Professor Obiozor Seeks Restructuring Of Nigerian Politics

A former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor, has called for the restructuring and institutionalisation of Nigerian politics.

He made the recommendation in Enugu State at the second edition of the ‘Big Idea Podium’ tagged: “Towards a new leadership for a broken nation”.

Professor Obiozor emphasised the importance of restructuring the nation’s politics, saying the call for referendum would become a national and international agenda.

“Generally, the leadership Nigeria needs now must recognise that any new system for the country must take cognisance of the present national reality that today, no single group or bloc, no matter their pretences to power, can again dominate the Nigerian political system.

“We need a system that commands the respect of our people and is seen as fair, just and equitable to all. Therefore, Nigerian politics needs restructuring and institutionalisation as a way to contain its adverse effects on efforts towards nation-building, national integration and national development.

“Consequently, Nigeria needs a system of shared power, bearing in mind that political decency flourishes best in societies in which stable, peaceful and just political institutions make it difficult for reckless and lawless political adventurers to thrive,” he said.

Ambassador Obiozor also called for the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference.

The organiser of the event and a former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo, explained that the gathering was designed to explore missing links in the Nigerian system and proffer lasting solutions.

Other panellists at the gathering include a former Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, Professor Elochukwu Amucheazi, as well as the Director of Joint Universities Preliminary Board, UNN, Professor Aloy Okolie.

I Am Being Investigated, Jonathan Says

JonathanNigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, says the government of the day is investigating him for corruption.

Dr. Jonathan, who made the claim in an interview with Bloomberg Tv on Monday, said he would rather await for the outcome of the investigations.

“I will be investigated and I am being investigated. Yes! Investigations are going on but I would not want to make certain comments.

“When a government is working it is not proper to make certain comments. I will allow the government to work. It is not a good practice,” he said.

“It Is Unfortunate”

The former President also said he tried his best in the area of corruption to curtail it.

“My approach to corruption is, don’t make money available for anybody to collect it.

“I wanted to do the same thing in the oil industry, but the same people that accuse us of corruption are the very people that frustrated the effort. It is unfortunate,” he stated.

Dr. Jonathan also faulted claims by the current administration that it inherited an empty treasury.

In his words: “It is not true; there is no way that he would have inherited an empty treasury and at the same time give bailout to the states. It’s not possible.

“Nigeria is a fairly robust economy but sometimes, we over politicise some issues and make it look so bad. It was not that bad. Some people ask questions like I was the President of Nigeria since independence; I was the President for five years”.

While giving a speech earlier, Dr. Jonathan stressed the need for peace, freedom and unity for Nigeria to progress.

According to him, the values need to be deeply, strongly and irreversibly entrenched in Nigeria for all time.

He further opined that it was imperative that both the Executive and the Legislative arms of Government institute a Bill of Rights.

PDP’s Former Governors In Reconciliatory Meeting

pdpThe leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has started a reconciliation process with former governors of the party with a view to regaining power in 2019.

National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, at a meeting with the former PDP governors said that the move is to foster unity among members.

Since its lost control of the centre in the general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been trying to rebuild its structures.

The party has embarked on series of reconciliatory meetings since its new chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherif assumed office.

Some of those in attendance include Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Ibrahim Shema of Kastina State, Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State, and Gabriel Suswam of Benue State.

Members of the party’s National Working Committee were also at the meeting.


PDP Sets Date For National Convention

pdpThe National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed April 23 through May 21 2016 for its national convention to elect new principal officers.

The Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, told journalists in Abuja after a joint marathon meeting of the National Executive Committee and members of the Board of Trustees that the convention will hold in Port Harcourt.

The National Working Committee of the party has also inaugurated four special committees to reconcile all aggrieved party members, prepare for the convention and work on the party’s zoning policy


PDP Will Bounce Back – Ali Modu Sherrif

Ali Modu SherrifThe National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the party will bounce back again.

Mr Ali Modu Sherrif made the statement at the inter-denominational thanksgiving and victory service for the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State on Saturday.

The PDP Chairman said that the Supreme Court ruling on Rivers State brought hope to the people of the state.

“The new PDP we are trying to put on the ground, will by the grace of Allah, go to the promised land – coming back to power again.

“Last time when I spoke about 2019, people thought that Ali Sherrif wanted to be Chairman of the party in 2019, no, what I am saying is that PDP as a party whether Ali Sherrif is here or anybody, from what I have seen and from what the generality of Nigerians are saying, I am sure they are going to give PDP a chance again in 2019,” he said.

The State Governor in his remark, said that his victory gave him confidence to tackle the issues of security in the state.

” Let me say today (Saturday), that as the Chief Security Officer of this state, I will always support the security agencies to fight against crimes.

“I will not support criminals and criminal activities in this state, and I will not support the killings of innocent people, who have done nothing.”

The Governor also noted that the victory brought hope for the party in the March 2016 re-run elections in the state.

“Nigeria is a democratic country, and therefore, we must respect the rule of law. Every security agency must subject themselves to civil authority and so, let nobody here, be intimidated on what will happen on March 19.

“I tell you, for you to get freedom is not by the word of mouth, you must make sacrifices in order to get the freedom of your people, you must stand firm to defend what belongs to you, you must say I have the right to protect my vote.

“If they like, they can bring all the submarines, but you must protect your votes,” he said.


Maitama Sule Tasks Buhari On Leadership

Maitama SuleElder statesman and Danmasanin Kano, Maitama Sule, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to emulate the founding fathers of Nigerian  politics if he must move the country forward.

Mr Sule was speaking in Kaduna after being conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the Nigerian Defence Academy.

He decried insecurity, corruption and immorality, blaming it on lack of leadership and called on Nigerians to cooperate with the President to clean the rot.

Dr Sule said: “People take cues from the leaders and if the leaders are bad, the country would remain the same”.

He said his prayers had remained a demand that God would grant Nigeria, leaders who would not loot the country’s treasury.

“I keep praying that we may have good leaders. Leaders not rulers. May God grant that we may have rulers who have the fear of God.

“Leaders will accept in public what they have accepted in secret. Leaders will not steal. Leaders are not corrupt, leaders will look at the common men with the eyes of compatriot not with the eyes of privilege few, leaders who know they will one day, stand before God’s account not those who will want to perpetuate their stay in office,” he said.

Labour Accuses PDP Of Harassment, Kidnapping And Intimidation

labour partyThe leadership of Labour Party in Cross Rivers State has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of harassment, kidnapping and intimidation of party members.

Briefing journalists in Abuja the governorship candidate of the labour party, Mr Fidelis Ugbo, alleged that members of the Labour Party are constantly harassed by police officers and loyalist of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He also decried the alleged kidnapping of their candidate for House of Representative, Mr Dominic Edem, whom he said was abducted by gun men and is yet to be freed.

2015 International Women’s Day Focuses On Women Empowerment, Service To Humanity

womenMore emphasis have been laid on the need for Women Empowerment and Service to Humanity, as the world marks the 2015 International Women’s Day.

Globally, March 8 has been set aside to celebrate women who have contributed to the development of the world as well as serve as a reminder to government to canvass for policies that would advance the course of women.

This year’s celebration, with the theme, Women Empowerment, Service to Humanity has drawn so many reactions from people as governments across the globe try bridge the gap that exists in making the women folk bring their expertise to the fore.

Nigerian woman started striving for empowerment with little or no support from relevant authorities in 1995 in Beijing, China when thousands of women across the globe gathered to seek the protection of the rights of women and inclusion in socio-economic development.

Twenty years later, the day is still being celebrated globally to awaken the consciousness of those in authority to up their games in championing their course.

Efforts by government in Nigeria to ensure the inclusion of women in governance is said to have yielded success with about 35 per cent of women occupying key positions in various Ministries,department and Agencies, leaving the men folk vying for more positions in politics.

Besides active involvement in politics,the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development,Mrs Zainab Maina, sort the passage of bills that would protect the Nigerian women.

According to experts, closing the gaps that exist in making women bring their potentials to the fore also begins with a commitment to improving budgetary allocations for issues that affect women.

With more than 70 per cent of the nations women still living with rural areas and unable to get medical, educational or economic empowerment, many said that harnessing the potentials of women should be seen as a top priority at the Global,National and Local levels.

In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners dedicated the 2015 International Women’s Day to the 219 schoolgirls abducted from their school’s dormitory in Chibok, Borno State, by members of a terrorist group, the Boko Haram.

The girls were abducted on April 14, 2014 and have not been rescued.

At its meeting in Abuja on Sunday, the group members expressed concerns that two weeks into the six weeks heightened counter-terrorism operation to tackle insurgency in the north-east, the government had not offered any status update on efforts specific to the rescue of the 219 Chibok girls.

Kaduna Police Boss Warns Politicians Against Inciting Violence

PoliceAhead of the February general elections in Nigeria, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu has threatened to arrest candidates and their supporters who use provocative language, make unguarded or inflammatory statements before, during and after the elections.

He also warned that such persons would be made to face the full wrath of the law if caught in such act.

Speaking to journalists after meeting behind close doors with governorship candidates  at the Police Officers Mess, the Police commissioner reminded the politicians  to conduct themselves in an orderly manner and carry out their campaigns in line with the political parties code of conduct and the  Electoral Act.

While assuring that the Police will continue to provide maximum security for all political parties and their candidates, the commissioner also promised that the force will remain non partisan and will rather ensure a violence free electioneering campaigns and hitch free elections.

The meeting, which was held behind close doors, had in attendance the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and incumbent governor, Muktar Yero and his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga,  governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and his running mate, Bala Bantex as well as candidate of the Labour Party, James Magaji.

Chairmen of the political parties and their members were also in attendance.

The meeting lasted for over three hours and at the end, the commissioner briefed journalists that The essence of the meeting is to refresh the minds of the stakeholders in the democratic journey on the security guidelines and other provisions on electioneering campaigns and other political activities before, during and after the elections.

He mentioned some electoral offenses to include ballot box snatching, destruction of posters and billboards, under age voting, multiple voting among other offences which he said are punishable under the law.

Governor Mukhtar Yero, who expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting, assured the commissioner that his party and supporters shall abide by the electoral law and approach the election as not a do or die affair.

He called on the residents of the state not to be manipulated by politicians against their selfish interests.

His counterpart from the APC, Mallam El-rufai also commended the Police command for conveying the meeting, but explained that the Police must stop the PDP from rigging the forthcoming election in order to avert any violence.

Jonathan Kicks Off Campaign In Lagos

Jonathan declaration picturePresident Goodluck Jonathan has officially kicked off the campaign to secure a second term in the office, in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

Thousands of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters converged at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos for the event.

Big wigs in the party including Vice President Namadi Sambo, governors: Emmanuel Uduaghan, Ayo Fayose, Godswill Akpabio, Olusegun Mimiko as well as Femi Fani-Kayode, Bode George and several others expressed support for the president and made promises to help him secure votes in the different regions.

The imminent return of President Jonathan for four more years is inevitable. The Yoruba people will return The president -Gov Ayo Fayose, noted.

Also, footballer, Joseph Yobo, who represented youths supporting the president, approved Jonathan for a second term. “Goodluck Jonathan has given us hope”, he said.

Speaking earlier in the day on Sunrise Daily, Former Commissioner of Information and Strategy in Ondo State and member, of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Eddy Olafeso, defended the choice of Lagos as kick off point, noting that it is the third largest mega city in the world and the largest city in Nigeria.

He said “it’s about time to speak up and that’s the reason for the excitement in Lagos”, adding that, “I think there are times for you to work and there are moments you have to express and let the world know what you have been able to do”.

“The fact remains we are on course and from now on, Nigerians will be hearing more of what Mr. President will have to do in addition to what he has done to move Nigeria forward”, Olafeso said.

President Jonathan used the opportunity to apologise to federal civil servants whose salaries were not paid early enough in December, blaming the delay on a corruption-fighting measure.

“I believe that for you to fight corruption you must take some measures, establish and strengthen institutions”, insisting that “you don’t just wake up and go into the streets arrest someone and lock up and show on television and say you are fighting corruption”, he said.

The president also spoke of various ways his administration has been fighting corruption.

Former military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, is the candidate of the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the polls that will be keenly contested.

Buhari will face President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 14 vote.

Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari is the main opposition candidate in the polls seen as the most-tightly contested since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999.

Buhari will face President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 14 vote to be held against a backdrop of economic troubles and security fears tied to relentless violence by Islamist militants in the country. There are fears that polling could be ruled out in swathes of the country’s northeast because of sustained Boko Haram violence.

The electoral body in Africa’s leading economy and most populous nation maintains, however, that there were no plans to postpone the vote.

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Rivers’ Elders Call For Withdrawal Of Wike Is Nonsensical-PDP

PDPThe Rivers State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday condemned the call for the withdrawal of its governorship candidate for 2015 general election, Mr Nyesom Wike, maintaining that it “amounts to day-dreaming, as such is not only nonsensical but also against democratic principles”, a statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the State Chairman of the party, Jerry Needam said.

The Party said this while reacting to a statement credited to Chief Albert Horsfall that Mr Wike should be asked to step down or do so on his own within seven days.

The call, according to the PDP, “is laughable and not achievable because directing or not directing elected candidates to proceed or not to proceed with their election mandates is not the responsibility of the party or any of its leaders.

“The PDP is therefore calling on the good people of Kalabari and the general public to discountenance the senseless call by Chief Horsfall”, the statement added.

The Party had conducted  the Governorship Primary in the State, in which accredited delegates from across the 23 LGAs of the State, participated and which produced Mr Nyesom Wike as the winner with a total of 1083 votes.

“This was a great and commendable feat that the Party made, and will continue to uphold the winner of the Primary, Barr. Wike, until the final victory is achieved in 2015 general elections.

“It is therefore, unthinkable and malicious of any one particularly, Chief Horsfall, who claims to be interested in the peace, security and development of Rivers State, to contemplate acting against the popular choice and judgement of the people.

“This latest action of Chief Horsfall however is not received by the Party as a bolt from the blue, as he has over the period, conducted himself as a paid agent of the All Progressives Congress, APC,”, the statement alleged.

Mr Needam further alleges that the “Party has on good authority that Amaechi’s N1billion to rehabilitate the ‘boys’ was the point of interest part of which was used by Chief Horsfall to rehabilitate himself.

“The Party is optimistic however, that Chief Horsfall does not have the capacity or ability to control or dictate any political, social or economic line of action to the Riverine People not to talk of the entire State.

“He also has no authority to speak for the Party or take any decision on behalf of the Party.

“Chief Horsfall’s claim of planning to substitute the Rivers State PDP Governorship flag-bearer is therefore, mere exposition of his short-sightedness, naivety, disconnect from the masses, and lack of relevance in the Kalabari region and the State.

“Chief Horsfall’s threat to mobilize Riverrine votes for APC to justify the money Amaechi gave to him is an empty threat. PDP will surely be victorious in the next elections in the State at all levels” he said.

The Elders and Leaders council in Rivers State has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to withdraw its governorship candidate, Mr Nyesom Wike, from the governorship race in Rivers State.

Nigerian Politicians Asked To Eschew Desperation For Power

Adams-Oshiomhole_Edo_State-GovernorThe Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has advised politicians in Nigeria not to be too desperate for power, as campaigns for the 2015 election begin across the country.

Mr Oshiomhole told Channels Television in Benin-City, the Edo State capital, that Nigeria won its democracy the hard way and that it would be senseless to mortgage it on the altar of political violence and greed.

“What is coming in 2015 is not war. That is not the promise of democracy.

“Even soldiers, military government recognise that you can’t wage war against your people.

No Hiding Place

“If Nigeria has attained democracy today, it is not courtesy of a willing military. The military had to agree at a point that it can no longer hang on because Nigerians were unanimous,” he said, explaining the struggle that Nigerians had passed through to get a democratically elected government running for the last 15 years.

He cited the removal of the leader of Burkina Faso, pointing out that  “the leader, who thought he had succeeded in making himself a monarch, a life ruler, is seeking exile now unable to live in that country”.

Governor Oshiomhole further expressed the belief that nobody in Nigeria would want Nigeria to go into ruins.

“When people have been so oppressed, dehumanised and they have become very desperate…  The more you have taken, the more your stake in ensuring that the system is not undermined.

“The world is now such that when people overwhelm a people, it becomes a matter of international community. There is no hiding place now for anyone.

“If you resort to measures that are undemocratic, if you resort to killing and you resort to promoting war under any guise, if you are too strong for your country, you cannot be too strong for the international community,” the Governor, who was once a labour leader, said.