THERE is now palpable fear in the Southern part of the country over possibility of activating cells of the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, in parts of the region. This followed persistent discovery of Boko Haram operatives in the South West, a development that is raising fears of increasing number of sleeper cells of the dreaded terror sect capable of springing surprise attacks on the region in the nearest future. Though the South West is known to have the largest population of Muslims in Southern Nigeria, it is believed to have the liberal and traditional kind of Islam. The region, however, now appears to be in danger as the North, which is already entrenched in extremism and insurgency, is sprouting elements that are capable of placing the South West under jihadist attacks.
The Presidency, yesterday, raised the alarm that five northern governors, who currently moving round the country are holding consultations with political stakeholders in Nigeria, have a hidden agenda to ease President Goodluck Jonathan out of the 2015 election “in order to enhance their selfish political interest”. According to the Presidency, the so-called consultations by the governors, which had not been authorised by any organ of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, or the Presidency, was a selfish political move aimed solely at distracting President Jonathan from his people-oriented programmes and heat up the polity, so as to give the erroneous impression that the country was on fire.Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, made the accusation in an exclusive interview with Sunday Vanguard – SEE FULL INTERVIEW ON PAGES
The Oodua Peoples Congress on Friday said it would oppose the influx of members of Boko Haram into the South-West even as it lauded the arrest of the sect’s 42 suspected members in Lagos and Ogun states by the Nigerian Army. The group, while declaring the South-West zone as a no-go area to the sect, described the arrest as a welcome development. Speaking with our correspondent, the OPC Coordinator, Mr. Gani Adams, said the group would not fold its arms and allow the peace in the region to be disturbed. He said, “The arrest of 42 members of Boko Haram in the South West is a welcome development. We will however use everything at our disposal to resist the entry of Boko Haram members into the S’West.
The newly registered All Progressives Congress has launched a charm offensive to woo the South-East and South-South zones, which are considered to be the strongholds of President Goodluck Jonathan. SUNDAY PUNCH gathered on Friday that the party, having realised its weakness and President Jonathan’s strength in the two zones, has decided to revisit the zoning of its offices. Sources told our correspondents that the mega opposition party might zone its vice-presidential ticket and top party offices to the South-East and South-South. Currently, the new party has a governor in the two zones apiece.
The All Progressive Gand Alliance (APGA) yesterday announced the suspension of Imo state Governor , Rochas Okoroacha accusing him of engaging in gross anti-party activities. Rising from an emergency National Executive Committee(NEC) meeting yesterday in Abuja, the party also announced the dissolution of the imo state executive of APGA. It said that a 21-man Committee will be appointed to oversee the party until a congress is held. A communique read by the National Vice Chairman of APGA ( South-West) , Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi said “the NEC unanimously resolved to suspend with immediate effect the governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okoroacha from the party, for gross anti -party activities, bordering on his involvement with the newly regsitered All Progressives Congress (APC) contrary to the clear provisions of the APGA constitution.
The North’s apex socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum, has said northerners will vote for presidential candidates from other zones, despite its interest in the return of power to the region in 2015.
Professor Ango Abdullahi is the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum. In this interview with PAUL ORUDE, conducted in Bauchi, Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and one time minister of Agriculture spoke on some national issues. He did not mince words that the north wants the president to come from the region in 2015, and would persuade all political parties to present northern candidates. While condemning the molestation of four northern governors on solidarity visit to Rivers State by some youths, he predicted that the current military action being carried out by the federal government in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states will fail because of the approach.
The newly registered All Progressives Congress has begun moves to draft a former Minister of Defence (retd.), General Theophilus Danjuma, into the 2015 presidential election race, Saturday PUNCH has learnt. It was learnt that the North had foreclosed the possibility of getting the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential ticket with President Goodluck Jonathan’s grip on the party. Investigations showed that the North had shifted its focus to the newly registered APC. A source familiar with the permutations of the northerners confided in our correspondent that the region was desperately looking for a candidate, who could unite its people, who had been divided by religions.
Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, leader of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has reportedly been shot and deposed by members of his own sect, Boko Haram. A new leader, Abu Zamira Mohammed, who is the sect’s leader negotiating with the federal government has been appointed new leader by the group’s Shura Council. The group also said that its ceasefire declaration is working, pointing out that there has not been any suicide bombing since the declaration. It noted its condemnation of the Yobe massacre where 40 students were killed, adding that some politicians now commit murder and ascribe it to Boko Haram
WHEN Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola was sworn in as the Governor of Lagos State, to take over from his mentor, I was one of those who vouched for him,