APC Leaders Storm Port Harcourt To Woo Amaechi

The leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC have thrown an open invitation to the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the people of Rivers State to join and support the party.

The political rally was held at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital, despite the earlier challenges.

The APC delegation included Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, Former Military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, the APC Interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, National Secretary, Lai Muhamed, as well as the National Vice-Chairman South-South (APC) and Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi.

Thousands of Amaechi supporters, members of the National Assembly and chairmen of all Local Government Areas of the state also thronged the rally, singing his praise and reaffirming their support for the embattled governor. The leader of the state’s chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Chimbiko Akarolo in his speech, declared the councils’ support for Amaechi, saying “Wherever he goes, that is where we are going to go”.

Taking turns to address the crowd, the APC leaders showered encomiums on the Rivers State Governor. National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande commended his courage and brilliance while Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, refered to him as a visionary who has performed extremely well in fighting for the rights of his people. He said “a man who stands to be cheated is not a man but a pig”

Speaking further on the validity of his party’s proposition, he encouraged Governor Amaechi to consider the APC’s offer saying “this is a mission to rescue Nigeria from polarization, division, intimidation and oppression.”

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Tom Ikimi on his part eulogized the values of the All Progressives Congress as the better option for Amaechi. He claimed that the APC provides ‘balance of power’ and an alternative platform for Nigerians.

The event climaxed with the anticipated response by Governor Rotimi Amaechi who delivered his speech amidst intermittent singing and dancing.

The visibly excited Amaechi said to the APC leaders “If I say I am not happy that you are, I am only lying”. He went on to condemn the activities of his political opponents and the many accusations against him and his administration.

Recounting his administration’s achievements and emphasizing his popularity among the masses, he dismissed threats to unseat him and called on the citizens of Rivers State to confront the Nigerian Police and end impunity.

Amechi who has long been suspended from the People’s Democratic Party alongside 6 other Governors promised that he would embark on consultations with his fellow G7 Governors, the APC leaders and the Nigerian President before responding to APC’s request to join the party.

PDP Crisis: G-7 Governors Meet With Obasanjo

The G-7 Governors have met With Former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

It was gathered that the closed-door meeting, which lasted for about 2 hours, was part of the on-going consultations to resolve the leadership crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

The governors, led by the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliu told journalists that they were in Abeokuta to keep the former president informed about the latest development on the crisis.

He said “This is part of the consultation, more so that we are coming to the resolution of the matters.”

“We’ve been discussing with the President, discussing about these matters and we believe after the lull of the pilgrimages, we are all back. So we needed to consult again to find out if there is any variable that have intervened and we are very happy that things are going normal.”

At the meeting were the governors of Rivers, Niger, Kano, Adamawa and Jigawa States. Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State were both conspicuously absent.

Jonathan Condoles Family Of Jigawa Deputy Speaker

President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the family of Honourable Inuwa Sule Udi, the Deputy Speaker of the Jigawa State House of Assembly, who was involved in a car accident while on his way home from Kano.

Describing the death of the lawmaker as ‘very painful and untimely’ President Jonathan also condoled with the Jigawa State House Speaker, members of the Assembly and the government and people of Jigawa State, saying that Honourable Inuwa Sule Udi’s legislative experience would be solely missed, not just Jigawa state alone but the nation as whole, while still expressing his shock at the death of the lawmaker who has been in the Jigawa State House of Assembly as a third-term member.

President Jonathan ended by praying that God Almighty would console members of the Udi family and grant the soul of the departed lawmaker peaceful rest.

JTF Kills 50 Boko Haram Members In Maiduguri

The fight against terrorism has not abated as it claimed the lives of 50 Boko Haram suspects over the weekend in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) reportedly killed the suspected terrorists in Zabarmari ward of Jere local government, Borno state.

Three other suspected terrorists on their way to Jigawa state were also arrested at the Borno express motor road park on Saturday by volunteer youths, also known as civilian JTF.

On the suspected terrorists killed, reports claim that JTF received an intelligence report about the re-grouping and new hiding of the Islamist group in Zabarmbari ward. The JTF invaded the hideout.

Noticing their presence, the insurgents started shooting but the JTF troop repelled the attack and killed 10 of the Islamists.

The following day, the JTF stormed the same hideout, to find them burying their dead, and as they were spotted, the insurgents opened fire on the JTF and a fire fight began, leading to the death of 40 more Boko Haram suspects.

Sule Lamido Hints On Presidential Ambition

One of the most touted candidates for the 2015 Presidential Election is the incumbent Governor of Jigawa state; Sule Lamido. In an interview with Channels TV, narrates his chances of becoming the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer in the next Presidential election, stating that the party is large, “anybody in the PDP can become the President.”

“It can be me, it can be Jonathan or anybody” he added.

Mr Lamido, also stated his strong belief in the democratic tenets of nomination, thereby insisting that it will be selfish and arrogant of him if he declares such an ambition without the essential nomination by his people.

Watch out for the full interview with Mr Lamido on Network Africa.

Money laundering: Jigawa Governor’s son granted bail

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has granted bail to Aminu Sule Lamido, the eldest son of the Jigawa state Governor, Sule Lamido, who is standing trial over alleged money laundering.

Aminu Sule Lamido, the eldest son of the Jigawa State, Sule Lamido

Delivering judgement on the bail application on Tuesday morning, Justice Fatu Riman said, “It is trite that judicial discretion should be marked by fairness and must be guided by law.”

“I am persuaded that the prosecution failed to prove that the accused person will jump bail if granted.”

The charge against the governor’s son reads: “That you Aminu Sule Lamido on or about 11th day of December, 2012 at the Mallam Aminu International Airport, Kano within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court while transporting in cash, the sum of $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars Only) from Nigeria to Cairo, Egypt, falsely declared to the Nigerian Customs the sum of $10,000 (Ten Thousand Dollars Only) instead of the said sum of $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars Only) as required under Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Cap F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.”

The EFCC said the accused was arrested by it operatives at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano on December 11, 2012 on his way to Cairo, Egypt. He was arrested for failure to declare the $50,000 in his possession. He only declared $10,000 to the Nigerian Customs.

Money Laundering: Court Remands Jigawa Governor’s Son

Aminu Lamido, eldest son of Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, has been remanded in prison custody until Tuesday following his arraignment on Monday at a Federal High Court in Kano on money laundering charges.

Aminu Sule Lamido, the eldest son of the Jigawa State, Sule Lamido

Judge Satun Riman ordered that Mr Lamido be remanded in prison pending his ruling on his bail application after he was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Prior to this time, the governor’s son had been enjoying administrative bail granted to him by the EFCC since December 13, a day after he was arrested at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport by EFCC operatives for allegedly not declaring $40,000 in his possession on his way to board an Egypt bound flight to Cairo.

EFCC arrests Jigawa governor’s son with $50,000

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arrested Mr Aminu Lamido, son of the Jigawa state governor at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, for money laundering.

An undisclosed sum of $40,000 was found on the Governor’s son as he prepared to board an Egypt bound flight.

Sources close to the Commission said that Mr. Lamido was flagged after he declared $10,000 in his possession to agents of the Nigerian customs at the airport.

Further checks by the agents revealed that he had an additional $40,000 which he did not declare.


Jonathan describes Boko Haram as uncivilised

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday described the fundamentalist group, Boko Haram and its sponsors as uncivilised insisting that it was primitive to terminate innocent lives through acts of terrorism.

From left: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; President Goodluck Jonathan; the Emir OF Dutse, Nuhu SanusI and the Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, during the visit of the president to the emirate.

The president who spoke in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital as he ended a two day working visit to the state, he deplored the resort in taking innocent lives in the name of protesting any manner of grievance.

President Jonathan enjoined all Nigerians to condemn the acts of terrorism and assist relevant authorities to check the trend which he noted was inimical to the development of the country.

He commended the people of Jigawa state for maintaining peace even while their neighbouring states tend to be hotbeds of violence and terror.

The president praised the state governor, Sule Lamido, for his unique leadership qualities in transforming Jigawa within the five years he has been in office.

President Jonathan was also full of commendation for the governor for constructing an expansive state-of-the-art orientation camp for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The camp, which incorporates sporting facilities and accommodates 2,000 corps members, is named after former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, who initiated the scheme in 1973.

Commissioning the camp, which he described as the best in the country, the President said the cost, put at N784.6 billion, is a good testimony of judicious use of resources and support to the federal government.

He pledged the Federal government’s readiness to support the good initiatives and projects of the Jigawa state government towards improving the welfare of youth and encouraging the growth of sports in the country.

The president also formally laid the foundation stone for the Dutse Airport, declaring that with Nigeria’s growing population and economy and complexity of business interactions, every state would need a standard, even if not, international airport.

He said the Ministry of Aviation would step in to give every necessary support and assistance towards the completion of the airport.

The state governor said the airport project was quite personal and dear to his heart having understood the observations made by the president.

On other projects he had embarked upon or completed, Mr Lamido said he was doing them because of the urgent need to save Jigawa from its parlous condition of under-development since it was created 21 years ago.

He said he was copying President Jonathan’s transformation agenda and also ensuring that the efforts made by founding fathers of the nation were not left to waste.

You need education not luck to succeed – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said education rather than luck is the foundation for success.

The president, who made this statement during the commissioning of the Jigawa State Academy for the Gifted at Bamaina in Birnin-Kudu, also commended the state governor, Sule Lamido for promoting peaceful coexistence in the state.

“Some journalist used to ask me about luck and I told them that as much as there is luck, education is the major determinant of success. I could not have been where I am today if I am not educated” stated the President.

“You have to prepare yourself” he added.

The president expressed his delight with the state governor for his investment in education saying, “I am happy that Governor Lamido has decided to invest in the future of our children by identifying those with gift and training them.”

“We, at the Federal level are also sending those with first class to the best training centres in the world so that they can come back to develop our country.”

The President, who had earlier launched the college for remedial studies, noted that education is the basis for development in today’s modern world.

He warned that without education even our agriculture will be stagnated because of obsolete techniques

According to an official of the Jigawa state government, the college for remedial studies will evolve to become the Jigawa State University in Kafin-Hausa Local Government Area-.

Giving his remark, Mr Lamido said the his vision for establishing the school is to develop manpower that will transform Jigawa state in the future.

He further adds that the school is part of the transformation agenda of the Jonathan’s administration.

President Jonathan, who is on a two-day working visit to Jigawa state, is expected to inaugurate some projects built by Mr Lamido’s administration.

The president will also lay the foundation for an airport estimated at N5 billion in Dutse, the state capital.

Officials want polio vaccination made compulsory by law

Officials and traditional rulers in some states are pushing for a law that would make it criminal for any parent to prevent their child from receiving the vaccine against polio, the Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

A local health worker carries vaccination kits into a vehicle at a distribution centre ahead of the start of a nationwide polio immunization campaign on Wednesday, in Lagos February 21, 2011. Photo: REUTERS

The states of Bauchi, Benue, Rivers and Jigawa are leading efforts to have a binding legal framework to help fight against polio in Nigeria, which is the only country in Africa where the disease is endemic.

The governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has sent a bill to the State House of Assembly seeking lawmakers’ consent to make immunisation free and compulsory.

“The proposed law should make it mandatory for parents to immunise their children against polio and for its rejection to attract punishment,” the paper said.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system. It can lead to total paralysis in a matter of hours and can be fatal.

Experts say the best way to fight the disease is by immunising as many children as possible.

The virus continued to spread in Nigeria because vaccines were rejected due to perceptions in a part of the country that the vaccine was an attempt by foreign powers to check population growth in the country, the paper said.

Health officials and traditional rulers say the situation has improved over the years but some authorities believe that a law passed by the National Assembly making immunisation compulsory and its rejection an offence would produce even better results, the paper said.

Nigerian authorities want to immunise 57.7 million children in a nationwide campaign launched last week.

The country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, on March 1 inaugurated a Presidential Task Force to deal with the polio emergency and pledged $30 million per year for the next two years for polio eradication activities, according to the World Health Organization.

The anti-polio vaccination campaign in Nigeria is part of a region-wide effort targeting 111 million children under the age of five in 20 countries.