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Posts tagged ‘Liyel Imoke’

Not An All-Propaganda-Congress By Sonala Olumhense.


 

Columnist:

Sonala Olumhense

As a writer who has questioned the heart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I am pleased to notice that it is clarifying its mission and character.

On December 1, 2013, I asked the question: “Is APC Less Dangerous Than The PDP?”

At that time, five governors elected on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP) had just joined the APC, thereby granting the latter a vast acreage in relevance and credibility.

It is a political currency called defection, and since then, the APC has made a mint of the word, which now seems to hold the exclusive meaning of someone joining the APC from the PDP.  Somehow, a defection from the PDP is being made to sound as if it justifies itself while it demonizes the PDP.

I write this article to clarify one point: that to criticize the PDP is not to justify the APC.  Every party, especially one which claims to stand for change, must earn its credibility.

It is not news that the APC hopes to become Nigeria’s dominant political force.  There is nothing wrong with seeking to replace the PDP, produce the next President, run the National Assembly and produce a majority of the country’s governors.

All of that is legitimate; it is precisely what the PDP has done since 1999.  But the PDP progressively became richer and more insensitive to the tears of our people.

It is in those tears that the APC wishes to swim on its way to political dominance.  “Those compatriots who have lost faith in our dear country because of insufficient and corrupt leadership; count on us for we represent an Agent of change for committed, transparent and focused leadership,” it says in the preamble to its manifesto.

“As a change Agent, APC intend to cleanse our closet to halt the dangerous drift of Nigeria to a failed state; with a conscious plan for post-oil-economy in Nigeria.

“To achieve this laudable programme APC government shall restructure the country, devolve power to the units, with the best practices of federalism and eliminate unintended paralysis of the center.”

These claims market the APC pretty well.  As I observed in previous comments, however, a new party can basically place anything in its shopping basket in a bid to acquire power.  The PDP did, and for 15 years, it used every such craft and every trick to snatch power, knowing it could then do whatever it pleased.

That is how we found ourselves with the monster of impunity, corruption and bad governance to which the APC says it is an answer.

Can the APC do it?  In terms of winning political power, the party is on the ascendancy, but as we have seen, winning power is not the same thing as using it for the public good.  If Nigerians have learned anything from their recent history, it is that words are not the same as intent, or even of ability.

On this count, the APC seems to be saying to Nigerians, “Trust me.”

Only a fool would trust the APC, as currently established, to be any different, let alone better than, the PDP, which is currently collapsing on its head.

However, while the opponent’s own goal may be enough for you to win the semi-final, it is not proof that you are capable of winning the final.

Let us remember that some of the APC-ers who are currently gushing with a certain pseudo-patriotic spirit were well-known clean-up men in the PDP and other parties.

In other words, if the APC is an answer to the PDP, is the APC also an answer to the APC?  Can the APC discipline itself to serve Nigeria and not the APC?

“Democracy, to be stable and meaningful, must be anchored on the principle that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed,” APC says in its manifesto.

“This means that governments are instituted on the basis of free, fair and credible elections, and are maintained through responsiveness to public opinion. In addition, the exercise of political authority is rooted in the rule of law. APC believes in the doctrine of social contract between the leaders and the led; which means that the public office holder is a trustee of the people and that power must be used in the interest of the people rather than in the interest of the public office holder.”

It is unhelpful to argue with this analysis.  In fact, those members of the ACP who travelled in through the New PDP made a stronger case during their journey, repeatedly stressing the necessity of a “democratic temperament.”  They demanded a democracy inspired by free choice, the rule of law, transparency, and accountability.

As one of those who challenged the APC to reach for enduring an enduring platform, I am pleased to learn the party will use the Uwais Report to change the electoral law, and seek to make the Independent National and State Electoral Commissions (INEC) truly independent.

If elected, the party says it will institute an anti-corruption response through deploying the relevant agencies as strong and independent bodies. Some of us also thought the APC should institute an aggressive grassroots voter-registration scheme, which it put into play last week.

While I commend the APC for these proposals, the truth is that they do not go far enough to protect Nigerians should the party win power, and it must be clear that this is the heart of the challenge.  What happens should the APC be elected and it begins to protect its looters?

Only by the establishment of clear internal standards and mechanisms, from the beginning, can the party hope to answer this question.

While it has accepted the need to provide a code of conduct, the party says such a document will be prepared by a body that has yet to be established.

That is unacceptable because such a code is the only way to tell those who genuinely want to use the APC to shield Nigerians from the rain from those who want to use it to shield themselves.  It is the only way to guarantee the level playing field the APC has often spoken about, as opposed to a level playing field for the APC to compete with other political parties.

The battle for integrity is not the battle between political institutions, but the battle between right and wrong.  That is why it is vital for any political party which proclaims change to demonstrate that it will have even higher standards for itself than is demanded by law.  That is how desperate our situation is.

This is why, in a previous article, I called on the APC to “set clear standards, and demonstrate that those standards are higher than partisan politics and the APC itself. “

This is more important now than when the APC started out.  The party is attracting an assemblage of people who ought to sign this code, as a pledge, so they know they are really committing themselves to true patriotism.

If they do not pledge to serve the people openly, they are almost certain to serve themselves privately, and that is the standard to which the APC says it objects.

Let every top member, every official at every level and every electoral prospect sign such a pledge and be judged by history.

All those who sign should get a party button which proudly proclaims: “I SIGNED!”

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Remaining PDP Senators And House Of Reps Members Demand Automatic Tickets For 2015 Race.


 

The Speaker of the House and some members last night
By SaharaReporters, New York

 

Following the threat of defection by 11 senators to the All Progressive Congress, 11 PDP governors attend a meeting Tuesday night with the leadership and 130 members of the caucus in the House of Representatives at the National Assembly in Abuja.

House of Representative Leader, Mulikat Akande Adeola told the National Chairman that members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would not defect to the opposition party Alliance for Progressives Change (APC) if they were given automatic tickets for the 2015 election race.

Automatic tickets are distributed to party favorites who represent the party well and are popular with their constituents.  If Senators are successful in their blackmail threat they would not have to compete during election primaries, and avoid having to confront questions on their record from their constituents.

House of Representative Leader, Adeola said this was the first time in the 7th Assembly that the PDP Chairman and Governors would be meeting with the members. She asked members of the party to be steadfast and show more commitment in moving the party forward.

PDP National Chairman Muazu responded, “There will be a regular meetings between the House caucus and party from this moment onward “.

Muazu said the lack of adequate communication and linkages between the House caucus and the party led to the defection crisis. He promised the house caucus would deal with the question of the automatic ticket.

The meeting was attended by 11 Governors: Akway Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio; Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji; Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi; Ondo State Olusegun Mimiko; Delta State Governor Emmanuel Udughan; Kaduna State Governor, Ramalan Yero; Taraba State Governor, Garba Umaru; Governor of State Rivers State Liyel Imoke; Niger State Governor, Aliyu Babangida; Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, and Deputy Governor of Jigawa State.

Also, Ondo State Governor, Olsegun Mimiko and Anambra State Governor, Peter came into the venue of the meeting in solidarity with their PDP counterparts but left before the close door meeting of the party.

Amaechi, Oshiomhole, Okorocha shun govs meeting.


Amaechi-Okorocha-and-Oshiomhole

Three Governors – Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Rotimi Amechi of Rivers – did not attend the South-East/South-South governors meeting held on Sunday in Enugu.

The meeting was attended by eight of the 11 governors in the two geo-political zones.

Governors who attended the meeting include Theodore Orji of Abia; Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom; Liyel Imoke of Cross River; and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta.

Governors Sullivan Chime of Enugu and Peter Obi of Anambra also attended the meeting.

Though, governors Martin Elechi of Ebonyi and Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa were physically absent, they were represented by their deputies: Dave Umahi and John Gboribiogha, respectively.

Imoke, who is the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, said the meeting focused on how to promote unity in the zones among other issues.

He said the governors were not against the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said, “Governors of the South-East and South- South met again today. We deliberated extensively on the same issues that we discussed previously in our last meeting.

“Those deliberations are that we will continue to ensure that we focus on economic cooperation and unity and of course, focusing on our collective interest.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

Again Okorocha, Amaechi, Oshiomhole shun S’East, S’South govs’ meeting.


 

South-East-South-South-Govs

For the second time in three months, governors of Imo, Rivers and Edo states, Rochas Okorocha, Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole, respectively, stayed away from the meeting of South-East and South-South governors without sending any representative.
The meeting, which was held at the Enugu Government House, saw governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Theodore Orji (Abia), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Peter Obi (Anambra), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) in attendance, while Seraike Dickson of Bayelsa Statesent his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah.
According to Imoke, they were in Enugu to see how they would continue to strengthen economic ties amongst their states, as well as continue to pursue the development of their zones.
Unlike the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo that endorsed Jonathan earlier yesterday, during the 2013 Igbo Day held at Okpara Square, Enugu, the governors of the two zones failed to endorse the president for the 2015 presidential election.
“We note that the determination of who will be president of this country in 2015 will be made by the Nigerian electorate, in line with democratic tenets and the power of the people should not be usurped by any group or individuals,” they said.

They, however, urged the president to remain focused on governance and not allow himself to be distracted.
The governors also called for continued dialogue at resolving national issues, as well as managing the security situation in the country in order to guarantee the continued corporate existence of the nation. “We commend the security agencies for their efforts in managing these challenges and commend the Federal Government for the massive reduction in crude oil theft,” they said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

President Jonathan to governors I didn’t promise one term.


President-Goodluck-Jonathan

President makes concessions to end PDP crises

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi is to be recalled from suspension, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) source told The Nation yesterday.

This is one of the four concessions made by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Group of Seven governors (G7) at a meeting on Sunday.

But the President was said to have been adamant on 2015, insisting that he never said he would not seek re-election.

He claimed that what he said in Ethiopia was that he would not be a party to tenure elongation.

Despite the concessions, the G-7 governors and the Kawu Baraje-led New PDP are taking their case to the House of Representatives.

They want to brief the leadership of the House on what led to the party’s factionalisation.

According to sources, who spoke on the peace talks at the Presidential Villa, the meeting was “conciliatory”.

One of the sources said: “For the first time, the meeting was conciliatory; there was no tension on all issues, unlike the case at the previous sessions.”

The President came to the meeting with Vice-President Namadi Sambo; the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Obong Godswill Akpabio; the governors of Kogi and Cross River states, Capt Idris Wada and Liyel Imoke.

On the side of the G-7 were the governors of Adamawa, Niger, Rivers, Kwara, Sokoto, Jigawa and Kano

“There were preliminary talks on why it is important to keep the party united. The President said his disposition was that ‘whatever is going on is a family fight which could be amicably resolved’. He spoke as a leader with national interest above all other considerations.

“Everyone also spoke on the fact that the issues at stake could be well-managed,” the source said.

All issues were reportedly treated one after the other. The President and his team made the following concessions:

•immediate lifting of the suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi by the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP;

•return of party structures to all the governors, including those of Rivers and Adamawa states;

•raising a committee to visit Rivers State, like it was the case with Adamawa State, to build consensus and restore party structure to the governor; and the

•the governors and party leaders should leave Jonathan to decide Tukur’s fate. One of the aggrived governors’ conditions for peace is Tukur’s removal

On the 2015 poll, another source quoted the President as saying: ‘I did not give anybody any commitment that I won’t seek re-election.”

The source said: “Jonathan clarified that what he said in Ethiopia was that as a democratic leader, he would not elongate his tenure under any guise. He said since the crisis in the party was basically on 2015, it is a matter that can be addressed later.

“His body language suggested that he won’t compromise his ambition to contest in 2015. But it was not a major issue yet at the peace talks.”

Responding to a question on the feasibility of the concessions, another source said: “The President appeared willing, except that when it came to the crisis in Rivers PDP, he said they were ready to return the executives of the party but they needed to set up a committee that will go to the state to reunite all the stakeholders.

“The President was, however, straightforward on the recall of Amaechi from suspension when he said his team could ‘announce the lifting of the suspension right away’”

Sensing the caveat on Rivers PDP, Amaechi simply said: “Don’t lift my suspension, until everything is settled,” it was learnt.

On Tukur, the source added, the President did not make any categorical statement or commitment on Tukur, although he admitted that there was a sign of weakness on some issues on the part of Tukur.

The aggrieved governors reportedly said Jonathan could bring anyone to lead the party, except Tukur. Amaechi is expected to withdraw all cases in court, respect the Presidency and party leadership. The media “war” should stop because the crisis is heating up the polity and inflammatory comments capable of dividing the country should be avoided, the meeting was said to have agreed.

It was learnt that when the 2015 agenda came up, the President took on the Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu.

A source said he pointedly accused Aliyu of misleading Nigerians that he said he would not seek a second term in office.

The source added: “At a stage, it became a matter between Jonathan and Aliyu at the meeting because the President felt bad that the governor had been hammering on one term in office for him.

“There was silence when the two leaders tried to sort themselves out on the 2015 thing.

“But the governor countered the President by saying he made the commitment at Ethiopia, United States, Expanded National Caucus Meeting and in the agreement he signed with PDP governors.

“He said there was nothing bad in asking the President to stand by his words to allow power shift to the North in 2015.

“The President said he did not at any time promise to spend one term in office.”

The source quoted the President as saying” “I did not give anybody any commitment that I won’t seek re-election.”

The source said: “Jonathan clarified that what he said in Ethiopia was that as a democratic leader, he would not elongate his tenure under any guise.

“The President also reportedly told the session that on the events referred to by Babangida, there then an ongoing debate on a single term of six years for Nigeria’s President. And he told his audience that he would not seek a second term or elongate his tenure under any guise.

“Jonathan said since the crisis in the party was basically on 2015, it is a matter that can be addressed later.

“His body language suggested that he won’t compromise his ambition to contest in 2015. But it was not a major issue yet at the peace talks.”

The source added: “At a stage, Governors Godswill Akpabio, Liyel Imoke and Idris Wada raised their voices against Aliyu, saying: ‘You cannot stampede the President to spend one term in office, you cannot do that.”

The Niger State Governor, however, inisted: “2015 is central to whatever compromise the parties would reach and demanded that it should be properly addressed.

“The issue might be addressed on October 7 when the groups reconvene. When the G-7 governors came out, they held a brief discussion and vowed to pursue one term for Jonathan.”

The session was, however, not without its drama. The communiqué was drafted by Governor Liyel Imoke, who was part of the Jonathan team.

The Jonathan team tried to sum up the session that the two warring groups had almost “resolved the issues”, Amaechi wanted the mood captured in a manner suggesting that “the two sides are still talking”.

But Imoke went ahead to draft the communiqué and he gave the hand written copy to Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State to read.

It was learnt that it was at the point of drafting the communiqué that Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso got to the meeting.

Although Amaechi sustained his point but, Kwankwaso could not settle down enough to grasp the issue at stake.

Only the state-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was allowed to record the reading of the communiqué.

Notwithstanding the outcome of the peace talks, the G-7 and the Baraje faction of PDP met behind closed doors yesterday.

A source in the faction said: “The G-7 governors and the National Chairman of the New PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, may visit the leadership of the House of Representatives in Abuja today.

“They want to brief members on the development in PDP. We hope the House leadership will receive them.”

A principal officer of the House, who spoke with our correspondent last night, said: “We have been told that they want to visit us.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

Rebelling PDP Governors, President Jonathan, Agree To ‘Ceasefire’.


 

Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio and Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatai
By SaharaReporters, New York

A group of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors which met with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock villa tonight agreed to observe a “ceasefire” until final discussions on October 7 to iron out differences they have with the president.

An aide to President Jonathan said the air around the meeting gave them hope that the disagreements between the president’s faction and the ‘New PDP’ might be resolved on that date.

But one of the governors in attendance told SaharaReporters the meeting specifically achieved only the specific purpose of compelling both sides to avoid escalating the issues further.

He some of them were opposed to issuing a statement at the end of tonight’s out of concern that it could be manipulated by the president’s team.

He pointed out that before they could iron out any differences, the governor of Cross Rivers State, Liyel Imoke, had already drafted a statement to which they agreed so as to give peace a chance. the handwritten statement was later read by the Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu

The focus of tonight’s meeting was mostly Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who members of Mr. Jonathan’s team presented as being too “belligerent” and having had an upper hand in the media.

The president reportedly told Amaechi to allow a statement to be issued if he doesn’t have anything personal against him.

 

Governor Amaechi reportedly replied he does not, adding that it would however make more sense to wait till October 7 before any statement was issued.

 

The meeting with the governors preceded the enlarged meeting at the villa today where they agreed not to question Mr. Jonathan’s firing of Ministers offloaded last week by.

Jonathan In Secret Meeting With “Loyal” PDP Governors.


 

President Goodluck Jonathan and some governors loyal to him
By SaharaReporters, New York

President Goodluck Jonathan splashed further out in the muddy waters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tonight, holding a meeting at the presidential villa with some of the governors elected on the platform of the party after majority of them rejected his overtures.

Those he met with were described as those who are close and loyal to him.

They included Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Idris Wada (Kogi) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi).

The six governors who walked out of the party’s convention on Saturday to form a parallel PDP were invited to the meeting but declined asking to be given more time to respond to such invitation.

Those governors are Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Babangida (Niger), Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara ) Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rabiu Kwankwanso(Kano).

The Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, with whom Jonathan has one of the fierce battles that have exposed him politically, was not at the villa meeting.

At the meeting, which started at 9.10 pm at the First Lady conference room were Vice President Namadi Sambo; PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak; and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

Journalists were asked to leave the venue as the meeting under the pretext that it was a private meeting.

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