problem have been wasted in the past. We cannot afford to waste the opportunity we have now.”
“We owe it to the people who have entrusted us with the privilege of working out solutions to their problems by electing us to our various offices that we are hard on our heels to bring them solutions not complaints.
‘’Wherever you go in the country nothing represents the failure of government and leadership in the mind of Nigerian like the epileptic power situation in the country. Fixing it is at the highest priority list of our people.
“In other words, our people are demanding that we do all that is in our power to reverse this long and unenviable power sector blight. We must get it right. The first step is this forum.
“This National Assembly is fully ready to support and drive every actionable initiative that is expected out of this interactive session to boost the power sector significantly.
‘’We will be relying heavily on your wisdom and input, to craft the right legislative initiatives that will help us deliver a new and more reliable Nigerian power sector for the Nigerian economy.’’
Saraki, who noted that there was the need for sacrifice on the part of all Nigerians to get out of the power challenge, stressed that the government on its part must be sincerely committed to providing the right environment and fulfill its part of the deal without equivocation.
He said: “Unless all players speak frankly, open-mindedly and honestly we will not get the right solutions.”
The post Dogara queries N2.7trn spent on power without commensurate result appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/edo-apc-suspends-vice-chairman-central-inegbeneki-others/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 23:01:27 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749710 Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has suspended the state’s Vice Chairman (Central) of the party, Chief Henry Okoror, Chief Francis Inegbeneki and four others over alleged attack on the state chairman of the party, Mr Anslem Ojezua.
The post Edo APC suspends Vice Chairman, Central, Inegbeneki, others appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Simon Ebegbulem & Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has suspended the state’s Vice Chairman (Central) of the party, Chief Henry Okoror, Chief Francis Inegbeneki and four others over alleged attack on the state chairman of the party, Mr Anslem Ojezua.
The party also ratified the change of leadership in Oredo Local Government Area, just as it announced the replacement of the Youth Leader of the party in the state, Osakpanwa Eriyo, with Valentine Asuen.
In a statement at the end of a State Working Committee meeting of the party in Benin City, the state chairman of the party, Ojezua, disclosed that a committee will be set up to investigate what he described as unruly behaviour of the party leaders who were suspended in Edo Central, alleging that the party leaders held the chairman of the party hostage at the residence of the Vice Chairman Central, Chief Okoror.
“A committee headed by the state Secretary, Chief Osaro Idah, has been set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident and submit a report in one month. The committee is also vested with the duty to look into all pending matters arising from the reports from the local government chapters in relation to the last governorship election and make appropriate recommendations,” he stated.
But reacting, Chief Inegbeneki described his purported suspension as nonsensical, saying: “I am being victimized because of my petition against the state chairman of the party that he worked for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu during the election. All these allegations that we held him hostage is rubbish because nobody held him hostage. He is using the state working committee to victimize my supporters but we will resist it because we are innocent.”
The post Edo APC suspends Vice Chairman, Central, Inegbeneki, others appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/obama-enjoys-watersports-with-virgin-chief-on-luxury-island/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:19:46 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749724 Barack Obama has been enjoying life after the US presidency by trying out watersports on a luxury Caribbean island owned by Richard Branson, the Virgin chief said on Tuesday.
The post Obama enjoys watersports with Virgin chief on luxury island appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> Barack Obama has been enjoying life after the US presidency by trying out watersports on a luxury Caribbean island owned by Richard Branson, the Virgin chief said on Tuesday.
The former US leader and his wife Michelle Obama visited Moskito Island, in the British Virgin Islands, after handing over the presidency to his successor Donald Trump.
The post Obama enjoys watersports with Virgin chief on luxury island appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/mimiko-briefs-ag-president-invites-inaugurate-projects-ondo/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 20:31:54 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749503 Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo on Tuesday in Abuja met with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and invited him to inaugurate some projects in Ondo state.
The post Mimiko briefs Ag. President, invites him to inaugurate projects in Ondo appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> Abuja – Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo on Tuesday in Abuja met with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and invited him to inaugurate some projects in Ondo state.
Answering questions from State House correspondents after the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, Mimiko disclosed that he briefed Osinbajo on what his administration was doing to exit.
Mimiko’s second 4-year tenure as governor of Ondo will expire on Feb. 24.
The governor said that the ongoing crisis in the Ondo State House of Assembly was not part of the issues discussed during the meeting.
The Ondo State House of Assembly had been engulfed in leadership crisis between factions leading to the sealing of the Assembly’s complex by the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
The crisis followed the suspension of the embattled Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly, Jumoke Akindele, by a faction of lawmakers for alleged fraud.
Akindele enjoys the support of 12 other lawmakers who are loyalists of Mimiko.
The crisis took a twist as some protesters attacked the convoy of Mimiko when he attempted to present 2017 budget proposal to the assembly.
The hoodlums were reported to have smashed the side screens of two vehicles in the governor’s convoy.
It took the timely intervention of the men of the police command to disperse the protesters, some of whom were also injured in the pandemonium that ensued.
Following the protest, Mimiko reportedly shifted the budget presentation to another day.
The governor, however, told the State House correspondents that the crisis would soon be resolved following the intervention of stakeholders in the state.
“The matter is being looked into. It’s an internal matter within the house and I think some elders, statesmen and leaders in the state are looking at how they can help them to get over the crisis.
“I don’t think it is directly related to budget presentation. There is nothing sacrosanct about the method of presenting budget if you know what I am talking about.
“I think it’s just about changing leadership structure in the house and all of that.
“The governor now is from the northern central district and the deputy governor is from the southern central district and then, the speaker is from the south.
“There are those who feel that she should step aside so that they can get someone from the central senatorial district. I think that has been sorted out,’’ he added.
Mimiko expressed the readiness of the “sitting speaker’’ of the assembly to step aside for peace to reign in the assembly.
He said: “The sitting speaker now has made it abundantly clear that she is ready to step aside, she is ready to resign her position.
“But the group that purportedly impeached her, not even a simple majority can impeach the speaker, it has to be two thirds.
“That is to tell you about the fact that 13 out of 26 members of the house don’t have constitutional or legal empowerment to impeach the speaker.
“But as I speak with you now, she is ready to step aside any time once the house is properly constituted.’’
The post Mimiko briefs Ag. President, invites him to inaugurate projects in Ondo appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/white-house-lists-terror-attacks-says-underreported/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 19:24:15 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749515 The White House has published a list of several dozen terror attacks that it contends were insufficiently covered by the media, including those in Paris, Nice and Orlando that made headlines around the world.
The post White House lists terror attacks it says were underreported appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> The White House has published a list of several dozen terror attacks that it contends were insufficiently covered by the media, including those in Paris, Nice and Orlando that made headlines around the world.
President Donald Trump on Monday accused the “very, very dishonest” media of not wanting to cover terrorist attacks, adding without elaboration, “They have their reasons.”
He leveled the charge during a visit to the headquarters of the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, but provided no specifics.
The White House followed up late Monday with a list of 78 attacks carried out between September 2014 and December 2016.
“Since ISIS declared a caliphate, there has been a major attack targeting the West executed or inspired by the group more than once every two weeks,” the White House said.
“Most have not received the attention they deserve,” it added.
Some media outlets have countered by posting links to their extensive coverage of attacks cited by the White House.
The list gives the place and month in which an attack occurred, the number of dead or wounded, and the names of the attackers.
But it does not give attacker’s nationalities except when he or she is a “US person,” and then the White House does not identify them by name even when their identities are well known.
Many of the attacks listed, particularly those with high casualties, were the subject of days-long coverage, and were so well known they are still short-handed by the cities where they occurred: Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando.
The crash in the Sinai desert of an Airbus A321 carrying Russian tourists on October 31, 2015 made the list. Claimed by Islamic State, the crash caused by a bomb explosion after takeoff killed 224 people.
So did the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris that left 129 dead, and the truck rampage in Nice July 14, 2016 that killed another 84.
But the list omits the attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, which claimed 12 lives. However, the lethal attacks the following day on a policeman and at a supermarket, in which four people were killed, are listed.
Among the US terror attacks, the White House lists the country’s deadliest since the September 11, 2001 — the bloody assault at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2001 that left 49 dead.
The perpetrator of the attack — Omar Mateen, an American of Afghan origin — is given only as “US person.”
Also on the list is the December 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California by a husband and wife who killed 14 people in a massacre allegedly inspired by Islamic terror groups. They also are identified as “US persons.”
The list includes other attacks that received massive media coverage at the time: Istanbul (45 dead) in June 2016; Sousse, Tunisia (38 dead) in June 2015; Brussels (31 dead) March 2016; Dacca, Bangladesh (22 dead) in July, 2016; and Berlin (12 dead) in December.
The president’s latest salvo against the media comes amid a raging legal battle over his travel ban on refugees and nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The new administration says the executive order denying US entry to refugees, and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, is needed to protect the country against terror attacks.
Opponents of the action say the measure stigmatizes Muslims and fuels Islamic State’s anti-Western propaganda.
The post White House lists terror attacks it says were underreported appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/gov-mimiko-faults-impeachment-of-ondo-assembly-speaker/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 18:30:32 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749459 Outgoing governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko has faulted the impeachment of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mrs Jumoke Akindele, saying that it was illegal.
The post Gov Mimiko faults impeachment of Ondo assembly Speaker appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA– Outgoing governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko has faulted the impeachment of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mrs Jumoke Akindele, saying that it was illegal.
He said that it was unfortunate that the members carried out the act even when the Speaker had opted to leave the office to give currency to the emerging power sharing structure in the State.
Mimiko however stated that 13 out of the 26-member House lacked the constitutional power to impeach the Speaker as they did not constitute a two-third majority.
The governor spoke to State House correspondents after a private meeting with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
He added that his mission to the Villa was not to discuss the crisis in the state assembly, revealing that elder statesmen in the state were already handling the matter.
Mimiko also stated that the crisis was not directly related to his attempt to present the state 2017 budget.
“The matter is being looked into. It’s an internal matter within the house and I think some elders statesmen and leaders in the state are looking at how they can help them to get over the crisis,” he said, adding: “I don’t think it’s directly related. There is nothing sacrosanct about the method of presenting budget if you know what am talking about.
“I think it’s just about changing leadership structure in the house and all of that.
“The governor now is from the northern central district and the deputy governor is from the southern central district and then, the speaker is from the south.
“There are those who feel that she should step aside so that they can get someone from the central senatorial district. I think that has been sorted out.
“I believe that the speaker should come from the central senatorial district but the issue is the method.
“The sitting speaker now has made it abundantly clear that she is ready to step aside, she is ready to resign her position.
“But the group that purportedly impeached her, not even a simple majority can impeach the speaker, it has to be two thirds. That is to tell you about the fact that 13 out of 26 members of the house don’t have constitutional or legal empowerment to impeach the speaker.
“But as I speak with you now, she is ready to step aside any time once the house is properly constituted.”
The governor also disclosed that he discussed with Osinbajo on the possibility of him coming to the state to commission some projects.
“My mission to the acting President is to brief him about what we are doing to exit. There are some projects that if he can spare the time, we would like him to come to the state to commission some of them,” he said.
The post Gov Mimiko faults impeachment of Ondo assembly Speaker appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/im-unaware-plan-ibori-join-apc-says-gov-okowa/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:48:02 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749432 GOVERNOR of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, said he was unacquainted with any arrangement by a former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who returned to the country after his jail term in the United Kingdom, last Saturday, to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The post I’m unaware of plan by Ibori to join APC, says Gov Okowa appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Emma Amaize, Festus Ahon, Perez Brisibe Ochuko Akuopha and Paul Olayemi
ASABA– GOVERNOR of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa said he was unacquainted with any arrangement by a former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who returned to the country after his jail term in the United Kingdom, last Saturday, to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Okowa, who spoke in response to a question by a journalist at a quarterly media chat in Asaba, said Ibori was not talking about politics at the moment, but more interested on how to manage his family.
“I am not aware of that, I do not even believe that the man is here talking about the issue of political parties. I believe that the first thing in his mind is his family and to bond with his family,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of the state, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, former PDP governorship aspirant, Mr. Tony Obuh, visited Chief Ibori at his country home in Oghara, Ethiope West local government area.
Otuaro arrived Ibori’s residence at exactly 2:57 p.m in a convoy of 10 cars, while Obuh came afterward. Other visitors were the chairman, governing board, Delta State School of Health Technology, Mr. Nelson Ejakpovi, prominent politician, Chief Solomon Ighrakpata, management and staff of the Delta State University, DELSUTH, Oghara and Delta State Polytechnic, Otefe, Oghara.
Chatting with newsmen, Chief Ighrakpata said Chief James Onanefe Ibori would provide political direction to the Urhobo people, adding: “Wherever he goes, the Urhobo will follow him.”
However, it appeared that Ibori’s media handlers have become weary of reporters hanging about Ibori’s country home, as they ordered them to disappear from the environment completely.
Some of the tenacious reporters walked a safe distance from the gate and sat under a tree after their eviction, still keeping tab on the goings on at the newfound political Mecca of the state.
The former governor will hold a thanksgiving service on Sunday.
The post I’m unaware of plan by Ibori to join APC, says Gov Okowa appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/stalemate-edo-tribunal-witness-status/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 03:28:48 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749049 SITTING at the Governorship Election Tribunal in Benin, Edo State, yesterday, suffered a setback over the status of a witness subpoenaed by the tribunal as counsel to the petitioners and the respondents engaged in a heated argument on whether he should be allowed to testify or not.
BENIN—SITTING at the Governorship Election Tribunal in Benin, Edo State, yesterday, suffered a setback over the status of a witness subpoenaed by the tribunal as counsel to the petitioners and the respondents engaged in a heated argument on whether he should be allowed to testify or not.
Argument began mid way at the tribunal when counsel to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Kehinde Eleja, SAN, ordered the court clerk to administer oath to a witness, Oviosun Enas, said to have been subpoenaed by the tribunal on January 17, 2017.
Responding, counsel to the 2nd respondent, Ken Mozia, SAN, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN and counsel to All Progressives Congress, APC, Niyi Akintola, SAN, opposed the request on grounds that the witness did not make any written deposition before the tribunal.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ahmed Badamsi three-man tribunal has reserved ruling to tomorrow and called for continuation of cross examination of PDP witnesses, who made depositions before the court but later adjourned till today for ruling when PDP’s counsel, Emmanuel Okola, SAN, insisted that the witness be allowed to testy in the interest of justice, more so that other witnesses were not available in court.
Counsel to PDP, Mr Eleja, who noted that they were only acting on the order of the tribunal to subpoena the witness, said that the tribunal could not go against its order, adding that the Court of Appeal would have been denied the evidence of the witness but that the tribunal has the prerogative to expunge the evidence of the witness at the end of the day if it does not find it useful.
On his part, Mr Mozia warned against the consequences of adjournment considering the time limit available to the petitioner to prove his case, adding that the said witness has no interest in the proceedings and evidence before the court.
Three witnesses had earlier testified before the tribunal and they alleged non-accreditation of voters and over voting in their wards and units.
The post 10 minutes with Obaseki, the gov with a lion heart appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Emma Amaize
BENIN — I came face-to- face with the ebony-complexioned Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, the fifth executive governor of Edo State, Saturday, January 28, at Government House, Benin City, popularly known as Denis Osadebey Avenue, about 10 years after I last met a former occupant of the office, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, at Edo’s seat of power.
The look of Osadebey Avenue has not drastically changed from what it was in the time of the first civilian governor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, a retired civil federal permanent secretary, now the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, easy-going Chief Igbinedion, Prof Oserhemien Osunbor and sagacious Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Good, grown-up Ojezua: But, it was obvious that there is a new gulp of air with the current man on the saddle. At the governor’s conference/waiting room, I ran into an old acquaintance, who is now the chairman of APC in the state, Barrister Anslem Ojezua. The governor was not yet aware of my occurrence and soon as he was through with a group of visiting Chinese investors, he personally walked to the waiting room to pull Ojezua to his office. The amity as he held him was conspicuous.
Investment banker and financial guru
Ojezua, who discernibly did not forget to inform him that I was lying in wait for him, came out some minutes later from one of the governor’s exit doors to gesture that Obaseki would see us shortly. By the way, I was actually waiting with my colleague in Edo State, Simon Ebegbulem, who wanted to surprise him with my company.
Meeting Obaseki: The chance to converse with the governor came after lunch with the investors, his senior aides and other visitors, at a place called Goldmine, inside the Government House.
The first impression about Obaseki, an investment banker and financial guru, is that he is good-humoured and down-to-earth. Having been introduced by Simon as his Regional Editor, South-South, the governor said he was humbled by my presence, asking what “offence” he had committed to warrant such a visit. He spoke as if we have known each for years, saying that he respects journalists.
He said he knew the expectations of the people from his government, especially with the landmark performance of his boss and predecessor, Comrade Oshiomhole, and he was determined to work, work and write his name boldly in the history of the state.
Declaration: The governor’s first confession was that he is not a politician and would rather leave politics to the politicians in his party to play, while he does the work. He reeled out his plan to create 200,000 jobs before the end of his tenure and the desire to empower the citizens through agriculture, not giving handouts to the jobless.
As part of the plans to engage youths, the state government intends to acquire 250 hectares of land in the 18 local government areas, which will be cleared and prepared by government for youths. Agricultural equipment is already being imported while seeds will be provided for them to go into large scale farming to produce and process oil palm, rice, cassava, maize, rubber, sugar cane, citruses and vegetables. Obaseki has made it clear that the days of hooliganism are over in the state.
“I will like when I am talking to my colleague in Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, that he should stop buying bags of rice from any other place because I have whatever quantity he wants in his state in Edo State, “ he said.
No press interview for now: Politely explaining that he would not want to grant press interview until his projects are on ground, he spoke about his groundwork to turn the state the economic hub of the nation by turning the Gelegele Sea Port into an Export Processing Zone and the stopover of the investors that would take over the management of the Fertilizer Plant, Auchi shortly. Decisive action so far.
As a financial expert, who Oshiomhole relied on to pull money from world institutions, he was uncomfortable with the fact that private individuals collecting revenue on behalf of the state government were richer than government, but because of political considerations, his former boss did not terminate the contract.
Today, one of the most significant decisions the governor has taken to improve the internal revenue generating capacity of the state is removal of collection of government revenue from the hands of motor park touts and others. December 31, last year, he banned private revenue collectors and decreed that levies of whatever form will be paid directly into government account.
Some of the private revenue collectors said to be richer than the state government and one even boasted that he installed Obaseki with his money. The state government intends to introduce a civil way of collecting revenue to avoid embarrassing members of the public and double taxation. The fear, however, is that most of the youths whose jobs were terminated may go into crime.
But Obaseki already has plans for them. It was learned that government had commenced the compilation of the names of youths, including those who have been jobless over the years with a view to engaging them. Their biometrics are also being collected, as government intends to have a pool of over ten thousand youths , who will be trained in traffic management and as sanitation officials under the new regime of Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management.
Another shocker: Even politicians were shocked to the bones when he announced, few days ago, that Government House is not a place to pick free money. A source, however, said the governor did not mean any harm, but just to let the people that it would not be business as usual in his government. Cutting edge: Before he left office, the immediate past governor, Comrade Oshiomhole, predicted that Edo people would remember him for taking some stringent decisions, but warned that Obaseki would take more stringent decisions capable of swallowing even those that made by him.
A top party official told this reporter: “Oshiomhole is aware that Obaseki has a lion heart, he knows he would take more stern decisions than he did and step on many toes, but he was convinced that he is the kind of person that the state needs. He watched him for a very long time and made up his mind that among his team, this is my successor.”
Tempo of his leadership
His words: “It was not that his former deputy, Dr Pius Odubu, was not loyal enough or that the current secretary to the state government, SSG, who is one of his most trusted aides, was not strong enough to succeed him, but Oshiomhole was looking for the man that will sustain the tempo of his leadership and surpass it; the man that knows what to do when the financial tap is dry, and that person he found in Obaseki, erstwhile chairman of his Economic and Strategy Team.”
From my interaction with Obaseki, he comprehends the ins and outs and is doing everything possible to justify the confidence reposed in him.
The post 10 minutes with Obaseki, the gov with a lion heart appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/finally-south-south-govs-bow-pressure-resume-meeting-soon/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 01:00:05 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749084 ASABA — GOVERNORS of the South-South geo-political zone have resolved to pick up the South-South Governors’ Forum, SSGF, and the BRACED Commission, the regional institution established by their predecessors to drive the process of cooperation and integration among the South-South states in 2011, from where they left off, in deference to the demand by leaders and people of the region.
The post Finally, South-South govs bow to pressure, resume meeting soon appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Emma Amaize
ASABA — GOVERNORS of the South-South geo-political zone have resolved to pick up the South-South Governors’ Forum, SSGF, and the BRACED Commission, the regional institution established by their predecessors to drive the process of cooperation and integration among the South-South states in 2011, from where they left off, in deference to the demand by leaders and people of the region.
A source close to one of the governors, told NDV yesterday: “The governors have agreed in principle to start meeting again on the platform of the South-South Governors Forum and also give a kiss of life to the BRACED Commission, which stands for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Rivers.”
Our govs’re ready to assemble – Nkanga
Former military governor of Akwa Ibom State and chairman of Pan-Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF, committee inaugurated last month, to reach out to the governors on the need to reunite and strategize together in the interest of the geo-political zone, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd.), confirmed to NDV on phone that from his findings, the governors were geared up to meet before long.
It was gathered that the Bayelsa State governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, the oldest serving South-South governor at the moment, has been saddled with the task of mobilizing his colleagues and spearheading the reunion. He assured South-South leader and convener of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, that he understood the inevitability of the governors recommencing the SSGF and rejuvenating the BRACED Commission.
Udom playing catalyst role: Our dependable source hinted: “One person among them, who has been incredible in rousing his colleagues to honour the demand of the citizens of the zone is the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom. Besides speaking to Governor Dickson, he had spoken to two or three other governors as well.
“I can tell you that Governor Udom is very keen about the resuscitation of the SSGF and BRACED Commission and willing to do anything to see that the governors speak with one voice. For him, there should be no delay about it and even if others want Akwa Ibom to host the first meeting, this year, he is prepared,” the source added.
Ball in Dickson’s court: According to him: “They (the governors) will be meeting soon, the matter is practically settled, the demand is clear and they have no option than to obey the call of their people, but the snag before was that there was a lot of problems since they assumed office and they needed to handle the issues first, those matters are somewhat over now, they can now breathe and see clearly.”
He disclosed: “All the governors concur too that Hon Dickson is the oldest among them and should lead the process, so how fast they move on the matter now depends on him. I do not know if he had spoken to governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who is the newest among them and of the All Progressives Congress, APC.”
Dickson, Okowa unavailable for comments: Attempts to get the Bayelsa State governor, Dickson, weekend, to know how he has mustered his colleagues did not yield result, as calls and text message to his line by this reporter were not responded to. NDV could also not get the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for comments, as his phone rang out on several occasions, but his Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, who was contacted, said his boss was not disposed.
Getting Obaseki on the bloc: At the time the former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was the immediate past chairman of the South-South Governors Forum vacated office, he was not discussing issues of the forum with any of the other five governors of the region, who are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, because of the hostilities among them.
It was not known whether Governor Dickson has contacted Oshiomhole’s successor, Mr. Obaseki, who many believe that as a technocrat and investment banker, he would be more disposed to the dreams of the BRACED Commission than his former boss, who more often than not, read politics in the moves of his colleagues. And moreover, the existing unfriendly political atmosphere during Oshiomhole’s time has radically changed.
I’ve not heard from govs on new resolve – Clark
When NDV asked Chief Clark on Friday if any of the governors had contacted him on their new resolve, he said that none had reached him, but reiterated that he had expressed his mind to Governors Dickson and Okowa.
His words: “At the risk of repeating myself, I want to say that the earlier they reunite, the better for the region. The vice president will soon be visiting other parts of Niger Delta after his last visit to Delta State. He will be visiting Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo and Edo states, I expect the governors to come together on such occasion to show our oneness, unlike when he came to Delta State, only the governor of Delta State, Okowa, was there.”
Monarch advises govs: Former national chairman of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, and paramount ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom, Delta State, His Majesty, Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu, aka Lion of the Niger, who welcomed the decision of the South-South governors to restart the SSGF and probably, BRACED Commission, said: “They should avoid politicizing their actions this time around, drop their personal interests and party affiliations to discuss issues that will benefit the region.
“Interests of the region should supersede whatever they do, the region cannot develop the way the people want when their governors, who are the political leaders are not working together. It does not matter the political party, the people of the zone cannot all be in one party, so we not expect the governors to be in one party, but interests of the zone is supreme no matter the political party. That is what the people are saying,” he added.
The post Finally, South-South govs bow to pressure, resume meeting soon appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/2019-obasanjos-call-igbo-presidency-insincere-divisive-obong-attah-2/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 23:59:10 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749083 Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently canvassed for an Igbo presidency in 2019 even when the North still feels their turn has not lapsed…
The post 2019: Obasanjo’s call for Igbo presidency, insincere, divisive — Obong Attah (2) appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Omeiza Ajayi
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and one of the leaders of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Obong Victor Attah, in this interview speaks on the state of the nation and urged the Federal Government not to sit on the 16-point demand of the Niger Delta. He also chided ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for calling for Igbo presidency in 2019. Excerpts:
Being the concluding part of the interview with former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah. The first part was published on Monday February 6. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently canvassed for an Igbo presidency in 2019 even when the North still feels their turn has not lapsed…
I asked the question and they said the decision for a second term for Obasanjo was not going to be taken through voice vote that we were going to speak one by one and I am going to name names because one person stood up and said yes, he should have a second term and many others followed suit.
I stood up and I asked, what was the hurry all about? We are a family, we are a party, why don’t we wait till then and when we get there (primaries) we would decide who was best to pick our ticket and I said that was what we should do. Why the rush to now predetermine who would be our flag-bearer? Why must we agree on this second term now?
Then, former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, stood up and said, ‘if we agree that Obasanjo should have second term, when it is the time of the North, would you allow the North to have two terms?’ The whole house echoed, yes! Did it happen? No.
That was where the division in Nigerian politics came in. Why was it that when Yar’Adua died, since he was Obasanjo’s choice for the North and the North accepted him, sick as he was, why was it that when he could not even complete one term, the North was not allowed to complete that term or even go ahead to have a second term? We took it from the North. Would you be happy if it was you?
Today, the North has got the presidency since we have now decided, yes to second term before the north can even have a second term, you are suggesting Igbo. Is that not divisive? So, I do not see that thing (Obasanjo’s advocacy) as being sincere. I think it is a means of just creating further confusion in this country.
People should ask him why he wants to be divisive, but if he says he is not divisive, let him bring out the logic.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, said there is resurgence of attacks on gas installations. What could be responsible for such attacks?
I do not know whether there is resurgence of attacks or it is just incompetence or by reason of old pipes.
Guarantee of payment
See, when I was governor and I wanted too build a power plant, I went to the European Union and I went there not only with a power purchase agreement, I even had a guarantee of payment, which really surprised even Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala but they still would not come. Why?
The problem is nobody guarantees constant regular supply of gas to those turbines but the bank that lends you money is not interested in that. Once they give you money, the interest starts to run. If somebody disrupts the gas supply that is not their business.
So, the problem comes down to who owns the gas? Nigeria owns the gas. Can Nigeria guarantee the supply of the gas? Nigeria cannot guarantee the supply of the gas. Unless we actually go back to fiscal federalism. If that gas belonged to or was seen to be the resource of a particular state and the state depended on that gas for its survival, that gas would flow because she must sell that gas to survive. There is no way she would allow anybody to interrupt that gas and all of these talks about secession would end. Even this talk about diversification. Who is going to diversify? How can the federal government diversify? It does not have the ability to do so because it does not own the territory.
Generate your own money. The minute you say that, you would see diversification.
People with minerals beneath their land that they are not touching, those minerals would come up because they must generate profits from them. The land that is lying fallow somewhere, you would see that they would put it to agriculture.
Facilitator of growth
I said recently on a television programme, we must see this business of fiscal federalism as the facilitator of growth and diversification. It is the root of development. Let us change our attitude towards fiscal federalism and accept the fact that it is a developmental philosophy.
It is the only thing that can help this country to grow and develop.
But when you say you would build power, build roads and then that “you” translates to federal government, then I say you are wasting time. There is no federal government in the world that can do it.
PANDEF met with the president late last year. How far, so far?
I have my views on some of the things that are happening between the presidency and Pan Niger Delta Forum. I believe, and I may be wrong, that there are two types of people who were trying to discourage the federal government from dealing with PANDEF. Those who think that “Oh, why are you kowtowing to these people? You have the military might, just go in there and finish them”.
Well, that is entirely possible. That military might, nobody can deny it. They have demonstrated it effectively even against the Boko Haram but try it with oil. Just disrupt oil for one minute. Before you get it to flow again, the effort you make in convincing people to come from outside again, contracts for the projects of your oil would stop and so on.
Therefore, you cannot disrupt the flow of oil. It is the wrong option to say government should go there and finish up the place.
Then, there are others who wanted the leadership positions in PANDEF and they did not get them. So, they are telling the federal government, ‘do not encourage this PANDEF’. And that is from a very personal and selfish point of view. There may be yet others who want to be the heroes, to say they were the ones who did this and not PANDEF and they are telling the federal government they would show them how to handle the Niger Delta.
In the final analysis, just as there is Afenifere, which you must respect as a strong voice for the Yoruba in the South West; just as there is the Arewa Consultative Forum, which you must respect as a strong voice for the North; the Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a strong voice for the Igbo in the South East. You must accept and learn to respect PANDEF as the one strong voice for the people of the South-South. And I thank God that in the final analysis, the vice president went.
Point demands of PANDEF
I did not go, but I understand that every address that was read, people were saying go and talk to PANDEF. Right there in front of everybody, the vice president said they had adopted the 16-point demands of PANDEF. What does that mean? How have you adopted it? We said discuss the points with us. I want to believe he meant they have adopted it for discussion. So, what we are expecting to happen now and we believe it should happen very quickly before everybody’s patience runs out is that they should set up their dialogue team to dialogue over these 16 points and come up with solutions that would help the Niger Delta and the country.
You talked about herdsmen earlier on. How about contemplation about building grazing reserves for them?
I do not want to get into controversies here but there is a place in Cross River called Obudu Cattle Ranch. What is that? And it is in the South-South and one of the biggest and best known cattle ranches. So, what has changed? There is a street in Lagos called Malu road, obviously meaning cattle. Cows used to be transported by trains. Why can’t we sit down and think. Cows don’t do well in the South because of Tse-Tse fly. We have to sit down and think of a way to make sure they feed well and that they are transported properly without interfering with people’s farms.
The post 2019: Obasanjo’s call for Igbo presidency, insincere, divisive — Obong Attah (2) appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/pdp-crisis-appeal-court-threatens-anti-fayose-exco-arrest/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 23:00:13 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749196 The anti-Fayose faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Williams Ajayi was yesterday threatened with warrant of arrest by the Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti over a letter allegedly written against members of the three-member appeal panel, accusing them of corruption and bias.
The post PDP crisis: Appeal Court threatens anti-Fayose exco with arrest appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti— The anti-Fayose faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Williams Ajayi was yesterday threatened with warrant of arrest by the Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti over a letter allegedly written against members of the three-member appeal panel, accusing them of corruption and bias.
Ajayi’s faction, had in a letter dated January 19, 2017 and signed by the Publicity Secretary of the party, Dayo Owolabi, accused the justices of the appeal court of allegedly conspiring with Gboyega Oguntuase’s led faction to truncate the January 24 judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti.
The justices were: Ahmad Olanrewaju Belgore, Fatima Omoro Akinbami and Ayobode Olujimi Loluko-Sodipe.
The counsel to Oguntuase’s faction had come up with a motion on notice stopping the delivery of the judgment at the Federal High court, while the judge was about to deliver his judgment on who was the authentic chairman of the party between Oguntuse (respondent), an ally of Governor Ayodele Fayose and Ajayi (applicant), Senator Buruji Kashamu’s protégé, an application which was instantly rejected by the judge.
The counsel to Oguntuase had predicated his action on a motion on notice pending before the appeal court, praying for December 13, 2016 proceeding of the court to be expunged.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo went ahead to deliver the judgement in favour of the applicant based on the argument canvassed by lawyer to Ajayi’s faction, Mr Niran Owoseeni.
At yesterday’s proceeding, which was centred on the hearing on the stay of execution of the judgement of the Federal High Court filed by the counsel to the appellant (Oguntuase), Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the justices confronted Owoseeni with a copy of the letter purportedly written by his client and submitted to the Registrar of the Appeal Court.
The justices also displayed a copy of the publication in one of the Nigerian newspapers which carried the contents of the letter and instructed Owoseeni to read to the audience .
The Justices said: “Are you saying you were not aware of the contents of this letter? We have our own names to protect. We could not have been party to any attempt to arrest the judgement of the High court.
“We didn’t sit on January 19 because one of us was indisposed and we didn’t form quorum to sit. Judiciary must not be destroyed ,because if such happens the next stage is anarchy.”
The post PDP crisis: Appeal Court threatens anti-Fayose exco with arrest appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/ondo-assembly-crisis-ig-orders-complex-sealed/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 22:00:45 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749181 THE Ondo State House of Assembly was sealed yesterday following a directive by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.
Akure—THE Ondo State House of Assembly was sealed Monday following a directive by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.
This is coming as the 13 aggrieved lawmakers who last week sacked the principal officers of the Assembly have reportedly gone underground.
Reliable source hinted that they have left the state capital for Ibadan, the Oyo State capital following pressure from the other faction.
The leadership tussle had polarized the 26 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members of the 8th Assembly in the state.
Additional Police patrol vehicles and personnel were deployed to the assembly to beef up security.
Over 10 Police patrol vehicles and one Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC, were seen at the entrance of the assembly yesterday.
No fewer than 25 policemen have also been keeping vigil at the assembly since last Friday after the clash with protesters.
The Assembly staff have been asked to stay at home following the humiliation of the pay master, Sina Makanjuola, by the 13 lawmakers who sacked the principal officers of the assembly.
Reports had it that the bloody clash between the protesters and the policemen last week informed the sealing of the assembly.
The IGP was equally said to have been irked by the attack on Governor Olusegun Mimiko by the protesters.
Police image maker, Femi Joseph could not be reached for comment but one of his aides confirmed that the directive was “from above.”
The factional Speaker Malachi Coker confirmed that the directive to seal off the assembly came from the police chief.
Coker said the police on the order of the Inspector General of Police had sealed the Assembly over its leadership crisis.
“On Friday, Feb, 3, the police brought a warrant that the Assembly should be locked indefinitely.
“We hope the police will not be biased in their actions by allowing the impeached Speaker’s faction to have access to the complex,” he said.
Meantime, the deputy governor-elect, Agboola Ajayi, yesterday dissociated the All Progressives Congress, APC from the crisis in the assembly
Ajayi said what happened was purely legislative matter that was bound to happen in a democracy.
The post ‘What exactly is wrong with our Buhari, for how long is he going to be away?’ appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> As Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is apparently unwell. Or he might not be. Either way, it’s enough for his health to have increasingly become a national talking point.
The 74-year-old former army general had been due to resume work on Monday morning in the capital, Abuja, after a holiday in London.
But on Sunday evening, his office announced he was to prolong his stay on doctor’s orders, as he was still waiting for the results of medical tests conducted during his stay.
No further details were given about his condition nor when he would finally return.
The announcement triggered fresh speculation about the state of Buhari’s health and has done little to convince an already sceptical public that there is no cause for concern.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has been holding the fort since Buhari left for London two weeks ago, told reporters in Abuja on Monday that his boss was well.
“The president is hale and hearty. I spoke to the president just this afternoon and we had a warm conversation,” he said.
“He was interested in knowing about the budget process and how far we have gone and the meeting today with the private sector and the economic recovery growth plan and I informed him about the protest march and feedback about what people are saying about the economy. He is in good shape.”
Buhari’s office has already had to counter rumours during the trip that he was critically ill and had even died.
– In the dark –
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seized on the announcement of his extended stay in London, saying Nigerians had a right to know what he was being treated for because he was using public funds.
“He should tell them (the public) the true state of his health,” a statesman for the PDP was quoted as saying in the Punch newspaper.
“Medical tests have dates of collection of results. It can’t be open-ended without dates.”
In Abuja, where protesters had turned out to demonstrate against Buhari’s economic policy and call for solutions to end a crippling recession, there were calls for greater openness.
“I wonder why the government is not transparent enough about our president’s health,” said one woman, who gave her name only as Mabel. “We are completely in the dark.”
James Badmus, a lawyer, added: “The issues are clear and straightforward: what exactly is wrong with our president and for how long is he going to be away?
“Anybody can fall sick but when a president falls sick, it should not be a confidential matter.”
– Spectre of Yar’Adua –
The health of Nigeria’s head of state has long been a sensitive issue. In 2010, president Umaru Yar’Adua died from a long-standing, but undisclosed kidney condition, while in Saudi Arabia.
His initial illness and treatment in hospital abroad triggered months of political uncertainty. Yar’Adua’s death brought his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, to power.
To be sure, Buhari’s presidency has not hidden the fact that he needed medical treatment: in June 2016, it said he was heading to London for treatment to a persistent inner ear infection.
It also announced last month that his latest trip would include “routine medical check-ups”.
But Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) have been unable to shake off persistent rumours that he is more seriously ill than is being made out.
The PDP claimed during the 2015 election in which Buhari defeated Jonathan that he had terminal prostate cancer — one of a series of smears designed to show he was unfit for office.
One of Buhari’s spokesmen, Femi Adesina, on Sunday tried to play down the significance of the extension, as Nigerians took to social media to air their theories.
“I am sure it will get to a point when the president has to disclose the status of his health if it needs to be disclosed,” he said.
But because of doctor-patient confidentiality, only Buhari himself could reveal what was wrong, he said.
– Open government –
Nigerians are generally mistrustful of government and its pronouncements. They also have long memories that go back beyond Yar’Adua to military ruler Sani Abacha, who also died in office.
“My concern is that I hope history is not going to repeat itself,” said one civil servant, who gave his name only as Adam. “The Yar’Adua episode is still fresh in our memory.
“They told us Yar’Adua was OK.”
Victor Giwa, of the Advocates for Peoples’ Rights and Justice pressure group, said the public had a right to know if the president was unwell.
“If they cannot tell us the health status of the president, it shows there are many things they have been hiding from us,” he added.
The post ‘What exactly is wrong with our Buhari, for how long is he going to be away?’ appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/sold-apc-please-hang-endure-tinubu/ Mon, 06 Feb 2017 19:42:26 +0000 http://www.vanguardngr.com/?p=749027 National leader of the All Progressives Congress Party, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has told protesting Nigerians to hang on to the APC party they sold to them and endure a little longer for the promised change to arrive. Tinubu assured the protesters that the Buhari-led government which the people voted into power is not running away from the change it promised Nigerians during campaigns.
The post We sold APC to you, please hang on to it, endure more – Tinubu appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> By Anthony Ogbonna
National leader of the All Progressives Congress Party, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has told protesting Nigerians to hang on to the APC party they sold to them and endure a little longer for the promised change to arrive. Tinubu assured the protesters that the Buhari-led government which the people voted into power is not running away from the change it promised Nigerians during campaigns.
Tinubu gave the comment on Monday while addressing the protesters in Lagos.
Recall that thousands of Nigerians took to the streets to protest the unfavourable situation in the country especially the economy. The protest which was to be initially led by popular musician, 2face Idibia later saw a last minute withdrawal by 2face citing plots by hoodlums to hijack the whole process and cause mayhem.
This was equally as pressure mounted on 2face from both the presidential spokespersons, Femi adesina and Lauretta Onochie on one hand and from the Lagos state commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni who even threatened to arrest 2face should he continue with the protest.
2face however, chickened-out and called for the cancellation of the protest. But, concerned Nigerians under the banners, #OnevoiceNigeria and #IsatandwithNigeria went ahead with the protest with big and popular personalities such as Charly Boy, sheyi Law, activist, Deji Adeyanju, Saharareporters’publisher, Omoyele Sowore among so many others joining the protest.
However, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu made out time to meet some of the protesting groups from where he told them the mind of the government concerning the predicaments faced by the people under the Buhari-led administration.
He said, “What we are going through now will be resolved. We are going through a historical phase of a country that is promising and holding the promise for you. There is a leadership on the line. And you have to live with that for now. Protest won’t solve the problem, will it, he asked rhetorically.”
He said re-planning is the solution to the problem. “Being responsive, being able to get engaged with you so that you will see the problems that we are facing.” “You are right”” when you say there is a lot of unemployment in the country, epileptic power supply and series of other un-commendable developments in the country. “In every political situation, we have the twist and turn. It cannot be straight all the time. We are the same victims. You carry a placard, i have been a placard carrier since when?”
“This government is a product of a protest. If you didn’t have a bad administration then, you won’t vote for us. You voted on our promises. We are just two years into that promise compared to sixteen (16) years that they took over that they could have made the changes.”
“Yes, we are working on the electricity. Without electricity, there could be no industrialization and explosion of employment opportunities for our people. That is in our head. But, it cannot grow like the mushroom. To fetch water out of the rock, you have to endure some blisters.”
“Be patient. Lets have faith in our leaders. We’ve continued to manage Lagos, you’ve seen progress. It’s because of the consistent application of our programmes. A time started in 1998, 1999 it was a terrible situation here in Lagos. Dead body on the street, no ambulances, LASU was completely disintegrated, extremely dangerous mortuaries. What do you have today? Because you endured then. Just go and endure again.”
“We sold APC to you, please hang on to it. You have your rights to vote against us during election if you want. But, i remain in the party because we will retool this party. We will retool this government.”
“The damage of over sixty years and sixty years of miss-governance cannot be turned around overnight. Let’s be patient. Let’s have the understanding. Let’s hang on to hope. There is nothing more effective that can drive you better than hope and belief in a positive turn of this situation.”
“We understand. We are not saying you are not suffering. We are not saying unemployment has not increased. I have no argument. But, economy cannot collapse one day. Systemic problem had occurred before now. Fine! We are not running away from that responsibility, we are going to face it squarely and we are going to bring prosperity back to the country.”
The protesters who wrote down their demands that included that the salaries of public office holders like the legislatures be slashed, provision of employment opportunities, involvement of more youths in the government, review of some outrageous allocations in the 2017 budget among others handed their request to the National ruling party leader who said, “You are making sense, we will do that.”
Tinubu also said to the protesters, “It’s your right to protest. Any misgovernance, any perceived bad treatment, no one should stop you. No one, Ok? However, if you get engaged, you don’t have to suffer the burning sun. I have given you the respect that you deserve. Please, go back, calm down, hang on to hope, visit me whenever it’s necessary, the job will be available,” Tinubu said.
The post We sold APC to you, please hang on to it, endure more – Tinubu appeared first on Vanguard News.]]> Source: Vanguard