Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas, Ahmed Zannah Khalifa, has alleged that over 1,000 people have been killed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the last one week in the North East region of the country.
Khalifa, who is representing Borno Central in the Senate, spoke on Sunday in an interview with the Daily Independent in Abuja.
He lamented that the casualties in various killings were high due to the inability of the armed forces operating in the area to contain the insurgency.
Khalifa, also a member of the Senate Committee on Industries, accused the Federal Government of not equipping the soldiers enough to be able to surmount the insurgents that have been terrorising the region in the last three years.
He insisted that the terrorist sect was still in full grip of Borno and Yobe states, pointing out that over 20 villages in the areas were under the control of the insurgents.
“Since there are no schools, no markets functioning in those villages, it shows that the Boko Haram are still in total control of the area,” Khalifa said.
Reacting to insinuations that most of the bombings were carried out by the security operatives, Khalifa, a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “We are still investigating whether the security personnel were responsible for the bombings. We are not sure yet. But after our investigation, we will be able to say whether there are complexities in the military operations or not”.
He, however, regretted that he had not been able to have access to President Goodluck Jonathan to narrate his ordeals to him in the midst of the crisis, adding that he has been under serious threat because of his position on the crisis in his area.
“I have no access to the President to tell him my ordeals. I have made effort several times to see him, but I could not. He is supposed to look for me as a sitting Senator, not me looking for him,” Khalifa lamented.
On the threat by the Northern elders to take former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, a retired General, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his alleged role in the crisis in the North East, the Senator said: “We are still gathering evidences against him. We have enough, but we are still gathering more. At the right time, we will come up with our position”.
Khalifa implored Jonathan to be more serious in the efforts towards eliminating the insurgents.
He reminded the President that he (President) was elected by the people of Nigeria without a drop of blood, urging him to do everything within his powers to stop the on-going bloodbath in the country.
Meanwhile, residents of Borno State are primed for a three-day fast beginning today and ending on Thursday to seek divine intervention in the resurgence of killings by members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect.
According to Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn-Garbai, who issued the directive on Monday in Maiduguri, the fast is to ask for Allah’s help in restoring peace to the state.
“I am appealing to all residents of the state to observe a three-day fasting to seek Allah’s mercy towards ending the crisis facing us”, he said.
“I believe we should continue to seek for Allah’s help toward restoring peace in the state.”
Ibn-Garbai bemoaned the human and material devastation caused by the renewed killings by the terrorists, saying there can be no other time to seek God’s intervention.
Although he said special prayers would be held in mosques and churches during the period, he further implored residents to remain relentless in their prayers afterwards.
Ibn-Garbal’s prayer-and-fasting directive came on the same day the Borno State Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) pleaded for the material and financial support of the Federal Government to bolster the contribution of its members to maintenance of peace in the state.
Spokesman of the group, Iliasu Saidu, said while vehicles would aid the movement of the 2,500-plus youths, an allowance would serve as a steady source of livelihood while also motivating them for the challenge.
“Borno is Nigeria and the people fomenting violence and the killings are Nigerians”, said Saidu, who revealed plans of the state government to recruit another 1,500 youths to the civilian group.
“If we can have assistance from the Federal Government, it will help us to achieve peace. Borno is a beautiful state that must not be taken over by hoodlums.”
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) again on Monday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to “take time off his premature electioneering campaign” to visit Yobe State to commiserate with the bereaved families of the school children who were brutally murdered by terrorists last month.
Fifty-nine students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, were massacre by the Boko Haram insurgents on March 25.
In a statement in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, APC said it is inconceivable that about two weeks after the “heart-wrenching killings of more than 29 schoolchildren, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not deemed it fit to visit the state”.
It said far from being a mere formality, such a visit will provide great succour to the families of the victims, reassure them and other residents of the state that their government has not abandoned them to their fate, and also serve as a morale booster for the troops who are battling the terrorists, against all odds.
‘’There is no other democracy in the world in which that number of schoolchildren will be killed and the head of government will carry on with business as usual.
“Since the killings, President Jonathan has made a national broadcast in which he mentioned the killings only as a footnote, instead of making it the central point of the broadcast.
‘’Since the killings, the President has presided over a wasteful national celebration, in which the drums were rolled out to mark the country’s centenary even as devastated families were still mourning and those injured were reeling from their pains.
‘’Since the killings, President Jonathan has been gallivanting across the country, surreptitiously kick-starting his electioneering campaign for 2015 under the guise of receiving some inconsequential political jobbers now wearing the tag of defectors.
“This junketing has taken the President everywhere, including Sokoto, Minna, Ilorin and Onitsha. But he has pointedly avoided Yobe.
“To put it mildly, the father of the nation has been practically dancing on the graves of those innocent souls. This is not the stuff of leadership and the President must make amends by visiting Yobe today,’’ APC said.
The party said Jonathan should take a cue to what obtains in other lands, especially in the U.S after which Nigeria has modelled its democracy.
‘’In January 2014, U.S President Barack Obama flew to Tennessee, where he spoke at a high school where students were still reeling from the shooting death of just one of their classmates; In 2012, President Obama paid a similar visit to Newtown in Connecticut, where he met relatives of the 20 schoolchildren and eight adults who were shot. These are examples worthy of emulation by President Jonathan,’’ APC said.
It challenged the President to tell Nigerians why he has not or why he would not visit the scene of the gruesome murders.
‘’Whatever his reasons are, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces must not give the impression that there is any part of the country he cannot visit for any reason whatsoever, otherwise he would only have succeeded in handing some sort of victory to the terrorists who have continued to kill and plunder in the North-east,’’ the party added.
In a related development, the United Nations Education and Children Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concerns on the killing of children by the Boko Haram sect.
The Fund said it will, in collaboration with other stakeholders, carry out a verification exercise of the North East region of Nigeria to access the situation on ground.
This is coming jus as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also expressed concern on the human rights and humanitarian condition of women and children especially in the North East following the instability in the region.
To this end, the commission said it was committed to lead the UNICEF and other stakeholders in the campaign against child rights violations in Nigeria, particularly in the North East where insecurity has greatly affected the vulnerable group.
According to a statement by Chief Press Officer in the NHCR, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, “the Executive Secretary of the Commission Prof. Ben Angwe, gave the assurance when he received a delegation from the UNICEF led by its Country Representative, Jane Gough, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja”.
Earlier, Gough had expressed worries over the difficult challenges being faced by children in the North Eastern part of the country, saying most of them are afraid to go to school for fear of being killed or bombed by members of the Boko Haram sect.
Also on Monday, an angry Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology queried the Federal Ministry of Environment for paying N21 million to a contractor who claimed that his firm was currently executing a construction project in the troubled Bama community of Borno State.
The committee has, therefore, directed senior officials of the ministry to institute a probe into the issue and forward their findings to it before their 2014 budget could be approved.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Taiye Haruna, had listed the Bama road construction, which also include drainage work and erosion control, as one of the 20 other constituency/intervention projects at different stages of execution and on which N1.4 billion had been paid.
He stated this when he stood in for the Minister, Lawrencia Labaran-Mallam, when the Senate committee led by the Chairman, Bukola Saraki, visited the ministry headquarters in Abuja on oversight functions.
Haruna had drawn the anger of members of the committee when he claimed that his ministry had effectively implemented all the 20 constituency/intervention projects under its supervision and reeled out the details.
Senator Boluwaji Kunlere, a member of the committee, immediately drew the attention of the Perm Sec to the fact that there was no way any contractor could execute any project in Bama between July 2013 and now when the area had been fully occupied by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Kunlere, also a member of the Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, believes that the claims of the contractors were fraudulent because it was difficult for even his team led by heavily armed military personnel, to gain access to the area when they went there on oversight functions within the same period.
The Perm Sec, however, referred the issue to a director in charge of the project who justified the N21 million paid to the contractors when he said convincing evidences, including documents and pictures, were presented to him.
He told the committee that the N1.4 billion appropriated to the ministry for constituency projects had been fully disbursed to the various contractors that handled them.
Posts tagged ‘Lai Mohammed’
Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas, Ahmed Zannah Khalifa, has alleged that over 1,000 people have been killed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the last one week in the North East region of the country.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as reckless, irresponsible and totally condemnable the alleged threat by Mujahedeen Asari-Dokubo to levy war against Nigeria even if President Goodluck Jonathan is defeated even in a free and fair election in 2015.
It said the SSS must act immediately or be damned.
“There is no better test of the fairness, non-partisanship and professionalism of the SSS than this Asari-Dokubo’s threat to levy war on his own country. If Asari-Dokubo is not above the laws of the land, he must be hauled before the SSS, just like the service did to our Deputy National Secretary, to explain his statement,” APC said.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the attacks by oil militants in the Niger
Delta and the ongoing insurgency by Boko Haram in some parts of the north, Nigeria has not witnessed a clearer and louder call to war than Asari-Dokubo’s senseless vituperation since the country’s civil war ended in 1970.
It said Nigerians are waiting to see what the SSS, which recently detained for many hours the APC’s Deputy National Secretary Nasir El-Rufai over his warning against election rigging in 2015, will do now that an ally of President Jonathan has threatened the very existence of Nigeria, by saying he and his fellow militants would cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks but also in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
“What on earth gave Asari-Dokubo the confidence to issue threats against a whole nation? If he doesn’t care about elections and democracy, how else could his hero, President Jonathan, have come to power? Does he know the meaning of anarchy? Does he think anyone, no matter how big, is more important than his country or bigger than its constitution?
“When he said President Jonathan ‘must complete the mandatory constitutionally-allowable two terms of eight years’ or the militants will make Nigeria ungovernable, was he aware that even the North that has become his favourite whipping boy did not complete its own eight years before his kinsman became President?
“It is not Asari-Dokubo’s fault. When we warned against the handing over of the nation’s maritime security to a company owned by an ex-militant in 2012, many thought we were crying wolf where none existed. But the threat by an ex-militant to ensure that no vessel will be allowed to enter the nation’s territorial waters unless President Jonathan is re-elected has shown the dangers inherent in such actions,” APC said
The party wondered why President Jonathan, who said his ambition is not worth anyone’s blood, has neither condemned nor call to order his out-of-control kinsmen like Asari-Dokubo, who speak either on his behalf or for his benefit.
Source: Radio Baifra.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as reckless, irresponsible and condemnable the threat by Mujahedeen Asari-Dokubo that there will be war, if President Goodluck Jonathan is defeated in 2015.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite the attacks by oil militants in the Niger Delta and the insurgency by Boko Haram in some parts of the North, Nigeria had not witnessed a clearer and louder call to war since the country’s civil war ended in 1970.
It said Nigerians were waiting to see what the SSS, which detained the APC’s Deputy National Secretary Nasir El-Rufai for his warning against election rigging in 2015, would do now that an ally of President Jonathan had threatened the existence of Nigeria, by saying he and his fellow militants would cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks but also in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
”What on earth gave Asari-Dokubo the confidence to issue threats against the nation? If he doesn’t care about elections and democracy, how else could his hero, President Jonathan, have come to power? Does he know the meaning of anarchy? Does he think anyone, no matter how big, is more important than his country or
bigger than its constitution?
”When he said President Jonathan ‘must complete the mandatory constitutionally-allowable two terms of eight years’ or the militants will make Nigeria ungovernable, was he aware that even the North that has become his favourite whipping boy did not complete its own eight years before his kinsman became President?
”It is not Asari-Dokubo’s fault. When we warned against the handing over of the nation’s maritime security to a company owned by an ex-militant in 2012, many thought we were crying wolf where none existed. But the threat by an ex-militant to ensure that no vessel will be allowed to enter the nation’s territorial waters unless President Jonathan is re-elected has shown the dangers inherent in such actions,” APC said
The party wondered why President Jonathan, who said his ambition was not worth anyone’s blood, had neither condemned nor call to order his out-of-control kinsmen like Asari-Dokubo, who speak either on his behalf or for his benefit.
It said Asari-Dokubo has overstretched his luck by trying to dictate to political parties to field only Southsouth candidates for the Presidency in 2015, wondering what gave him the audacity to make such a careless statement.
”We, in the APC, will never be cowed by the senseless, emotional outburst of a man, whose sense of decency stretches the size of a coin. We say that Nigeria will survive and thrive, whether or not some people want it. We reiterate the truism that election is the bedrock of democracy, and that anointing of candidates – as Asari-Dokubo would want Nigeria’s political parties to do – is the antithesis of democracy,” the party said.
It said the SSS must act immediately or be damned.
”There is no better test of the fairness, non-partisanship and professionalism of the SSS than the Asari-Dokubo’s threat of war on his country. If Asari-Dokubo is not above the laws of the land, he must be hauled before the SSS, just as the service did to our deputy national secretary, to explain his statement,” APC said.
Source: Radio Biafra.
ABUJA—FOLLOWING last Thursday’s release of modalities for the proposed National Conference, an intense lobby by politicians and other people, who want to be nominated as delegates has ensued.To be part of the 492 wise men and women to be saddled with the task of reshaping Nigeria, some serving commissioners are currently pressuring their state governors for a slot. According to the modalities, each of the 36 state governors is expected to nominate three delegates. The presidency, which is expected to nominate about 70 delegates is also being pressured, Vanguard gathered. Already, some ministers considered to be in President Goodluck Jonathan’s good books are being bombarded with phone calls by people angling for a seat at the confab table.The civil society organisations, political parties, ethnic nationalities and other stakeholders are not left out. Many of them will hold crucial meetings on the issue this week.Leaders of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) will meet today to deliberate on whether or not to participate in the conference. APC is one of the five parties slated to nominate 10 delegates.The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which is in support of the conference, said it would meet to nominate its two delegates, once it gets a letter from the Federal Government on the matter.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said last week that it would convene a meeting soon to pick its nominees just as the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) urged all stakeholders to send their First Eleven to deepen deliberations at the conference. President of the South-East, South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN), Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, who disclosed that the group will also meet this week, to take a position on the dialogue modalities, said “it will be sad if the governors nominate their houseboys as delegates because their states and geo-political zones will lose out. They must endeavour to nominate people who can represent their states well.”Meanwhile, to get the proposed dialogue going, the Presidency will, this week, write stakeholders, who are expected to nominate their delegates on or before February 20.A presidency source told Vanguard, yesterday, that the Presidency will look at the issue today and start writing the letters to drive the process.The disclosure came as the World Igbo Congress (WIC), the apex organization representing Ndigbo all over the world backed the stance of the Professor Ben Nwabueze-led Igbo Leaders of Thought that the modalities released by the government did not meet the expectations of most Nigerians for convening a confab that will address the multifarious problems of the country.Asked if APC would take part in the conference, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party’s interim publicity scribe, said: “The party will meet tomorrow (today) to take a decision on it” and declined further comments.Select your delegates, prepare agenda, FG tells Nigerians
The Federal Government advised the various interest groups in the country to prepare their agenda to be presented at the conference rather than dissipate energy on whether the President Jonathan administration had a hidden agenda.Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak, said “we have to advise every interest group that has the interest of Nigeria as its agenda to go and do their home work and take it to the national conference. We have a feeling that those attacking the proposed conference are those who have nothing to offer and would be the first to jump up to claim that the other ethnic groups have outsmarted them.”According to Gulak, the Federal Government has no other agenda than “to secure the peace, stability and unity of the Nigerian state. As the government in power, the Federal Government, will not abdicate its responsibility and allow anarchists to take reins of the country. We are committed to the welfare of Nigerians, the President swore an oath to accomplish these things. It is an open agenda which is not the subject of the conference.”He continued: “We want people to do their home work and present their best team because when they fail to do so, they will not blame the President for their failure.”APGA ‘ll participate –Umeh
Speaking on the conference, APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, okayed the modalities and assured that the party would participate in the exercise.His words: “APGA will participate in the conference. We support the modalities released by the government. We cannot miss this opportunity of helping to save the country. The Nigerian situation is becoming very serious and the national conference has become imperative. Let people come together, let’s dialogue, look at Nigeria and things that are making the country unstable and find solutions to them. We are happy with President Jonathan’s commitment to the National Conference.”Asked when the party would nominate its delegates, he said: “We are waiting for the letter from the Federal Government. When we get the letter from the Federal Government, which is the official line of communication, we will meet and pick our nominees.“We welcome the programme for the conference. We urge all Nigerians to participate. The Federal Government has made it a broad all-inclusive conference. All segments of the society are involved. Those opposing the national conference are not patriotic enough. We cannot pretend we can get our acts together without dialogue.”On whether the requirement of 75 per cent majority of delegates to resolve contentious issues would not undermine the exercise, Umeh said: “The conference will proceed with the unity of Nigeria as no-go area. Other things will be discussed. There are open wounds, which only the truth and good conscience will heal. There are issues that will be tabled and people will see the glaring injustice. If delegates at the conference fail to address such open wounds, it means clearly they want Nigeria to divide. Only unreasonable people will oppose good demands.”Youths seek more slots
Meantime, Nigerian Youths, weekend, protested 18 slots given to them, saying if truly the conference is to reposition the future of Nigeria, 18 delegates cannot represent over 60 percent of the country’s population.
Consequently, a group known as Re-Orientation Advocates of Nigeria (RAN) tasked the Federal Government on the nomination of more youths. The President of RAN, Mr. Charles Folayan in a statement in Abuja, said the reserving 18 slots for over 70 million youths was unacceptable.According to him, “We agitated earlier for 30-50% representation in our communiqué at the National Youth Summit on Peace and Security held in November last year, we are also very much concerned on how the government is going about it even now that the youth council is in crisis as giving priority to any faction of the council will be out of place.“The president had earlier said that the conference is meant for the younger generation, so the selection of the younger generation must not only be credible, but also significant, we are so much concerned that the number stipulated on the plan for the youth is insignificant. Youth group should be given up to 100 delegates not 18.”WIC backs Igbo Leaders of Thought’s stance
Picking holes in the modalities, Engineer Obi Barth Oyibo Thompson, a member of WIC Board of Trustees, said: “Although there are defects in the modalities released by the Federal Government, the World Igbo Congress supports that Ndigbo should participate in the proposed National Conference.”He advised against Ndigbo boycotting the Confab, but rather should go there and insist on the terms of association of Ndigbo with other nationalities as articulated by the Prof Nwabueze–led Igbo Leaders of Thought. “The Igbo predicament in Nigeria is a challenge to the conscience of all ethnic nationalities and geo-political zones or Regions in Nigeria. It is a moral wound, inflicted over a long time by injustice, that must be cured. What is important is the quality of Ndigbo representation and that is why Igbo Leaders of Thought are going ahead to complete the task of articulating the Igbo position. There is nothing absolutely sacrosanct as to how an existing Constitution may be replaced by a new one.”Obi Thompson advised that “although nobody should go to the conference to seek dissolution of Nigeria, it should be emphasized that the right of self determination is a fundamental sacred human right. The Conference should therefore be about discussing conditions whereby it is attractive for each stakeholder to happily and freely exercise this right within the framework of one sovereign Nigerian nation.”On selection of South-East delegates, Obi Thompson said “nobody is contesting the collectively cherished ideal of Ndigbo speaking with one voice through Ohanaeze” but since the issue of leadership of Ohanaeze appeared currently subjudice, a better approach might be a conciliatory process whereby all other socio-political cum cultural groups come together with all factions within Ohanaeze for the purpose of selecting their delegates.On Igbo support for President Jonathan, he said: “If the Conference successfully gives birth to a new Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Jonathan would have built for himself a formidable and appreciative constituency across the length and breadth of Nigeria whose support will overwhelm the combined opposition of APC and PDP and sweep him into land slide second term victory. The President should note that our objective is to ensure that he succeeds in this undertaking. If he achieves this, he becomes the undisputed father of modern Nigeria, thus sharing the same spot of honour in our history as accorded to Sir Herbert Macauley and Rt. the Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe, as the genuine protagonists and patriots of a true and sincere One Nigeria.”This is another jamboree –Tsav
Speaking on the confab in Makurdi, the Benue State Capital, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said it is “another jamboree by the federal government that would serve no useful purpose.”
According to him, the conference will serve as a conduit pipe for wastage and siphoning of the nation’s scarce resources.His words: “The proponents of the conference are only doing it to distract Nigerians from the avalanche of challenges that we face as a people. As far as I’m concerned, the conference is a misplaced priority. The critical problem facing the country and derailing its growth and development is nothing but corruption which is the reason why we are all lamenting and crying in this country.“How can anyone suggest the convocation of another conference in Nigeria when the recommendations of previous ones that were held by past governments in this country have not been implemented. The bane of the development, peace and progress of this country is corruption, if this is tackled every other thing will fall into place.“How can a government that encourages high level corruption convince Nigerians that it is sincere with its policies and programmes when we all know that people who have been declared wanted for corruption charges are being daily celebrated by this administration. As far as I am concerned, the Jonathan’s conference will not be different from the previous ones, nothing new will come out of it. In fact, it will provide a basis for looting and another reason for wastage and drainage of the nation’s scarce resources.”Ex-minister advocates six-year single termAhead of the conference, former Minister of Science and Technology, General Sam Momah, has advocated for a six-year single term in office for the president and governors.Noting that after every four years the government spends huge sums of tax payers’ money to conduct elections at the expense of the needed socio-economic development by the people, he said apart from huge costs of conducting the elections, the “ four-year term does not give any executive enough room to complete or conclude any programme it starts. In Africa, no incumbent loses an election, even though it happens, it is difficult, because he makes sure he spends state money to win that election. So, if he knows he has a single term he does his best and leaves.”He further stated that issues the national conference would address had overtaken the constitution amendment by the National Assembly, since the constitution amendment was temporal, but he urged the National Assembly to continue with what they were doing as it was their assignment.”
BY HUGO ODIOGOR, CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, PETER DURU, GABRIEL EWEPU & CALEB AYANSINA.
Source: Radio Biafra.
A former Governor of Kano State and a leader of the All Progressives Congress, Ibrahim Shekarau,
said on Tuesday in Kaduna that there was no ‘agreement’ between the five Peoples Democratic Party governors that defected to the APC and his party to make them leaders of the party in their various states.
Shekarau, on a Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Kaduna’s Hausa programme, Hanu da yawa monitored in the state capital, said there was no existing agreement with the G-5 governors and the leadership of the APC to become automatic leaders of the party in their states.
He challenged the leadership of the APC to produce such an agreement, saying that the governors could not lead the party in the states.
The G-5 governors that defected to the APC from the PDP are – Murtala Nyako(Adamawa); Musa Kwankwaso(Kano); Aliyu Wamako(Sokoto); Abdulfattah Ahmed(Kwara); and Rotimi Ameachi(Rivers).
He noted that there was no meeting where such an agreement was reached that the defected governors from the PDP should be automatically made leaders of APC in their states.
Shekarau, who is also a presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party in the 2011 general elections, added that he wouldn’t have disputed the idea if it had followed the due process or if all the party leaders had met to agree on it.
He said, “I challenged our northern APC chairman Bello Masari to tell us the time, date and at what meeting it was agreed that the said state governors should be made chairmen of the party in their states. Is it at a meeting of 35 party members which was never held or was it at a meeting of party elders?
“Our National Chairman, Bisi Akande, only went with a few APC governors to meet with some PDP leaders and now they are talking of an agreement. Let him (Masari) provide the copy of the said agreement to newsmen to enable the public to know the content of the agreement and where it was agreed upon.”
Shekarau, who expressed concern over the development, explained that before he and other aggrieved members of the party complained on the said agreement, he had sought clarification from some party elders who told him there was no such an agreement.
But when contacted, the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said there was a subsisting agreement, to allow governors drive the process in the states.
He said, “We did agree with the new PDP governors that whatever rights our APC governors enjoy they would enjoy and prior to their coming, we agreed that governor in our states would drive the process and that the governors in the states would appoint interim chairmen.
“To that extent whatever our governors enjoy as soon as they became APC governors they will enjoy them and nobody can deny that.”
Source: Radio Biafra.
Police Attack On Senator Abe : APC Tells President Jonathan To Stop Reign Of Impunity In Rivers State.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) party has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently put an end to the worsening reign of impunity in Rivers State, which is being carried out under his watch by those who are obviously acting to impress him and the First Lady.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the call has become even more imperative, following the irresponsible act of brigandage by the police, which stopped a peaceful and lawful rally billed for the Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state today by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), an organization campaigning against the impunity of the PDP-controlled Federal Government against the government and people of Rivers State.
”The police went to the venue of the rally, pulled down the erected canopies and fired tear gas at everyone around there and even into nearby homes, with the result that five children are now feared to have died from suffocation due to this shameful Gestapo-style action of the police, who are being funded by taxpayers to protect the lives and property of the same citizens they are now brutalizing and killing.
”Not only that, they injured the Chief of Staff to Gov. Chibuike Amaechi and fired a supposed rubber bullet, at point blank range, at Senator Magnus Abe, who is now gravely injured. The Senator is believed to have been deliberately targeted for attack by the police.
”We understand that the exceptional brutal clampdown on the planned rally by the police, who seem to have now surpassed even their own act of brutality against the people of the state, was aimed at impressing the First Lady, believed to be due in Port Harcourt on the same day (Sunday), ” it said.
The APC said there is no way a Commissioner of Police in any state will be so bold as to be waging a war against an elected Governor and his aides/supporters if he is not empowered to do so by higher authorities, and that everyone knows that the impenitent Rivers Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu believes he is now the de facto Governor of Rivers because he has the support of the Presidency to exhibit impudence.
”Mbu, who is going down in Nigeria’s history as a classic example of an officer of the law turned the biggest violator of the law, has not only defied the resolutions of the National Assembly, he has also thumbed his nose at the ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He is the Alternate Inspector General of the Police who takes orders only from a conniving presidency, ” the party said.
It said the only reason the impunity in Rivers could have continued unabated is because it is a dress rehearsal for what is being planned for 2015, hence the APC has continued to raise the alarm over the instigated crisis in Rivers.
”Since this reign of impunity started, the Rivers Governor has been barred from accessing his official residence by the police; Members of the State House of Assembly have been tear-gassed and harassed endlessly; the plane owned by the state government has been grounded, using the institutions of state; and even a chartered plane bearing the Governor has been prevented from takeoff, not minding that the member of the state House of Assembly which the plane was supposed to be carrying was not on board. No one has apologized for this chutzpah.
”This is all happening under the watch of a President who has been widely quoted as saying his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. The statement now rings hollow, considering what is happening in Rivers and elsewhere, which is generally regarded as a sign of things to come ahead of 2015.
”President Jonathan should act today to bring Rivers State and indeed Nigeria back from the brink of lawlessness. His body language must discourage the likes of Mbu from turning Nigerian into a lawless nation. He must differentiate his position as the leader of the PDP from his perch as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ” APC said