The Niger state governor, Babangida Aliyu, has called on warring factions in the Peoples’ Democratic Party to sheath their swords as efforts are being intensified towards the resolution of the crisis rocking the party.
Governor Aliyu made the plea after a meeting between the seven aggrieved governors of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan and other leasers of the party.
The seven governors as well as former vice president, Atiku Abubakar broke away from the party during the special convention which was held at the Eagles Square, in Abuja.
The meeting hosted by the President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa was in a bid to resolve the crisis which has snowballed into a major crisis as it has started affecting some PDP states. The meeting lasted for several hours, beginning from 5:30 pm until 10:30pm.
The Niger governor assured that the meeting had been cordial and there is commitment on all sides to resolve the issues.
Governor Aliyu announced that the next meeting has been scheduled for Monday October, 17th 2013.
In attendance were the governors of Adamawa, Niger, Rivers, Kwara, Sokoto, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, Kogi and Kano states.
Also present were the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, and the PDP BoT chairman, Tony Anenih.
The National Chairman of the New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has requested all members of PDP worldwide to embark on seven days fasting and prayers commencing from Monday, 16th of September, 2013.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the breakaway faction, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze (JP), the party said “this spiritual intervention is as a result of the concern of the Baraje-led PDP for the plight of parents and our children due to the continued closure of public universities following the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to protest the Federal Government’s failure to keep the agreement it signed with the Union in 2009”.
The statement then called on Muslims all over the nation and abroad who are PDP members to close their fast by this Friday, 20th of September, 2013, at their places of worship while the Christians should end theirs on Sunday, 22nd September, 2013 at their places of worship.
According to the statement, “It has become imperative to seek the face of God over this matter considering that all efforts to resolve this unwarranted strike have failed woefully and considering the socio-economic damage this strike has caused both parents and our children. We are confident that our resolve to go to God will succeed as the importance of fasting and prayers cannot be over emphasized”.
The statement went on to add that, “To say the least, we are shocked that the government inflicting this monumental hardship on Nigerians is a PDP Government popularly elected by majority of Nigerians and run by a President who was once a University Lecturer. In this regard, we wish to plead with Nigerians for forgiveness on behalf of the PDP Government at the centre, which could have avoided this costly strike. We wish to assure all Nigerians that as a party we will surely find a way to end this shameful situation”.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Baraje has set up a four-man Committee with Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State as Chairman to advise the party on the best way to get the Federal Government’s Negotiating Committee and the leadership of ASUU to reach an agreement on the issues at stake and thus end this three-month-old strike.
Other members of the Committee are Gov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Hon. Chinwo Ike, President of UNIPORT Alumni, and Mr. Timi Frank, the PDP National Youth Leader.
The statement then pleaded thus: “We sincerely solicit the patience of Nigerians while appealing to both the Federal Government and the leadership of ASUU to end this imbroglio so that our children may go back to school instead of engaging in acts inimical to their future. The need for this has become urgent as reports reaching us indicate that many of these students have out of frustration and boredom turned to prostitution, armed robbery and other vices due to the prolonged industrial action”.
Unseal Our Secretariats
Meanwhile, the PDP faction has also called on the Police to unseal its secretariat, claiming that with recent developments and legal pronouncements, the Police no longer had any justification to continue to put the secretariat under lock and key.
Eze continued saying “To the glory of God, contrary to the prayers of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s faction of PDP, a Federal High Court in Abuja on13th September, 2013, once again ruled that the Baraje faction of PDP should be allowed to operate without any further harassment or inhibition as it is not breaking any known law.
Justice E.S. Chukwu in his ruling held that there was no evidence before the court to show any tardiness on the part of Baraje’s faction as claimed by the Tukur-led faction, which requested it to stop the Baraje-led PDP from operating”.
The statement further noted that, “In view of this ruling, the Police no longer have any valid reason (it never did, anyway) to continue to seal our Secretariats. We, therefore, wish to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to save the Police from the plot to ridicule it by using it to perpetrate illegalities such as sealing the lawfully-acquired National Secretariat of PDP and our Secretariats in states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Kaduna and Kwara. The powers that be should as a matter of urgency stop projecting and portraying the Police as a tool of injustice and attack on the perceived political opponents of Mr. President.
“On our own, we will continue to use the Judiciary to prove to Tukur’s faction that the days of running the affairs of our great party with impunity and high-handedness are gone for good. The time has come for him to correctly read the handwriting on the wall and honourably throw in the towel along with his National Working Committee”, the statement concluded.
The breakaway faction of the ruling party (PDP) has reiterated that it is serious with efforts at rescuing the party, and will not relent until they achieve a renewed and formidable PDP, as the leadership of the faction, known as the new PDP kicked off its secretariat operations.
In a statement signed by its secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Kawu Baraje faction insists, it has received huge support among party members and leaders from all the states.
The former governor of Osun state says they will not relent on their mission to make the PDP work again in the interest of Nigeria and its people.
The faction has however agreed to honour the leaders of the party, particularly, President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo to attend a scheduled meeting of the party elders before the end of the week.
Mr Oyinlola says “We respect the elders and will be guided by them even as we stress that we will not abandon the ideals of justice and fairness.”
The Cross River state government has introduced Pentavalent Vaccine in a bid to put a stop to preventable infant illnesses.
The state ministry of health introduced the new vaccine known as, Pentavalent, a five-in-one vaccine, which is expected to reduce child mortality to its barest minimum.
The state governor, Liyel Imoke disclosed this at the primary health care centre, Ikot Ansa in Calabar Municipality at the maiden immunization of the vaccine on children in the state.
Pentavalent vaccine is a combination of five vaccines of Hib-DPT-Hepatitis B in one injection that protects against germs that causes five diseases in children.
Administering the vaccines on children whom their mothers brought out in large numbers, the governor enjoined health workers, nursing mothers, local government councils, donor partners, as well as traditional rulers to be apt in their roles in ensuring that this gesture is delivered effectively to every child in the state less than one year old.
The Commissioner for Health, Professor Eyo-Ita assured of the ministry’s resolve to ensure consistent supply of the vaccine, in view of its importance.
The first phase of this exercise across the country commenced in May 2012 by introducing the vaccine in 13 states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Plateau, Rivers, and the Federal Capital Territory.
The second phase began in January this year, with a roll-over of the vaccine in seven additional states.
Cross River State falls under the third phase of beneficiaries and will be introduced in the remaining fifteen states.
Former staff of Bank of the North, now Unity Bank, Ilorin branch, on Monday morning picketed the main branch for non-settlement of their allowances after disengagement six years ago. The staff who barricaded the gate of the bank prevented customers from gaining access and accused the management of diverting over N5 billion meant for them for another purpose.
The protesters displayed various placards accusing the management of the bank of not settling their pensions running into billions of naira while several efforts had been made to petitions relevant stakeholders without success.
The pensioners who were calm throughout the nearly five hour picketing of the bank called on the anti-graft agencies to probe the merger process that led to the emergence of Unity Bank which they noted was full of fraud.
While most of the staff of the bank stood outside lamenting the situation of not gaining access in hush tones, some of the pensioners nearly resort to fighting the security of the bank for allowing an influential customer of the bank into the bank.
All efforts made to speak with the management of the bank by Channels Television could not be successful as the branch manager was said to have travelled outside the state to the zonal headquarter on the issue.
The Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has called on trade and labour unions in the state to partner with governments for the attainment of economic growth in the country.
Governor Ahmed made the call in Ilorin when the newly-elected state executive council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) paid him a courtesy visit.
He noted that virile unions like the NURTW must play critical roles in national development as it requires collective effort to achieve the desired objectives.
The governor described the NURTW as one of the most important unions in the country as its members are in charge of the movement of goods and services which he described as germane to economic development.
He said the NURTW’s role in ensuring easy movement of goods and services was commendable and emphasized that his administration remains committed to its road development programme, particularly the ‘operation no pothole’ and the extension of urban and rural road networks.
The chairman of NURTW, Isa Ore said with membership strength of 41,922, the union was the second largest employer of labour apart from the state government.
Mr Ore said NURTW contributes about N140 million yearly to the internally generated revenue of the state government through the payment of renewal fees for motor particulars.
The chairman said the union has zero tolerance for thuggery and all forms of violence and pledged that its members would not do anything that could disrupt the peace in the state.
Kwara State Government has awarded contracts for the construction of three major road projects and an additional work on an on-going project at a cost of over N2 billion.
The State government also approved over N357million for the purchase of medical equipment for the five general hospitals currently at an advanced state of remodelling and rehabilitation.
The state’s Commissioner for Works and Transport, Dr Abubakar Amuda Kannike and his health counterpart, Alhaji Kayode Abdul Isa announced made all these major developments known during the post State Executive Council Meeting press briefing.
Dr Kannike identified the approved road contracts and amongst them are the 18.6kilometre Arandun-Rore-Aran Orin-Ipetu road at the cost of over N1.5 billion with a 12 month completion period, beginning from this month, 1.8kilometre Umar Audi road which was awarded at the cost of N434.388.69.30 with a 6-month completion schedule.
According to Dr Kannike, the State Executive Council also approved the additional contract on the Dangote-Offa Garage road project to cover the remodelling of the bridge on the road in order to avert possible danger that the present state of the bridge portends, adding that the construction of the collapsed bridge on pipeline road at the cost of over N200 million was also approved.
The Works commissioner added that the Executive Council has expanded the level of project inspection and monitoring by relevant ministries, agencies and departments in order to ensure that projects are executed to specification and on schedule.
The Commissioner for Health, Kayode Issa in his remarks said the five general hospitals to benefit from the over N357 million equipment purchase contract are those in Ilorin, Share, Offa, Omu-Aran and Kaiama.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to develop the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy in order to create job opportunities for the youth.
Delivering a lecture entitled ‘Managing agriculture as a business to unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential’ at the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin Mr Obasanjo said going by the number of graduates produced in Nigeria annually, the government must develop new ways of job creation.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has identified political instability, poor leadership and global trade imbalance as some of the factors militating against rapid growth of agriculture in Nigeria.
Mr Obasanjo, who also listed weak financial market and rural financial institutions, however challenged the federal government to urgently find solution to joblessness among the youths to avert future crisis.
The hall of the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin was filled with stakeholders in agricultural sector who came to share from the practical experience of the man who established Operation Feed the Nation as a military head of state over three decades ago.
Delivering the sixteenth lecture entitled ‘Managing agriculture as a business to unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential’ Mr Obasanjo painted a gloomy picture of how one billion people out of the seven billion throughout the world lack access to adequate food and nutrition.
He listed many factors which include violent conflict and political instability, poor leadership, global trade imbalance and weak financial markets as responsible stagnation or slow growth witnessed in agricultural development in Nigeria.
The former president called for constant training, skills development, personal empowerment and entrepreneurship for the resuscitation of the agricultural sector in the country.
He however sounds a note of warning to the federal government to avert the repercussion of what he called ‘sitting on a keg of gun powder’.
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has said that his administration is focused on consolidating the achievements of his predecessor in the area of infrastructural development and improving the lives of the people in the state.
Speaking in his office during Channels Television programme, Question Time, Mr Ahmed listed the areas his administration is focusing on.
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has shed light on the reasons why the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) formed its own version of the Governors’forum.
Speaking in his office during a Channels Television’s programme, Question Time, the governor said as a dynamic organisation, the PDP cannot sit and watch the changes that are taking place in other parties and refuse to react to those changes.