President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured Nigerians of his administration’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of the country.
This follows the continued reports of attacks by herdsmen on communities across Nigeria, particularly Monday’s attack on Ukpabi Nimbo in Enugu State.
According to a statement by President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, the President unreservedly condemned the attack on Ukpabi Nimbo and other such acts of extreme violence against communities in other states of the Federation.
President Buhari had instructed the Nigerian Armed Forces and Police to take all necessary action to stop the killing, saying that ending the recent upsurge of attacks on communities by herdsmen reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons had become a priority on the government’s agenda for enhanced national security.
Acting on the President’s directive, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and heads of other security agencies are already taking urgent steps to fully investigate the attacks, apprehend and bring the perpetrators to justice.
New Threat To Collective Security
The IGP, Mr Solomon Arase, the General Officer Commanding the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army, and the Director of the Department of State Services in Enugu State have visited Ukapbi Nimbo to personally oversee investigations into the attack on the community and on-going efforts to apprehend the culprits.
President Buhari is also scheduled to meet with the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, later on Wednesday to receive further briefing on the attack on the community and discuss additional measures to forestall similar attacks and restore public confidence.
He urged Nigerians to remain calm and assured them of his administration’s readiness to deploy all required personnel and resources to remove this new threat to the collective security of the nation.
The Nigeria Police is yet to comply with the Federal High Court order, contained in an interim injunction granted in favour of the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly and, the 15 members of the House.
The court had on May 11, ordered the Nigerian Police to vacate Enugu State House of Assembly Complex and the order subsists, pending the determination of the suit brought by State Assembly Speaker, Eugene Odoh, on behalf of 15 members of the house.
The order also allowed the Speaker and the other 15 lawmakers to have access to the legislative complex, particularly the chambers.
The presiding Judge, Justice Dorcas Agishi, said since the matter was for mention, the parties should take a date for hearing, but Mr Okibe informed the court that it was a case of Enforcement of Fundamental Human Rights, adding that they needed a short date for expediency of motion.
Justice Agishi then adjourned the matter to May 26 and ordered that hearing notices be served on all respondents.
Mr Okibe then noted in an interview that since the respondents have failed to bring any representation or respond to the suit, should they fail to report on May 26 as adjourned, the judge would have no choice but enter into judgment which would be delivered in their favour.
However, the police were still stationed with their vehicles at the House of Assembly Complex at Independence Layout.
Efforts to speak with the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, to provide reasons for their continued stay in spite of the court order was fruitless.
Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, has broken his silence on the impeachment plot against him by 15 Lawmakers in Enugu State House of Assembly, over allegations of forgery of the 2012 supplementary budget and financial misconduct.
Governor Chime, who denied forging any budget document or tried borrowing any money barely three weeks to his exit, said the latest antics of the House of Assembly is as a result of his refusal to succumb to their monetary appeals after they had approved the loan.
According to the Governor, “Since last year September, the said eleven billion naira they are raising their voices against had been long approved by the Legislators and it is the same figure that is reflecting in the approved budget that you also have in the supplementary budget, which they are now referring to as fake”.
He also says that, though, he is yet to receive any impeachment notice, the moves by the Lawmakers against him will not prevail as the constitution requires a simple two third majority, which the house, as presently constituted, would find impossible to realise.
However, the Governor moved faster than the legislators as he hurriedly gathered eight of the lawmakers, who sat, and then impeached the Speaker, Honourable Eugene Odoh, and elected a new Speaker, Honourable Chinedu Nwamba.
Enugu State Governor-elect, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has thanked the people of the state for electing him, promising better days ahead when he assumes office.
Presenting his acceptance speech at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Office at Independence Layout in Enugu the capital city, the governor-elect thanked the party men and women, and the leadership of the party at the national, state and local government levels.
He expressed gratitude to the elder statesmen in the like of former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, former governors and the state incumbent governor, Sullivan Chime, and the entire Enugu State for their support.
Mr. Uguwanyi affirms his commitment to seeing through the legacy of the four-point administrative blue print of the present government, noting that he would usher in his own new agenda which include, employment generation, social services , good governance, rural development, security and justice.
He further praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a free and fair poll, adding that he is happy that his election had been widely acknowledged as transparent and credible, devoid of violence and crisis.
The state residents who defied the heavy rain of April 11 in Enugu to vote for the Mr. Ugwuanyi, however, made known their expectations in the area of employment, education and social amenities.
They also said they wanted the incoming government to address the environmental challenges on Mmiriocha Bridge in Abakpa Nike, where wastes and erosion are threatening the neighbourhood.
United Nations Peace Ambassador, Bishop Samson Benjamin, is bothered by the recent negative comments made by Enugu-based Reverend-Father Mbaka against the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan.
During a conversation on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Bishop Benjamin said that he was bothered because of the effect this would have on the entire society and the clergies.
Dissociating the Christian community from Mbaka’s verbal condemnation of President Jonathan’s capacity to lead the country, he said, “I don’t know him very much, we are not that close but that was his opinion and as a Nigerian you are entitled to your opinion. Its not the opinion of the entire catholic church or Christians.
“What bothers some of us is that a month ago, he was singing the praises of this same family and a month after, you’re singing another song.
“This bothers us as clergies. As clerics, all that is expected of us is to help tell our followers the right thing to do,” the Bishop said.
While admitting that clergies have become influential and are able to affect public decisions, he called for caution as this power of influence should be applied positively.
He recalled that Reverend Father Mbaka had made similar statements about former Enugu State Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani, with his prediction that the Governor would not win elections failing to come to pass.
“Chimaroke did not only win the election, but also the person he anointed won the election. So, what we are supposed to do as clerics is to be very careful on our utterances.”
On the possibility of Rev Mbaka’s statement being a product of revelation from God, Bishop Benjamin explained that Christendom has five manifold ministries namely “Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor and the teacher” with all having “their paraphernalia of office”.
“It is good to know exactly what office a particular clergy in the Christian fold actually occupies. It is when you have this fundamental basics that you’ll be able to say ‘OK this man heard from God or he did not hear from God’.
“All of us do hear from God, that’s the truth but among these manifold ministries, the prophet is closer to God,” he said, quoting from the Bible to validate his claim.
“That is why some of us are very concerned. Our colleagues should be extremely careful when they come up to tell people that ‘God said to me’. God doesn’t lie.
“If you say God speaks to you that means it has to come to pass. If it does not come to pass it means it is not God who spoke to you.”
Speaking further, he said, “Whether we like it or not, the truth is (that) in every society or nation, there is a constitution and this constitution is the highest law in the land.
“We don’t forget the fact that as clerics we have followers who believe in the tenets of our faith and in our holy books. So clerics are supposed to be very careful about the kinds of statement they make especially when it concerns the entire society and politics, especially in Nigeria this year.”
Religion Will Determine 2015 Election
Bishop Benjamin noted that the reason politicians have continued to attend church programmes publicly is because of the numbers of potential voters available in such large gatherings.
He warned that the 2015 would be different from any other election held in the country as “religion is going to play about 60% role in what is going to happen.”
Although he said that this was not an ideal scenario, he explained that the “politicians have been able to drag religion into their politics and by this they’ve heated up the politics of the country and made people to be absolutely confused.”
He emphasised the need for caution, maintaining an earlier stance that clergies and all Nigerians must be careful.
He also emphasised the importance of security to the success of the 2015 elections, as politicians use the factors of intimidation, terror and violence to win at all cost.
According to the Bishop, religious organisations must also be responsible for reducing this violent tendencies as he tasked his fellow clergies to step in and educate their followers to remain law abiding irrespective of what anybody tells them.
Governors of Nigeria’s south eastern states have reassured President Goodluck Jonathan of their support at a time when pressure seems to be mounting on him following the spate of insurgency in the northeast.
The governors gave the assurance during a meeting held with President Goodluck Jonathan in the Presidential Villa.
In attendance were the governor of Abia State, Mr Theodore Orji, Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, that of Ebonyi State, Mr Martins Elechi and the governor of Anambra State, Mr Willie Obiano.
The meeting which commenced at about midday lasted for about an hour.
First to come out from the meeting was the Anambra State Governor, Mr Willy Obiano, who told reporters that they were in the state house to reassure the President of their support.
On the recent development in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where a bomb was discovered at a church, Mr Obiano told reporters that the southeast governors were on the alert and would never allow Boko Haram to penetrate the South East.
The terrorist group, Boko Haram, has carried out series of attacks on villages, churches and schools in the the north east. Military operations have been intensified in the area in a bid to rid it of the insurgents that are calling for an Islamic state and an end to western education.
The Federal High Court, Lagos, has granted former Enugu State Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani leave to travel to the United States of America for medical treatment.
Presiding Justice Mohammed Yinusa, while dismissing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) opposition to the application, held that the former governor needed not to justify his journey because “he can as well travel abroad for any other reason apart from health grounds.”
It will be recalled that the trial of the former governor, who was arraigned six years ago along with others for alleged money laundering involving about N4.5 billion of the state’s funds is yet to commence.
The court had on four previous occasions permitted the former governor to travel abroad on health grounds.
The court noted that by the ruling of the former presiding judge, Justice Peter Olayiwola, who granted bail to the former Governor on August 2, 2007, the only condition needed to be satisfied before travelling abroad was for the accused person to file an application seeking leave to travel abroad.
Justice Yinusa said that, “The applicant was granted bail by Justice Peter Olayiwola on August 2, 2007 and one of the conditions of the bail granted was that the first accused/applicant shall give a written undertaking that he will not travel outside the country without the permission of the court.
“My understanding of the above bail condition is that anytime the accused/applicant intends to travel outside Nigeria, he must seek the leave of court.
“It is very clear to me that what the first accused/applicant (Mr Nnamani) is required to do is to seek for leave of this court before travelling of Nigeria either on health grounds or any other grounds.
“The emphasis is on seeking leave of court and not on providing justification for the journey.
“It is therefore my considered opinion that the first accused/applicant has fulfilled the requirement and the conditions provided under the bail bond by seeking for leave of court before embarking on the medical treatment in the United States of America.”
Justice Yinusa further held that denying the request of the former governor as contained in his application, would amount to altering the bail conditions earlier granted him in 2007.
“To insist on or to compel the applicant to provide reasons or justification will amount to altering the order of the court granting bail to the accused/applicant,” Yinusa said.
The judge, however, ordered that the former governor must ensure he appears in court at the next adjourned date fixed for May 28, adding that he must also submit his passport and file a notice of return to Nigeria.
Nnamani and others were re-arraigned before Justice Yinusa on 105 counts of money laundering and economic crimes involving about N4.5bn.
The accused were said to have committed the alleged offences between 1999 and 2007 while Nnamani was the governor of Enugu State.
Others standing trial along with him are his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, and six firms allegedly linked to them.
The firms are, Rainbownet Nig Ltd, Hillgate Nig Ltd, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nig Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.
Exactly 141 days after Governor Sullivan Chime left the Enugu state government under inexplicable circumstances, the governor, who returned to the country through Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja has sneaked back to his state.
Since his arrival from abroad, the whereabouts of Governor Sullivan has been shrouded in secrecy, raising questions over his state of health.
However, Channels TV crew followed his convoy to the V.I.P. lounge at the local wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja, where he boarded a chartered aircraft out of the nation’s capital.
The governor’s convoy arrived the Abuja airport at exactly 1.53 p.m. under heavy security and drove straight into the V.I.P. lounge.
Attempts to speak to him by our crew met serious restrictions from his security aides.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Chukwuma Achife, confirmed that the governor arrived Enugu state at 3.00 p.m.
Achife added that the governor went straight to the government house located in the independence layout area of the city, where he is receiving visitors.
Despite unanswered questions about the prolonged and unexplained absence of governor Chime, his arrival will surely settle some tensions in the coal city state.
A member of the Enugu Peoples Assembly, Patrick Mba on Thursday said that since the departure of Governor Sullivan Chime to London for treatment in September 2012, the state has been grounded.
“In Enugu nothing is working,” Mr Mba said while answering questions from the presenters of Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
He said the deputy governor has failed to assume the role of deputy since the departure of Mr Chime.
“Since the unfortunate incidence of the sickness of our good governor, there has never been one single State Council meeting in Enugu State. If the Deputy Governor was acting, he ought to have been holding weekly the State Executive Council meeting,” he said.
President Goodluck Jonathan has asked Nigerians to stop playing politics with the nation’s development.
“Let us not play politics with the development of the country. Let us work hard to change our country for the better. We have no other country to go to” stated the president at the funeral service for the late mother of the Enugu state governor, Sullivan Chime.
President Jonathan urged Nigerians to stop blaming only the people in authority for the fight against corruption, noting that the fight against corruption should be a collective effort and Nigerians should stop.
The president and his wife, Patience Jonathan, were among dignitaries at the final burial of Late Mrs. Theresa Chime which held in Udi, Enugu state, Nigeria’s south east.
The president also joined other state governors in paying tribute to the late mother of the governor and asked politicians to take a leaf from the late madam chime’s virtues