Winners have emerged in different categories at the 5th Vanguard Personality of the Year Awards ceremony.
The event, which held in Lagos on Saturday, saw former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and elder statesmen Emeka Anyaoku, Edwin Clarke, Alhaji Issa Funtua, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, bankers, Pascal Dozie and Herbert Wigwe who received the Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, bagged the Personality of the Year Award while industrialist, captain Idahosa Okunbo, was awarded the businessman of the year.
The Senate has begun the process of re-enacting the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act, to remove the bottlenecks that hindered the development of an efficient rail transport system in the country.
The Senate Committee on Land Transport held a public hearing in Abuja aimed at developing a practical and well-crafted legal framework for the Nigerian Railway Corporation to enable it meet with international best practices.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, at the public hearing said that the exercise when completed would set the Nigerian railway sector on the path of positive development.
At the hearing, Senate President Bukola Saraki said that the Senate has no choice but to speedily and comprehensively review and pass the bill which would aid the development of the railway sector.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday warned that those found culpable in the N1.69 trillion rail tracks rehabilitation contracts fraud would face full wrath of the law.
The Speaker made this known while declaring open the investigative hearing by the ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the award of contracts by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), for rehabilitation of rail tracks, maintenance of bridges, procurement and rehabilitation of coaches and locomotives.
During the investigation, past Chairmen of the Board of the NRC, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Alhaji Kawu Baraje, who were present, denied involvement in the award of the contracts.
Hon. Dogara and the Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee, Johnson Agbonayinma, maintained that the House is determined to carry out its mandate.
The committee is expected to continue with its investigation at a later date when the Minister of Transportation is expected to appear.
The former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party,PDP,Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has expressed his readiness to support President Goodluck Jonathan if he declares his intention to seek re-election in 2015.
Tukur, who stated this in Abuja, maintained that Jonathan’s re-election will strengthen democracy and preserve the unity and stability of Nigeria.
Tukur also urged Nigerians to support President Jonathan for a second term to enable democracy thrive in unity and harmony.
While canvassing support for President Jonathan, Tukur maintained that re-election of the president will help to consolidate on going infrastructural development in the country.
Even though President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to declare his intention to run in 2015, several social-political groups have emerged in recent times, urging him to contest the elections.
Among those groups, The Strategic Team (TST), a national political think-tank group, who met with the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, to pledge their support for the President.
He told the group to continue their grassroots mobilization and sensitization on the matter, pending the final determination of the President.
Earlier, the group told the gathering their reasons for identifying with the current administration.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the 2015 general elections to hold in February.
At the moment, no political party including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has come up with their presidential candidate for the elections.
The Department of State Security Services (DSS) in Kano State, north west Nigeria, on Friday arrested four people in connection with the recent kidnapping of a seven year old in Kumbotso Local Government Area of the state.
Addressing a news conference, a Director of the DSS, Mr Bassey Gideon, said the boy was later found dead around Unguwa Uku area in the metropolis after a two million Naira Ransom was paid to the suspects.
Having found the body in a sack around the same area the boy was abducted, these men were arrested in connection to the kidnapping and subsequent death of the boy.
Sarki Sadiq, who is the leader of the group, told journalists that he alone planned the entire operation.
Meanwhile, the DSS in Kano has also arrested one Peter Oloma from Benue State who specialised in sending threat text messages to wealthy individuals demanding for money or face death.
The DSS, therefore, urged residents to remain vigilant of their children and report any suspicion to the nearest police station.
The National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP), Bamanga Tukur has responded to the letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, advising him to ‘thread with caution.’
Reactions have continued to trail the December 2nd letter Obasanjo wrote to the President, in which he accused him of taking actions calculated at destroying Nigeria.
In a statement released by his media adviser, Mr. Oliver Opara, the PDP chairman described Obasanjo’s allegations in the 18 page letter as ‘unfortunate and unexpected’.
Alhaji Tukur further advised Obasanjo to thread with caution over his personal attacks or vituperations against his fellow elder statesmen and patriots holding exalted positions in this country.
Although the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is currently battling with its first major fallout in over 12 years of reigning as the ruling party, which has resulted in the emergence of a faction led by Abubakar Baraje, some members are certain that the new faction will come back soon.
A PDP chieftain and former special assistant to the Minister of Works, Patrick Mba, while speaking on Sunrise said that the party is still in one piece as “we have only one PDP under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.”
“A lot of people at the Eagle Square that day were not surprised because they’ve done it before; their doing it again for selfish reasons was not surprising to most of us” assuring that they would “definitely come back” to the main fold.
Citing an example of the few Rivers State Assembly lawmakers who said they had impeached the Speaker, Mr Mba explained that the Baraje led faction cannot overthrow the Tukur faction because they are the minority.
That most of them were laid off by the court because they were wrongly brought into the national working committee of the PDP and then walked out of the Special Convention “does not make them new PDP members”.
He said that the exit of 6 top members of the party at the convention did not surprise them as some members of the new faction had left the party in the past but later came back.
The South West and other non-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled states have become the target of the National body of the party in its reconciliation efforts.
At the inauguration of the party’s national reconciliation committee, headed by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur said the 13 states presently controlled by the opposition should be the starting point of the committee’s reconciliation effort.
Mr Tukur admitted that there is crisis within its fold but that the party is determined to reclaim its dominance in the opposition states.
The chairman of the committee, Governor Dickson said it is normal to witness crisis in a large party like the PDP.
He however added that the crisis will resolved within the ambit of the law.
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur has charged the interim members of the party’s executive committee to work towards a smooth national convention in July.
Mr Tukur was speaking at the swearing in ceremony of a 21-member interim committee that was named at the last National Executive Committee meeting following the resignation of 20 other members of the National Working Committee.
The interim committee is expected to work with Mr Tukur until the July 20 mini convention, which will produce the substantive members of the party’s NWC.
He said that the party remains strong despite the resignation. He promised that the party will continue to work to deliver on her mandate to Nigerians.
The Vice President, Namadi Sambo at an event in Abuja advised members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to be united so that the party will have a good standing in the 2015 elections.
Speaking at the one year anniversary celebration of the National Working Committee under the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Vice President Sambo said that members of the party need to be faithful to the ideals of democracy.
While stressing the need for the repositioning of the party ahead of the 2015 general elections, he stated that the true practice of democracy and the unity of members is key to enhancing the reconciliation efforts of the National Chairman of the party.
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur identified lack of openness, fair-play and internal democracy as some of the problems bedeviling the party.
However, he said that repositioning the party without effectively addressing some of the challenges confronting the party will be an uphill task.
National Chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur on Wednesday gave his approval to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to run as President in the 2015 general elections under the PDP umbrella.
The party chieftain at an interactive session which held in Abuja stated that any PDP governor reserves the right to mobilise support for Dr. Jonathan’s 2015 ambition.
“Let me tell you, that is in order in politics. Jonathan is the president under our party and what is wrong if he decides to run? The others have the same opportunity to promote their candidate, if they have. But the Governors Forum isn’t the platform for electing candidate; we have our own system.’’ He said.
Speaking on the PDP Governors forum, he explained that the intention of the party is to foster unity among its officials and not to undermine or threaten the National Governors Forum as stated by the Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu.
“But I have explained to you our intention, as a party. We want our governors to come together.” He stated.
The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, said on Tuesday that the party would collaborate with African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa to tackle continental and global challenges.
Tukur said this when he led a delegation of the ANC to a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Addressing State House Correspondents after the closed-door meeting, Tukur said the two parties would synergise to better the lot of the citizens of both countries and Africa in general.
“ANC is a grassroots party like PDP; so we have so many things in common, because our party is well-grounded; we start from home, we go to ward, local government, to state, to region, and to the centre.
“It is all-involving; it is all-inclusive; and that is what also makes ANC to be acceptable to their own leadership. Likewise, PDP is the biggest and strongest here. We want to see the synergy between us (PDP and ANC); we want to support what is happening, to create employment, fulfill needs in terms of what our manifesto encouraged; education, health, agriculture and so on.”
Tukur said the PDP was concerned about the growing insecurity in the country and was doing all things within the limit allowed for a political party to address the problems.
“We are very concerned about growing insecurity, but political parties are not security organisations. Whatever happens concerns us; so, right from the ward level, the home and we are not happy.
“So security organisations who are there to primarily protect, am sure are doing what they are supposed to do. Ours is to ensure that our members are sensitised to be security-conscious.
“We are also encouraging them to give useful information that can help bring these miscreants to book.’’
Treasurer General of ANC, Mr. Mathews Phosa, who led the South Africans, said the purpose of their visit was to further strengthen the relationship between the ANC and the PDP.
“Nigeria and South Africa are very important African countries although there are others too; but the two countries united together will make a serious contribution towards certain direction of the continent
“It is important that we continue to encourage the relationship between the ANC and the PDP. It does not start today, it was there before and we are just building on an existing structure.
“The important issues in the world require that we collaborate at the political level so that we can be focus, advise one another in the AU in the UN and any other bodies over the continent.
“We have challenges in the continent, which we need to confront together; so, the PDP and ANC want to work together and we are here to strengthen the relationship.’’
Phosa maintained that internal misunderstandings within a political party were usual and had the capacity to deepen democracy, if properly resolved.