Boko Haram Negotiations: FG Should Engage In Wider Consultations – Gusau

Boko HaramThe Media Aide to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Mr Isa Gusau, has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to involve people in the Borno communities, the Civilian JTF and the State Government in its activities if indeed it wants to solve the problem of Boko Haram.

“You cannot claim to address a problem in somebody’s state without carrying that person along, you will end up at nothing, that is the truth of the matter.”

He made this statement on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, while explaining that negotiations with the terrorist group should have been done with stakeholders like the Borno Elders and others who have had closer confrontations with the sect.

Although he admitted that the Civilian JTF couldn’t have been successful without the military due to their superior firepower, he maintained that the JTF have the edge over the military because “they know these people, they lived among us”.

Gusau also aligned with a statement credited to the Borno Elders who had been reported in the newspapers to have said that the Federal Government was dealing with bogus Boko Haram operatives in its negotiations.

“The Boko Haram members, like we have always known, they don’t even adopt common Islamic names. They want to go for names that are a bit sophisticated with a lot of Arabic background.

“Then all of a sudden there was somebody called ‘Danladi’ and this is not even a conventional Muslim name. Its a name attached to a date of birth, it is just like a jargon, in my opinion. So it is very doubtful for anybody to hear the name Danladi and say this guy is a Boko Haram member.”

He also cited an interview granted by the said Boko Haram member to an Abuja based FM station where he was “recognising the government of the day, saying ‘we are coming out, this is our government’.

“Boko Haram does not recognise constitutional authority, it does not recognise the Nigerian Government. The guy was also admitting the name Boko Haram (when) members of this sect hate to be called Boko Haram.”

He maintained that the Federal Government should have engaged in wider consultations for its resolution moves to be successful.

Ali Modu Sheriff’s Role

Boko Haram
Former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff

Mr Gusau was asked if there had been any consultation between the current Borno Government and the former governor, Ali Modu Sheriff.

“The former governor, I don’t think, has shown any serious concern about the Boko Haram issue, to the best of my knowledge.

“He said, when he granted an interview to the Voice of America, that there was a lot he was doing underground but from what I could tell, I have never heard him coming out publicly to talk about this until in recent times.”

In response to suggestion that the State Government could have invited him, Mr Gusau said, “Until now that he went to the PDP, he doesn’t need any invitation from the governor. The governor was his own boy.

“They were all in the ANPP, to the APC together. He doesn’t need any invitation from Governor Kashim Shettima to provide anything.”

On allegations against the former Governor of being a supporter of the Boko Haram sect, Gusau refused to make comments, owning to the fact that the matter was in court.

He recalled that the former governor had threatened to sue the Australian negotiator who accused him of being the sect’s sponsor and the matter was still pending.

Boko Haram Motivation

Gusau believes that the Boko Haram sect members are more motivated by their extreme religious beliefs.

Providing his interpretation of the Islamic belief about paradise, in connection with the activities of the Boko Haram sect, he posited that for the average Boko Haram suicide bomber, their act of terror is “a win-win situation”.

He, however, admitted the existence of economic motivation as there were people who are economically driven to be in the group. “This is why the Borno State Government has always developed an economic approach to it,” he said.

Explaining the rising strength of the sect despite the government’s approach, he added that there had been cases where people were forced to be part of the group and they would have to continue to do their bidding because they (the people) want to survive.

“These guys are good in their act…there is no doubt about it. Guerilla warfare is always a very difficult war. They know the act of getting people, seizing them and forcing them to do certain things and people want to survive.

“The reason why they are increasing is because they capture a lot of people. If it were for economic reasons, I think that has been, to a large extent, made unpopular in Borno State.”

2015 Election

Boko Haram
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima

Mr Gusau reiterated that the goal of insurgents is to suspend constitutional democracy and replace it with their own doctrines of violence, so Nigeria has an obligation “to ensure that elections take place in every part of the country”.

He said that if elections are suspended in any part of the country because of Boko Haram, it would amount to encouraging them, but added that this does not mean that the election in 2015 is more important than the life of any Nigerian.

Therefore, it remained a major task for the Federal Government to ensure that constitutional democracy is not hampered by terrorism and at the same time an enabling environment is created to ensure the lives of the people are protected.

The advise comes as the Borno State Governor has just been endorsed to contest for a second term in office.

He said that the Governor remained optimistic that there would be elections in Borno State in 2015, he would be standing for re-election and he would emerge victorious.

Finding Chibok Girls

Gusau restated the Borno State Government’s optimism towards the release of the abducted girls from the Government Secondary School, Chibok.

Although he could not provide an update on the efforts to secure their release as he said that the Federal Government was in the better position to do this, he said that the Borno State Government had focused on the 57 girls that escaped.

“Government has done so much in rehabilitating them. There was a rehabilitation programme that was organised by Governor Kashim Shettima in June this year. After rehabilitation, schools have been identified for them in September and 36 of them so far have been sent to international schools. The Borno State Government is spending over 200million naira on that.

“We are very optimistic. Only a fool will completely rule out the recovery of a child,” he said.

Yobe PDP Mend Fences Ahead Of 2015

PDPThe People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Yobe State has summoned an extraordinary stakeholders meeting of the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The meeting, chaired by the State Caretaker Chairman of the party, Sule Abdulkadir Doguwa, was attended by over 200 party stakeholders drawn from across the state.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting, the caretaker chairman said that the meeting discussed exhaustively on the progress of the party at whisking power from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said that the meeting also deliberated on party selection process in all elective positions ahead of the election and gave assurances that all the primaries would be peacefully resolved.

“We as a party have resolved all our issues ahead of the 2015 general election and I can confirm to you we don’t have any faction in the party again. We are working to win all the election positions during 2015 election,” Doguwa said.

The Chairman said that the party also resolved to embark on zonal rally to galvanize the party and its members as part of the repositioning process.

The meeting had in attendance the former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri, that of State for Finance, Dr. Yarima Ngama and the present Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr. Abdul Bulama among others.

The All People’s Party (APP) which later changed to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and now the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to dominate the governance of the state since the return of democracy in 1999.

Currently, all but one of the elective offices in the state are being manned by the APC, a situation the Yobe PDP has vowed to change come 2015.

Yobe PDP: Former Minister Of Police Affairs On A Rescue Mission

Yobe PDPFormer Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri, has described as unfortunate the dwindling fortunes of the People’s Democratic Party in Yobe State and attributed it to lack of legitimate leadership of the party at the state level.

Speaking to Channels Television in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, the former Minister said that as a founding father of the party in the state, he would not just sit back and watch the dwindling fortunes of the party but would work hard to reposition the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The former minister said that he was consulting with relevant stakeholders across the state for the restoration of the party in the state with a view to clinching power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state.

The Yobe PDP has since the return of democracy to Nigeria, failed to make the desired impact in the state as the three governors since then have been of the All Nigeria People’s Party, which has now merged with other parties to become the All Progressives Congress, APC.

At the moment, only one member of the National Assembly is of the PDP while all the state lawmakers are in the APC, a situation the former minister vowed to change come 2015.

Kaduna APC Members Reject State Congress Result

apc 2Members of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State on Tuesday rejected the result of last Saturday’s state congress which produced a two time member of the House of Representatives, Mr Bala Bantex as the state party chairman.

Addressing journalists at the party secretariat on behalf of other chairmanship aspirants, Mr Joshua Ephraim, one of the aspirants,  explained that the results of the congress that were announced by the state congress committee did not in any way reflect the wishes of the delegates who voted during the exercise.

Describing the entire exercise as a charade, he insisted that the election should be cancelled by the party’s national leadership to give room for a fresh congress where delegates would freely elect party officials of their choice.

The battle for the soul of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State had assumed dimensions hitherto unimagined. Although it existed in the realm of speculation and hushed gossips, recent events had shown the feud was real and may have just begun.

After the controversial state congress, aggrieved APC members and aspirants alleged fraudulent activities in the conduct of the congress and accused the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Mallam Nasril El-Rufai and some APC national assembly members of conniving with the congress committee to manipulate the election to their favour.

Amidst the festering crisis, another aspirant and a former chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the state, Senator Lawal Aliyu, also expressed disappointment with the outcome of the state congress, and expressed fear that if nothing was done by the party to urgently resolve the lingering political crisis, it might spell doom for the party in 2015 elections.

However, the newly elected Chairman of the party, Mr Bala Bantex, described the election that brought him and other officials into office as keenly contested as well as free and fair. He urged the other aspirants to bury their grievances and join hands with him in order to move the party forward, adding that his emergence as Chairman would propel APC to victory in 2015 elections.

Ahead of the 2015 poll, tension is already enveloping the state. Indications are also rife that it could cast shadows on the acclaimed modest successes recorded by the APC in the state, if not properly handled.

With barely two days to the its national convention, observers say unresolved issues emanating from state chapters of the APC, like the case of Kaduna,  would determine the success or failure of the convention.

One Killed, 15 Injured In Ondo APC Ward Congress

APCThe ward congress of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ondo State turned bloody yesterday as one Bosun Adegorola was shot dead and 15 others seriously injured during the exercise.

The deceased was shot on the head at Ajipowo area ward 2 in Akure, the state capital when some members of another faction invaded the area and complained about the conduct of the primaries.

According to the Public Relations Officer of Ondo State Police Command, Mr Wole Ogodo, no fewer than three persons have been arrested by the police for alleged breakdown of law and order in the state and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, CID.

A faction of the party had pulled out of the congress, alleging marginalisation.

The faction that pulled out included a member of the Board of Trustees of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples’ Party, ANPP, Captain Demola Ariyo, the party’s state chairman, Yemisi Aladesaye, State Chairman of defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Olalekan Obolo and its governorship candidate in the October 2012 gubernatorial election, Soji Ehinlanwo.

Ekiti Election: Fayemi Says People’s Welfare Remains Priority

fayemi_celebrationThe governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has revealed that the welfare of Ekiti people remains priority to his administration.

Speaking during his re-election campaign rally in Oye Local Government of Ekiti State, the Governor said that he had been tested ok, with his performance in the last three years being also verifiable, including the peace which has been restored in the state.

He also challenged candidates from other political parties to come up with what they had done for the people in the past.

The Director-General of Fayemi Campaign Organization, Bimbo Daramola, also said that Dr. Fayemi was the people’s choice candidate, having done creditably well for the people of the state and adjudged to be deserving of another term in office.

The campaign started in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, with the Governor and all the cabinet members, including the party leaders and supporters in the campaign train, as they moved from one community to the other.

He also visited traditional rulers within the local government as he called for their supports and the votes of their communities so as to “continue with the good work.”

The traditional rulers confirmed the transformation in the state, but not without presenting the Governor with requests as regards more work that needed to be done. Dr Fayemi, however, promised to work on their requests as soon as he is re-elected.

Network Africa: Diary Of Crisis And Steps Towards Political Solution

This edition of Network Africa is all about defection, crisis, steps towards political solution and paying respects to victims of the holocaust.

In Nigeria, the leader of the opposition, All Progressives Congress and former Governor Of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has defected to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

The former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, in the 2011 elections was also a founding member of the APC.

We also look at what’s happening in South Sudan where former vice president, who is also the rebel leader, Riek Machar, says the treason charges laid up against him and his allies are simply baseless.

Meanwhile, the United Nations is of the opinion that if the least bit of calm is to be restored to the Central African Republic, that would come at the price of 10 000 troops. About a million people have fled their homes during months of religious violence, after rebels seized power last March.

In Egypt, 20 journalists are facing charges. 16 are Egyptians accused of belonging to a “terrorist organisation” and 4 are foreigners accused of assisting it – 2 Britons, a Dutch national and an Australian. We seek what journalists have to say about press freedom being in jeopardy in Egypt.

We go to Libya, where the Acting Interior Minister, Al-Sidik Abdul-Karim, has escaped an assassination attempt in the capital, Tripoli. We also stopped by at Malawi where the first two out of 70 defendants are appearing in court over the up to 100 million dollars which was allegedly stolen from government funds in the biggest corruption scandal in Malawian history.

Finally, we bring news from Yemen, where the French authorities have charged Yemenia Airways with manslaughter over a 2009 crash, off the Comoros Islands that killed 152 people.

Despite all the challenges crisis facing Africa, there’s still hope, as 25 year-old Mandla Maseko, has won a competition organised by US-based space academy and he has won a return ticket to outer space, making him  the first black African to make the trip.

Network Africa attended an event in Lagos; to mark January 27, a highly symbolic day which the United Nations sets aside annually to remember the 6 million Jewish lives which were lost in the space of a decade during the holocaust.

Enjoy this edition of Network Africa.

APC Ondo Crisis: State Politicians Speak Against Imposition Of Leaders

A member of the Ondo chapter of the All Progressives Congress’ registration committee, Bola Ilori, on Saturday told Channels Television that the imposition of committee members was the root of the crisis rocking the state.

Speaking on Sunrise, he said that the trouble was being caused by external bodies who do not understand the internal workings of the state politics. “People that do not understand the history of the state, by the time they are at the driving seat of events, you will always have trouble. “

“This is a new party coming together, let the legacy parties be at the driving seat of events.”

A member of APC, Chairman of the Defunt CPC (Ondo state chapter), Olalekan Obolo, who was speaking on the duplication of positions, said the crisis is not about either one of the Chairmen but about the “propriety of the event that took place on the day when the inauguration of the state harmonization committee was going to be carried out.”

“It is clear by international standards that anyone who wants to lead a people must first of all seek the acquiescence of the majority

“We had a committee of 31 members and on the day of inauguration, 19 of us decided to stay away because we had issues with the composition of the committee and the process that led to its emergence.”

According to both Ilori and Obolo, the issues rocking the chapter are because members of the defunct CPC and ANPP are not well represented in the committee.

Asides from the statutory members including governorship candidates, chairmen and secretaries of the defunct parties, a total number of 9 persons are expected to be nominated into the committee.

The politicians stated that each part should have been given 3 slots each of the 9 slots available however, CPC and ANPP ended up with one each. The representatives were also handpicked without the knowledge of the members of the other parties.

According to Ilori, “Otunba Adebayo came up with a unilateral list without recourse to the defunct party secretariat.”

Responding to their arguments, the Interim Publicity Secretary of APC in Ondo state, Rotimi Fashakin said “the issue of merger is not for state chapters of the legacy party to decide. It was for the national body to decide.”

Although the other two guests questioned Fashakin’s involvement in the whole process, the Publicity secretary defended his position, saying that “the fact on ground is … I was the national publicity secretary of CPC… by the guidelines of APC, I am a statutory member of the harmonization committee.”

Mr Ilori further argued that an agreement had been reached at a party meeting which held in Lagos but was later disobeyed. “It was agreed that the three former chairmen of the legacy parties should be joined by 3 members from the senatorial districts to lead the party in the state and oversee the mobilization exercise.

He however blamed individuals who are not familiar with the local terrain of interrupting local politics.



APC Crisis: We Foresaw Our Problems – Mohammed

The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lai Mohammed, has said that the party had foreseen that the coming together of different parties would cause the APC problems.

While speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ , he said that the moment the defunct ACN, ANPP, CPC, section of DPP and APGA, came together they knew it would lead to differences at some point with everyone wanting to protect interests but that they were well prepared for it.

He noted that the defection of the five governors from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, did not make things easier but the party had set up a Harmonization Committee to ensure a seamless blending.

The APC Chieftain refused to be compared to the ruling PDP in terms of party crisis. He argued that theirs was a different situation and indeed “unique in the history of Africa”, as what they achieved in merging such number of strong parties had never been achieved in the history of democracy in the continent.

He expressed optimism that the minor issues would soon be resolved with everyone coming back together. “What is important is that we will be stronger”. He stood by his past comments about the PDP not being able to handle its problems, insisting that the APC was different.

While referring to comments made by the PDP that the APC was made up of “strange bed fellows” with their make-up of different political parties, persons of different political backgrounds and lately the aggrieved PDP governors, Mr Mohammed said that the APC was simply playing by the rules of politics.

“You cannot effect a change from the outside, except u want to rig. In politics numbers are important.”

He dismissed the fear that the new members would pollute the values of the party, maintaining that the APC was a well structured party and the many people joining or defecting to the party would not pollute its values.

He enthused: “We have a manifesto, they can’t change it” but rather they would adjust from the ways of their former parties to do things in line with the APC’s ideology.

What exactly is the philosophy of APC?

As it has been a common criticism that Nigeria’s political parties lacked ideologies, since the defection of the five PDP governors to the APC, Mr Mohammed was asked to clarify the actual ideologies of the All Progressives Congress.

The APC Publicity Secretary said that the ideology of his party had never been hidden from the public as it had always been available on the party’s website for anyone who wished to know to read up.

He however went further to state that the All Progressives Congress was a “Left of the centre party”, a welfarist party that believed that the wellbeing of the people was the basic responsibility of any government.

The APC places the provision of amenities, security, and education as its priorities.

He said that the ideologies of the APC were obvious from the differences it had made in states where the PDP once ruled. Citing examples of the APC states of Osun, Oyo, and Ogun, he stressed that a proper comparison between the APC’s three years of governance to the eight years spent by the PDP governors would enable people understand the ideologies of the party better.

He also added that the APC was already rubbing off on the PDP defectors rather than the party losing its own values.

The Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who was among the five PDP governors that joined the APC, has already declared free education in Kano State, while the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has also set up a committee to develop a plan for the employment of over 5,000 youths in the state.

Candidacy Tussle

The APC leader also debunked rumours that the party was confused on who to present as its candidate at the 2015 General Election.

Laughing at what he termed “creative rumour mill that emanates from Nigeria”, he stated that the issue of who flies the party’s candidacy at any level has never risen as the party was busy building its structure.

With member registration slated for the end of January 2014, congress in February, to be followed by the National Convention in March, there was no way they could have had time to discuss candidacy.

He insisted that the Party’s constitution was clear on how candidates at different levels should emerge and there was no pressure on whom to put forward at the coming elections.

Ogun APC Crisis

Mr Lai Mohammed also tried to exonerate the national leadership of the APC on allegations that it caused the crisis rocking the Ogun State APC through its imposition of an executive on the members without following laid down rules.

He explained that part of the conditions for merger as required by the National Electoral Commission, INEC, was that names of interim national officers were expected to be provided, and the Interim National Committee set guidelines for selecting the persons who should be in the interim based on their political qualifications.

While providing details of the agreement with all merging parties, the set guidelines and the concessions given, he insisted that the party followed these rules as set during the merger agreements, adding that the people complaining about imposition of candidates in Ogun State APC did not know that agreements were made and rules had been set to ensure that old or new APC members were equally treated.

Gaidam Says APC Will Give Nigerians The Needed Change

The Yobe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam says the new merger party, All Progressive Congress (APC) will provide Nigerians the much desired change that will transform the living conditions of the people.

The governor stated this at the Maiduguri International Airport while returning from the first stakeholders meeting of the party since its registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Holding a broom which is a symbol of the party in his hand as he arrived at the airport, was received by a mammoth crowd from Yobe state who also, were brandishing their brooms while calling on Nigerians to give the APC a chance in the quest for a desired change.

“We need change in Nigeria because the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has failed Nigerians. Power sector, the education, health care services, road development among others has all being in shambles and the time to seek for change is now” Gaidam laments.

Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam says while at the meeting he had promised to deliver the state during the 2015 general elections and expressed hope that with the crowd that gathered to receive him at the airport, that promised will surely be fulfilled.

The governors said “I can see hope in this party and my promised that Yobe will be delivered to APC is already achieved. We should work together towards building a virile country for our generation yet unborn and such efforts should be taken seriously and the time for it is now.”

The governor says APC will fight corruption, create job opportunities, and ensure security of lives and property of the people by creating conducive atmosphere for a sustainable development and call on Nigerians to rally round the party for the actualisation of its dreams which is for the progress of the country.

The governor was received at the airport by his deputy Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, top government functionaries, politicians and well-wishers.

Yobe state will likely be a strong ground for the APC, as it has been an All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) controlled state since the return of democracy in 1999, and also one of the leading party at the front burner of the merger.

Drive For A Better Nigeria Gave Rise To APC– APC Member

A member of the new merger political party; APC, Funsho Ologunde says the creation of  merger political party the Allinace for Progressives Congress (APC) was borne out of the desire give Nigerians a ‘better Nigeria’,also debunkiung political insinuations that most key members of the new Alliance for progressive Congress (APC) are splinters of or have their roots traced to the ruling party Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

Mr. Ologunde who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, said the emergence of APC as a merger political party described the APC as party with a difference from the conventional political parties, because it tends to achieve more and better than with its synergy as stakeholders from the merged parties come on board with different party backgrounds, ideas which will come in useful in decision-making for a better Nigeria.

“There are a lot of things that are new, there is this synergy that produces greater effect, greater energy and what that means is that it will be ACN doing things the way it was known as ACN, CPC doing its own, ANPP doing its own

“We are not talking of gurus from three different political parties that have been individually identified as opposition parties, coming together to put together their thoughts, synthesizing their advantages and then learning from their weaknesses to present a more formidable organisation”

He however implored Nigerians not to make any meaning out of aspersions casted by the ruling party at the APC, because the sole purpose of a merger between the strong oppositions ACN, CPC and ANPP, in Nigeria was to give Nigerians a voice and better their lives as well.

“I want to assure Nigerians that each time a PDP man goes on air like it happened yesterday, where the president said there was going to be bla,bla,bla for 2015 elections, it’s not to be taken as a threat, because such things are never objective analysis of the situation

” When all these forces, the previous political parties, came together and decided to work together, for the betterment of the generality of Nigerians, we are going to see with the emergence of APC that has already come on board, stronger, more potent, more forceful and more aggressive than the previous opposition parties”

PDP Is Used To Issues Of New Parties– Aderemi

Segun Aderemi of the National Coalition for Good Governance says the PDP is already used to the emergence of new parties in Nigeria’s political arena and these new parties is posing no threat to anyone.

Speaking on the 2015 elections and emergence of new parties, specifically on the APC, on sunrise Daily, Aderemi stated that most of the politicians that formed these parties are offspring of the ruling party the PDP.

‘The issue of new parties coming is a thing we are used to’ as he hinted that the ruling PDP which is now 14 years.

‘PDP is a party that cuts across not just only in Nigeria’.

Commending the move by the INEC in registering new parties ahead of the 2015 elections, Aderemi said it will only boost Nigeria’s democracy, and the ruling is not worried by it.

Watch complete interview for more.