The All Progressives Congress has commended the House of Representatives for its stand on the N255m armoured cars scandal involving the Minster of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to “review the continued engagement of the minister over her role in the scam.”In a statement in Port Harcourt on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said by itsaction, “the House of Representatives has again signalled its readiness to play its own part in fighting the massive corruption which hasenveloped the country.”The party added that “by its unequivocal stand on the scandal, coming on the heels of the recent criticism of President Jonathan’s tepid fight against corruption by House Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, the House has left no one in doubt that the legislature is taking its oversight role very seriously.”The APC said, “There is no doubt that the House of Representatives took its stand, which included asking the EFCC to investigate and prosecute all those involved in the scandal, after a painstaking work by its Committee on Aviation. This action is commendable and reflects the general opinion of Nigerians on the shameful scandal.“Therefore, Ms. Oduah has no basis for continued occupation of her post as Minister of Aviation and should step down immediately. If she fails to do so, she should be fired by the President.”APC said if the Minister failed to resign and the President refused to fire her, it would confirm the general perception across the country that “this President is not ready or willing to fight corruption; that he is comfortable in the company of corrupt officials.”The party said the failure by the President to heed the recommendation of the House of Representatives on Oduahgate would also add to “his earlier failure to act on the House’s decision on the massive oil subsidy scam and the failure of his administration to bring to justice all those behind the series of corruption cases that have dogged the administration.”It added, ”The list is long, and includes the pension scam, the Malabu scandal, the massive corruption in SEC, the Halliburton scandal,
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka yesterday faulted the visit of All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders to former President Olusegun Obasanjo last Saturday warning that Nigeria was heading for a shipwreck with such political romance.In his statement, titled: “Shipwreck Ahead”, Professor Soyinka cautioned that Nigeria would need rescue operations if the APC intends to court Obasanjo…
A group in the Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Ekiti PDP Reformers Forum, has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to digest and act on the serious national issues contained in the letter written to him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo rather than vilifying him.The group, which said that the message was more important than the messenger, faulted critics of the letter, saying they failed to realise that national interest was far more important than personal and parochial interests.In a communiqué at the end of its meeting in Ado Ekiti, the forum also appealed to PDP leaders, including President Jonathan “to urgently take steps to rekindle the dimming hope of our party. We must not allow our party to die or allow an unserious opposition to take over.”Describing the opposition as “angry politicians that have nothing to offer the country,” the forum, in the communiqué signed by its leaders: Chief Dapo Alibaloye (Chairman); Dr Albert Jide Akinyemi (Vice- Chairman); Engineer Banji Olowofela (Organising Secretary); Engineer Femi Adeniyi (Secretary); and Hon Justice Edward Ojuolape (Patron); stated that “the pertinent question to ask is whether the issues raised in the letter are true or notIt said: “Former President Obasanjo raised a number of issues ranging from security, corruption in government circles, ethnic consideration and consequent lopsidedness in appointment into high offices in the land, the state of affairs of the PDP, among others”.It said that it naturally followed that the issues, if true, should be taken one by one for analysis and “if not true, then the Presidency should tell the nation the true position of things.”The forum added that there have been allegations and counter-allegations over malfeasance in public office, adding: “Despite the huge sum of money given to some people to protect the nation’s oil pipelines in the South-South region, has there been reduction in oil theft? The nation is reportedly losing almost one-third of oil production, and in essence, oil revenue, to oil theft. Is it true that Aviation Minister, Mrs Stella Oduah, is untouchable? Is it true that the EFCC is broke?”Saying that the issue of national security raised by the former president was from a vantage position, the forum added that Obasanjo “has no reason to talk carelessly and he has never been frivolous. Since the country’s independence, our collective security as a nation has never been challenged like this.“As for our party, the PDP, is it not an open secret that the Presidency supported other parties’ candidates in elections in some states? If those politicians supported by our leaders feel strongly attached to the PDP or if our leaders feel such candidates could be worked with, why not lure them to come over to the PDP? That will not only make our party win such elections, it will also make the party
Senate President David Mark yesterday took stock of the enormous resources pumped into fighting insurgency in some states, declaring that, “enough is enough.” He disclosed this during a tour of his Benue South senatorial district at the weekend.In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Senator Mark also restated his resolve and total commitment to humanity and the nation even as he bemoaned the unabating socio-political and security challenges facing the country.Senator Mark urged Nigerians to use this festive season to seek the face of the Almighty God to overcome the lingering security challenges.Represented by his wife, Helen, the Senate President urged the people to preach love and peaceful co-existence, urging prayers for leaders to be guided by God’s wisdom in piloting the affairs of Nigeria.“My visit is not only to felicitate with you this season, but to also remind you as patriotic Nigerians, the need to seek God’s intervention in our country. We have witnessed series of violence. We have lost many of our loved ones on account of violent attacks.“It is high time we say enough is enough. Our resources are hugely spent on security in order to maintain law and order across Nigeria. These resources would have been channeled to some other developmental needs. With God’s wisdom and guidance, Nigeria will overcome her challenges and make the nation a better place for all,” he said.Mark also pledged: “I will not deviate from the service to our fatherland and I urge every Nigerian to be part of this crusade. All we need is to return to God and He will answer us.”Elated by the large turn-out in this year’s constituency annual visit, he emphasized that the food items including bags of rice and clothes be distributed across the wards in the senatorial district and advised that they should be shared specifically to the less-privileged, widows and the aged.
Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha was in one of his best elements at the weekend when he bared his mind to media executives during a supposed breakfast session held in Government House, Owerri.In an interactive session with Members of the Independent Newspapers Publishers Association, INPA, Okorocha made starting revelations about his administration that has crossed midway of the four years.The Imo State Government disclosed that contrary to insinuations and negative publicity from newsmen, he is determined to take the state to greater heights adding that his government is open for accessibility since he has nothing to hide.According to Okorocha, “There is nothing to hide in my administration. I run an open government as you can see. That place you people saw is where my office is located. I take decisions there in the open. I have no skeleton in my cupboard and there is nothing to hide”.Addressing the owners and publishers of Owerri based private print media outfits, Okorocha while soliciting for proper and investigative journalism gave kudos to the local operators for making the state the only one in the country where local tabloids flourish.On his testimony since 2011, Okorocha said that he has so far delivered on his mandate if his achievements are anything to go by. According to him, his massive road construction projects, free education at all levels, building of 27 general hospitals across the state and infrastructure renewal is second to none, stating that he ranks high among his predecessors in terms of giving the state a facelift. While enjoining newsmen to be objective and constructive in their reports, Okorocha requested that where he has also excelled should get vintage positions in their medium. He further expressed that his choice of one of the Owerri-based publishers as his new Senior Special Assistant on Media, is not only designed to carry the media along but also to solicit the partnership of the Independent Newspaper Association members.The event offered the Governor the opportunity to explain reasons why he dumped APGA for APC adding that the massive defection of elective and non electives politicians from other parties to APC vindicates his earlier action.“I saw it from afar. I saw it yesterday that APC will be the people’s choice to take away power from PDP. “PDP has no future for Ndi Igbo and we have nothing in PDP. But in APC there is something for us. You can see I am the Chairman of progressive governors”, he added.Okorocha who did not mention anything about his future political ambition or elective designation in 2015, however, opined that the coast is clearer for him now. “I saw it yesterday, from what is happening in out polity the coast is clearer for me now”.The Governor who expressed dismay over negative reports about his regime denied ever building a mosque near the Government House gate.Said he; a newspaper wrote that I am building a mosque. It is not true. The building you see near the Christmas village, on (Govt House road) is a shop, a kind of shopping mall for certain unique accessories. According to him, those spreading the rumour of the mosque in Owerri are purveyors of falsehood.On the recent bank strike in the state, Okorocha blamed the defaulting bankers especially, the Bankers Forum in Owerri, led by one Ray Ahumibe for the closure. While stating that the action of government was based on court action, the governor berated the bankers’ body for engaging in unprofessional approach to the issue. Okorocha however disclosed that he would ask Imo people to drag the defaulting banks to court and claim damages for the days it shut down its offices.
December 20th 2013His Excellency,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFRAgbe L’Oba House, Quarry Road,Ibara, Abeokuta.RE: BEFORE IT IS TOO LATEI wish to formally acknowledge your letter dated December 2, 2013 and other previous correspondence similar to it.You will recall that all the letters were brought to me by hand. Although both of us discussed some of the issues in those letters, I had not, before now, seen the need for any formal reply since, to me, they contained advice from a former President to a serving President. Obviously, you felt differently because in your last letter, you complained about my not acknowledging or replying your previous letters.It is with the greatest possible reluctance that I now write this reply. I am most uneasy about embarking on this unprecedented and unconventional form of open communication between me and a former leader of our country because I know that there are more acceptable and dignified means of doing so.But I feel obliged to reply your letter for a number of reasons: one, you formally requested for a reply and not sending you one will be interpreted as ignoring a former President.Secondly, Nigerians know the role you have played in my political life and given the unfortunate tone of your letter, clearly, the grapes have gone sour. Therefore, my side of the story also needs to be told.The third reason why I must reply you in writing is that your letter is clearly a threat to national security as it may deliberately or inadvertently set the stage for subversion.The fourth reason for this reply is that you raised very weighty issues, and since the letter has been made public, Nigerians are expressing legitimate concerns. A response from me therefore, becomes very necessary.The fifth reason is that this letter may appear in biographies and other books which political commentators on Nigeria’s contemporary politics may write. It is only proper for such publications to include my comments on the issues raised in your letter.Sixthly, you are very unique in terms of the governance of this country. You were a military Head of State for three years and eight months, and an elected President for eight years. That means you have been the Head of Government of Nigeria for about twelve years. This must have, presumably, exposed you to a lot of information. Thus when you make a statement, there is the tendency for people to take it seriously.The seventh reason is that the timing of your letter coincided with other vicious releases. The Speaker of the House of Representatives spoke of my “body language” encouraging corruption. A letter written to me by the CBN Governor alleging that NNPC, within a period of 19 months did not remit the sum of USD49.8 billion to the federation account, was also deliberately leaked to the public.The eighth reason is that it appears that your letter was designed to incite Nigerians from other geopolitical zones against me and also calculated to promote ethnic disharmony. Worse still, your letter was designed to instigate members of our Party, the PDP, against me.The ninth reason is that your letter conveys to me the feeling that landmines have been laid for me. Therefore, Nigerians need to have my response to the issues raised before the mines explode
Some residents near Shell’s oil field in Ikarama, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa, said they abandoned their homes to avert possible health hazards from prolonged exposure to oil spill.They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that they fled their homes because of the company’s delay to clean up the November oil spill.A spokesman of the community, Mr Freeborn Roland, told NAN that he and other residents near the impacted area abandoned their homes because of the health implications, especially on their children.“My house is surrounded by the spill and because we don’t have money we were initially reluctant to take the option of relocation.“We have been enduring and suffering the negative health impacts, especially my children, my older children
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers have renewed their threat to shut down the oil sector if the federal government goes ahead with its plan to privatise the refineries.According to them, selling the refineries without their participation would amount to shaving their heads in their absence.The oil workers also insisted that the transaction should follow due process to ensure that the most competent investors emerge as the core investors.The two oil workers unions that spoke in their reaction to the setting up of a steering committee by President Goodluck Jonathan to oversee the process, also told Thisday yesterday that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) must be passed as a pre-condition for the sale of the refineries.General Secretary, National Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr. Isaac Aberare, said the union was yet to be officially informed of any stakeholders’ committee set up by the government.Aberare, who spoke in a telephone conversation with Thisday, reiterated the union’s decision to embark on a nationwide strike until government rescinds its decision to privatise the refineries.He hinted that NUPENG and its sister union- the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) would soon meet to fix a date for the execution of the planned industrial action.“Government must engage labour unions in the sector to discuss the model for the planned privatisation. We were not informed about any committee being set up. If government sets up a committee without involving the labour then, they have not met our demand.“At the intervention meeting with the Minister of Power shortly after our protest, we emphasised that government should retract the plan to privatise the refineries and engage the unions but up till now, they have not met nor informed us of any meeting
Inter-States Muslim Workout Despite B’Haram Attacks,Suicide Mission Or Proof That B’Haram Is A Northern Agenda?
Thousands of Muslim brotherhood Movement from Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and parts of Katsina State on Saturday began an 83-kilometre trek to Zaria in Kaduna State.Speaking to newsmen at the starting point in Funtua, Katsina State, leader of the exercise, Malam Qasim Sanda, stated that the exercise was to commemorate the martyrdom of the grandchild of…
Notable elders of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are no longer glossing over the raging crisis in the party.And they have put the blame for the turbulence in the party on President Goodluck Jonathan, whom they accused of failing to show a mastering of intra-party crisis management.Consequently, the elders who are mostly founding fathers of the party, said the defection that has swept across the PDP within a month, had shown that something urgent must be done to save the party form total collapse.LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that among the options being considered by the founding fathers is to stop Jonathan from flying the PDP flag in the 2015 presidential election.According to them, this is the most feasible way of keeping the party afloat at the centre and building confidence in those that have left or plan to leave to return and remain in the PDP.Lately, the PDP has faced a formidable challenge from the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party, formed barely six months ago, has become the entry point for aggrieved members of the ruling party.Five PDP governors and 37 members of the House of Representatives have so far dumped the PDP have dumped for the APC. With the development, APC has clinched the majority seats in the Lower Chamber with 172 to PDP’s 171.Worried by these developments, the concerned party elders, LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt have resolved to “advise” President Jonathan to opt out of the 2015 presidential race to “save the PDP from being disgraced out of office.”A founding father of the PDP confided in our correspondent last night that the challenges faced by the party were due to the refusal of the presidency and the PDP hierarchy to accept certain critical decisions taken to salvage the party.According to him, two things now pose challenges to the PDP – allowing President Jonathan to contest and “lose the election in the face of the current crisis and advising him to step aside and search for a credible successor to re-bounce the party to its former position.”He said: “All these things that are happening now some of us predicted them long time ago, especially before the ranks of the PDP governors split just before the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF’s) election because we saw it all coming and we warned against some actions, but some of us were taken as enemies who wanted someone out of office either as chairman or whatever.