Governors of the opposition parties that are involved in merger talks on Tuesday met in Lagos for a closed door meeting.
Attending the meeting were all the governors from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and other opposition political parties such as the All Nigeria People’s Party, (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
In attendance are all the ACN governors from the south west and governors from Yobe, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Borno and Zamfara.
Although no official statement has been made, it is believed that the meeting is in connection with the proposed merger of the ACN, ANPP and CPC.
The three parties are working towards merging to face the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Rilwan Musa has declared that the Immigration Service is devising strategies to operate a very stringent border regime to protect Nigeria from the insurgency issues and illegal migration that might occur from the crisis in Mali.
At his first press conference Wednesday since assuming office on January 16th, Mr. Musa said Nigeria will run into terrible crisis if proactive measures are not taken now to defend and protect her borders.
He revealed that immigration officers have been recalled from the hinterlands to beef up security in key border areas that are flash points such as Borno, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Katsina, among others, adding that more strategies will be deployed soon.
The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff recently stated that some members of Boko Haram sect that are staging insurgent attacks in Nigeria were trained in Mali, and that Nigeria’s intervention in that country is also aimed at tackling the issue.
Nigeria has deployed over 1,000 military officers to join the on-going international counter insurgency operations against the Islamists in the West African country.
Fourteen states have been pinpointed as states to be ravaged by floods between now and the 19th of August 2012. This was contained in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department of the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Morohunkeji Oyeleke.
The states are Adamawa, Plateau, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno and Gombe states. Others include Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Oyo, Zamfara and Kano states.
Bauchi and Katsina were also listed amongst the forewarned flood prone states.
The Ministry listed Demsa, Numan, Jimeta, Mayo Belwa, Mubi and Song, all in Adamawa state; and Langtang, Shelleng, Shandam and Wase in Plateau state.
Others are Gada, Goronyo and Shinkafi in Sokoto State; Gumel, Hadeija, Miga and Mallam Fatori in Jigawa state; as well as Bama, Briyel, Damasak, Dikwa, Geidam, Ngala, and Kukawa in Borno State.
She also listed Nafada in Gombe State; Anka, Bagudo, Birnin-Kebbi, Bungudu, Bunza, Gwandu, Jega and Kamba, all in Kebbi State.
Also listed among the flood prone areas were Gashua, Potiskum, Dapchi, Kanama and Machina in Yobe State; and Bali, Gembu, Ibi, Lau, Wukari and Mutum Biyu in Taraba State.
Also to be affected are Apata, Bodija, Challenge, Moniya, Ojoo, Eruwa, Odo Ora, Ibadan and Oyo town, all in Oyo State and Kaura, Maru, Gusau; and Namoda in Zamfara State.
Others are Gezawa, Gwarzo, Karaye, Wudil and Kano, all in Kano State; and Azare, Bajoga, Jamaare, Kari and Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi State; and Bakori, Bindawa, Daura, Jibiya and Katsina and Funtua, all in Kastina State.
Oyeleke therefore called on governments of the affected states to take precautionary measures to avoid loss of lives and property.
The North Eastern part of the country is the most affected as all the states-Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi- were all listed. Kaduna state is the only state spared from the North West and Oyo state is the sole representative of the South West while Plateau that of the North Central.
Missing from the list is Lagos, a state that has suffered from flooding in recent years during the raining season.
The insecurity in Nigeria on Thursday was the issue that dominated the National Council of States meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja.
Present at the meeting were past Nigerian leaders including Shehu Shagari, Ernest Shenekan and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as the governors of the 36 states of the federation or their deputies.
There was no formal briefing after the meeting but sources said that National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki briefed the meeting on security situation in Plateau state and the efforts being put in place so far to nip it in the bud as well as the situation in Mali and its effect on neighbouring countries including Nigeria.
The Belgore Report on constitutional matters and the National Honours list were also discussed during the meeting
The 36 state governors met last night in Abuja to take a common position on the incessant violence in parts of the country ahead of the council meeting.
Officials close to the forum said the governors were discussing the level of insecurity especially in the North, and were considering taking a common position ahead of the Council of State meeting.
The governors’ meeting was summoned in the wake of the latest bloodshed in Plateau State, where dozens of people were in killed in attacks on villages, which also led to the deaths of Senator Gyang Dantong and state legislator Gyang Fulani.
Last night’s meeting was held at the Rivers’ State Governors’ Lodge in Abuja.
The governors’ meeting was attended by governors of Katsina, Kaduna, Borno, Zamfara, Kebbi, Taraba, Jigawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Ebonyi, Abia, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra, Gombe and Adamawa states. Deputy governors of Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara, Ogun and Yobe states were also in attendance.
The Congress for Progressive Change has called for the postponement of the Kebbi State governorship election which has been scheduled for Saturday, 31 March 31.
The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Mustapha Saliu told journalists in Abuja that the party is requesting for the postponement because of the withdrawal of the party’s candidate for the election.
“We are asking for the postponement of the election so that we can be able to shop, nominate and sponsor a fresh candidate,” he said.
He further observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission had turned down the application on the premise that a 45 day notice was to be given according to the Electoral act as amended in 2010.
Mr Saliu said that should the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) proceed with this Saturday’s election the CPC will be heading for the court to seek redress.
“We have asked our people to boycott the election,” he said.
The National Secretary of the party, Buba Galadima said that “even though the Supreme Court gave them the latitude of 90 days, so that all legal processes ought to take place before the election,” INEC preferred to schedule the election 37 days after the Supreme Court judgement.
He said that the 37 days is not even close to the 45 days’ notice given by the electoral act for candidate substitution.
The Kebbi State governorship elections is set to hold on Saturday, 31 March and 15 candidates are vying for the position, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said in a bulleting on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria sacked the former Kebbi State governor Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari earlier this year and had ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections within 90 days of the decision.
Usman Dakingari, the PDP frontman, is back in the running to reclaim his governorship position and will be facing down 14 other contenders.
The other candidates include:
Alhaji Sulaiman Argungu of the ANPP
Kabiru Turaki of ACN
Umaru Birnin Kebbi of APGA
Attari Sani from the AD party
Hajiya Hauwau Mohammed from ADC
Alhaji Lawan Moad of ALP
Malam Abubakar Abubakar of CPC
Alhaji Sani Abubakar from the CPP
Muhammed Danbare of LP
Sahabi Atiku representing NNPP
Alhaji Tukur Yaro of NSDP
Mohammed Mogaji of NTP
Alhaji Abubakar Umaru of the PPA
Alhaji Mohammed Nura from PPP
INEC will be deploying over 8,000 officials to conduct the elections through out Kebbi state’s 21 local governments, 225 registrations areas and 2,398 polling units.
“A breakdown of the personnel requirement for the re-run election shows that the commission will deploy 7,859 ad hoc staff from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) plus undergraduates from tertiary institutions in Kebbi.
“In addition, 225 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs), 247 Collation Officers (COs), 25 Supervisors and 273 reserves,’’ it said, adding that over 1.6 million people are registered to cast their votes.