The members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, on Friday clashed with the police in Anambra State, leaving one person dead, and eleven others in various degrees of injuries.A source told DailyPost that trouble started when a police team on surveillance flagged down a motorist along the ever…
Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has urged other state governors yet to defect to All Progressives Congress (APC) to do so without delay. The Imo governor assured them that their political interest is guaranteed in the party than the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).The governor also urged members of the National Assembly who want…
Ebonyi State governor, Chief Martin Elechi, yesterday made a surprising U-turn on the proposed national conference ennuciated by President Goodluck Jonathan, describing it as a big joke and waste of time.This apart, Elechi said it was a distraction to Jonathan as the general elections approach.The governor, an ardent ally to Jonathan’s policies and programmes, stated this in Ikwo when founding fathers paid him Christmas homage.The founding fathers said they wanted to know the modalities of selecting delegates from the state and issues that should form their collective stand.But to their greatest surprise, the governor stressed that he would not participate in the exercise.Elechi had earlier lauded the initiative and urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity of contributing meaningfully to the conference so that any grivances would be addressed.But in a dramatic change of mind, he said that he was sceptical about the conference as it would not achieve anything since the constitution has empowered the National Assembly to make laws for the country.The governor noted that the referendum can not supersede the deliberations of the National Assembly, but referred its advocators to revisit the colloqium by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, as it had the participations of all segements of human life.He also noted that in the colloqium, far-reaching decisions were reached, but the National Assembly overrode it because of the third term ambition of Obasanjo.Though Elechi said he would consult his consitutuents to deliberate on whether to participate or not in the conference, he noted that if they eventually chose to participate, he would distance himself and be an on-looker.He said: “The national conference, to me, is a big joke, waste of time and a distraction to Goodluck Jonathan. I’m sceptical about it. It will not achieve anything”.“The constitution gives the National Assembly the power to makes laws and the referedum can not override the deliberations of the National Assembly”.“The best was the colloqium by former President Obasanjo in 2005. There, all segments of national life talked and reached far-reaching decisions. I will still consult my people, but if at the end, they decided to participate, I will not stop anybody, but I will distance myself and be an on-looker”.“The National Assembly overruled it due to the third term ambition of Obasanjo. We should revisit that colloqium and the recommendations reached, he suggested.
Political killings: North makes Jonathan scapegoat urges him to prosecute Obasanjo and to forget second term in 2015
The North has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to explain who he was waiting for before taking action to bring officials of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration to book over political killings which he (Jonathan) said were the order of the day when Obasanjo held sway as the head of government in the country.It also insisted that the next president of Nigeria, must emerge from the area, pointing out that President Jonathan must stand down for their own in 2015.The northern groups, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, made these known at two separate interviews with Saturday Vanguard yesterday.Reacting to a letter from Obasanjo, alleging that the President had placed 1000 people on watch list, Jonathan had in turn placed political killings in the country on the door steps of the former President.Obasanjo-Jonathan3Jonathan replied Obasanjo’s 18-page open letter dated 2, 2013, to him, pointing out that all the political killings since the Fourth Republic began, took place at the time Obasanjo was President.According to Jonathan, although political killings had occurred in the country, none of them had taken place since he became President about three years ago.Among those who were said to have been politically murdered during Obasanjo’s administration included, the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, and South-South politicians, Chief Harry Marshall, Chief A.K. Dikibo, a former Senatorial Candidate of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, in Imo State, Uche Orji, Arc Layi Balogun, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, Prof Chimere Ikoku, former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, in Anambra State, Chief Barnabas Igwe and his wife, Chief Victor Nwankwo of Fourth Dimension Publishers and Chief Funso Williams.However, the Secretary General of NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi, confirmed in an interview with Saturday Vanguard that the North had made its position on the 2015 presidency known to President Jonathan’s emissaries, who had attempted to recruit some of their key stakeholders for the next poll.In the letter to Obasanjo dated December 20, 2013, Jonathan further stated, ‘’There have certainly been cases of political assassination since the advent of our Fourth Republic, but as you well know, none of them occurred under my leadership.’’Regarding the over 1000 people you say are on a political watch list, I urge you to kindly tell Nigerians who they are and what agencies of government are “watching” them. Your allegation that I am using security operatives to harass people is also baseless. Nigerians are waiting for your evidence of proof. That was an accusation made against previous administrations, including yours, but it is certainly not my style and will never be. Again, if you insist on the spurious claim that some of your relatives and friends are being harassed, I urge you to name them and tell Nigerians what agencies of my administration are harassing them.’’I also find it difficult to believe that you will accuse me of assisting murderers, or assigning a presidential delegation to welcome a murderer. This is a most unconscionable and untrue allegation. It is incumbent on me to remind you that I am fully conscious of the dictates of my responsibilities to God and our dear nation. It is my hope that devious elements will not take advantage of your baseless allegation to engage in brazen and wanton assassination of high profile
The leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists, Abubakar Shekau, has claimed a daring December 20 raid on a military barracks in the restive northeast, in a video obtained by AFP Friday.The insurgents stormed the barracks in the town of Bama in a convoy of trucks before sunrise, opened fired on the soldiers inside then torched the compound. Several witnesses said the gunmen kidnapped soldiers as well as women and children.“Our fighters stormed the Bama barracks,” Shekau said, while seated on a mat and flanked by a group of armed men.Shekau has released a series of videos since taking control of the rebel group more than three years ago. The latest recorded statement was delivered to AFP through the same channel as previous messages.“This is a victory from Allah,” said the wanted insurgent leader after claiming to have destroyed “21 armoured tanks” and killed “multitudes” in the raid.The military has not released a death toll from the barracks attack and rescue agencies have largely been barred from working in the northeast since at a state of emergency was declared in the area in May.According to the defence ministry, more than 50 “terrorists” were killed when ground forces backed by fighter jets pursued the fleeing Islamists after the raid.Residents told AFP that an unknown number of civilians were killed and four villages destroyed during the military response.Shekau has been declared a global terrorist by the United States, which put a $7 million (5.1 million euros) bounty on his head. Nigeria has separately offered 50 million naira ($300,000) for information leading to his capture or death.In the video, Shekau appeared to mock the notion that one of his loyalists would betray him in exchange for a reward.“What is 50 million naira? We do not worship money. As for those who are in our midst, Allah has taken care of them,” he said.The Bama attack was the second major strike on the military in the northeast this month and was seen as a reminder that more than seven months into a military offensive aimed at crushing the insurgency, Boko Haram remains capable of striking high profile targets.The group’s four-year insurgency, which seeks to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, has killed thousands.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was yesterday cautioned by South-South leaders, chiefs, elders and stakeholders to stop harassing, intimidating, stampeding or blackmailing President Goodluck Jonathan.Obasanjo had recently accused President Jonathan of sundry issues including training of assassins to eliminate political opponents.But rising from its
The statement credited to Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), National Security Adviser (NSA), that many people with criminal antecedents occupy strategic positions in various Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) is troubling. Dasuki, through Layiwola Laseinde, director, policy and strategy of the NSA’s office spoke at a one-day workshop on the “Importance of Security Awareness Drills in Contemporary Nigeria”, organised by the Special Services Office (SSO), Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), in Abuja.The NSA was unsparing when he affirmed: “We want to make sure that people of dubious character are not employed. In some areas, you find out that people have committed crimes and once they have criminal background, they are likely to perpetrate death. I am not saying it is in all cases, but majority of the cases. So the government, especially the security agencies … want to make sure that each agency does its own in-house screening to screen out undesirable people …Government cannot afford for agencies to have staff with criminal record and that is the purpose of this workshop, that those who are trained can go and train other people and also organise their parastatals and agencies to ensure that in terms of personal record and discipline, everything is okay.’’We know that it is government that employs presumably qualified Nigerians into positions in these MDAs, not the Nigerian public. So, we expect the government, through its numerous security agencies that Dasuki, as NSA, oversees, to have routinely been effectively discharging their job of ensuring that men and women of shady background do not get employed in the MDAs or any other strategic institutions in the country. But it seems that the NSA office is getting to know too late that the country’s MDAs harbour a lot of misfits.
West GovernorAS the presidency is addressing claims of marginalisation in federal appointments by the South West, the zone may be facing a new form of discrimination, going by the proposed details in some ministries in 2014 budget.A breakdown of new projects proposed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, which was obtained by the Nigerian Tribune, showed the South West largely neglected in the allocation of the projects, compared with other five geopolitical zones.Analysis of capital projects of about N30 billion proposed by the ministry showed the three zones of the North taking the lion share of over 80 per cent, while with three southern zones competed with 20 per cent, of which South-West had less than two per cent.Of over 30 new irrigation projects proposed in the 2014 budget, only two were located in the South West.The two, lower and middle Ogun, however, had only design funding of less than N10 million, in contrast to similar new irrigation projects in Kaduna, Kano and Yobe, to which over N1.2 billion was allocated.Of the 41 new earth dam projects proposed by the ministry, South West had only one at Ile-Ife, Osun State, with about 75 per cent of the dams located in the North, while the old Eastern region had the rest.Further checks showed that while the Ile-Ife dam had only N100 million allocated to it, similar projects located in the Middle Belt and core North had between N250 million to over N500 million allocated to them in the next fiscal year.The South West was not only neglected in the areas of irrigation and new dams, the region was also shortchanged in town/city water projects, as there was no allocation to the region in the over 40 new water works projects in the country. A check showed the North being the major beneficiary of the projects, followed by the South-South and the South East.Northern cities benefitting from the water works projects included Talata Marafa,
Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako yesterday decried the N2 billion Federal Government’s proposed budget for security in the Northeast.The region has been facing the Boko Haram insurgency for over four years.He said it was appalling that the Federal Government could not increase the budget when it proposed more than the amount on less important things.Nyako, who addressed reporters in Yola noted that the N2 billion budget proposal showed the unserious stance of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to tackling security in the region.President Jonathan, on December 3 in Gombe, announced that his administration would provide a special intervention package for the Northeast to stimulate it’s economy, following the destruction of property and residents livelihood.It was learnt that in the 2014 budget the Federal Government provided N2 billion under ‘Service-Wide Vote’ as “counterpart funding” for the Northeast.The use of ‘counterpart funding’ shows that the programme would be jointly funded with the six states in the zone.Nyako said the budget was “grossly inadequate” to tackle the security and sundry challenges confronting the zone.The governor urged the Federal Government to increase the proposed budget.He noted that if the central government could give ‘’Nollywood’’ a N3 billion stimulus package, the proposed security budget to fight Boko Haram in the Northeast was “not encouraging or engendering confidence.”Nyako noted that since 2011, the Adamawa State had spent billions to support security forces in the state.He said: “As far as we are concerned, N2 billion for six states is inadequate. Commerce and agriculture have been seriously affected; so many people have lost their livelihood and shelter.“The issue is about development of infrastructure. We have the worst roads; no electricity…. If the Presidency is serious, these issues must be considered and we expect that before the release of any fund, an outline should be given to know the areas of intervention and who the beneficiaries are.”The governor objected to the proposed counterpart funding of security
There seems to be no end to the controversy sparked by the exchange of letters between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) joined the row again yesterday, saying Dr. Jonathan’s response to Obasanjo’s letter is indecent and has diminished the Presidency.The party said the president would have merely explained its position on the issues raised in Obasanjo’s letter rather than a resort to tantrum throwing.Also yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it could not intervene in the matter because it is not a party affair.Obasanjo wrote an 18-page letter titled “Before it is too late” and dated December 2 to the President, accusing him of some failings.He also alleged that snipers were being trained and 1,000 Nigerians had been placed on a watch list ahead of the 2015 election.Obasanjo said Jonathan told the PDP prior to his nomination to run in 2011 that he would do only one term. He said his 2015 ambition would be “fatally wrong”.The President denied Obasanjo’s claims. He also challenged him to prove them.The President has referred Obasanjo’s letter to the National Human Rights Commission to probe some aspects of it. The letter is also believed to have been referred to security agencies.Dr. Jonathan, in church on Christmas Day, also challenged Obasanjo to be statesmanly, adding: “Nigeria does not belong to any politician or a group of politicians… For us at this time, especially we politicians, that we think we own this country to think about next election, and doing what we ought not to do, making statements we ought not to make, writing letter we are not supposed to write.”In a statement yesterday, APC National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed said: “Dr. Jonathan’s decision to engage former President Obasanjo in a hot exchange of words in what may now be described as ‘lettergate’ is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Jonathan Presidency.”The party said while it was not interested in joining the fray over the issues contained in the letters written by both