PDP Ministers Meet With Jonathan Over Party’s Leadership Tussle

PDP Ministers Meet With Goodluck JonathanAs the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to linger, former President Goodluck Jonathan has played host to major stakeholders in the party.

This time, it is the turn of the Forum of Former Ministers of the PDP to visit the former president in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Chairman of the forum and a former Minister of Special Duties, Mr Kabiru Turaki, briefed reporters shortly after their meeting with Dr. Jonathan.

He maintained that forum will challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, which affirmed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP.

“I am aware that an appeal has been lodged against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division yesterday.

“With the notice of that appeal, I’m also aware that an application for injunction has been filled.

“So the position of the law in situations like this is that unless that application is taken and decided one way or the other that there is an interim stay and interim injunction.

“And so with that therefore, the caretaker committee continues as the organ that is legally charged with propelling the affairs of this party,” he said.

We Are Friends

Mr Kabiru opined that the leadership crisis rocking the party was not uncommon in a democratic setting.

He, however, noted that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter on all disputes and stated optimism that the party would overcome its crisis ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“This is not a war; this is a simple ordinary family feud within the PDP family.

“Even when we allow the court or we get to the point where the Supreme Court will have to make a pronouncement one way or the other, quite literally, we will still need each other.

“We are friends, we are family, we are brothers and sisters.

“So at the end of the day, even between the tongue and the teeth, there could be tense moments but it still does not mean that there will not be reconciliation between them,” the former minister said.

Jonathan Hosts PDP Leaders, Says Losing Presidency Is Temporary

Goodluck Jonathan Hosts PDP LeadersNigeria’s Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday received the leadership and Strategy Review Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at his home in Abuja.

The visit was to inform the former president of the issues surrounding the party’s leadership and winning elections convincingly under the current leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Dr. Jonathan thanked the committee for the visit and was hopeful of the PDP’s chances in 2019.

He also commended the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led faction of the party for wooing other politicians of like minds ahead of 2019.

The former president emphasised the need to increase delegations to party conventions, in order to avoid imposition.

He expressed belief that the loss of power at the centre is only temporary, insisting that the PDP would do better in the next general elections.

“We lost the Presidency but that does not diminish PDP. Every other party in Nigeria also know that PDP is still the number one party.

“I think losing the presidency is temporary; we should be able to get that position back,” Dr. Jonathan said.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in a meeting with some PDP leaders
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in a meeting with some PDP leaders

Forming A Merger

The Chairman of the committee, Professor Jerry Gana, who led the delegation, stated that apart from meeting with leaders of the party, they would also reach out to other political parties of like minds with a view to forming a merger.

He further highlighted some of the steps taken by the committee in repositioning the PDP for victory in 2019.

“Since the PDP is already on the ground and the All Progressives Congress (APC) has emerged, we thought we should reach out to all the other parties that are friendly with the PDP,” he said.

Professor Gana hinted that the committee had met with seven of the other parties, and that the National Conscience Party as well as two others have expressed their willingness to merge with the PDP.

Court To Hear Suit Against Patience Jonathan On February 13

Patience Jonathan, Court, EFCCA Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned hearing of the suit filed by wife of Nigeria’s former president, Mrs Patience Jonathan, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and six others till February 13.

In the suit, the former first lady claimed ownership of the sum of $15.5 million which was frozen by the EFCC after it obtained an order from the court.

Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the proceedings after Mrs Jonathan’s lawyer, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, made a case for more time to enable him serve his amended claims on the respondents.

There was no opposition to his request.

The other respondents in the case are Skye Bank Plc, a former aide to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa and four other companies.

In a separate case before Justice Babs Kuewunmi, the companies pleaded guilty to the offence of laundering the said amount of money.

Mrs Jonathan, however, claimed that the money belonged to her, saying she was the sole signatory to the accounts of the companies.

She, however, denied ownership of the companies.

FG Approves 5.5 Billion Naira For Healthcare In Northeast

northeast, primary healthcare, inadequate facilities, challengesThe Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has approved the sum of 5.5 billion naira to Borno and four other states in the northeast for the implementation of its ‘Saving One Million Lives’ initiative.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this in a meeting with health officials from Adamawa, Taraba, Borno, Bauchi and Gombe states at the strategy planning meeting to prepare grounds for the implementation of the initiative.

The programme, which targets one million vulnerable Nigerians, is designed to improve access to primary healthcare and decrease maternal mortality and morbidity.

The ‘Saving One Million Lives’ programme is an elaborate scheme to expand access to essential primary healthcare services for women and children, launched by Nigeria’s ex-president, Dr. GoodLuck Jonathan, in 2015.

The Minister of Health said that the ‘Saving One Million Lives’ scheme will be used to evaluate the performance of the health sector in each of the states.

According to the Minister, the Federal Government would also provide drugs worth 1.2 billion naira to Borno State while the Presidential Task Force addresses urgent issues relating to health, environment and water.

Each component of the initiative the Minister said has the budget of 4.3 billion naira which has already been approved.

The Minister, however, emphasized the need to utilize the resources on intended purpose as agreed upon in the meeting, threatening that any state that falls below the expected performance will not benefit from subsequent disbursements.

Council Of State Confirms IGP, Appoints Commissioners For INEC, NPC

Council-of-State,-Police-INEC-NPC-IGPNigeria’s Council of State and the Police Council have confirmed the appointment of Mr Ibrahim Idris as the Inspector General of Police.

The Governor of Jigawa State, Mr Abubakar Badaru, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said that the confirmation of Mr Idris as the Police Chief was unanimous.

President Buhari and IGP Idirs
President Muhammadu Buhari and IGP Ibrahim Idirs

President Buhari had approved the appointment of the Police Chief, as acting Inspector General of Police on June 21, to succeed Mr Solomon Arase who retired from service.

The Council also appointed six national commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to bring the number of commissioners for the electoral body to 12.

Briefing reporters on the appointments on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the six appointees were drawn from the six-geopolitical zones of the country.

They include Mohammed Haruna (north-central), Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Tijani Muazu (rtd) from northeast, Abubakar Nauche (northwest), Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu (southeast), May Agbamuche Mbu (south-south) and Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ademola (southwest).

The Council further approved five new commissioners for the National Population Commission (NPC).

They are Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji from Oyo State, Mr Patricia Inyanya from Benue State, Mr Benedict Ikpong from Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Haliru Bala from Kebbi State and Gloria Izonfo from Bayelsa State.

The National Council of State is the highest constitutional advisory body and it constitutes Nigeria’s sitting President, Vice President, all former Presidents and Heads of State, former Chief Justices of the Federation, the 36 state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly.

The meeting, which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Only three past Heads of State were present – Chief Ernest Shonekan, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Also present were five former Chief Justices of the Federation, state governors and some deputy governors.

Former Heads of State; General Yakubu Gowon, General Ibrahim Babangida, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo were  absent.

Also absent are the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.

Meeting in pictures:

Council-of-State-2
President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over the National Council of State meeting
L-R: Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
Some state governors at the meeting
Council-of-State-governors-3
Some other state governors at the meeting

Obasanjo, Babangida Absent, As Buhari Presides Over Council Of State Meeting

Muhammadu-BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over the National Council of State meeting holding in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

Only three past Heads of State are present.

They include Chief Ernest Shonekan, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar.

Five past Chief Justices of the Federation, state governors and some of their deputies are also present at the meeting.

Conspicuously absent are General Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.

Also absent are the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to brief the council on the nomination of Ibrahim Idris as acting Inspector-General of Police and the Nigerian Police Council (NPC) is expected to ratify the appointment thereafter.

The Council of State is the highest constitutional advisory body in Nigeria. It is chaired by the President.

Other members of the council are all past Presidents and Heads of State, past Chief Justices of the Federation, the 36 state governors, and the leadership of the National Assembly.

I Am Being Investigated, Jonathan Says

JonathanNigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, says the government of the day is investigating him for corruption.

Dr. Jonathan, who made the claim in an interview with Bloomberg Tv on Monday, said he would rather await for the outcome of the investigations.

“I will be investigated and I am being investigated. Yes! Investigations are going on but I would not want to make certain comments.

“When a government is working it is not proper to make certain comments. I will allow the government to work. It is not a good practice,” he said.

“It Is Unfortunate”

The former President also said he tried his best in the area of corruption to curtail it.

“My approach to corruption is, don’t make money available for anybody to collect it.

“I wanted to do the same thing in the oil industry, but the same people that accuse us of corruption are the very people that frustrated the effort. It is unfortunate,” he stated.

Dr. Jonathan also faulted claims by the current administration that it inherited an empty treasury.

In his words: “It is not true; there is no way that he would have inherited an empty treasury and at the same time give bailout to the states. It’s not possible.

“Nigeria is a fairly robust economy but sometimes, we over politicise some issues and make it look so bad. It was not that bad. Some people ask questions like I was the President of Nigeria since independence; I was the President for five years”.

While giving a speech earlier, Dr. Jonathan stressed the need for peace, freedom and unity for Nigeria to progress.

According to him, the values need to be deeply, strongly and irreversibly entrenched in Nigeria for all time.

He further opined that it was imperative that both the Executive and the Legislative arms of Government institute a Bill of Rights.

Metuh Paid N70 Million Into My Relation’s Company Account – Witness

Olisa-Metuh-trialGoing by the speed with which the Federal High Court Abuja is prosecuting the trial of the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, there is hope that the process may not take too long before it is concluded.

At the resumed trial on Thursday, a witness, Yomi Ogunsanya, said that the sum of 70 million Naira was paid into the account of his relation’s company for the management of the image of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the presidential elections.

Mr Ogunsanya, who is the fifth witness, told the court that their first job was appreciating the military in their role in the fight against the terrorist group, Boko Haram operating in the north eastern part of Nigeria through the placement of adverts in several national newspapers and television stations.

A sixth witness, Kabiru Ibrahim, also told the court that he received $1 million from a previous witness, Nneka Ararume, a staff of Assets Resource Management Company (ARM) and an investment officer to Mr Metuh, which he converted to Naira and paid into the account of Destra Investment Limited belonging to Mr Metuh.

He, however, told the court that he never sold Dollars to Mr Metuh at any point in time.

With a request for an adjournment by the prosecutor, Sylvanus Tahir, Justice Okon Abang adjourned further trial till February 4.

Diplomatic Circles To Honour Jonathan

JonathanNigeria’s ex-President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has been selected for honour by the Diplomatic Circles in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jonathan, who is being honoured for his democratic credentials and “upholding human rights in Africa” becomes the first African President to be so honoured.

He is to receive his honour on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at the group’s annual dinner in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Diplomatic Circle, which is a group of diplomats globally, have also scheduled Dr. Jonathan to deliver a keynote address at the event.

Earlier in the year, a public policy organisation on African affairs, the Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) had also nominated Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The organisation stated the peaceful way he conceded victory to President Buhari in the general election as one that deserves the attention of Nobel Peace Prize committee.

The group noted that although Jonathan’s act might have not promoted “fraternity between nations” as required of a Nobel Peace Prize winner but he promoted fraternal peace among Nigerians by conceding power.

Buhari’s Inaugural Speech Brightens Hope For Democracy In Nigeria – Fayose

ayo fayoseEkiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has described the inaugural speech of President Muhammadu Buhari, as a sign that the President is ready to serve all Nigerians, not minding their political affiliation.

In a statement issued by Mr Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and Media, Lere Olayinka, he said “the content of the President’s speech showed a man who is desirous of making a success of his administration”.

“Nigerians, including those who voted and did not vote for President Buhari were eagerly waiting for his inaugural speech.

“The speech, if followed in practice, shows that he is ready to govern Nigeria and it is a sign that the president is ready to live above board and lead a government that accommodates all.

“It is my prayer that the Almighty Allah will grant our president the courage and wherewithal to make a success of his administration and further deepen democratic governance, especially in a confederation like Nigeria, by sustaining rule of law,” Governor Fayose said.

He stressed that President Buhari had the constitutional duty to protect all Nigerians, not minding the political party they belonged to.

The governor also hailed the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, saying; he laid a foundation for democracy in Nigeria.

The statement also said the event proved to the world that the people of Africa were capable of piloting their own affairs.

Jonathan Receives Presidential Campaign Report

jonathanThe Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has received the report of the PDP’s 2015 Presidential Campaign.

The report was submitted to him by the Director-General of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation, Dr Ahmadu Ali, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The Director-General, before the presentation of the report, recalled how the organization was constituted and what they did within a short period of time.

He commended the President for the action taken following the outcome of the results and then presented the two volume report which he said would provide a road map for moving the PDP forward.

The President said in his reaction, “The important thing is not that PDP lost the elections, but that Nigeria as a nation has moved forward and political parties can only thrive when there is peace in the country.”

The Nigerian President also told his party men that the result of the election should be taken as history, while they strategise on how to consolidate and bounce back in 2019.

He called on his party men to remain loyal as those who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would come back to the party when their stomach is empty out of hunger because the other party would take care of their loyalists before reaching out to those who cross carpeted.

Responses also came from the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, and the Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, who said that they were very proud of the President for bringing a new dimension to the electoral process in Nigeria and the peace the country is enjoying.

They both stated that it was indeed time for the PDP to regroup and bounce back.

Allison-Madueke Denies Seeking Asylum

OPEC Diezani-Allison-Madueke-Minister-of-Petroleum-ResourcesMinister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke on Wednesday reacted to reports that she is seeking asylum, following the defeat of the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential election.

It was alleged that the Petroleum Minister, who is one of the closest to the administration of President Jonathan will flee the country, to avoid being prosecuted over allegations of fraud, especially in the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC).

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Mrs Alison-Madueke denied seeking asylum in any part of the world.

According to her, this administration has done a lot in the Oil and Gas industry that cannot be rubbished by such malicious claims.

Speaking on the current fuel scarcity across the nation, she said Marketers are cashing in on the transition process to cause scarcity in fuel, adding that the nation has enough reserve of petrol in the system.