Pressure mounted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the seats of the 37 Reps who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has met with rebuff from the commission.The electoral body has told the ruling party that it is not within its powers to take such an action.Speaking to The Nation on the matter, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Kayode Idowu, said that in the first place the commission was yet to receive any letter from the PDP on the defected lawmakers.He also explained that it is not the duty of the commission to declare the seats of lawmakers vacant in whatever circumstance.“Honestly, I am not aware of any such letter. I sincerely don’t know anything about it. But let me also add that it is not the job of INEC to take such a decision. INEC is not the one to declare seats of elected public office holders vacant. That is not what the law says and I can tell you that INEC is not going to do that,” he said.Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, had been quoted in a newspaper interview that the PDP had written to INEC and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to declare the seats of the 37 Reps vacant.Details of the letter dated December 19, 2013 emerged yesterday.The embattled National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, and the National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, who signed it asked INEC to immediately conduct elections into the affected constituencies following the defection of its members to the APC.The PDP, they claimed, has no factions and consequently the defectors argument that they left on account of factionalism holds no water.They said: “the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 68 (i) (g) clearly spell out the consequences of cross carpeting when there is no division in any party. We wish to re-emphasize here that the
The Dr Femi Okurounmu Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue made a lot of far-reaching recommendations to President Goodluck Jonathan in the report the committee submitted on Wednesday, Sunday Tribune can reveal.It was learnt that the 13-member committee recommended that the proposed national confab should be held within six months.It also advised President Jonathan to ensure that the conference should be held before the 2015 general election, just as it added that preparations should begin in earnest.Sunday Tribune gathered from a highly placed source that President Jonathan set machinery in motion for the conference shortly after the New Year celebration.The source said the month on January, 2014 was significant in the history of the country as it marked 100 years of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of the country into a single entity.On how delegates to the conference should be selected, it was learnt from a dependable source that the committee proposed representation based on senatorial district or federal constituency.If the first option is accepted, delegates may not be more than 200 inclusive of delegates from various organised bodies and groups. Should the second option be contemplated, about 500 delegates would be invited to speak at the confab.In order to solve the thorny issue of whether the outcome of the conference should be sent to the National Assembly for approval or be subjected to a referendum, Okurounmu Committee advised that the 1999 Constitution as amended should be further amended for the inclusion of referendum, which is currently not in the document.In another development, the National Publicity
A group of Boko Haram militants on Friday attacked the 202 Army Battalion Barracks located in Bama, about 40 kilometers outside Maiduguri town, and killed several women and children.The Islamic sect, according to a source in the barracks, struck around 3am local time, firing heavy arms and ammunition.Our source, a soldier, said that troops of the Nigerian Army and Air Force repelled the sect using fierce air and ground attacks, resulting in the killing of many of the terrorists.He explained that some soldiers in the barracks lost their wives, children and relatives in the fight, which lasted until about 7am, during which time the sound of explosives and guns filled the air.”There was an attack on the military barracks in (the town) of Bama this morning,” said Mohammed Dole, army spokesman in Borno state, the epicentre of the Boko Haram conflict.He declined to comment on details provided by several Bama residents who said dozens, or perhaps even hundreds, of insurgents swarmed the barracks in a convoy of 4X4 trucks, armed with assault rifles, explosives and rocket-propelled-grenades.”It started at around three in the morning with huge explosions and the cracking of gunfire,” said Bama resident Abdullahi Idris. “Later we saw plumes of smoke and fire from the barracks.”Bama has become a flashpoint in the insurgency and the scene of several bold Islamist attacks. One of the Islamist rebels’ largest-ever strikes targeted the military in Bama in June.According to Idris and other residents, military jets flew over the town after the attack.The nearest air force base is in Borno’s capital Maiduguri, roughly 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Bama.”A large section of the barracks” had been destroyed by fire, said another resident who asked for anonymity but identified himself as a member of the vigilante force which has formed in Borno to fight the Islamists.He told newsmen that fighter jets dropped bombs on the attackers, forcing them to flee.
Afenifere clown cowards speaks against Obasanjo at last,because Iyabo’s letter exposed all of them, says he’s a failed leader
Apparently referring to Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who recently wrote a letter to President Gooluck Jonathan which is still generating reactions from Nigerians, the apex Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has branded the ex-president a failed leader.The National Publicity Secretary of the group,
Senator Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka, a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) representing Ogun East in the upper legislative chamber, has defended the appeal by his party to the National Assembly to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan. Kaka, a former deputy governor of Ogun State from 1999 to 2003 during the governorship of Chief Olusegun Osoba, also condemned reactions by the Presidency and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describing APC’s call as treasonable.APC, through its interim National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had on December 15 requested the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against the president, arguing that the ship of state was drifting dangerously, adding that the trend had to be arrested.Mohammed’s call came in the wake of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letter to Jonathan, in which he accused the president and his administration of grievous constitutional infractions. The Presidency and PDP, in separate reactions to APC’s call, threatened that treasonable charges may be brought against leaders of the party for conceiving such an idea.But Kaka, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, insisted in an exclusive interview with Saturday Newswatch, that his party did no wrong. He said there was nothing treasonable in the impeachment of a president. Said he: “If my own party is talking about impeachment, I believe that there is nothing treasonable in the call. Impeachment is entrenched in the constitution and the conditionalities for impeachment are also stated in black and white, which I think my party must have studied very well before making the impeachment call. If we have reached that level and my party is calling for it, I don’t think any law has been breached to the point of classifying it as treasonable charges. “To the Presidency and PDP, Kaka said: “If we haven’t reached that level constitutionally, democratically, it is left for those alleging treason to prove to the world the aspect of the law that has been broken or backing their allegation. So the issue of treasonable felony is a defeatist approach.”
Palpable Anxiety Forces Gowon, Danjuma, To Rebuke Obasanjo Over Letter To Jonathan, Feared It Breaking The Zoo
Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and former Minister of Defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), have berated former president Olusegun Obasanjo over his open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, describing it as being capable of breaching the peace in the country.The duo stated this yesterday at the 6th edition of the Abuja Festival of Praise, hosted by Danjuma, at the international Conference Centre, Abuja.In a goodwill message, Gowon warned Nigerians, especially leaders, against making utterances capable or breaching the peace of the country, noting that it was important for leaders, past and present to take heart not to say things that can bring about problems as all Nigerians will suffer if there is no peace in the country.”I will like for Nigerians to please take heart to ensure that taken are not taken to do what they should not do.Let all Nigerians, leadership and followership make sure that we do not make utterances or say things that can really create problems for the leadership and for the country because if that happens, if we listen to such utterances, there shall be no peace and we will be the sufferers for it.”I want all of us as faithful to bear in mind that this country needs peace and this peace can only come from all of us, the leadership, past and present and from all of us. We must play our part to ensure that there is peace in the country,” he emphasised, stressing that the message became pertinent in view of recent happenings in the country.Similarly, Danjuma in his goodwill message noted that even though he was mentioned in the letter, he had refrained from making comments to the press about it, insisting that he has unfettered access to the president and will speak with him “face to face” if he has anything to say to him. “The press have been after me, they want me to react to what Obasanjo said about Mr President and I told then that I have complete and I impeded access to the president and if I have anything to say to him, I will do so face to face.These are very difficult times and we must be careful, especially as leaders, what we say in public,” he added.Delivering a goodwill message on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Police Addairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (rtd), emphasised that prayers and songs of praise can save the nation and give hope for a greater nation.
Literally, An Abia Man Lost Two Of His People For Not Thinking Straight, Sold His Child To Bury Father
Kingsley Ubani, 26, from Eziama Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abi, has admitted selling his three-year-old son to raise money to bury his father.Mr. Ubani said this on Thursday in Umuahia when the Abia State Police Command paraded two child trafficking suspects and 19 pregnant young ladies.He said that he sold his 44-month-old son in November 2012 at the rate of N260, 000 to a woman who is now at large.“I told my wife that I don’t have money to bury my father who was in the mortuary at that time and she approved of the transaction,” Mr. Ubani said.Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in Abia, Usman Tilli, told journalists that the suspect was arrested following a tip-off.He said that investigations led to the recovery of the child who had been handed over to the grandfather for care and protection.Mr. Tilli said that the police had on November 11 also arrested another suspect, ChimereSunday of Osisioma Local Government Area of the state for selling his two children.He said that upon investigation, one of the children was recovered, adding that the buyers were on police wanted list.Also, Mr. Tilli said that the 19 pregnant teenagers / persons, who were also paraded, were rescued from an illegal charity home at Umuobia Housing Estate, Olokoro in Umuahia North Local Government Area of the state.“A team of policemen from the command raided the home during which the pregnant girls between the ages of 15 and 23, including a nursing mother, were rescued,” he said.Mr. Tilli said that the son and daughter-in-law of the operator of the illegal home were arrested while the prime suspect, Nma Achumba, was at large.He said that Achumba hitherto operated her illegal charity home in Aba, but decided to relocate to the rural area due to police crackdown on traffickers in the commercial city.
Disgusting As Nigeria Itself, Only 29.17% Out Of 296,827 Candidates Achieved Minimum Benchmark In WASSCE
West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) released November/December 2013 result, Only 86,612 ( 29.17 per cent) out of the 296,827 candidates that sat for the November/December 2013 made the minimum benchmark of credits in five subjects including English and Mathematics.Mr. Charles Eguridu announced the result on Thursday at the council’s headquarters in Yaba, Lagos, the Head of Nigerian National Office (HNO).He the performance was a marked decline in candidates’ performance compared to the last two years. In 2011, 36.07 per cent made the benchmark, while in 2012 it rose to 37.97 per cent. When asked what was responsible for the decline, Eguridu suggested that it may be because of the reduction in the quality of teaching and learning.Eguridu, however, added that the council is planning workshops for interested state governments to learn tips on how to better prepare their candidates for the examination, particularly the May/June version.“WAEC is a mirror. WAEC is not responsible for what happens in the school system. We are not supposed to regulate the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. Perhaps there has not been proper learning on the part of learners and teaching on the part of teachers.“However, to improve quality, from January next year, we will partner with state governments that are willing to open their doors to us to run a clinic to assist in giving them feedback on how candidates should be taught; how to do proper continuous assessment and how to answer questions,” he said.Speaking on the council’s efforts to check examination malpractices, Eguridu said new scanning devices would be used in centres next year to prevent candidates from taking foreign objects into the examination halls.“Beginning with the May/June 2014 WASSCE, the council is deploying cutting-edge technology in the conduct of its examinations, by using contactless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Smart Card, for easy and accurate identification, automated attendance register, instant malpractice reporting and effective post examination management,” he said.Giving more statistics, Eguridu said
Yoruba Parasites Hopes Confab ‘ll Keep Nigeria Together, Urges Jonathan To Implement Confab’s Agenda
The Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, on Friday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to faithfully implement the agenda of the proposed national conference.The group led by its National Chairman, Chief Reuben Fasoranti and the Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, made the call at a meeting with the President at the State House.Addressing State House correspondents…
The Bureau of Public Enterprise, on Friday in Abuja announced that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the privatisation of the nation’s four refineries.This is contained in a statement signed by the Head of Public Communications of BPE, Mr Chigbo Anichebe.It quotes the President as saying that privatisation of the refineries was in keeping with the economic reform programme of his administration.“This is in keeping with the transformation agenda, which seeks to catalyse and provide an enabling environment for the private sector to be the drivers of economic growth in the country.’’The four refineries are Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd. I, Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd. II, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd. and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd.It said that the President also approved the constitution of a Steering Committee consisting of stakeholders from relevant ministries and agencies for the privatisation process.According to the statement, the Steering Committee will advise the National Council on Privatisation , headed by Vice President, Namadi Sambo on the best way to privatise the refineries.“The committee will review the diagnostic reports and recommendations of the transaction advisors and make recommendations to the NCP, propose modalities and make recommendations on labour matters to ensure a successful privatisation.“They will also oversee the general process, make recommendations, carryout any other ancillary activities relevant to the attainment of the goals of the Federal Government in the privatisation of the nation’s refineries,’’ it said.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Steering Committee is chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources.Other members of the committee are the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Power, Minister of Labour, the Minister of National Planning, Minister of Mines and Steel Development and Minister of Justice.