The Kaduna State Government has commenced the rehabilitation of some Federal Government-owned roads in the state capital following the collapse of the roads.
The state government says the intervention is to ensure that road users within the state have accident-free and safe motoring.
The roads which include the Nnamdi Azikwe western by-pass and Ahmadu Bello is being repaired by the Kaduna State Public Works Agency (KAPWA).
The Kagoro junction along the Nnamdi Azikwe western by-pass in the state capital is in a deplorable condition, with some portions of it washed away by the rains, thereby making things difficult for motorists.
The over 20 kilometre road which connects to Zaria, Kano and other neigbouring states in the north had been left unattended to for many years.
There has been excitement among residents and commuters following the commencement of rehabilitation work on the road by the works agency.
The General Manager of the Kaduna State Public Works Agency, Tanimu Abubakar, said that over 100 roads in the state capital, Zaria and Kafanchan will under go similar rehabilitation in order to ease the suffering of commuters.
While commending the state government for the intervention, the residents also appealed to the agency handling the repair work to ensure its speedy completion especially now that the rains have become heavier.
To ensure speedy rehabilitation of the road, youths in the area have also been rendering assistance to the state government officials.
The Department of State Service, DSS, has arrested five men for the April 14 bombing of Nyanya Park in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
The DSS has also declared wanted one Rufai Abubakar Tsiga and Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche for allegedly masterminding the bombing.
Addressing a media briefing at the service headquarters in Abuja, the spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar, while revealing the identities of those arrested, also revealed details of past encounters with one of those declared wanted.
She said: “It is noteworthy that the UK born Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, with Service Number 95/104 deserted the Nigerian Army in 2006. He served in the Intelligence Unit of the Nigerian Army between 2001 and 2006 and was posted to the Nigerian Defense Academy in 2006, but rather than reporting at the academy, he deserted.
“Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche was arrested by this service (DSS) on 12th November 2011 at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on his arrival from the United Kingdom for suspected involvement in terrorism related activities, but was released on bail on 15th October 2012 to his father, a retired Colonel, Agene Ogwuche, following intense pressure from human rights activists who alleged human rights violation.”
She further stated that “Nigerian security forces shall not rest on their oars until every individual or group of persons involved in the Nyanya bombings are brought to book.”
Those arrested are Ahmad Rufai Abubakar, Muhammadu Sani Ishaq, Adamu Yusuf, Yau Saidu and Anas Isah.
The service, in addition, also announced a reward of 25million Naira for anybody with useful information on their whereabouts.
A bomb went off during morning rush hour on April 14 2014 at the Nyanya motor park Abuja, killing 75 people, injuring several others.
A Public Affairs Analyst and former Vice President, Transparency Nigeria, Ezenwa Nwagwu, has called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to either defect to the opposition party or lose his position as the All Progressives Congress (APC) now boasts of having majority of the members in the House.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had obtained a judgement from a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja stopping the House of Representatives from changing its leadership pending the determination of a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to restrain the lower chamber from altering the composition of its leadership.
There have been agitations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a result of mass defection of member lawmakers who cross carpeted to the APC. The party had also gone ahead to seek redress in the court of law to deter more members from decamping, as well as to ensure that the court declares seats of the decampees vacant.
Nwagwu, who is the Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform, told Channels Television that the Speaker, a PDP member, has no choice in the matter. “You have a PDP speaker now, if majority of the members are opposition. It’s common sense. You can’t continue to be speaker. There’s no magic, all you need to do to retain that position is to defect,” Nwagwu said.
Nwagwu, who noted that the PDP’s decision to go to court is “immoral,” said that the party had benefitted from similar events in the past.
“The PDP as it stands now, going to court is immoral” because “you’ve benefitted from this process in time past, you are still benefitting really.” The PDP “swallowed up majorly most of the smaller parties, in our recent history” and so “to begin to worry now that there’s a change that looks like it’s going to be a vista of hope for serious democratic practice is worrisome.”
The struggle put up by the ruling party “is about contest and leadership. It’s about who controls the leadership of the National Assembly in both Houses, he said, adding that “the agitations of the PDP are not fuelled by principles but by power.
He traced the history of the culture of defection to the 50’s during the “AG and NCNC saga, where members of the then NCNC had to move to the Action Group, which had consequences (till date),” he said, and also noted that the defection “affected the relationship between followers of Nnamdi Azikwe and those of Obafemi Awolowo,”who are still alive.
“That debate is still on as to what really happened. Some said the AG bought over the members of the NCNC,” he said.
He berated PDP’s agitations and further noted that the “The Peoples Democratic Party had benefitted immensely from defections in this democratic dispensation.” He cited instances including the defection of Governor Ikedi Ohakim, “who got his ticket under the PPA and moved to the PDP, with almost all the members of the House of Assembly.”
He also mentioned the case of the governor of Bauchi state (Isa Yuguda) who “did not just marry the PDP. He also married the President’s daughter to cement that relationship.” Also, “In the Senate, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe who moved from AD.”
“It was exciting for everybody and the PDP lapped all of that up.”
Mr Nwagwu, who was on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, expressed hope that the rise in cases of defection would lead to “a situation where the opposition will be leading an arm of government.” “If it truly becomes opposition, then Nigerians would be in for (truly) what democracy is about, which is about checks and balances.” he said.
Responding to claims that the Senate President (SP) will take action against defectors, Mr Nwagwu said the SP cannot do such as he is only ‘primus inter pares” and not the ‘Senate.’ “You can’t by yourself say you would stop people,” he added.
He continued by saying that: “The majority of your colleagues need to stand up to you and show you and show you this history. That’s the point that I’m making.” “I think if democracy is about majority rule, then if in the House of Representatives, you have opposition having the number, it’s just important that you allow them have their way.”
“My expectation as a citizen is that I would want to see a situation in which you have true opposition.”
The change of name of the University of Lagos by President Goodluck Jonathan has been described as illegal and a political misadventure.
President Jonathan in an early morning address to the nation to celebrate ‘Democracy Day, announced the change of name of the institution to Moshood Abiola University of Lagos.
Reacting to the announcement, the Head of department for Mass Communication, Professor Ralph Akinfeyele in a telephone interview with Channels Television, said the change of name is a political miscalculation and political misadventure.
Prof Akinfeyele noted that “late Chief MKO Abiola was not a regional person but a national and international figure, who was noted to be the first pillar of sport in Africa.”
“So what is wrong in naming the National Stadium Abuja after MKO Abiola” he asked, adding that such a move will be most symbolic in an Olympic year, with the games kicking off in a few weeks.
He also argued that as a national hero, who lost his life while struggling for the nation’s democracy, it will be more befitting to name the University of Abuja after the late politician and business mogul “or rather establish a new university in Abuja and name it after MKO” he added.
On illegality of the announcement, the university don recalled that UNILAG was established by an Act of Parliament in 1962; “therefore, the president should have consulted widely with the national assembly before making such a decision.”
“We are no longer under the military era, where the president can just wake-up and do whatever he likes.”
Citing historical matters, the Professor also noted that a former leader of the country once made the move to rename the University of Nigeria, (UNN), Nsukka after Nnamdi Azikwe, the first President of Nigeria.
According to Prof Akinfeleye, “Azikiwe who was alive at that time rejected the offer, emphasising that UNN has its history and it will be unfair to distort the history which the name of the institution portrays.”
The move by the president was also strongly condemned for its timing, which coincides with the on-going mourning of the former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, who passed away a fortnight ago after a brief illness.
“It is unkind and insensitive to pay such a visit to the institution while we are still mourning the sudden death of our former VC, whose body is still in the mortuary” averred Prof Akinfeleye.
“We are to hold a service of songs for the deceased today and now this announcement.”
“It is most painful that the president who passed an academic institution as a PhD holder is the one that is doing this to us.”
“We are not going to accept it and we totally reject it” he affirmed.
“It is an aberration and very painful” he added, as he urged the President to “go and face Boko Haram and live UNILAG alone.”