Former Ministers Visit Wike, Seek PDP’s Unity

Former Ministers Visit Wike, Seek PDP's UnityFormer ministers, led by a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sule Lamido, on Saturday visited Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Mr Lamido spoke on behalf of the former ministers in what looked like an effort to build political alliances ahead of the 2019 elections.

He commended Governor Wike for standing firm and defending the principles of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He requested, on behalf of others, that Governor Wike should make himself available with other PDP governors as the rallying point for the party as it gets back on its feet.

“You are our own. You are a PDP creation therefore PDP has claim over you.

“With your colleagues, you must come together as a group of governors to be our rallying point,” he said.

The former governor also advocated a united front for the PDP.

Governor Wike, in his reaction, assured the former minister that his commitment to the party would remain irrespective of the challenges facing the party.

“It doesn’t matter what happens, nobody will intimidate us. We will never allow ourselves to be cowed not to stand firm and defend democracy.

“Yes we will pay the price. There are sacrifices but it is worth it,” he assured.

Those present at the meeting include Ibrahim Shekarau, Boni Haruna, Abba Moro, Erelu Olusola Obada, Iyom Anennih and Ambassador Musa Kazaure.

Japan Pledges $120 Million To Counter Terrorism In Sahel Region

Japan has promised to train 2000 military personnel drawn from the Sahel region.

Speaking at the commissioning of hostels built by the Japanese government for the National Defence College, the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Ryuichi Shoji said that Japan is pledging the sum of $120million to resolve crisis in the region.

The Sahel region which comprises of Nigeria, Niger republic, Chad, Mali and Sudan have recent months battling terrorist attacks by Islamic insurgents.

Mr Shoji added that another $1billion will be committed to resolving the root causes of the instability and terrorism in the region.

The Minister of state for Defence, Olusola Obada, expressed the federal government’s readiness to partner with the Japanese government in the area technology to fight insurgency in the northern part of the country.

Jonathan gives Ministers two weeks to vet Ribadu’s report

In a bid to fulfill his pledge that recommendations made by the controversial Ribadu Report would be looked into, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up white paper committees to prepare Draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and two other reports on the nation’s oil sector.

The others are reports presented by the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on Thursday announced the appointment of the latest committee to probe the nation’s oil sector.

According to Dr Abati, “the committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised and prepare Draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks.”

The white paper committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report-now known as Ribadu report-will be chaired by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan, after the rancour between members of the committee during their submission of the report, gave the assurance that despite the rancour , his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.

The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsaye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to the President with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.

The white paper committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama  Pepple.

Other members of the committee are Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani.

The white paper committee on the report of the National Refineries Special Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Mohammed Sada as chairman, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members.

According to the statement, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide a secretariat for the committees.

The statement further adds that the President has made the move “in furtherance of his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”