President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said he rose from the smallest community in Bayelsa State to become Nigeria’s President by the grace of God and people’s support. Jonathan spoke in Abuja at the Apostolic Faith Church, Jabi, during the Sunday church service. The President noted that lack of love and unity was the greatest problem facing the country. He likened the nation’s challenges to those faced by the Israelites in the Old Testament when they were leaving Egypt for the Promised Land.
FG is to spend N11 billion to host the national dialogue and the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Abuja
This figure is contained in the details of the 2014 budget breakdown, which states that N7 billion is to be spent on the national dialogue. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on January 18, 2005, requested the approval of N932 million to fund a three-month National Political Reform Conference scheduled to begin mid-February of the same year. In the breakdown, Obasanjo said delegates would earn N21.68million as sitting allowance and N650. 25 million as allowances in lieu of accommodation.
Suspected Boko Haram fighters opened fire on a bachelor party in Borno State,
Security agencies are weighing the options on whether or not to invite former President Olusegun Obasanjo for interrogation on his December 2 letter to President Goodluck Jonathan. They are wary of the political implications of subjecting a former President to grilling by security chiefs, who were mostly his juniors in the military. They appear to be in favour of probing security issues raised by Obasanjo rather than going after the messenger. The probe may also be for documentation purpose, in case of security breach in future traceable to the letter. There were also indications that the agencies might collaborate with security organisations in Benin Republic to find out if there was
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, has revealed that Pastor Tunde Bakare, the General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, turned down a cow, which was reportely sent to him for Christmas by President Jonathan.In a tweet posted on Sunday, El Rufai wrote: “Just learnt that GEJ sent a Christmas…
Oduah: Civil Society Groups Demand Release Of Presidential Panel Report On N255m Bulletproof Cars Scam
The political stormy weather for Aviation Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah seems not to be over yet as Civil Society Groups have launched fresh demands into the immediate release of the report of the presidential panel that investigated the N255 million BMW bulletproof cars scam.The three-man administrative panel set up by President Goodluck Jonathan submitted its report on November 13, two days after its deadline but as earlier feared by skeptics, the outcome of the panel’s investigation has been closely guarded by the presidency. This is just as the House of Representatives adopted a recommendation of its Committee on Aviation which advised the president to review the continued terms of engagement of Ms. Oduah as a member of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.Leaders of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, and the Campaign for Democracy, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH asked the Presidency to make the report available to the public, the way the lower legislative chamber made its own known recently.The Executive Director, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, urged the Presidency to release the report if it had nothing to hide.He said, “When they set up all these panels, we said it was like doing the funeral for the issues that led to the controversy. Up till now, we are still raising the question. They didn’t need to set up the committees. It was a case for anti-corruption agencies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, or the special fraud unit of the Nigerian Police.“We are demanding that the report be made public. We said it from the beginning that when the panels finish their work, they should make their reports available to whoever wants it. We are still demanding that if the Presidency has nothing to hide, it should not treat the report of the panel with secrecy”.Also the Coordinator of CD, Joe Okei-Odumakin, said civil society groups would reject any attempt to cover up the bulletproof car scam.She said, “We have said any attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet will be met with stiff opposition. We shall resist it with all our might and within the ambit of the law. Time has come for those who are holding onto the report to release it. We must get to the root of this, because we cannot continue to cure the symptoms and allow the cause of the problem.“If an amount of money
Jonathan can never win any election in Nigeria again, especially 2015 unless he pulled wires – Amaechi
Amaechi: PDP can never win any election in Nigeria againamaechiPUNCH NEWSPAPER – Ahead of the 2015 presidential election, the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said unless the Peoples Democratic Party embraces rigging, it can never win elections in the country.The governor, who made this remark while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday night, said with the exodus of PDP members to the All Progressives Congress, the ruling party was on its way out of power.He said, “Most of you may have known that I have since left the PDP to a better party called the All Progressives Congress because the PDP is a drowning party and the facts remain that PDP is a drowning party.“Watch out before March if we don’t have the numbers that we are looking for. So, you can’t call us opposition anymore because there are three arms of government and only two are electable; the executive and legislature.“Yes, the PDP has the national executive, but we are inching close to having the legislature. Who then would be called the opposition if we have it?”Amaechi, who predicted that more governors would defect to the APC in 2014, disclosed that one of the reasons why he left the PDP was as a result of the attempt by President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, to interfere in the governance of Rivers State.He also cited the ceding of Rivers resources to other states, the absence of Federal Government projects in the state and bad governance as the reasons why he dumped the PDP.“But the basic reason why we left is the resources of Rivers State. I have told all of you on several occasions that the wife of the President was not elected the governor of Rivers State. I am the governor of Rivers State and husband to Judith Amaechi.“I left because of the attempt by the wife of the President to micromanage governance in Rivers. I said no, you can’t; so that if I fail, they will not say the wife of the President failed, Governor Amaechi failed. I am accountable to God and to men and women,” he added.Amaechi, however, said Nigerian politicians were averse to telling the truth and blamed Nigerians for the lack of interest in knowing the truth.Recalling his claim that the Federal Government could not account for the sum of $49.8 bn and N2.3 trn oil subsidy, Amaechi said governors, at a time, refused to collect their states’ monthly allocations for three months.He said, “When the politician reel out numbers, you should hold him accountable to the numbers he has reeled out. If you don’t hold them accountable, he will just say anything he likes.
The Information Minister, Labaran Maku, says stamping out insurgency remains the topmost priority of the Federal Government as it succeeded in containing terrorism in the North East to Borno and Yobe in the last one year.Giving the scorecard of the Federal Government in 2013 in a phone-in programme on Radio Nigeria, Mr. Maku said the massive deployment of men and materiel through the establishment of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri had stemmed the tide of attacks by insurgents in the North East.Mr. Maku, who is also the Supervising Minister of Defence, said due to the huge investments required to set up an Army Division, government had prioritised the provision of funds to construct military barracks and other formations and infrastructure as well as the training of personnel and the provision of the necessary equipment to wipe out the activities of insurgents operating in the North East.He gave an indication that Nigeria was working to secure the support of Cameroon to halt the infiltration of the country by insurgents, who carry out occasional attacks in isolated locations in the sub-region, via the Cameroon border.“The recent attacks on Bama as we know came from across the border of Cameroon. We are working hard to reach out to the Cameroonian government and other international agencies to ensure that we continue to put pressure on the insurgency from both sides of the boundary so that in the end by the grace of God we should witness greater successes against the insurgency in 2014.“What is clear is that in the year 2013, tremendous success was made and most of the insurgents that infiltrated into other states from the North East when the pressure went there were picked up. Some were picked up as far away as Lagos and Ogun and a number of them are in detention and trial is going on gradually,” he said.Mr. Maku acknowledged that insurgency in the form of urban and rural guerrilla warfare could not be eradicated overnight through military intervention – as experience had shown in other countries with similar challenges. He added that it required concerted efforts by both the government and citizens in intelligence gathering and the provision of useful information by members of the public for security agent to flush out the insurgents.The Minister further stated that the Federal Government was intervening in the economic recovery of the North East following the devastation and socio-economic setback suffered by the sub-region due to the insurgency.“The President in the Economic Forum on the North East, unfolded a new agenda for the economic support of the North East. From this year’s budget some provision is now being made to really give the North East support.“What is seen in the budget is not the end of the matter. There will be a lot of other support coming in and what will unfold will enable the Federal Government, international agencies, friendly governments abroad and also the private sector to make special contributions for the development of the North East”,
The last may not have been heard of the controversial exchange of letters between President Goodluck Jonathan and his estranged political god-father, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, especially concerning the 2015 presidential election.Since Obasanjo fired the first salvo in his December 2, 2013 letter, followed by the President’s December 22 response, there have been series of comments, for and against both leaders.While politicians, concerned stakeholders and several other Nigerians, as expected, have added their voices to the seeming political crisis, another stream of support yesterday came in favour of the President from a group of erstwhile militants and ‘warlords’.The group, ‘Transformed Niger Delta Ex-militants Forum’, did not only give an open support to the purported 2015 re-election ambition of the President, but also appealed to Nigerians to rally round Jonathan to “enable the first Nigerian President of Niger Delta origin complete his transformation agenda.”The group, in a statement issued in Warri, the Delta State capital, said the appeal became necessary to douse the rising opposition against the Jonathan administration by supposed power blocs.According to the statement made available to Sunday Newswatch by its National President, Comrade Meshack Bebenimibo, and National Secretary, Comrade Peter Goodday, the group of ex-militants said there was need for all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic affiliation to support the second term ambition of Jonathan.The erstwhile rebels went ahead to list some of the achievements of the present administration, while showcasing potentials of the government.“President Jonathan deserves our support in view of the tremendous achievements recorded in the infrastructural development of the country. The present administration has increased power generation to 4,000 megawatts. The Benin-Ore, Enugu-Port Harcourt and many roads in the northern part of the country have witnessed massive improvement in the past three years.“This administration has also recorded successes in the rail sector; the near comatose rail system has been resuscitated, while there has been a tremendous facelift in the aviation sector. The security challenges are being tackled to the best of President Jonathan’s ability,” it added.The ex-militants also commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, for “the 60 percent completion of the East-West Road, which has opened up the link between the South South and other parts of the country, as well as infrastructural development of the Niger Delta region.“We also express our appreciation for the Minister’s empowerment programme in the region, which has brought smiles on the faces of thousands of our people,” they added.Obasanjo had in the December 2 letter, covertly chided Jonathan for allegedly working towards getting a second term in office, as against the promise he allegedly made to the former President.
Nigeria Army prepares in prevision to the end of the amalgamation,GOCs, Brigade Commanders, others moved
Chief Army Staff•Soldiers’ annual leave cancelled, surveillance ordered for installationsIn a massive shake-up on Friday, the Nigeria Army deployed its key senior officers including General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Corps Commanders and other senior officers.The GOCs affected are Major General John Nwaoga of the 3 Division and Major General Junaid Bindawa, 7 Division of the Nigeria Army.The army authorities, in a statement signed by Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, out-going army spokesman, explained that the changes were part of the fourth quarter postings and appointments of senior officers.Other affected senior officers include: Major General Chris Olukolade, Director, Defence Information, Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru; Major General John Kwabe, now Chief of Logistics, Defence Headquarters; Major General Ugo Buzugbe, Commander, Nigerian Army Armoured Corps; Major General Ebiobowei Awala, Military Secretary (Army) and Major General Olufemi Adeosun, Director, Policy, Defence Headquarters.Others are; Major General Sunday Adebayo, Commander, Nigerian Army Education Corps; Major General Mohammed Idris, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy; Major General Mobolaji Koleoso, Director, Armed Forces Simulation Centre; Major General Letam Wiwa, Director, Military Intelligence; Major General Patrick Akem, Director, Legal Service (Army); Major General Charley Okoro, Director Peace Keeping Operations Defence Headquarters, as well as Major General Obidah Ethan, Chief of Civil -Military Affairs.Also affected are: Major General Modibbo Alkali, Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Artillery; Major General Shehu Yusuf, Commandant, Depot, Nigerian Army; Major General Ahmed Mohammed, Commander, Nigerian Army Training Centre; Major General Iliyasu Abbah, Commander, Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield); Brigadier General Arinze Ebenebe, Commandant, Warrant Officers Academy; Brigadier General Ebenezer Ogundana, Director of Army Reserve Recruitment and Resettlement; Brigadier General Kasimu Abdulkarim, Director of Physical Training, Brigadier General Enitan Ransome-Kuti, Commander, Multi-National Joint Task Force; Brigadier General Ibe Nicholas, Commander, 23 Brigade; Brigadier General Ohifeme Ejemai, Commander, 9 Brigade; Brigadier General Bright Fibionumama, Commander, 3 Brigade; Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, Commander, 13 Brigade; Brigadier General Mustapha Onoyiveta, Head, Nigerian Army Operations Monitoring Team; Brigadier General Lanre Bello, Commander, 34 Brigade and Brigadier General Olajide Laleye, among others.Meanwhile, the presidency has ordered a round-the-clock surveillance of all major installations across the country as part of security arrangements put in place to ensure a continuation of the peace enjoyed during the Christmas