National Peace Committee To Function Beyond Elections

Peace CommitteeThe National Peace Committee will not wrap up its work following Nigeria’s successful transition from one government to another.

The National Coordinator of the committee, Bishop Matthew Kukah, said this to journalists in Abuja after a closed-door meeting.

He said that the committee, which was constituted by some eminent Nigerians, would continue to work to ensure peace in all parts of the country.

The committee had initiated the signing of a peace accord by the leading candidates in the 2015 presidential election – former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The National Peace Committee, which is led by former military president, retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar also played a key role in the acceptance of the outcome of the election.

Bishop Kukah explained that the committee would work on a wider scope and not just the conduct of elections in Nigeria.

Abdulsalami Abubakar Speaks On Need To Sustain Peace

AbubakarChairman of the 2015 Elections Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, says he has a responsibility to ensure that the peace Nigeria got following the presidential elections is sustained especially in those states where elections have been declared inconclusive.

General Abubakar, who spoke in the Presidential Villa after meeting with the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, said that he was grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, for their statesmanship and toning down of the celebrations following the elections.

He also described as mischievous, stories making the rounds that he has been interacting with the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke.

He said that he has been meeting with many of the ministers and other people and there was nothing strange.

Jonathan Congratulates Shagari At 89, Commiserates With Emir Of Kano

Nigeria’s first democratically-elected President, Shehu Shagari

President Goodluck Jonathan has written to congratulate Nigeria’s first democratically-elected Executive President, Shehu Shagari, on the occasion of his 89th birthday, on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the letter was addressed to the former President at his residence in Sokoto.

President Jonathan praised his continued dedication to the unity and well-being of the nation.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on my own behalf, I write to felicitate with you as you celebrate your 89th birthday anniversary.

“May Almighty Allah ceaselessly prosper you and bless you with robust health as you continue to give of yourself in the service of our dear nation,” President Jonathan wrote.

President Jonathan wished Alhaji Shehu Shagari a very happy birthday and also conveyed assurances of his highest consideration and warm personal regards to the former President.

The President has also written to commiserate with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero on the death last Friday of the Tafidan Kano, Alhaji Tijani Abubakar.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on my own behalf, I write to commiserate with Your Highness, the people of Kano Emirate, and the entire people of Kano State on this sad loss,” President Jonathan wrote.

He prayed that Almighty Allah would grant the Emir, Alhaji Tijani’s family and the people of Kano the fortitude to cope with the painful loss of the Tafidan.

Council Of State Approves Holding Of National Conference

The Council of States on Tuesday approved the convocation of a National Conference as suggested by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Council meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan ended at the Presidential Villa, with the body endorsing some key national programmes.

Some of the decisions taken by the council after a comprehensive deliberation by its members include the approval of the appointment of a new chairman for the National Population Commission, NPC.

At the end of the meeting, the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam told journalists that the Council of State is worried about the insecurity situation in the country, and following a briefing by the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), the council said that some of the unguarded statements by some politicians are capable of inciting the people.

It therefore warned politicians to be careful, to avoid issues that would incite the generality of the people.

Present at the meeting were former president, Shehu Shagari, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, some state governors, and former chief justices of the federation.

The meeting lasted for about six hours, from 10.45am till 5pm.

Speak Up, Atiku Challenges Elders On Obasanjo’s Letter

A former Nigerian vice-president, Atiku Abubakar has asked General Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Theophilus Danjuma, Dr Alex Ekwueme, and others whom Chief Obasanjo copied in his letter to President Jonathan to speak up.

According to the former vice president, although he was not competent to speak on the letter because he was not privy to the communication, he believes that General Theophilus Danjuma and other leaders who were consulted by the former president before the publication of the letter should intervene and reduce what he sees as, the tension created by Chief Obasanjo’s weighty allegations.

In a statement issued by his media office in Abuja, Abubakar said that, like every other Nigerian, he was nervous about the allegations made by the former president and that those elders mentioned by Obasanjo had a moral duty to add their voices to the issue.

The former vice president adds that the allegations were too disturbing to be treated with apathy by any political stakeholder and that at a moment of national anxiety or uncertainty, leaders across the country should rise to the occasion and reassure fellow Nigerians of the future.

Atiku said: “Our priorities for Nigeria are forging lasting solutions to our chronic unemployment, providing safety and security for all, and vastly improving our failing education systems. President Jonathan’s government has consistently failed to address these critical concerns.”

“That said, it is on record that I have firmly fought for a democracy where the voters choose their future leaders, not political party bosses. If the incumbent President insists on continuing to destroy his own party with vindictive internal wars and thinks his record of rising youth unemployment, never-ending violence, corruption and scandals is worthy of another term, then he is welcome to run. We are confident Nigerians will exercise their democratic right to choose new leadership in 2015.”

NOA holds summit to ensure sustainable and peaceful democracy in Nigeria

Good political leadership, proper understanding and good relationship between political parties and government in power have been described as one of the cardinal factors that can breed sustainable and peaceful democracy in Nigeria.

Director General of the National Orientation Agency( NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, noted this at the opening ceremony of a 2-day political summit organized by the National Orientation Agency in Owerri, Imo state capital, south east Nigeria, with the theme “Political Leadership, Security and Evolving Challenges of Democracy in Nigeria”.

Mr Omeri said it is the federal government’s desire to promote broader understanding for constitutionalism in party politics towards promoting Nigeria’s democracy and the objective of the summit is to redefine the political disposition, cultural and behavioral attitude of Nigerians as a people by showcasing democracy as the best system for organizing a better society.

The programme attracted dignitaries as well as representatives of all political parties. In attendance was the former military head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar represented by Col. Mike Toure (Rtd), Da Jacob Gwang Buba, Gbong Gwon Jos, Professor Attahiru Jega and Governor Rochas Okorocha as chief host.

Omeri in his speech, noted that the programme is conceived as part of the agency’s mandate to promote value orientation amongst political parties and in all sectors as well as effectively capturing the problem of perception as to the precise boundary of the role of political party in democratic governance.

Different speakers at the event commended the agency for providing a platform for political parties to relate, understand and address some issues bothering the nation’s democracy.

They were of the opinion that sustaining the nation’s nascent democracy requires a collective effort by all political parties and stakeholders especially in tackling the issue of political violence and insecurity challenges in the country.

They however urged the leadership of all political parties to close ranks and move beyond party affiliations and embrace dialogue, tolerance and peace in order to protect the country’s democracy.

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha reiterated the need for a summit for the leadership of all political parties summit in a bid to bring Nigerian leaders of diverse political affiliation into a round-table towards addressing some issues that has slowed down development in the country.

Meanwhile, the INEC chairman Professor Attahiru Jega, represented by the Imo state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Mrs. Celina Okoh, said INEC in its quest to provide a credible electoral environment is urging political party leaders to change attitudes and create a strong platform for attaining common solution to solve political challenges during and after elections.

 

 

 

Poverty is not the cause of Boko Haram – Abdulsalami Abubakar

Former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has stated that the current security challenges  in some parts of the country is not caused by poverty but by misguided youths. 

He made this known while answering questions from journalists who were at his country home in Minna, the Niger state capital for prayers to mark his 70th birthday,

The retired general noted that contrary to some insinuations, the security challenge in northern Nigeria is not because of poverty, noting that there are poorer countries than Nigeria that are not facing similar challenges.

He labelled members of the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, as ‘misguided youths’. He however appealed to the sect to sheathe their sword and give peace a chance.

The General also cautioned politicians across the country to stop talking about the 2015 general elections, because it can heat the polity.

The last military Head of State noted that talking or strategising about the 2015 election now, will only serve as a distraction to the incumbent leadership in the country, who still have three more years before the next elections.

He appealed to politicians to avoid politics of bitterness and join hands with the present administration, noting that “democracy in Nigeria is not perfect yet but a work in progress.”

To mark his 70th birthday anniversary, General Abubakar stated that he’s got no regrets whatsoever in his existence.

“I have no regrets but I thank God. By the grace of God, God has lifted me to the highest level anybody can attain and I thank God. I am 70 years old, I am married with grandchildren and I am proud of them and my family. I thank all of them but I don’t have any regrets”, he said.