Four Northern Governors Meet Behind Closed Doors With Ekwueme

Four northern governors, who have expressed their disappointment with the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have continued their nationwide consultations with a visit to former vice president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme in Abuja.

The governors are Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano state, Sule Lamido of Jigawa state, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state and Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto.

No official statement was issued on the outcome of the closed-door meeting.

Governors Kwakwanso and Lamido had arrived Abuja on a chartered aircraft and were received at the Abuja airport by Governor Nyako.

The trio moved to the Nicon Luxury Hotel, where they were received by Governor Wamako.

The four of them held a closed door meeting with Dr. Ekwueme, who is a chieftain of the PDP.

It will be recalled that the governors had met with former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former military leaders, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd).

They had also paid a solidarity visit to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state after the state house of assembly crisis.

The governors, who are all members of the PDP had expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership of the party.




Akpabio Heads NEC’s Committee To Halt Oil Theft

The National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, has moved to address the issue of oil theft in the country by setting up a committee headed by the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio to arrest the anomaly that is estimated to cost the country $7billion annually.

Rising from its meeting in the Presidential Villa on Thursday, the council berated the loss of over 400,000 barrels per day production.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, Delta state Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan said the committee set up by NEC is set to meet with oil majors and the Joint Task Force (JTF) to work out modalities for the effective repair of the Nembe and Trans Niger pipelines which are currently shut down due to leakages.

State’s Foreign Loans

Chairman of NEC’s ad-hoc committee on the 2012/2013 federal/state governments borrowing plans, the Governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dankwabo, gave an update on efforts at facilitating and co-ordinating easy access to the international development funds cleared by National Assembly for interested states.

The council was also presented with a memorandum on how to address the issue of grazing reserves by the Governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako, in which he underscored the need for the nation to pay more attention to food security as a means of boosting national production and the wellbeing of the people.

In presenting an  update on the status of the Almajiri education programme, Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, stated that 80 schools have already been built nationwide as part of the effort to address the problem of the high number of out of school children.

The council commended the progress recorded in the programme and recommended the take-off of academic programmes in the completed schools by the next academic calendar in September, 2013.

State Of Emergency: Adamawa Reduces Working Hours For Civil Servants

The Adamawa Government on Tuesday reduced official working hours in the state by one hour, to ease the difficulties civil servants face since it imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

The Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako

The 6pm-to-6am curfew was imposed last Wednesday to reinforce the current State of Emergency in the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Kobis Aris,  said workers would now close at 3pm.

He explained in a statement: “Sequel to the declaration of state of emergency in the state by President, Commander-In-Chief and the imposition of 6am to 6pm curfew in the state, civil servants find it difficult to reach home before 6pm.

“Consequently, Governor Murtala Nyako has approved that the state civil service official working hours be adjusted from 8:00 am to 3:00 p.m during the time of the curfew,” it said.

The statement added that the governor was holding consultations with various stakeholders in the state to generate support on the current security situation and ensure the restoration of peace and stability.

Police Take Over Adamawa State PDP Secretariat

The secretariat of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa state has been taken over by the police following the dissolution of the EXCO produced by the congress of January 8th and re-instatement of the sacked EXCO led by Alhaji Umaru Kugama.

State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ibrahim Muhammad said “the police took the decision when they learnt of a plan to attack the secretariat”.

While the interim committee sent by the national headquarters of the party had conducted an election and announced new leaders of the party in the state on Tuesday, the deputy national chairman of the party announced the reversal of the earlier dissolution of the state executive council led by Umaru Kugama.

In the election conducted by the interim committee, former state chairman of the party in the state, Chief Joel Hamman Joda Madaki, emerged as the new chairman while Barrister Tahir Shehu was elected as secretary.

Madaki was unanimously elected by consensus, after the vacation of an earlier injunction slammed on the state caretaker committee of the PDP led by Ambassador Umaru Damagum.

Other members of the new executive committee include Mr Japhet Kefas, former commissioner in Governor Nyako government Seth Crowther and Sam Zadok. Captain Altine Bello was elected women leader.

Former minister of state for health, Aliyu Idi Hong, who announced the results, said “the 29 executive seats of the party were allotted according to senatorial districts, and each zone got a key working committee member”.

However, few hours after the election, the deputy national chairman of the party, Dr Sam Sam Jaja, and national secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, issued a joint statement dissociating the party from the election.

They said that the election was neither authorized by the NWC nor monitored by the National Secretariat, saying “in the history of the PDP only the National Secretariat of the PDP conducts state congresses”.

They announced the restoration of the dissolved Umaru Kugama-led state executive committee.

The Kugama executive committee is backed by Governor Murtala Nyako while the newly elected executive committee led by Chief Joel Madaki is backed by the national chairman of the party Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.


Jonathan Resolves PDP Leaders’ Rancour

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday moved to nip in the bud the crisis besetting the National Working Committee (NWC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by summoning the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Turkur and the rest members of the NWC to the Presidential Villa to resolve their differences.

A festering crack had emerged within the national leadership of the ruling party which culminated in the convening of its NWC meeting on Tuesday by 10 members of the committee.

The meeting had excluded the national chairman over his stance on the sacking of party’s executive council of his home state, Adamawa and its recently conducted congresses.

Following the sacking of the council in October last year, the Adamawa state Governor, Murtala Nyako and other PDP governors appealed to the NWC to reconsider its stand but the national chairman of the party failed to yield grounds.

But the 10 members of the NWC had in last Tuesday’s meeting annulled the congresses conducted in Adamawa state by the caretaker committee that had been set up by the national leadership of the party and reinstated the executive council loyal to Governor Nyako.

The action did not however go down well with the Alhaji Tukur, who described it as a betrayal of trust on the part of his colleagues in the NWC.

Consequently, the NWC was unable to have its scheduled regular meeting on Wednesday at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, notably because of the refusal of the 10 members to have anything to do with the party boss.

This was said to have prompted the intervention of the President who summoned the feuding national officers to a meeting on Wednesday.

At the end of the meeting which took place in House 7 in the Presidential Villa, Alhaji Tukur told state house correspondents that the NWC members have resolved their differences, describing the members as the “first family of the PDP.”

NJC reject nominees for Adamawa, Osun and Kwara state chief judges

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has thrown  out the recommendations by Kwara, Adamawa and Osun state governors for the appointments of Chief Judges for their respective states.

The council rejected Kwara state governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed’s recommendation of Justice Suleiman Durosinlorun Kawu as Chief Judge of the state.

The recommendation of Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola to elevate Justice Oyewole to the position of Chief Judge of the state also received a thumb down from the NJC state.

Justice Binta Nyako’s recommendation by her husband, Governor Murtala Nyako as the Chief Judge of Adamawa state was also turned down.

The council has asked the governors to forward nominations based on seniority for approval.




Mubi massacre: Students give Nyako 7 days to fish out killers

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemn the killings of over 26 students by yet to be identified gunmen at a private residential hostel at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State, North-East Nigeria and described the incident as callous, cruel and barbaric.

Students rushing out of their campuses in Mubi, Adamawa State, following Monday night massacre

The National President of NANS, Mohammed Dauda in a press statement in Jos, described the incident as unprecedented as the entire Nigerian students particularly the leadership of student union are still in shock and yet unable to phantom what could be the motive of the perpetrators.

While commiserating with families of the bereaved, the Polytechnic community and entire Nigerian students’ community, the students’ union body is demanding for an immediate probe into the circumstances surrounding the attack with a seven day ultimatum to the Adamawa State government to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

The statement added that there were insiders involved in the massacre of the students considering that the killings took place just immediately after the state government relaxed a curfew imposed on the town of Mubi few days before the attack.

A three days national mourning has been declared on all higher institutions in the country in honour of the memory of the dead students with an appeal to the security agents to urgently unravel the mystery.

Nyako condemns killing

Meanwhile, the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako has condemned the Monday night murder of students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, as well as Adamawa State University and School of Health Technology.

Mr Nyako described the action as ungodly and shocking to the government and people of the state.

The governor, who on Wednesday spoke through his chief press secretary, Mai Jama’a Adamu, also condoled with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack, even as he assured that government was working closely with all security agencies in the state to ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous crime were brought to justice.

According to him, the state government had already set up a team led by the state head of service, Musa Kaibo, who are currently in Mubi to commiserate with the families of the deceased persons, and to get the information that will help the government to take necessary action concerning the incidence and to avoid future reoccurrence.

Nyako runs Adamawa state like family business – Markus Gundiri

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in last April governorship election in Adamawa State, Markus Gundiri on Wednesday said that the current governor, Murtala Nyako is running the state like a family business with less than 10 people controlling the state resources.

Mr Gundiri, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the governor decided to use his son “who was a serving officer in the Nigeria Navy to become his de facto Chief of staff.”

He said both the governor and his election were forced on the people of Adamawa state saying the February 4 election was manipulated in favour of Mr. Nyako.

Adamawa would have been worse than Jos had ACN produced the governor – PDP Chairman

The Adamawa State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Kugama on Wednesday Said that the crisis in Jos would have been nothing compared with what would have happened in the state had Markus Gundiri of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) won the February 4 governorship election.

Mr Kugama, who was responding to allegations of irregularities in the election engineered by the PDP, said it would have been impossible for Mr. Gundiri to have won the election.

“The aspirant and his clique have brought a religious problem in the state. Because all the people that he is moving round with are the same religion. You are a Christian, Kilba by tribe and your deputy governor, Chamba by tribe and everybody knows in this country that Adamawa State is Fulani dominated area. How can you come and win the election there?” he said.

Adamawa: Tribunal upholds Nyako’s election

The Adamawa State election petition tribunal sitting in Yola on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate, Markus Gundiri challenging the victory of Murtala Nyako of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 4 February 2012 governorship polls.

The tribunal headed by Justice Bitrus Sanga also awarded a N50, 000 cost against Mr Gundiri and his party the ACN.
The ACN and its candidate in the Adamawa State governorship election had challenged the outcome of the election on the ground electoral malpractices.

The petitioner, Mr Gundiri, had alleged that there were cases of diversion of ballot boxes, multiple voting, rigging, stuffing and snatching of ballot boxes, falsification of election result, monetary inducement and intimidation of voters by the PDP-led government.

Mr Gundiri and the ACN were specifically challenging the election result in 11 local government areas of the state which includes Fufore, Maiha, Mayo-Belwa, Yola North, Yola South, Gireir, Madagali, Mubi North, Toungi, Numan and Demsa local government councils mostly believed to be a stronghold of the ruling PDP in the state.

Justice Sanga leading a three man panel however dismissed the petition saying the petitioner failed to prove that the election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not “substantially comply with the electoral guidelines”.

Economic Management Team order agencies to stop fake products

The federal government has directed regulatory agencies in the country to work quickly to address the menace of sub-standard products in the country.

The directive was issued after the Economic Management Team’s meeting, presided by President Goodluck Jonathan at the state house on Tuesday.

Noting that sub-standard products whether manufactured locally or imported could be detrimental to consumers, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke to journalists after the meeting said the team took presentation from three agencies to address the detrimental effect of sub-standard products and therefore concluded on stamping out the menace.

President Jonathan and the Economic Management Team met for over eight hours to discuss how to support the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) in the enforcement of set-down regulations in the control of substandard products.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala, also noted that the government’s decision is about how to protect local manufacturers from unhealthy competition with those who import inferior products.

Commending the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Finance Minister noted that the agency has brought down the prevalence of fake drugs down to 6 per cent from the 16.7 per cent it stood in the past.

In his address, the governor of Adamawa state, Mr Murtala Nyako, said the team was satisfied with the presentations made by the regulatory agencies and suggestions were offered to them to improve on their activities.

Also speaking, the governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi said curtailing sub-standard products and dumping of goods into the country would help in growing the local industries.

The 24 man Economic Management Team was inaugurated by the president in 2011 to generate programmes and policies aimed at achieving government’s transformation agenda.