PROLIFERATION of illegal firearms has been identified as a factor responsible for the killing of innocent people in Shendam local government council of Plateau State. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of Shendam Police Station, Mr. Joseph Akpan, stated this yesterday when he held a peace meeting with people of the area. The peace, which was convened by the DPO because of the rising cases of silent killings in the area, comprised traditional rulers, Fulani Ardos, youths and community leaders across the council. The DPO told participants that the police and other security agencies are tired of silent killings going on within the locality, urging those behind the act to desist before they are identified. He appealed to traditional institutions and parents to monitor the activities of their children and the influx of people coming into their areas. According to Akpan, “The crisis we are witnessing today in Plateau State is due to lack of religious tolerance and greed, because when people understand themselves, they will forget about all ethnic differences. And most importantly is the proliferation of illegal arms. Assuming we don’t have any firearms from the factory, people will resort to dialogue to settle their differences.” In his contribution, the Interim Administrator of the council, Mr. Ezekiel Afon, said that the issue of security has been a major challenge to him since his assumption of office about four months ago, stressing that several meetings have been held at different fora with a view to finding solutions to the lingering crises. He urged all the surrounding villages to form vigilance groups and submit monthly reports to his office. He asked for their full cooperation to security agencies because, according to him, without their cooperation security men will not be able to function them properly. He frowned at people who are shielding hoodlums in their midst because of what they benefit, adding that by so doing they are not helping the situation. He told them to furnish the security agencies with useful information on miscreants, warning that anybody caught hiding bad elements will face the full wrath of the law. Meanwhile, women in the state have appealed to the Special Task Force (STF) to re-strategise its mode of operations for effective surveillance in order to tackle security challenges in the state. Special Adviser on Women Mobilisation to the Governor, Mrs. Monica Gwom, made the appeal yesterday when she led a delegation of women to the headquarters of the STF in Jos, where they were hosted by the Commander, Major-General David Enetie. Gwom said the women on the Plateau are disturbed by constant allegations by victims of past attacks that military men were involved in such incidences, lamenting that the culprits have not been brought to book.
Unknown gunmen yesterday attacked three Chinese nationals working with a construction firm in Kirim village in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna state, killing one of them and injuring two others. The town is a border community between Kaduna and Plateau State. The three Chinese nationals were reportedly supervising an ongoing rail rehabilitation project along the Jos-Kafanchan…
A former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, is angry over the current political developments in the country. In this interview, he says the panacea for a united Nigeria is the re-election of President Jonathan next year.What is your view about unfolding political events in the country?I want to use this opportunity to emphasize something central to the problems we are presently facing. The explanation I am about to give provides insight into the defection of the G-5 governors, the activities of the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, or even the present status of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which is the leading opposition party in the country.All the attacks by these groups on President Goodluck Jonathan stem from one thing: Some people believe they are born to rule while others are born to be ruled. They therefore see the present situation where a person who was born to be ruled is now ruling as a reversal of the natural order of things. How have they reacted?After Jonathan’s victory in 2011, mayhem was unleashed on parts of Nigeria.Blood flowed; the Igbo have not recovered from the losses they suffered due to the massacre of their people that year. A prominent APC member is already setting the stage for another carnage after the 2015 elections.Should such candidate win? These people ruled the country for 38 and a half years. In the course of ruling the country, they ruined Nigeria. However, they ruined the North more than they ruined other parts of Nigeria.Every attack from these groups against President Jonathan is designed to prevent him from running for the 2015 election.Former President Olusegun Obasanjo ignited the problem. The G-7 or G-5 governors also played their part. They toured almost the entire country and visited all past military heads of state. Obasanjo also consulted other former military rulers before writing his letter. All these activities are geared towards proving only one thing: the person who is ruling was not born to rule.Can you comment on the view held by some Nigerians that President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed National Dialogue was designed to actualise his political ambition of being re-elected in 2015?At this juncture in Nigerian history, President Jonathan’s interest and Nigerians interest in the continued existence of the country have become coterminous. If you say because you oppose President Jonathan’s bid for a second term in office, you are also opposed to a National Dialogue, you are saying no to one Nigeria.The truth of the matter is that opposing President Jonathan’s second term is like opposing the continued existence of Nigeria as one united country.What do you think would happen if as a result of the handiwork of the opposition, President Jonathan is disallowed from running for second term? Can you control what would happen? Whether you are from the North, South or West, you can’t stop President Jonathan from going for second term and winning. Everybody can make noise but if those who are making noise should think deeply, they would realize that the continued existence of Nigeria as one country is anchored on Jonathan’s continuation in office come 2015.What happens if President Jonathan contests the 2015 election and loses?We would be faced with the same problem. Niger Delta boys would blow up all the oil pipelines and then a part of the country could say they are no longer interested in Nigeria; they could say Nigeria legally expired when the nation marked its centenary and that they are now on their own. This is not what I want, but I am afraid it could happen if we foolishly think of only our short term interest instead of thinking of the long term implications.
As Imo That Gave Okorocha Mandate Bleeds He Celebrates, Says His Victory at Supreme Court is an act of God.
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has described his victory at the Supreme Court in a suit challenging his election as an act of God.In a statement on Friday in Abuja, and signed by his Media Assistant, Sam Onwuemedo, the Governor said: “The Supreme Court ruling is popular, godly, and people-oriented because the law is made for man and not man for the law.“The Judiciary has shown that it will remain the last hope of both the poor and the rich and when the dividends of democracy will be shared; the Judiciary will get the lion share. The judiciary has remained a propeller in our democracy with popular rulings and judgments.”He appealed to Ikedi Ohakim and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and others to join hands with him to make Imo first among equals.Reacting, the Acting Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Imo State, Chief Enyinnaya Onuegbu said that the party had accepted the ruling of the nation’s apex court.He said although they expected victory, the members of the party would not join issues or cast aspersions on the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the election of Governor Okorocha as Imo State Governor.It frowned at the PDP for litigating an election petition which its candidate had unsuccessfully challenged before an election tribunal.In a comprehensive judgment which was unanimously agreed upon by six other justices of the apex court, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi berated the Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal for allowing PDP to have a second bite at the cherry when it joined the party in a suit filed by Ifeanyi Ararume, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the state governorship election.She said, “This is more so especially where the time prescribed by the law and mandating him (Ohakim) within which to conduct his case had elapsed; providence expects him to abide by his fate and hope for a better political future.”“The Court of Appeal was aware of the fact that the Supreme Court had decided in finality the legality of the supplementary election held in Imo, after it upheld the decisions of both the Imo State Election Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.The court further held that it was illegal and unconstitutional for a candidate to seek to appeal as an interested party in an election matter after the election in which he was a candidate had held and the time to file petition against same had also elapsed.She said: “By the provision of section 235 of our constitution, the decision of the Supreme Court is final in gubernatorial election matters. The Court of Appeal is, therefore without any stretch of imagination, duty bound by section 287 of the same constitution to give effect to judgments of this court.”“The implication of the lower court having obliged the application are far
Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku, yesterday took on some northern politicians, for inciting the North against the administration and person of President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the 2015 general elections.Maku, who came down hard on those he described as self-serving politicians, who spread hatred and threaten violence in pursuance of morbid personal political ambitions, spoke in his office during a courtesy call by a political awareness group, the Goodluck/Sambo National Organisation of Ulama Media Forum.The Minister condemned what he called the provocative utterances heobserved that this class of politicians are furthering to enhance their campaign of calumny and blackmail against the President, by spreading lies to the people of the North through the media.“People who call themselves politicians, they will go to radio stations, go to television stations and make dangerous statements, which will create confusion, create hatred, which will set people against each other, which will incite violence. This is what we have been witnessing in the North since 2011. Beginning with 2011 elections, we have continued to witness this unfortunate tendency from leaders, not all leaders, some leaders among us who are always inciting people.“You will recollect that during the 2011 general elections, especially presidential election, people tried to turn the election into a religious war”, he said.He recalled that life and property of innocent people were destroyed in the north for no other reason than supporting the President to victory in 2011 election and said the trend must be reversed in the interest of peace and national cohesion.While, warning against spreading such negative trend, the Minister warned that wherever violence and hatred thrive, peace and development would elude the people of the area while emphasising that “all these violence going on now in the north, it’s northerners that are dying mostly.If you say you love your house, you will not go and cause confusion in your house or set it on fire”.
The chances of ex-Governor James Ibori of Delta State to complete his jail term for money laundering in Nigeria look remote,according to indications yesterday. It had been suggested that he could be repatriated from London to Nigeria to complete his jail term following an agreement between Abuja and London for Nigerians currently serving terms there to complete their sentence at home. After a five-year legal ordeal, Ibori was jailed for 13 years in April 2012 by Justice Nicholas Pitts. He said although the official figure alleged to have been laundered by Ibori was £50million, it could be up to £250milllion. Pitts found him guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to make instruments contrary to section 1 (1) (a) of the criminal act of 1977. He is however expected to spend only four and a half years in prison. But following recent signing of an agreement between the UK and Nigeria on exchange of prisoners, there were speculations that Ibori might be transferred home. A source in the UK High Commission said: “We are not planning to allow Ibori be a beneficiary of the exchange policy, it is not targeted at him. Our laws are very strong on money laundering; the exchange programme does not cover such people like Ibori. “So, he will complete his prison terms in the UK as part of our own contribution to your anti-corruption agenda. “If he is brought to Nigeria, we are not sure if he would not be pardoned as a result of pressure from some people” Responding to a question, the source added: “The Nigerian government has not made any request for the repatriation of Ibori home to complete his jail terms.” A reliable source in government said: “There is no plan to bring Ibori home under any guise and we will not do so. We will be sending a wrong signal if we do so. “This is an example of consequence of graft in public office; we want others to learn from Ibori’s experience. His conviction has strengthened our anti-corruption campaign.” When contacted, the Press and Public Affairs Officer, Robert Fitzpatrick, only said: “The terms of agreement between the UK and Nigeria are not about one person, it is a long time agreement.”
Red Hatters, otherwise present Ohanaeze NdiIgbo and present Igbo Leaders of thought must stop speaking for the region – Chief Richard Ozobu.
Eminent Chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Richard Ozobu threw a bombshell on Friday, calling on the present leadership of the Igbo group as well as the Igbo Leaders of Thought to stop speaking for the region.Ozobu said both groups lacked the credibility to represent Ndigbo.The two Igbo groups have been agitating for recognition in the proposed national conference.The two groups are the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Garry Igarawey and the Igbo Leaders of Thought led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze.However, speaking in Enugu, Ozobu rather advised the forum of South East Governors to resolve the dichotomy by implementing its report on the solution to Ohanaeze impasse.The governors were said to have long resolved to conduct a new Ohanaeze election as a solution to the crisis but nothing had been done about that till date.Ozobu suggested that the election could be conducted within two weeks so that Ndigbo could harmonize views to speak with one voice at the conference.He maintained that the Igarawey led Ohanaeze lacked legitimacy since the executive was not properly elected, while the Nwabueze group cannot claim to be representing Ndigbo with a selected few people mostly from Anambra State.Ozobu said: “At least for now we can say let the principal officers be produced; the top leadership of Ohanaeze. Those who are there should vacate because their states have said they did not produce them. And it will not take 48 hours to produce those who should be there.“I don’t know how critical you think the dialogue is because the last one we had has not been implemented, what matters is this; if there is a terrible division in that place how do we match forward from there as a nation; isn’t that more important?“I am saying that to represent Ndi-Igbo where Nigeria is meeting it has to be properly done by those who Igbo’s have confidence in through an organization they set up. And we have already said that that vehicle is deficient; the engine is not well; Ohanaeze engine knocked.“One of the things holding us back on that extra State given to us is Ndi-Igbo agreeing to which state it is going to be. Nobody wants to face the facts.“The Igbo position and Ohanaeze have no place for these side meetings that Nwabueze is having and he should know better because he is the
He stated this at the Government house, Umuahia when he received at the Government house, Umuahia when he received a delegation of the NORINCO Group of China, investors interested in building an airport and seaport for the state. The governor said that Abia is prepared to build an airport even though it is capital intensive and disclosed that at the moment the state istidying its papers with the federal government and other agencies involved in the airport project.Chief Orji said that the next step would be to embark on land clearing.He maintained that Abia occupies strategic location in the South East and needs to have her own airport as it has resourceful persons and businessmen who travel outside.The governor said the seaport would be useful to businessmen many of whom
The Presidency may have put on hold its earlier directive to the State Security Service to investigate the weighty allegations contained in the controversial letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan in December last year. We learnt that the Presidency decided to halt the investigation of the issues raised in the former president’s letter in order to amicably settle the rift between President Jonathan and his political benefactor. It was learnt that notable political leaders in the country were already engrossed in moves to bring the President and Obasanjo together. It was further gathered that security operatives were directed to stop the investigation as a result of the ongoing efforts in high political circles to broker a truce between the two political figures. A source close to the Presidency, who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the President, told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Thursday that the President was more interested in settling his differences with Obasanjo than carrying out the investigation that could deepen the crisis. “The President was the one that gave the directive but I think another counter directive is in force now; they might not go into investigating all those things in the letter. I think they are making efforts to settle this matter. “Political elders are intervening in it so the President asked them to stay action on it; so, for now there is nothing on it. “There is the need to take a look at the political implication of the course of action. Besides, the President believes that his differences with Obasanjo are not irreconcilable,” the source said. Security operatives had earlier contacted the former president over the controversial letter two weeks ago in response to an earlier directive by President Goodluck Jonathan. A security source told one of our correspondents that the SSS wrote Obasanjo following a presidential directive to security operatives to investigate the grave issues raised by the former president in his letter to the President late last year. It was learnt that the SSS wrote to notify Obasanjo of the impending investigation. Obasanjo had in an 18-page letter to the President, accused him, among other things, of not honouring his words that he would not run in 2015, and taking actions calculated at destroying Nigeria. In the letter dated December 2, 2013 and titled, “Before it is too late”, Obasanjo accused the President of pursuing “selfish personal and political interests” based on advice from his “self-centred aides.” He also alleged that the President had failed to deliver on his promises to Nigerians and to curb insurgency and corruption in the country. Obasanjo also alleged that the President had put 1,000 politicians on a watch list and was training snipers. “Nigeria is bleeding and the haemorrhage must be stopped,” an obviously angry Obasanjo had lamented. He went ahead to declare that “Jonathan had betrayed God and Nigerians,” who voted him into power. In his response, Jonathan described the former president’s letter as a threat to national security. The source added that the agency wrote Obasanjo on the week he wrote the then Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to announce his decision to withdraw from the activities of the PDP at the national and regional levels.
No fewer than 18 people have reportedly killed as suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed two villages in Borno state.
The survivor of the attacks said, “Suddenly we heard gunshots in all directions and cries for help from women and children,”“As entered my house I was hit on leg and I fell down but I dragged myself to a nearby shack where I hid until the shooting subsided.Fighters from Boko Haram, whose campaign for a…