Oduah

We await their actions: Jonathan’s presidential panel accuses Oduah formally of a crime over N255m car scandal.

The committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the N255m bulletproof car scandal in the aviation ministry has indicted the Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah. It was gathered  in Abuja on Sunday  that the report of the presidential committee tallied  with some findings of the House of Representatives  Committee  on Aviation on the scandal.In October, there were reports that with the approval of the minister, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority purchased two bulletproof  BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255m. The development sparked a countrywide controversy with  many Nigerians and groups  calling  for her sacking.The House  subsequently mandated its Committee on  Aviation to probe the allegation against the minister.On  December 19, 2013, the House endorsed the report of its   committee and agreed that the minister breached the 2013 Appropriation Act.It therefore asked Jonathan to review Oduah’s  appointment for approving expenditure of over N643m for the NCAA  to procure 54 vehicles last year.The spokesperson   for the House, Mr. Zackary Mohammed, had explained that the lawmakers wanted the minister sacked.He said, “The word  ‘review’ here means a change in status. It is a mild way of saying that Mr. President should sack the minister.”A major recommendation of the  Aviation committee, which was adopted, reads, “The House urges the President to review the continued engagement of the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, for having contravened the Appropriation Act, 2013 and the approved, revised thresholds by exceeding the Ministry of Aviation’s approval limit of N100m by the purchase of 54 vehicles valued at N643m.” Although Jonathan confirmed the receipt of the report of the presidential committee chaired by a former Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Sali Bello, he had yet to make a pronouncement on it.Other members of the presidential panel included the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki and Vice-Marshal Dick Iruenabhere. It was learnt on Sunday that the   panel, like that of  the House, also discovered that the minister’s approval for the cars exceeded the N100m limit. A top government source, who disclosed this to The PUNCH on Sunday, said   although the committee indicted Oduah , it did not say whether she should be sacked or not. But sources told The PUNCH  that there was every likelihood of the President using the    cabinet shake -up that would follow the presentation of his ministerial list to the National Assembly to relieve himself of the moral burden of Oduah’s continued presence in his government.One of the sources   said Jonathan did not take any action on the matter when the issue was raging last year because it was not in his character to be seen as being stampeded into taking any decision.He said, “Those who know oga knows that he is not the  kind of person that can be stampeded into taking a decision. That was why he remained calm in the face of the public calls for the minister’s sacking  last year.“As it is now, since he is planning a cabinet shake-up, he may use the opportunity to ease the woman out. After all, during shake-up like the one being planned, he owes no one any explanation. He has the power to hire and fire.”Another official was more categorical in his claim that Oduah might  not escape the imminent shake-up.The minister’s  issue,according to him,  came up when the President was preparing his response to an 18-page letter written to him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.He said, “The consensus then was that Mr. President could explain all the issues raised in Obasanjo’s letter convincingly except the area that bordered on corruption.“The observation people made that time was that it would be difficult to claim that the President did not harbour corruption with the continuous stay of Oduah in the cabinet at the time of replying the letter considering the calls by members of the public.”Efforts to get the Presidency’s position on the presidential committee’s report  did not yield positive result   as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, did not respond to the calls made to his mobile telephone lines. Meanwhile,  former governors  Abdulkadir Kure (Niger), Boni Haruna(Adamawa) and an ex- National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau (retd.)  are among  those   whose names may  be sent to the Senate this week by Jonathan for consideration as ministers.It was learnt that a former Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, also made the list.Jonathan had during a meeting with a delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party from the North-West last Thursday given an indication that the list   would be sent to the National Assembly this week.

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Inferno Remark:Jonathan hails armed forces of Nigeria for Killing Biafrans to Keep Nigeria Together.

President Goodluck Jonathan has commended the Nigerian Armed forces for keeping Nigeria united,adding that but for their sacrifices, Nigeria would have been two or more nations today.President Jonathan said that the only to honour those who paid the supreme price for the nation to remain one was for  leaders of today,  to watch what they say and ensure that they song they sing will bring honour to the fallen heroes and peace to the country.The President said this Sunday at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration 2014 Inter-denominal church service, at the National Christian Center, AbujaJonathan who reiterated that his personal ambition was not worth any Nigerian spilling his/her blood, urged  politicians to heed the warning of the cleric, Revd. Oche that threats will not push the people to the polling stations come 2015 and without people voting no manipulation of figures will declare one a winner.He commended the country’s armed forces particularly those that paid the supreme price to ensure Nigeria’s unity and urged Nigerians to emulate their selflessness in their service to the nation.“I always believe that it could have been worse than this in terms of our challenges within and in the global trend but because of your prayers God has been kind to us.“Pray for us to always remember our fathers because we are in a political environment and politicians always have ambitions, we really appreciate your prayers”.The President commended the Archbishop for admonishing politicians in this era of camping and decamping.“The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is a unique occasion but this year’s programme is even more unique because 1st January this year Nigeria marked 100 years as a nation, its not easy to get there.“There were a lot of challenges. For us to have reached 100 years some people paid dearly for it, some people worked for it.“The first group of people we can remember that worked and paid dearly for it are the armed forces. You know the challenges they had to face during the civil war, but for them we wouldn’t have celebrated the Centenary, Nigeria would have been two or more nations by now. But they worked for it, some died in the process, some died serving the world outside.  These are the people we are remembering today.“We also have to emulate them. Those who have paid supreme sacrifice to keep our nation together, those of us who are alive especially leaders today, the only way to honour them is to watch whatever we say, whatever song we sing should be a song that will bring honour to them and peace to this country.“Sometimes I get worried when I listen to provocative statements that come from very senior citizens. People that ordinarily you perceive are very senior citizens. People who are probably 70 or 80 years who have seen it all who ordinarily should know the unity of this country is more important than the interest of any individual.  Sometimes they preach hate and even encourage young people to carry arms and kill themselves.“I have always said it that any ambition I have at any time is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. I will never ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan must fulfil his ambition.“I pray that all politicians should know that there will be no nation if we kill ourselves, just like the Archbishop said if you want people to come out and vote why do you threaten them. If you threaten them people will stay in their houses and how do you intend to win election is it by manipulating the figures and declare yourself a winner?“So in an occasion when we are remembering those people that have kept this country one for us to be celebrating our centenary we should admonish ourselves the key actors today, we should preach peace, we should preach unity. If all of us collectively talk about the unity and peace of this country then of course all our economic, security problems will be resolved and the country will move in the direction we want it to”.

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Return to develop your land, group tells Ndigbo -says Igbo World Union

A socio – political group, Igbo World Union, IWU, has called on Igbo people living overseas to return home and develop Igbo land. In an interview with journalists in Umuahia, President-General of the group, Dr. Mishak Nnanta, said his group is ready to partner with any organisation that shares its major objective of the development and unity of Ndigbo. “We are appealing to well meaning Igbo sons and daughters to return home and help develop Igbo land. IWU is poised to stop the brain drain among our people. Only Ndigbo can develop Igbo land; not the Hausa, Yoruba or Ijaw people. Igbos are hardworking people and should use our God-given resources to our advantage. Igbo World Union is about culture, tradition, development and bringing Ndigbo to the realities of the present day Nigeria.

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lawmaker says eight killed in Borno Boko Haram terrorists attacks

Suspected Boko Haram members yesterday killed eight people in an attack on Sabon Gari village in Hambagda Jaji Ward of Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. The attack occurred barely four days after gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members burnt a church and the country home of a House of Representatives member, Peter Biye, in Gwoza town. Several residents were said to have sustained gunshot injuries in the attack. Biye told reporters in Maiduguri, that the sect had burnt over 200 churches in the state since it launched its attacks in the local government. The lawmaker said only eight churches were available to worshippers.

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U.S.warns Boko Haram terrorists uprising could spread

An alarming United States (U.S.) travel advisory warns that the Boko Haram uprising could expand out of the North and counsels against travel to 16 states, saying Americans have suffered violent crimes from kidnappings and rape to home invasions. The advisory says nine foreign nationals including Americans died last year in kidnappings in southwest Nigeria, three of them killed by their captors during military-led rescue raids. The advisory posted at the U.S. State Department website and dated Jan. 8 tells citizens to expect little help from law enforcers known for harassing and shaking down foreigners and Nigerians at checkpoints.

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President Jonathan No ambition is worth the blood of Nigerians

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said that no Nigerian should kill or maim himself or herself because of his presumed 2015 second term ambition, saying that “any ambition I have at any time is not worth the blood of Nigerians.” Meanwhile, President Jonathan has told the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur that he would require the support of every Nigerian, not only him (Tukur), to win the 2015 election if he would contest the election. The President stated this at a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo, Tukur, and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC. Jonathan spoke on the need for peace in the PDP and warned that accusations and counter accusations must stop. He also said that he would “never, ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan has some ambitions. Nigerians should always preach peace and unity in all their engagements. This is the only way the country will achieve greatness.”

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Anambra LG Poll: Electoral officer arrested in Nnewi North; general reports say there was rigging.

The Electoral Officer in charge of the council polls in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr Aloysius Muoka was yesterday arrested by the police from Nnewi Area Command at the council headquarters for his inability to explain an alleged disappearance of election result sheets in his custody.Sunday Sun gathered that at about 5am yesterday, a red Toyota Corolla wagon drove into the premises of the council headquarters with three occupants who were said to have gone to where the sensitive materials were packed upstairs and lifted three bags, popularly called Ghana-must-go filled with election result sheets, which the suspects had allegedly loaded into the booth of the car ready to drive off before they were intercepted by a member of Labour Party in Nnewi North as police were said to be outside the gate as the incident unfolded.After the arrest of Mr Muoka, another Electoral Officer, Mr Peter Nwogbo was quickly deployed from Awka to take over. Even at that, the election in the council area was botched, as the result sheets were not available.Voters queued up in the morning, under the sun till sunset without casting their votes since no election materials were distributed to the 198 polling booths in 10 wards in Nnewi North.When Sunday Sun contacted the newly deployed electoral officer in Nnewi North at 4pm while filing this report to ascertain whether the election would still hold, he said he was yet to be told the next thing to do from Awka.A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) collation agent, Mr Dan Onyejegbu said at the council headquarters that party agents were not allowed to inspect the sensitive election materials. This, he said, raised suspicion and made them call for cancellation of the election.Member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Chris Azubogu said he would not as a lawmaker say that the election could go on or not until he hears from Awka even though he had earlier suggested to the EO that other materials could be distributed to the polling units while waiting for the result sheets.Although there was a hitch-free council polls at Nnewi South Council Area, Ihiala Local Government recorded the same non availability of election result sheets, according to Sunday Sun check and there was no election there.

VP sambo

Side effects of greed or anti-Jonathan: VP Sambo walks on the tightrope as Hausa elders compile ‘sins’ for him.

LEADERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North-West geopolitical zone are said have prepared a list of the ‘sins’ of Vice-President Namadi Sambo which they will soon present to President Goodluck Jonathan.Indications to this emerged following the anger among stakeholders in the zone in the aftermath of the visit to President Jonathan on Thursday.Sources hinted Sunday Tribune that the leaders are of the view that Sambo was more of “a liability than a blessing to Jonathan” in his quest to get support in the North-West.Although, the spokesman of North-West PDP leaders, former Acting National Chairman, Dr. Haliru Mohammed, had told President Jonathan during the solidarity visit, it was gathered that stakeholders in the zone gathered after the meeting and resolved to present a list of Sambo’s sins to the president to enable him get to the roots of the crisis in the zone.One of the sins of the vice-president is what the leaders called his failure to carry the North along in the government. He is also being accused of staying aloof on the issue of Boko Haram and making it look like a Jonathan problem.Another sin is what was called failure to be an active vice-president, thus, making the North go with the impression that the administration has left the zone behind.“The vice-president has not played an active role in the Boko Hara crisis. It is unfortunate that he allowed the whole thing to look as if it is a Jonathan problem. His handlers allowed him to be aloof while the zone is yearning for leadership.“He appeared unconcerned and he might not have raised a finger, if not that the crisis hit Kaduna State,” a source with insights into the document prepared by the party leaders said.Another source, however, stated that the leaders are not only seeking Sambo’s ouster, but also insisting that President Jonathan gets an independent assessment of the situation in the North-West.