Week In Review: Alleged Looters Exposed As Apology Sparks APC, PDP Face-off

Week In Review: Alleged Looters Exposed As Apology Sparks APC, PDP Face-off

 

March 25 – 31 In Review

A controversial week of apology, war of words, historical visit, open confession on election rigging and continued disagreement between the police and a senator over the allegation of arming suspected hoodlums in Kogi State, among other issues.

Sunday Recap

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday mourned the death of a former minister and a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Hassan Lawal. The President described the demise of the APC chieftain as shocking and extended his heartfelt condolences to the Lawal family, as well as the government and people of Nasarawa State. Reacting to the proposed policy to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asked President Buhari to have a re-think in the interest of justice. SERAP believes any amnesty programme for the group would be counter-productive and constitute impunity for their members.

Two of the freed Dapchi schoolgirls were reunited with their parent in Yobe on March 25, 2018.

 

Meanwhile, the schoolgirls who were abducted by the insurgents from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi have reunited with their parents. The students were handed over to their parents at the Assembly Hall of the school in Dapchi, the headquarters of Bursari Local Government Area of Yobe State. Elsewhere, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged the international community to help Nigeria, in its reaction to the call by the former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma (rdt) that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers. The party noted that such statement, coming from a former Chief of Army Staff is weighty and directly reflects the ugly situation in the country. A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, said the opposition party has no links with Cambridge Analytica and was not involved in hacking information during 2015 elections. Fani-Kayode said the PDP did not involve in digging into personal information of its opponents as claimed.

 

A Day Of Apology

On Monday, President Buhari promised to step up operations to ensure a secure environment where efforts by state governments towards food security would yield the desired results in the country. He made the pledge when he met with the National Food Security Council at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Elsewhere, PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, apologised to Nigerians for what he described as mistakes made while the party was in power prior to the 2015 general elections. Secondus also admitted that although the party did its best while in government, it was not void of mistakes.

PDP National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, speaks at an event in Abuja on March 26, 2018.

 

Hours later, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PDP deserves to be congratulated for having the confidence to apologise to Nigerians. The PDP spokesman said this during his appearance on Politics Today. In another political issue, a Federal High Court in Abuja fixed April 25 to give judgement on the case filed by the Accord Party against the National Assembly. The party had challenged the powers of the legislature to amend the sequence in which elections are conducted in the country. In a bid to strengthen the fight against corruption, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, ha warned officials of the agency to shun underhand dealings that can put the commission in a bad light. He gave the warning during a visit to the EFCC Zonal office in Enugu State, where he urged the officials to see their work as a call from God to serve humanity.

 

A Call To Return Loots

President Buhari rejected the tenure extension for the APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, and other elected state officials. The President told party members at the APC national caucus meeting that the tenure elongation is illegal. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mr Oyegun said that contrary to speculations that the meeting addressed a court case instituted against him by some aggrieved APC members, they discussed other more important issues. He added that issues relating to true federalism were addressed at the meeting. Also reacting to the President’s decision, the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, said President Buhari has saved the APC from a disaster.

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the APC national caucus meeting in Abuja on March 27, 2018.

 

Meanwhile, the APC took a swipe at the PDP over the apology it tendered to Nigerians for mistakes made during its 16-year rule. It said the apology was belated as Nigerians still suffer from the years of misrule. The Federal Government also asked the opposition party to complete its apology to Nigerians by returning all the funds looted from the public treasury under its watch while it was in power. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, challenged the party to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of attitude.

Ahead of the general elections, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar officially declared his intention to run for president in 2019 on the platform of the PDP. Mr Abubakar announced his candidacy in Rivers State, about four months after dumping the All Progressives Congress. At the National Assembly, the Senate commenced a fresh process of amending the 2010 Electoral Act. The new bill was presented on the floor of the Upper House and was listed on the Order Paper for First Reading. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also released the details of the recall process for the senator representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye. INEC is expected to give the notice of recall as stipulated by law on March 27, 2018, while the verification exercise will hold on April 28, 2018.

 

Melaye Wanted?

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the sum of N20 billion for the rehabilitation of the Shagamu-Ikorodu road in Lagos. The approval was given during the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja. On security matters, the Kogi State Police Command threatened to declare Senator Dino Melaye and seven others wanted. The command issued the threat after confirming that six suspects, including two who indicted the lawmaker, escaped from its custody. In a swift reaction to this, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, removed Mr Ali Janga as Commissioner of Police in Kogi State. Mr Idris announced this in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood. On his part, Senator Melaye threatened to sue the Inspector General of Police. He also gave Mr Idris 48 hours to produce the two suspects who indicted him.

Former Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Mr Ali Janga.

 

In Abuja, the National Assembly passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which seeks to provide for the governance and institutional framework for the petroleum industry. The PIGB is the first part of the Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed by the lawmakers. However, the House of Representatives has denied an allegation that its members receiving bribes to the tune of $30,000 each to overturn the change in election sequence. This comes amid the ongoing controversy over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly and its rejection by President Buhari.

 

Who Destroyed The Economy?

On Thursday, President Buhari paid an official visit to Lagos State, the first since he assumed office in 2015. The President, who was in the state to inaugurate and inspect some projects, was received Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, among other government officials. He consequently attended a colloquium organised to mark the birthday of the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu. President Buhari said the Federal Government is committed to uniting the people of the country such that every Nigerian can benefit from the other.

Nigerians Have Accepted Our Apology, PDP Replies Tinubu
President Muhammadu Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Mr Bola Tinubu at a colloquium organised to mark Tinunbu’s birthday on March 29, 2018, in Lagos.

 

Also speaking at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo accused those in government five years ago of destroying the Nigerian economy. The celebrant, on his part, took a swipe at the past PDP administration and called on Nigerians not to accept the apology of the party. In a swift reaction, the opposition party told Tinubu that Nigerians have accepted its apology and cautioned him to stop playing god. Elsewhere, Professor Osinbajo has explained how the Lekki Deep Seaport will benefit Nigerians and the nation’s economy while flagging off the construction of the port in Lagos.

Back in the nation’s capital, the Senate rejected the Kaduna State credit facility of $350 million, which was part of President Buhari’s 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan. The red chamber explained that the request was rejected because the new borrowing sought, would make the debt service to revenue ratio high, thereby worsening the state government’s ability to meet its other basic obligations to the people. In Osun, the management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) approved a change in the resumption date for the new calendar of 2017/2018 academic session. The Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, revealed this in a statement.

 

Alleged Looters Unveiled

As Christians in Nigeria prepare to celebrate Easter, President Buhari called on them to counter hate speech, corruption, and terrorism by showing love and working for peace and social justice. In his Easter message to the nation, the President extolled the exemplary life of Jesus Christ and his teachings. Finally, the Federal Government released a list of some Nigerians who allegedly looted the nation’s treasury. The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, revealed some names, including some PDP members during a press conference in Lagos.

The Presidency further called on the opposition party to return the funds it allegedly looted, days after the opposition party apologised to Nigerians. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said hours after the name of alleged looters were revealed. On its part, the PDP swiftly responded to a statement by the Presidency in which it was asked to return the money it allegedly stole from Nigerians. The party accused the APC of having the spirit of bitterness and vengeance. Meanwhile, a former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, Ibrahim Mantu, revealed how he helped his party to win elections in the past. Senator Mantu, who was a senator on the platform of the PDP, ‘confessed the truth’ during an interview on Hard Copy, a Channels Television programme.

How I Helped To Rig Elections, Senator Mantu Confesses
Senator Ibrahim Mantu speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Hard Copy on March 30, 2018.

 

Two days later, the police authorities in Kogi State revealed that they have re-arrested three of the six suspects who broke out of custody on Wednesday. The newly appointed Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Esa Ogbu, confirmed the development to Channels Television but refused to give the names of the re-arrested suspects. On a sad note, Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Buba Jibril, died at the age of 58. Jibril who represented Lokoja/Kogi Federal constituency died in Abuja in the early hours of Friday. Mourning the lawmaker, the House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Buba would be greatly missed. Gbajabiamila said he received the news of his deputy’s death with pain and sadness while recalling how they sat next to each other daily on the floor of the House for almost three years.

 

Alleged Looters’ List Sparks Criticism

The Presidency appealed to prominent Nigerians who have national influence to use their positions wisely to promote unity in the country. They also asked them not to engage in public declarations that are likely to inflame emotional passions and threaten national security. The PDP National Chairman reacted to the list of alleged looters published by the Federal Government. Mr Secondus demanded a public apology and the sum of N1.5billion as compensation from the Information Minister. He also gave Mr Lai Mohammed 48 hours to withdraw the statement against him and tender a public apology, or face litigation.

[BREAKING] Alleged Looters' List: Secondus Demands Apology, N1.5bn Damages
A file photo of Mr Uche Secondus and Mr Lai Mohammed

A former spokesman for the opposition party, Mr Metuh also accused the APC led Federal Government of intimidating him. He also alleged that the government resorted to all kinds of dirty tactics to dehumanise him.

Meanwhile, the ruling APC reacted to the confession made by Senator Mantu. The party challenged other PDP members to stop indulging in name calling and follow the example of the former Deputy Senate President to confess their sins against the country. In Borno State, one person was killed, and 13 others injured when suicide bombers struck a village on the outskirts of Maiduguri. Police authorities in the state confirmed that four female suicide bombers were involved in the attack which occurred around 9:49 pm on Friday. However, the war against insurgency got a boost as troops of Operation Lafiya Dole killed four Boko Haram insurgents in an ambush in Malumti area of Borno State. The military said the insurgents met their Waterloo while searching for food and logistics.

APC Challenges PDP Members: ‘Follow Mantu’s Example, Confess Your Sins’

APC Challenges PDP Members: 'Follow Mantu's Example, Confess Your Sins'

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to confess their sins against the country.

The ruling party said this in a statement signed on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi.

READ ALSO: I Helped Rig Elections, Senator Mantu Confesses

The statement comes one day after a PDP chieftain and former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, revealed how he helped his party to win elections in the past.

Senator Mantu, who pronounced himself as a born-again politician in 2017, had “confessed to the truth” that he helped to rig elections by providing financial inducements to officials involved in the conduct of the polls.

He had also admitted to having bribed electoral and security officials, even agents of other political parties in order not to raise any objection to the outcomes of the elections.

We’ve Learnt From Our Mistakes, PDP Apologises To Nigerians

The APC further challenged other members of the opposition party to stop indulging in name calling and follow the example of the former Deputy Senate President.

It also accused the opposition of being burdened by guilty conscience, saying that was why their National Chairman apologised to the nation.

The ruling party said while it noted the apology, members of the PDP should go a step further and confess their sins before restitution could be considered.

“Instead of taking this path to redemption, PDP has engaged in fruitless “you too” accusations and name-calling.

“This is further evidence that PDP is not ready for repentance and only offered the apology with the hope that Nigerians will grant them amnesty and a short-cut back to power,” APC said.

Apologies Are Not Enough, APC Tells PDP

I Helped Rig Elections, Senator Mantu Confesses

How I Helped To Rig Elections, Senator Mantu Confesses
Ibrahim Mantu

 

A former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, Ibrahim Mantu, has revealed how he helped his party to win elections in the past.

Senator Mantu, who was a senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ‘confessed the truth’ during an interview on Hard Copy, a Channels Television programme that airs on Friday.

Asked about how he helped to rig elections, he said, “I don’t have to go and change election (results) but when you provide money, you give money to INEC boys that if they see any chance they should favour you, you provide money to the security (personnel); I tell you it’s not necessarily when I am contesting election but when my party sponsors a candidate, I will like that candidate to win election.”

The former Deputy Senate President who pronounced himself as a born-again politician in 2017 disclosed that he helped to rig elections by providing financial inducements to officials involved in the conduct of the polls.

He admitted to having bribed electoral and security officials, even agents of other political parties in order not to raise any objection to the outcomes of the elections.

Ahead of the forthcoming general polls, Senator Mantu, however, believes Nigeria can get a free and fair election if people are born again like him and refuse to engage in electoral malpractice.

He further urged Nigerians to ensure they voted wisely in 2019 and support leaders who would make the welfare of the people a top priority of their administration.

“I am tired of living in poverty in the midst of plenty and I believe that we have the resources that people can live a decent life without being beggars to those who have,” Mantu lamented.

“So we need good governance and good governance can only be provided by good people; good people who are truly repentant, who are concerned about the well-being of the people.”

Plateau: PDP Reconciles Mantu, Jang As APC Receives Defectors

Ibrahim Mantu, Jonah Jang, PDP, APC, Plateau
Ibrahim Mantu

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State seem to be achieving success with efforts to rebuild its structure in the state.

This is because the state’s former governor, Jonah Jang and a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu have settled their lingering feud and agreed to work together for the good of the party.

The PDP reconciliation committee set up to end the dispute was able to reconcile the duo and their teeming followers during a stakeholders meeting held in Jos, the state capital in north-central Nigeria.

Jonah Jang
Jonah Jang

Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has also received many defectors from other political parties into its fold.

The APC, through its National Chairman, John Oyegun, formally received former governor, Joshua Dariye and some members of the PDP into the ruling party.

APC, Petroleum

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, and other chieftains were also present to receive the new members into the party.

The PDP and APC have been putting their various houses in order and strategising for the forthcoming local government elections in Plateau State.

Political activities are on the increase with the two major political parties engaging in high level politicking towards gaining the confidence and respect of voters in the state.

PDP BoT, Mantu Group Endorse Caretaker Committee

PDP BoTThe Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  has endorsed the caretaker committee set up by the party’s convention last Saturday in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt.

Also, another faction of the party, known as the concerned stakeholders group, which held a parallel convention in Abuja same day, has teamed up with the PDP caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Both the BOT and the factional group, led by Ibrahim Mantu, made this known at the end of their peace meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

They also directed their members to withdraw pending cases from the courts and set up a committee to meet former acting National Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff.

Thursday’s meeting followed counter court orders which restrained the factional leaders, Senators Sheriff and Markafi from assuming the mantle of leadership of the party.

In one case, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt granted an interim injunction restraining Senator Sheriff and former secretary, Professor Adewale Oladipo from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

But in a counter ruling, a Federal High Court in Lagos declared as invalid, the Makarfi-led caretaker committee constituted to take over the affairs of the PDP.

Tony Nwoye Gets Anambra East/West Constituency Support

anambra -tony nwoyeConstituents of Anambra East and West Federal Constituency have pledged their continued support for their representative, Comrade Tony Nwoye after a Supreme Court judgment led to speculations that some Senators had been sacked.

In a stakeholders meeting at Nsugbe on Saturday, the representative commended the constituents for their unreserved support for him throughout the Tribunal trial period.

Mr Nwoye also affirmed that the Supreme Court judgment did not uphold the vacation of his seat nor any of the 10 National Assembly representatives as the suit was purely a pre-election matter seeking the authentication of the Peoples Democratic Party’s state leadership of either Ejike Oguebego or Ken Emeakayi in which the former was upheld.

He stated that their emergence as candidates was under Ibrahim Mantu led congress committee and never that of Emeakayi.

Concerning the Supreme Court judgment on January 29, which many rumoured affected 11 PDP members in the National Assembly, the constituents decried the speculation and insisted that their representative was not a product of a state congress but national.

While the argument continues, political watchers demand that there must be clear interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment which had thrown Anambra State and the country in general into asking several questions since it was given on January 29.

 

VIDEO: Jonathan Gets Vote Of Confidence From PDP’s Leadership

President Goodluck Jonathan got thumbs up from the PDP national executive committee yesterday.

In a motion moved by former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu and unanimously adopted by all members present at the meeting, the party commended the President’s ‘’resolute and decisive tackling’’ of the nation’s security challenges which it said had curbed terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, particularly in the north-east region.

The party also applauded the on-going reforms and development in the country, particularly those in the agriculture, aviation, transportation, and education sectors.

Mantu Slams Sect For Rejecting Offer

The former deputy Senate president, Ibrahim Mantu has the described the decision by the militant sect Boko Haram to turn down the offer of amnesty proposed by the federal government, as a very ridiculous decision.

According to the former Senate president, he said this amounts to grandstanding and also shows that the sect is not ready to embrace peace.

 

Third term was initiated by National Assembly not me – Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has denied the allegation that he ever solicited for a third term as the president of Nigeria, saying it was the national assembly that included it amongst the other clauses of the constitution, that was to be amended.

While commenting on the challenges of deepening democratic institutions in Africa; the former president for the first time, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television stated firmly that “I never toyed with the idea of a third term.”

The former president insisted that he has always denied the allegations and talks around the third term issue which he allegedly sought at the end of his two-term tenure of eight years in 2007.

He claimed the bill for the third term was initiated by members of the national assembly along with the constitution amendment.

“Third term was one out of over a hundred clauses that they (the National Assembly) included in that amendment and they initiated it.”

“It was not an executive bill, so you are absolutely wrong” he affirmed to Channels reporter, adding that “if I want a third term that bill would have come from me.”

“My liaison officer to the national assembly, Florence Ita-Giwa told the whole world that there was no day I ever called her and say go and work for third term” he added.

He also took a swipe at his Vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, saying “even Atiku who said some people told him there was a third term agenda, hasn’t mentioned the names of the people that told him such.”

“Even Ibrahim Mantu, who was the chairman of the constitution amendment committee, will never tell you I told him I want a third term.”

The former president who now owns a church in Abeokuta further explained that he knew what he would have done to achieve the third term, if he wanted it.

“I am not a fool, if I want a third term, I know how to go about it and there is nothing I want that God hasn’t given me. If I had wanted a third term, I would have gone about it, the way I should have gone about it and I would have gotten it.”

The retired general spoke with our correspondent Olugbenga Ashiru in an interview session in his hilltop home in Abeokuta South-west Nigeria.

For more on the interview watch our programme, Network Africa on Friday 2.30pm, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday 6.30pm on Channels TV.

You can also log on for the live streaming on www.channelstv.com or on your mobile phones m.channelstv.com