Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says the reason some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are defecting to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is that the opposition party has become very weak and the situation is getting worse.
According to Governor Sule, the depleting of PDP by poaching its governors and lawmakers is a part of politicking.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Sule said the APC is in the process of getting stronger.
“We have been a very strong party and we are doing the best we can to continue to be stronger and the only way we can be stronger is to get more and more people and the right people to get are the leaders of the opposition. That’s what we are trying to do and God so kind we are doing that,” the governor stated.
Sule’s comments come on the heels of the latest defection move by Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, an exercise that the governor says is a signal suggesting that the opposition leaders are seeing what President Muhammadu Buhari is doing.
When asked if the desire of the APC is to plunder the opposition such that come 2023 only the ruling party will be standing, Governor Sule said “PDP has always been weak since President Muhammadu Buhari came in,” adding that all that is being seen at the moment is that the party is becoming “weaker and weaker”.
He boasted that the APC is doing a very good job by ensuring that it opens its doors and give Nigerians what they are looking for when it comes to governance.
Defections: PDP Is Stable, APC’s Tactics Will Yield Nothing – Kola Ologbondiyan
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the People Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, has assured Nigerians that the opposition party is stable and unwavering, even in the face of recent defections by some of its governors and lawmakers.
While appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Mr. Ologbondiyan said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have the experience of the PDP who was in power for about 16 years.
Speaking further about the recent wave of cross-carpeting which is rocking the PDP, Ologbondiyan said “we have all our structures established in the 36 states and the 774 local governments, as well as over 2000 wards that we have in Nigeria, our party is very stable”.
The PDP spokesman argued that while some governors are decamping over to the APC, the people who elected them are not making the same move. He stressed that while the governors may have been lost, the people remain firmly behind the opposition party.
Mr. Ologbondiyan alleged that the leadership of the ruling party is “going around intimidating governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party,” sending in security agents to conduct investigations that leave the governors uneasy and desperate to secure their political future.
According to the PDP spokesman, this is a well-understood mind-game that poses no threat to the opposition party. He said the PDP is confident that the masses will not be swayed having experienced a great deal of hardship under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We are confident in the people of Nigeria who have been made to suffer untold hardships going to six years and who are very determined that for once they want to choose a leader of their own,” Ologbondiyan noted.
The image-maker of the PDP further stated that his party’s confidence is also unwavering because they know that the “APC as a party is not structured”… and “is a mere vehicle that was used to hijack power”.
Ologbondiyan was of the opinion that Nigerians are done with the APC and the masses who have been pushed to the realm of despondency by the current administration and its party, will oust the government when 2023 comes.
The Nasarawa State government said it will invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ rule for civil servants who are on strike in the state.
This formed part of the resolutions taken on Tuesday at an expanded emergency security meeting chaired by the state governor, Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.
A statement by the Secretary to the Government (SSG), Mohammed Aliyu, explained that the meeting was convened to find ways to amicably resolve the concerns raised by the striking workers.
He stated that while the government recognised the right of workers in the state to embark on strike, it was important for the organised labour to carry out its activities within the confines of the law.
Aliyu said the state government was shocked by the action of the organised labour, especially the indefinite strike, as well as the picketing of offices, thereby depriving workers of gaining access to their offices.
He added that the government has directed permanent secretaries at the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to open attendance registers with a view to actualising the no-work-no-pay rule.
According to the SSG, the government remains open to dialogue with the organised labour in the state.
He, however, noted that the government has directed security agencies to deploy their personnel to all MDAs with a view to restoring law and order.
Aliyu said the state government would seek legal interpretation of the action of the organised labour in court and called on the people to remain law-abiding.
He commended members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) for their refusal to join the ongoing strike.
Read the statement issued by the SSG below:
Sequel to the indefinite industrial action declared by the Organised Labour in Nasarawa State, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, Governor of Nasarawa State convened an emergency expanded Security Meeting with critical stakeholders with a view to finding an amicable resolution to their plight.
As a responsive government, the meeting deliberated on the earlier agreements and interventions on the grievances tabled by the Organised Labour since the assumption of office of the present Administration in 2019.
The government in order to address issues raised, set up various Committees to look into the implementation of promotions, minimum wage, percentage payment of salaries and pension as well as arrears of salaries inherited from the previous Administration.
Despite the lean resources accruing to the State and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the national and global economy, the government fulfilled its obligations by consistent payment of 100% salaries and pension to the State Civil Servants, payments of two (2) trenches of the 2016 arrears and full implementation of new minimum wage among others.
Consequent upon the above endeavour, the government is dismayed by the action of the Organised Labour to embark on the indefinite strike action, especially the picketing of offices thereby depriving workers of gaining access to their offices. This is in spite of concerted efforts by the government to remedy the situation through amicable resolutions.
Accordingly, the government resolved as follows:
o While the government is not opposed to the strike action embarked by the Organized Labour, it, however, enjoined them to operate within the confine of the Law;
o Government appreciate the patriotism of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) for refusing to participate in the strike action;
o Government observed with concerned the arbitrary action of the Organised Labour by denying workers who are unwilling to join the strike access to their offices;
o Government expresses its desire for continuous engagement and dialogue with the Organised Labour. In this regard, an 11-Man High Powered Committee has been constituted;
o Government has directed the Security Agencies to deploy personnel to Man all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to maintain Law and Order in the State;
o Government has also taken a position to seek legal interpretation of the action of the Organised Labour through the Industrial Court;
o Government directed Permanent Secretaries to open attendance registers in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State; and
o Government has also resolved to invoke the principles of “No-Work-No-Pay”.
On this note, the government is therefore calling on the people of Nasarawa State to continue to remain law-abiding and be supportive of the policies and programmes of the present Administration.
“A lot of people keep saying that we need outside support. Having outside support doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t have the capacity. Most of the wars that have been fought in the world, a lot of countries ask for foreign support,” he said.
“Even if you bring somebody from outside, he has to understand your environment. Our (security) personnel understand our environment and they are doing the best they can do.”
The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
“As a Chief Judge you must realise that this is a call to serve the people and in carrying out your duties, I urge you to let the fear of God and public interest take precedence over personal preferences and inclinations,” he said.
After administering the oath of office on the new Chief Judge, Governor Sule reiterated his administration’s resolve to provide the needed impetus to strengthen relationships among organs of government.
The governor said he will continue to support the judiciary towards the quick dispensation of justice, disclosing that the government has okayed the increase in subvention of the judiciary to allow for the implementation of the harmonization law, as well as enhance allowances of magistrates and judges of Area Courts.
He also appealed to members of the Judicial Staff Union currently on strike, to return to work in the interest of the people.
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has said that communities in the state fight bandits who terrorise the people.
He stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“In Nasarawa, what we do is that the moment we see the bandits coming in, we alert our people. These people are coming to your side and the information is there. The communities rise up to the occasion and also the communities fight them,” he said.
Governor Sule blamed the banditry activities in Zamfara State on illegal mining being carried out in the state, adding that those stoking problems in the north-western were interested in illegal mining.
“I think that is the right decision to make. One of the problems we have been facing in Zamfara State and some of these places where mining activities are going on.
“Those who are actually igniting these problems in Zamfara State are those who are interested in mining the gold that is there,” he said.
The governor also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring a no-fly zone in Zamfara as part of the measures to tackle the increasing insecurity in the state.
While noting that the declaring of the presidential order is long overdue, he said the government had to take time to carefully understand the Zamfara situation before coming up with decisive action.
“I think the government wanted to take a lot of time and understand what is going on there before they imposed a no-fly zone. I think the no-fly zone is even overdue, so imposing it today is fantastic, excellent.
“It will bring out more of those people who are hiding under whatever guise and taking care of this mining. It is a lot of illegal mining and not about the economy of the state,” he added.
To the Nasarawa Governor, the presidential ban on mining activities would effectively address the insecurity in the state, adding that the order wouldn’t affect the economy of Zamfara State.
On the granting of amnesty to bandits, the governor explained that he, alongside his other northern colleagues, would not give in to the dictates of those he described as militants.
Although he said that the recent release of the abducted Zamfara schoolgirls was made possible via negotiation, the governor explained that his administration would approach insecurity using both kinetic and non-kinetic strategy.
His remarks come few hours after President He made the disclosure to State House correspondents after a five-hour National Security Council meeting presided over by the President at the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.
Nine people have been arrested over the killing of the Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State, Phillip Shekwo.
Governor Abdullahi Sule disclosed this on Friday while hosting members of the Trade Union Congress in Lafia, the state capital.
He noted that the arrest is a result of intensified combing of the routes followed by the perpetrators.
“For the past four days, the combined military operations have been trailing the routes where they believe those who killed our Chairman followed. They have been combing the place,” Governor Sule said.
“I am happy to inform you that the people we were suspecting, so far anyway, nine people have been arrested and are being interrogated in connection to the killing of our Chairman.”
According to the governor, combined military operations killed three people in connection to the killing at the Loko development area of the state, adding that four AK-47 rifles were also recovered.
“More important than that, around 3 am this morning, the combined operations followed some of these people around Loko and they killed 3 of them, after killing them they recovered four AK47 rifles from them, we are hoping and praying that it is the same people who carried out this exercise”.
He also reiterated his administration’s commitment to improving the security situation in the state, noting “We have always said that security is never too expensive for us unless we don’t have the resources but if we have the resources, we will put in all our resources to make sure that we protect the lives and property of our people, that we have taken seriously and will continue to do that.”
This comes five days after the Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe in the state told Channels Television that Shekwo who was earlier kidnapped at his residence on Saturday was found dead.
The police boss said the body of the deceased was found not far from his house in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, and has been evacuated to the Dalhatu Araf specialist hospital.
Banditry and kidnapping are on the rise in Nigeria’s north, particularly in Kaduna State.
Recently, the district head of Gidan Zaki village in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Haruna Kuye, and his son were killed by gunmen suspected to be bandits.
Also last week, three members of the Kaduna State Vigilante Service were killed by bandits in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, on Sunday said he was shocked at the killing of the Nasarawa State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Philip Tatari Shekwo.
Shekwo’s body was found dead on Sunday after gunmen forcefully gained entrance into his residence on Saturday night and kidnapped him.
“We received with great shock and bewilderment the killing of the Nasarawa State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC Mr. Philip Tatari Shekwo in the hands of yet to be identified gunmen who forcefully gained entrance into his residence last night,” Sule said, according to a statement signed by his spokesman, Ibrahim Addra.
“I am personally traumatized by this gruesome and inhuman act that has left myself, Mr. Shekwo’s family members, the APC family and indeed all well meaning people shattered.
“My prayers and thoughts go to the family of the late Shekwo. He was a great husband, a statesman, peaceful gentleman and loyal party man.”
Sule added that security agencies have begun investigation into the matter, noting that every resource will be deployed to fish out the killers.
“I will like to assure all that the perpetrators of this dastard act will not go scot free,” he said. “Investigations have already commenced by our security agencies who will do all it takes to hunt down these criminals and bring them to justice.
“This killing has further our resolve to deploy every resource to fight crime and criminality and secure our people and their property.
“I urge all to remain resilient as we fight those who are bent on instilling fear in us and alter the restored peace in our state.
“We will not allow them and the Almighty will never allow them.”
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule has commended the military for the killing of a notorious kidnapper, Buju Bazamfare alongside other bandits a few days ago.
The governor commended Nigerian Army Four Special Forces Command during the State Executive Council meeting which held in Lafia on Monday.
“I also want to show appreciation for the support we continue to receive in the area of security in the state. I am happy to note that the military Special Forces Command in Doma, were able to have an inroad between the last meeting and now, especially when it comes to the killing of some major bandits including Buju Bazamfare that was killed about a few days ago.
“We want to congratulate the military for all the successes they continue to have with the bandits and we pray that God almighty will bring an end to all the security challenges we face in the country,” he said.
Bazamfare and his gang were said to have been terrorising Nasarawa and other bordering states for many years before his death.
The military is however yet to give details surrounding the death.
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule has called for the training of personnel of the Nigeria Police to tackle the numerous security challenges in the country.
He made the call during an empowerment programme on Friday in Karu, Karu Local Government Area of the state.
While describing the disbandment of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as disheartening, the governor called for understanding from the youths.
“The kind of reforms we would want is to ensure that the police is well trained and well equipped and that is why it is disheartening to see that SARS is completely dismantled,” he said.
“SARS as I understand is the unit that has been trained specifically to be able to confront armed robbery and some kind of dangers that probably other policemen have not been trained for that.
“Now that we have dismantled them, whatever form that we have, we have to go and train them again so I call on us to use the opportunity not to be throwing away the bathing water and the baby at the same time.”
The governor’s call comes three weeks after the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, dissolved the infamous subunit of the force following allegations of police brutality and human rights violations in the country.
Two days after scrapping SARS, the police boss set up Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, to replace the defunct squad.
The IGP thereafter subjected prospective members of the new team to a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
Beyond that, the IGP also ordered all personnel of the disbanded SARS to report to the Force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
According to the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, the medical examination will be carried out by a newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a unit which the Force says will, henceforth, engage in psychological management, reorientation and training of the officers of the force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.