Ministers Visit Late James Ocholi’s Residence

OcholiMinisters of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to the family of their late colleague, Mr James Ocholi, at his Abuja residence, after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

The delegation, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, assured the children that the Presidency would support the family of the late Mr Ocholi.

Also at the residence to sympathise with the family was a notable politician in Kogi State, James Faleke, who said that the late minister’s death was a great loss to Nigeria, especially to Kogi State.

Friends of the deceased described him as an upright and brave man who made a great impact within a short period of time.

The visit came after the Federal Government announced automatic employment at the Federal Ministry of Justice for Aaron, the eldest son of the late Minister.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, revealed this to the Ocholi family when he paid them a visit to convey his and President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence message.

He also told the family that Aaron’s other siblings would enjoy scholarships for their educational pursuits, courtesy of the Federal Government which had pledged to cushion the effect of the loss of their parents.

FG Employs Ocholi’s Son, Gives Others Scholarship

OcholiAs part of efforts to support the children left behind by the late Minister of State for Labour, Mr James Ocholi (SAN), the Federal Government has announced automatic employment at the Federal Ministry of Justice for Aaron, his eldest son.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, revealed this to the Ocholi family when he paid a visit to his Kado Estate residence at about 3:00pm on Tuesday, to convey his and President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence message.

He also disclosed that Aaron’s other siblings would enjoy scholarships for their educational pursuits, courtesy of the Federal Government who has pledged to cushion the effect of the loss of their parents.

The Minister added that the Senior Advocate was a very critical part of the change effort of the Federal Government.

He said that President Buhari personally mandated him to inform the family of the late Minister that his administration would do all within its power to ensure he is not missed.

Mr Malami consoled them that death was a necessary end that was bound to happen, adding that God in his infinite mercy had a reason for allowing them to depart the way they did.

“I am here to convey Mr President’s condolence message and he has asked me to personally inform you that you have been given automatic employment in the Federal Ministry of Justice. The employment letter is in process and you can resume work after now”, he told Ocholi’s eldest son.

“Your father was a very hardworking and conscientious member of the Federal Executive Council who was very passionate and worked hard for the realisation of the change agenda of this government.

“Indeed, it is a sad moment for all of us and the vacuum which his death has created is not only for the family, but the leadership as well. He was a great pillar in the struggle which brought this administration to power. He played a major role in the merger process,” the AGF said.

Mr Malami also recalled that as far back as the days of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Ocholi was one of those who stood strong behind President Buhari and was one of those who took part in the judicial struggle afterward in an effort to claim the presidential mandate at the election tribunal up to the Supreme Court at that time.

He prayed that his departed soul rests in peace.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment died in a road accident along the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday, March 6, along with his wife and son.

The deceased and his family were returning from a private visit in Kaduna.

Jonathan Will Win Kaduna With Over Two Million Votes – Sambo

SamboVice President Namadi Sambo, on Monday, boasted that Kaduna State would give over two million votes to President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 14, 2015 presidential election.

Although Sambo lost his ward and Kaduna State to the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, he maintains that with the overwhelming support the Peoples Democratic Party enjoys in the state, the party would emerge victorious in the presidential and other elections come 2015.

A statement by his spokesman, Umar Sani, on Monday, quoted Sambo while speaking during a meeting of the Kaduna chapter of the PDP held at the Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kawo, Kaduna.

Sambo was further quoted as saying that he expected 100 per cent victory for the party’s candidates in other elective posts including that of the governor.

“Kaduna State PDP is the same and one strong family, and I am happy for the promise they have kept and for the promise they have made to us, that Insha Allah, PDP is Kaduna State and Kaduna State is PDP, and PDP will win the elections come 2015.

“It is only PDP today in Nigeria that has its presence in the state, local government, ward and polling unit level. This representation is full and strong all over the federation,” the statement quoted the Vice President.

He added that the President was delighted that the primary elections held in the state were rancour-free.

“We believe that there are no losers, no winners and no vanquished and everybody will be carried along.

“Everyone of our party member that participated in our primary agrees that it is only one person that can be a winner and they have agreed to cooperate and work together,” the statement said.

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.

Nasarawa Deputy Governor Abandon APC For PDP

Dameshi to PDPThe Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Mr Luka Dameshi has formerly written to the All Progressives Congress (APC), declining to be its member by default, after weeks of political crisis between him and Governor Tanko Al-makura.

Mr Luka Dameshi, in a letter addressed to the Nasarawa State APC Chairman, Mr Stanley Buba, said “I write to formerly inform you of my decision not to join the All Progressives Congress from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC”.

The letter which was personally signed by the Deputy Governor and copied both the ward and Local Government chairmen of APC in the state, according to Mr Dameshi, is with immediate effect.

A meeting has been scheduled between him and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, for Tuesday to finalize his defection plan.

CPC Endorses Aregbesola For Re-election In 2014

One of the opposition Parties in Osun state, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has endorsed the incumbent Governor, Rauf Aregbesola for a re-run in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

Speaking at the Osun CPC awareness Programme organised by the state chapter of the party in collaboration with De Raufs, a volunteer Group in Osogbo, the state capital, all the speakers agreed that the empowerment programmes of Governor Aregbesola has earned him the people’s mandate.

Moving the motion for the adoption of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for a second term in Office, Barrister Segun Olawale and other speakers maintained that the administration’s commitment to creating a conducive environment aimed at making the state an investment destination, the poverty alleviation measures, good road network, social security and the total turnaround of the state is an indication that he can still do better when re-elected for a second term.

ACN, CPC Oppose Emergency Rule

Opposition parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have both criticised the declaration of a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

The parties in different statements on Wednesday rejected the emergency rule declared by President Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that the use of force would not lead to peace in the troubled region.

The ACN urged the National Assembly to reject the emergency rule and warned it not to “allow itself to be used to rubber stamp a declaration that is largely cosmetic.”

Acknowledging that the President acted within the law and was right to take action on the mindless killings and destruction by insurgents, the parties said the President was wrong in proposing more of the same measures that have failed to yield results over time.

According to the national chairman of the CPC, Mr Tony Momoh, the President’s action can never achieve peace.

On its part, the ACN outrightly rejected the move, saying, the “declaration of state of emergency” is an “action devoid of original thinking and counterproductive.”

The party noted that if “the use of force was capable of ending the Boko Haram crisis, it would have ended a long time ago”, referring to the unsuccessful role of the Joint Task Force (JTF) which has been deployed to the region for over two years and the earlier emergency rule declared in 15 local government areas in the affected states.

“If the declaration of a state of emergency in 15 local government areas in four states in 2011 has not curbed the activities of the insurgents, why extend such measure to other areas? If the use of force in the affected states has failed to curtail the activities of the insurgents, why send in more troops?” the party asked.


According to the ACN “deployment of more troops to the affected states and the use of tougher, scorched-earth tactics against the insurgents…stepped-up militarisation of the states”, adding that it amounts to “an asymmetric use of force in an environment where the insurgents operate within a civilian population, hence it will ultimately be counterproductive as the death toll will continue to mount while the civilian population – who will be caught in the cross fire – will be alienated.”

The opposition also called on the President to disband the recently commissioned Presidential Committee on granting amnesty to members of Boko Haram. The committee members are to reach out to the Islamists to work out modalities of ending the insurgency via amnesty.

“The President should go ahead and disband the committee he recently inaugurated and saddled with reaching out to the insurgents, because by opting to flood the states with more troops under an ill-advised emergency rule, he has succeeded in pulling the carpet from under the Committee’s feet. Who negotiates genuinely with a gun to his head? The committee’s job is over, the members can as well pack up and go home.”

Suspected links to 2015

The ACN also raised suspicion on suspected links of the emergency rule to the next general elections in 2015, alleging that “with the three states militarised, there can neither be electioneering campaign nor voting there.”

“We had warned earlier that as 2015 approaches, the Jonathan Administration will increasingly take measures that will make it impossible to hold election in many states. The over militarisation of some states in the North, the plan to destabilise the South West using, slush funds from the so-called oil pipeline protection contract and the infantile threats from some Niger Delta militants seem to be part of this plan.”

The party reiterated its claim that “the Boko Haram crisis has its roots in years of bad governance that have produced an army of unemployed, unemployable, disenchanted and demoralised youths who are now ready hands and willing tools for those seeking to perpetrate violence. The unprecedented corruption across the land, as well as injustice and extra-judicial killings are also fuelling this crisis,” ACN said.

”Boko Haram is like a bad tree. To kill it, it must be uprooted, instead of trimming its branches. The measures announced by President Jonathan on Tuesday will not deliver the killer punch to this reprehensible sect. There is need to think out of the box,” the statement concluded.

Similarly, the national chairman of CPC; Mr Tony Momoh said the President’s action can never achieve peace.

Opposition Parties Threaten To Sue Kaduna State Govt Over N12billion loan

A coalition of opposition political parties and civil societies in Kaduna state under the auspices of Greater Kaduna group have threatened to drag the Kaduna state government to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) if it fails to account for what it did with the loan of N12 billion it allegedly took from commercial banks recently.

The coalition met on Saturday to deliberate on the state of affairs of the state and the nation in general.

Chairmen of leading opposition parties in the state, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a host of others, at the meeting, berated what they call lack of development and embezzlement of fund in their state.

The convener of the meeting who is also the state chairman of ANPP, Senator Aliyu Mohammed Lawal, explained that the association is a pressure group formed with the aim of holding government accountable to the citizens and to enthrone good governance in the country.

The opposition parties also lamented the poor state of infrastructure in the state in spite of the huge allocations the government has received in the past years.



CPC Calls Jonathan’s Visit to Borno, Yobe Mere Expedition

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has described President Goodluck Jonathan’s state visit to Borno and Yobe states as yet another meretricious expedition.

The party said the President’s short visit has left unanswered question in its trail rather than bring succour to the traumatized people.
In statement issued on Sunday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, the group said it was “obvious that the knee-jack response of the Presidency to the Progressive Governors’ visit did not consider the necessity of a meaningful interface with the traumatized citizenry as an integral part of such a visit!”

The statement further reads: “The unanswered question remains: what has changed between the serial postponements of the President’s visit to these states in the last two years because of the predictable reason of unfavourable security reports and the decision to visit last Thursday? Was it the feat of the Progressive Governors in freely interacting with the people on the streets of Maiduguri (with minimal security presence) that made the President believe a trip to these hot-beds is possible, albeit with the aid of a 3,000-strong Police force ably led by the Inspector General of Police (IGP)?

“The antecedents of the President in courageous crisis management leave much to be desired. It would be recalled that after the bomb blast at the precinct of Eagle square – the venue of the Independence anniversary on 1st October, 2010 – a timorous presidency shifted the
subsequent celebrations to within the barricaded walls of the Aso-villa! The question is: with a supposition of a bomb blast around the Aso-villa, would the President’s official residence be shifted to Otuoke in Bayelsa state?

“It is our belief that Power of the President/Commander-in-Chief comes with the responsibility that transcends mere adornment with the epaulette of a Field Marshall at National ceremonies. The President, like the ancient Centurion, should never be lacking in nobility, honour and valour.

“In the last three years, hundreds of Nigerians in these Northern states had been deceased, with many more suffering different degrees of disabilities. Indeed, countless many of Nigerians in these areas have been caught in the cross fire of the War beyond boundaries that have defined daily living. All these are desirous of succor from the leadership.

“Undoubtedly, the President’s visit would serve no useful purpose and indeed very meretricious if there is no cogent plan for rehabilitating the displaced and bringing normalcy to the socio-economic life of the people. After all, the Constitution is unambiguous in aptly declaring that the purpose of Government shall be the welfare and security of the People!

“Meanwhile, it is left to be seen how the President’s visit, which was mainly about flying above the heads of the Nigerian residents in these areas, would help to solve the intractable issues on the ground.”

Merger Of Opposition Parties Is The Only Way To Defeat PDP – Buhari

Former presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), retired General Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the merger of opposition parties is the only way to defeat People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Addressing elected representatives and other members of the party in Abuja on Monday, General Buhari said the country has been bedevilled by a government anchored on corruption, oppression and insecurity and there is an urgent need to halt the trend.

He however advised members of the party to work within the framework of the law and aggressively mobilize the electorate to register ahead of the next general elections.

The former Head of State said, “a brief glance at the political history of Nigeria confirms that to hold power at the centre, you need a broad coalition, alliance, merger or whatever you may like to call it.

“Today’s situation is no different. The country is in the grip of a bad government whose only purpose is to retain power by hook or by crook – preferably by crook.

“PDP does not need merger or alliance – they are already merged and are in alliance with the Police, INEC, and the Judiciary with the NNPC and pension funds.

“The country is tired of PDP; we are tired of oppression; we are tired of corruption; we are tired of insecurity and we are tired, full stop!”

“I believe merger is the only way to prevent continuation of this bad governance. The political class is at one that the only way to stabilise the nation is for the opposition to merge and face the ruling party,” he added.

Buhari said while elected members of the CPC could hold their heads high that they were truly elected, the same could not be said of their PDP counterparts.

“You were actually elected. You did not use police to intimidate voters; you did not use INEC staff to inflate your votes. You won in spite of all attempts by government to rig you out. How many in the PDP can say that? Very, very few.

“You can, therefore, hold your heads high and regard yourselves as genuine representatives of your constituencies. You are true sons of democracy; your positions are   even more important than those of party officials and party leaders because you are the face of the CPC.”


Analysts Debate Rational Of APC Formation

Two political analysts Olumide Fusika and Femi Segun on Saturday debated the rational and prospects for the formation of the All Progress Congress (APC) party.

Speaking as guests on Channels Television’s weekend breakfast programme, Sunrise, both Messrs Fusika and Segun expressed diverging views of the merger of three political parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP); and the Congress for Progressive Change.

Mr Segun insisted that the formation of the new party is an indication that in Nigeria, politicians are not interested in concrete political ideologies but on their aim to win elections.

“Parties come together because they want to wrest people. It is not about delivering democracy anymore; it is about winning elections,” he said.
He however said the formation of a merger party is a good thing as it will help to save Nigeria from becoming a one party state.

“This means that we are going to have credible political opposition in this nation,” Mr Segun said.

Mr Fusika, however did not agree that the formation of APC would lead to credible opposition.

Watch the video below for the complete debate on the formation of the APC: