The Presidency on Wednesday said Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was at liberty to dump the ruling Peoples Democratic Party for the opposition All Progressive Congress. Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, said this in an interview with our correspondent. Gulak was reacting to a statement credited to Amaechi that he would consult Jonathan before joining the APC. The governor was quoted to have made the remark on Tuesday while receiving chieftains of the opposition APC who were in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to woo him into their fold. “Before I join the APC, I will consult the President. I will. He is from our zone. I will consult all the consultable,” he was quoted to have said.
UMUAHIA—AS the tenure of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State ends early next year, a coalition of Igbo organizations has recommended Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State to take over as the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum which Obi has held for over six years. The group in a statement claimed it had been following the activities of Governor Orji and believe that “will take the South East to the next level if elected to the position of Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum”. The group called on Ndigbo and indeed all Nigerians to embrace the proposed national dialogue by participating actively in the conference, which it hoped would help to solve some of the nagging problems confronting Nigeria as a nation. The groups that made up the coalition included World Igbo Youth Council, Igbo Information Network, South East Youth Movement, Igbos in Diaspora Organisation, Ndinne Igbo, Centre for Igbo Leadership and World Igbo Leadership, Education and Cultural Council.
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, yesterday warned that the continued attack on the North as if it was the problem of the nation was not healthy for the growth of the nation, insisting that every part of the nation is essential in the search for greatness. Governor Shettima, who received members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue at the Government House, Maiduguri, said it was disheartening that many Nigerians do not understand the intricacies of the country and its people and as such speak most times from a point of ignorance. The governor said it was wrong for any part of the country to have this larger than life position, noting that we have stayed long enough together as a people to be separated. He told members of the committee that: “The fate of Nigerians lies in your hands,” and that it was unacceptable for some people to target the north as if it is the drawback of the country.
Professor of Law Ben Nwabueze (SAN) yesterday hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed National Conference will be a success, despite all odds.
The Chancellor of Covenant University, Bishop David Oyedepo, has called on Nigerians to join in the task of building a united country, predicting that the country will not break up. Oyedepo said this in Uyo on Monday night during a courtesy visit to the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Godswill Akpabio. He said, “I think Nigeria is advance enough to be able to put things together to help the masses see hope in their future and see opportunities in this nation. “Once again, we are all Nigerians, this is our nation. We have no other nation. Let’s help to build and not be part of those who want to break it. We will build this nation and it shall not break. “A lot of us have opportunity to outside this country forever but because of our parents and relations we can’t go anywhere. God forbid there is any war in Nigeria. There are some that don’t know anywhere. They don’t have understanding of how to get anywhere and yet they are citizens of our nation.”
President Goodluck Jonathan declared, yesterday, that the Federal Government would not pay compensation to victims of Boko Haram’s atrocities.
A coalition of civil rights organizations in the country is mounting pressure on the Lagos State government to initiate an investigation into the 255m naira intercepted by the police on Sunday, May 31, 2009, in the office of Next International, the private firm of Anambra State governor Peter Obi located at 7, Aerodrome Road, Apapa in Lagos.In a statement today in Abuja, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which come under the umbrella of Transparency In Government Coalition, advised Lagos State to investigate the interception of “this huge sum with a view to prosecuting the governor from next March when he leaves office if he is found culpable.”The group disclosed that it wants the outgoing governor investigated so as “to stop the terrible practice of governors stealing their states blind and investing their loots in places other their own and consequently under-developing their states”, accusing Mr Obi of having just completed building the largest shopping mall in Abuja worth over three billion naira.
Nigeria told India, yesterday, that it fears for the safety of its nationals in the resort state of Goa after one of its citizens was slain and a local legislator compared Nigerians to “cancer.” Tensions have been rising in the tiny, palm-fringed state since a Nigerian man was stabbed to death last week in a murder that police blamed on rivalry between local and Nigerian drug traffickers. Nigeria’s High Commission called the death a “cold-blooded” killing. Local media reports said the Nigerian was hacked to death by a group of Goan drug traffickers, while five other Nigerians suffered stab wounds.
Yoruba people have been urged to use former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a rallying point to aggregate their views during the National Conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan. A group within the Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, the Ekiti PDP Reformers Forum, also cautioned fifth columnists against causing rift and disaffection between Obasanjo and Jonathan, saying the fifth columnists would fail woefully as national interests would eventually prevail over primordial views. The group said yesterday in a communiqué issued after its meeting in Ado Ekiti that the unity of Yoruba people in a multi-ethnic, religious and social background like Nigeria could not be over-emphasized. The leaders of the group: Chief Dapo Alibaloye (Chairman), Dr. Albert Jide Akinyemi (Vice-Chairman), Mr Banji Olowofela (Organising Secretary) and Mr. Femi Adeniyi (Secretary), called for concerted efforts by the people at maintaining a united front on issues relating to their progress as part of the country called Nigeria.
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday assured the President of the International Criminal Court, ICC, Mr. Sang-Hyun Song, that Nigeria was not considering withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the court. Speaking at an audience with the ICC president at the State House, Jonathan, however, said while Nigeria still maintained its endorsement and commitment to the guiding principles and objectives of the court, the country wanted urgent action to address the current concerns of African leaders over its operations. The President told Song that Nigeria and the African Union, AU, would work with the United Nations, UN, and the Assembly of ICC State Parties to achieve a review of sections of the ICC’s Rome Statutes, including those that deny the deferment of cases against sitting heads of state and government with definite tenures.