Centenary Project: Anyim Accuses Reps Member Of Bias

Centenary Project: Anyim Accuses Reps Member Of BiasIt was a drama-filled session on Friday at the investigative hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Capital Territory probing the centenary city project.

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, who was at the hearing, accused the chairman of the committee, Herman Hembe of pursuing a personal agenda with the exercise.

The House committee is investigating alleged irregularities surrounding the centenary project launched by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Extend Probe Beyond My Administration – Jonathan

Jonathan on probeNigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, says those calling for the probe of his government should ensure that such probes are extended beyond the Jonathan administration, otherwise it will be seen as witch hunting.

President Jonathan was speaking while presiding over the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The President pointed out that a number of things have gone wrong including some errors in the allocation of oil wells and oil fields without following the laws.

President Jonathan also decried the recent fuel crisis at the end of his administration, insecurity in the nation and the various strikes since the beginning of his administration, describing them as politically motivated and designed to bring his administration on its knees

He then insisted that he has done well and was pleased to work with members of his cabinet, adding that they were able to navigate the ship of government together.

The President of the most populous country in Africa also promised to interact more with the ministers after leaving office on May 29.

Governor Suntai Returns After 10 Months Absence

Taraba State Governor,Dambaba Suntai has returned to Nigeria after 10 months of absence.

The aircraft is reported to have taken off from the Republic airport in Long Island and made a stop-over at an unknown destination before it touched down in Nigeria.

The ailing governor who is still recuperating was involved in a plane crash near Yola State, a plane which he piloted according to report, arrived abode a chartered aircraft at about 1pm Nigerian time.

The governor was guided out of the chartered aircraft at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja and was received by friends and political associates, who had come to welcome him

He acknowledged greetings from friends and associates after which he was driven off by a waiting vehicle.

Amongst those at the airport to receive the governor is the former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana who expressed gratitude to God for the safe return of the governor.

Other associates said the return of the governor will put an end to many of the rumours surrounding his absence following the plane crash which left the governor badly wounded.

On the 25th of October 2012, governor Suntai’s plane which he was piloting crashed around Yola state with three of his aides with him.

According to the People of Namtari village; a suburb of Yola the capital of Adamawa state, who were the first eye witnesses to arrive at the scene of the plane crash said the plane was coming normally like any other aircraft, suddenly the sound changed, and that was followed by an immediate U-turn giving all signs that the plane was going to crash, as it eventually did in a very familiar farm behind the NNPC depot.

As they heard the sound of the crash, they picked their touch lights as it was already getting dark and they ran to the scene of the crash.

On arrival, one of the occupants was already out of the aircraft and crying for help, asking them to hasten up the rescue because three others including the Taraba state Governor were still inside the plane, for fear of possible fire outbreak.

They however confirmed that the governor was the last to be rescued because it took them time to locate his where about as he was equally trapped under the now wrecked plane and being held down by the seat belt.

Okupe Assures Of Uninterrupted Power Supply Before Year End

The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe has assured again that the era of shortage in power supply in most part of the nation will come to an end before the end of the year, as uninterrupted power supply which is the dream of any citizen of any country; Nigerians inclusive will become a reality in Nigeria.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Okupe explained further that on the issue of achieving uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria, the president is not resting on his oars to see that it becomes a reality, but expressed disappointment that the highly transparent and professional manner in which President Jonathan handled the privatization of the power sector is lost on the public in spite of the commendations of the global business community especially international investors.

He said the new owners of the divested assets of Power Holding Company of Nigeria will utilize the presently installed capacities more efficiently and add more power to the 5,000 megawatts already being generated by the country.

Senate Committee Begins Investigation On Rivers State Crisis

The Senate committee on states and local government administration has commenced investigations over the crisis rocking the Rivers State House Assembly.

The Chairman of the committee; Senator Kabiru Gaya who led other eight other members on a fact finding mission to the state assured Nigerians of finding lasting peace to the stalemate during a courtesy visit to governor Chibuike Amaechi yesterday in Port Harcourt, and hinted that peace moves have begun.

Shortly after meeting with the governor in a closed door session on Thursday afternoon, chairman of the committee told newsmen in an interview that the body will meet the major parties in the matter which include the commissioner of police, Joint Military Taskforce (JTF), including the pro and anti-Amaechi legislators, before heading back for their final report to the upper legislative house.

He assured that their duty will be done objectively as mandated by the senate with the aim of finding lasting peace to end the crisis that have rocked the state over the past two months.

Senator Gaya however frowned at the withdrawal of security from Governor Amaechi stressing that the governor is the chief executive, chief security officer and number one citizen of the state and he should be protected.

Responding, Governor Amaechi told the Senate committee that the state has been under siege since his victory at the elections of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

The committee will be meeting with members of the state house of assembly today as scheduled.

It would be recalled that mayhem broke out during a session in the Rivers State House of Assembly on Tuesday the 9th of July morning when it was reported that hoodlums broke into the House and attempted to seize the mace.

The group also assaulted the Speaker of the House, Hon. Otelema Amachree and the hoodlums were led by 5 members of the House with Hon Evans Bipi being the leader of the gang who moved to impeach the Speaker.

Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, in a telephone interview with Channels Television revealed that commotion started when Mr Bipi walked up to the speaker and started ‘slapping’ him as members were still exchanging pleasantries.

“While that was going on, some hoodlums had accessed the assembly. The governor (Rotimi Amaechi) was informed and therefore left the government house for the state house of assembly.

 

 

PDP Vows To Regain Dominance In Osun And Ekiti

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the south west says it is battle ready to regain south western states of Osun and Ekiti come the gubernatorial elections in 2014.

The caretaker chairman of the party in the south west; Ishola Filani who made the disclosure at the party secretariat in Ibadan said better strategy and a unified front will put PDP back in control of those states.

After a four-hour meeting among representatives of the party from all the 6 states of the south west, Filani told journalists that the party concluded that the zoning arrangement for the new NWC as proposed by the national headquarters remains adopted.

While the National Chairman and 2 other positions  remain unaffected, the National Vice Chairman and zonal PRO have been zoned to Ekiti, Lagos was zoned the financial secretaries, Oyo was zoned auditor and youth leader, Ogun was zoned assistant secretary and auditor, Ondo was zoned treasurer and legal adviser while Osun was zoned National Secretary and zonal Women Leader.

Filani added that the position of the National Secretary formerly occupied by Olagunsoye Oyinlola is vacant and will be filled by another candidate as Oyinlola will not be returning to occupy that same position.

NIPSS Inaugurates Development Centre For Political Parties

National institute for policy and strategic studies NIPSS, Kuru in Jos North Central Nigeria in collaboration with United Nations Democratic Governance for Development Project (DGDII), has established a centre to strengthen the capacity of political parties in becoming key pillars of the country’s democratic polity.

The need to have people-oriented political parties with properly organised structure devoid of being hijacked by wealthy financial backers that will be well rooted in society with broad based electioneering; prompt the NIPSS and Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) to establish a centre with a comprehensive curriculum that sets the foundations for parties and provide strategic and techniques for how political parties can institutionalise themselves.

Commissioning the centre, the Special Assistant on Political Matters to the Vice President, Senator Isaiah Balat,  observed that without strong and dynamic political parties, democracy cannot survive on the long run.

The Political Party Leadership and Policy Development Centre is to open avenue for political parties to be fully involved in policy, research, sustained learning experiences and opportunities for practical application for effective pro-democratic actors and make the country’s democratic institutions stronger.

The centre which is a model on the continent of Africa according to DGD Project Director, Mourtada Deme, is to put in place a comprehensive capacity development plan that identifies key areas for technical assistance to party support.

Leading the Nigeria Labour force at the occasion, NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, condemned the attitude of leaders that were not present at the event, describing it as misplaced priority.

Political parties and its officials are expected to seize the opportunity, the centre is offering in making political parties stronger as essential pillar of a vibrant, well established and resilient democracy by taking advantage of the facility available at the centre in deepening  and making the country’s democratic dispensation a reality.

Yobe Residents Ask Reconciliation Cmte’ To Unveil Sponsors Of Boko Haram

Residents in Yobe state at an interactive session with the presidential committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the north have asked the committee to identify and unveil sponsors of Boko Haram.

An elder statesman, Khalifa Hassan Yusuf, who made the call for unveiling sponsors of the group asked why Nigerians “are still in the dark” on sponsors of the group.

According to him, apart from revealing who the sponsors are, Nigerians and the whole world are keen to know where and how sophisticated firearms are in circulation or in use by various hoodlums for their various operations across the country.

“Several arrests have been made since the commencement of the insurgency, lots of revelations have been uncovered, caches of arms have been recovered, yet Nigerians and the whole world are yet to know those behind the Boko Haram insurgency” he lamented.

The elder statesman also challenged the committee to verify and tell Nigerians which countries, groups or individuals are supplying AK47, Rapid Propel Grenade (RPG) among other weapons to the group.

Another Damaturu elder, Alhaji Mohammadu Gombe, lamented on the colossal loss of lives and property since the attacks on people in Damaturu and Maiduguri.

He process solicited assistance for groups and individuals who suffered losses as a result of the attack, while urging the federal government to bring culprits to book. He also alleged that some highly placed individuals must be involved in the dastard act.

Other speakers called on parents, religious groups and organisations to preach and inculcate good morals in the minds of their followers, warning that without it religious tolerance will continue to deteriorate and have adverse effects on the peace and progress of the country.

While commending the President for constituting the committee, participants at the session also called on the committee to be objective and to ensure that lasting peace is achieved at the end of their assignment.

The Committee Chairman and Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs; Kabiru Tanimu Turaki assured participants that the committee will be fair and diligent in the course of its assignment pointing out that tremendous progress is being made in the quest for peace.

Stakeholders and participants were drawn from the Jamatul Nasir Islam (JNI) the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) traditional rulers, various political, tribal, religious and social groups as well as trade unions among other interest groups.

 

Labour Minister Says Millions of Jobs Have Been Created

Minister of Labour and Productivity; Emeka Wogu says the unemployment situation is global and not just in Nigeria and to address the issue the administration has so far created millions of jobs.

While speaking as a guest on ‘View From the Top’ the honourable minister acknowledged that unemployment is a global problem but also stated that the Jonathan administration in collaboration with his ministry has found solutions for unemployment in the pipeline.

“When people talk about unemployment, they try to situate it only within the African continent and particularly Nigeria, but the unemployment problem is global

But I want to tell you that the current administration under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has taken various initiative aimed at forcing the unemployment situation down”

The minister stated further that some innovative initiatives, compared to other countries, had been put in place by the administration in a bid to tackle the unemployment issue in the country .

He however claimed that the Jonathan administration has created millions of jobs for Nigerians directly and indirectly, thanks to research work done by his ministry on 15 sectors like Agriculture where the minister said more than a million jobs have created in the sector alone.

He also stated that a scheme being run by his ministry has under its umbrella 3,000 individuals billed for empowerment.

 

National Assembly’s Score Not In Tandem with Nigerians

The self-assessment of the National Assembly might not be in tandem with Nigerians as the parliament is always embroiled in controversies during the time under review and Nigerians are not pleased about this.

This is according to Chike Chude, a public analyst who was a guest on our breakfast show Sunrise Daily which focused on the National Assembly’s midterm report.

“All the organs of government has given itself pass mark, the judiciary has fared well, the executive have done wonderfully well from what they say and the legislature. So you ask yourself why are things not working and then most importantly, why are Nigerians not happy with their institutions” he asked.

Chude further claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan walked into his own trap by assessing his own administration himself and giving it a pass mark.

“I think the President emphasized on that when he was talking about his own scorecard and talked about the need not to run away from being subjective and of course, he also walked into his own trap by assessing his own administration by giving it a pass mark which is subjective. And that is also what you have seen on the floor of the National Assembly by assessing themselves so well.”

Army Arrests Recruiter Of Terrorists In Maiduguri

A key terrorist suspect, who specialises in recruiting personnel into terror cells, has been arrested by troops in Maiduguri following a tip off.

In a press release signed by the defence spokesman, Brigadier General Christopher Olukolade, the individual is also the person that watches over the insurgents’ armoury.

He further stated that another group of five insurgents, all Nigeriens were arrested when troops stormed their hideout at Mallam Fatori as they attempted to escape in two Toyota Cruiser Jeeps.

He said the Troops continue to patrol the notorious Sambisa forest and are also cordoning the Alou forest and Gwoza Hills finding more abandoned vehicles, weapons and other items in the camps of the insurgents.

Among the recent finds are rifles, double barrel guns, various charms and amulets, machine guns as well as pairs of camouflage uniforms, bows and quiver and assorted rifle magazine.

Others are handset, walkie-talkie, car number plates and some food items.

JTF Imposes 24-Hour Curfew In Parts Of Maiduguri Metropolis

In order to sustain special operations in the face of the recent Boko Haram attack in some areas in the Maiduguri metropolis, the Military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State has imposed an indefinite 24-hour curfew in 12 wards of Maiduguri metropolis, according to a statement issued today by the spokesman of the JTF; Lieutenant Sagir Musa.

The affected wards are:  Gamboru, Mairi Kuwait, Bakin Kogi, Kasuwan Shanu, Ruwan Zafi, 202 Quarters, Dikwa Quarters, Low-cost Sinimari, 505 Housing Estate, Chad Basin Area, 303 Housing Estate and Baga road.

Lieutenant Sagir Musa further appealed to the public to continue to cooperate with the security agencies by providing credible and timely information which can assist in bringing lasting peace to the state and the country at large.

The imposition of the 24- hour curfew comes five days after the president Dr Good luck Jonathan declared state of emergency in three north-east states of the country.

Since the declaration, the troops has made sure that the sect members have no resting place as they have been forced to abandon their hideouts located in some forest areas in Gwoza, Bama and other areas of Borno and the other two states.