The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has appointed a former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, as his Special Adviser on Strategy and External Engagements.
According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the appointment is with immediate effect.
Chidoka, who is also a former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), had contested in the November 2017 Anambra governorship election under the United Progressive Party (UPP).
According to the statement announcing his appointment by Secondus, Chidoka “is well reputed for his ingenuity and organisation skills in public office”.
The PDP expects him “to bring to bear his analytical expertise and wealth of experience in political strategy development, coordination and implementation, as the PDP sets for the 2019 general elections.”
The United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate in the upcoming Anambra Governorship election, Osita Chidoka, has expressed disappointment in the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC).
The UPP candidate who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Thursday, explained that the electoral body has said it would not transmit results from the polling units to the central server, a decision which according to him, is a threat to the electoral process.
While this process has been approved and made possible by the law, he alleged that INEC has chosen to do otherwise.
“Our approach is that INEC has done a major disservice to this country by refusing to do the transmission of results from the polling units to their central server.
“All that has been on before and yet we got many cases of election malpractice. The issue was that if the result has been transmitted from the 4,608 polling units in Anambra state, it means that by the time we take the result from the polling units to the ward for collation, it will just be for us to collate what we already know but now they are leaving a gap where as happened in previous elections in Anambra or in other states, when you get to the collation centre and the collation officers will now collate something different from what is in form EC8A – If that happens, nobody else can reverse that except the court; that the challenge.
“I thought that INEC had made a quantum leap to get to the point where once the results are announced in the polling units, it is inputted into their card reader.”
Mr Chidoka, however, stated that although he was disappointed with the development, his team is well prepared to tackle the situation.
“I’m disappointed but I’m encouraged that we are ready for the election.
“It is a game dampener for me and when I asked the INEC Chairman, I got what I would consider as a strange reason for this – that INEC guidelines have not been updated to accept using the electronic transmission. The law has been amended, allowing INEC to use electronic forms.
“Why will it take INEC longer than it took the National Assembly,” he questioned.
He, however, listed some of the processes on his part, that is being put in place to curb any form of breakdown of law and order that may arise.
Furthermore, he expressed satisfaction with and optimism about the preparations so far, ahead of Saturday’s elections.
“From the standpoint of my campaign, we are very satisfied, today has been an interesting day for us, all our volunteers were unharmed, we made contact with all our people at the local government, at the world level, we tested our new application with the movement of the sensitive materials with INEC.
“One of the new things we’ve added is that we’ve added an incident form that includes reporting the names of the officers in charge of every polling unit – So, if there is any manipulation, we will not be saying INEC, we will be talking about the officer who is involved and we will put the person’s name in our hall of infamy.
“We are going to be having a website, it will be live on social media, starting from Saturday morning, we will be reporting in real time, infractions in the various wards and if we get to the collation centers and there is misbehavior by the police, any police without a name tag, we will be reporting that officer online and we will be taking photographs of all incidents happening around all the polling units,” Mr Chidoka stated.
Twenty-four hours after Channels Television organised a debate for five aspirants in the Anambra governorship election, here are top 10 major quotes from the candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Osita Chidoka.
Others who participated in the debate include incumbent governor Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and Godwin Ezeemo of the Progressives People’s Alliance (PPA).
Read quotes below:
APGA has failed us, APC is divisive and has broken this country, PDP has lost its soul, PPA founder has left the party; the time has come for us to tell the world that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, the time has come for us to tell the world ‘this is the time for a new beginning’…
I’m amazed that the issue before us is still the basic issue of bread and butter; what is critical in Anambra is a major philosophical base…
Knowledge is the ability for us to take a baseline of everything in the state; we need to map out a shared vision in the state; our public service does not have the capacity to execute all these grand projects people are talking about…
Anambra state in the National Competitive Report, just published, ranks very low in competitiveness – we need to change the infrastructure of our state and that is the human infrastructure…
The Nigerian state needs to be re-negotiated. Any party that does not subscribe to the principle of the right to self-determination, of the right for component parts of Nigeria to express themselves freely, that party does not approximate my philosophy. I believe that the Nigerian state is a product of negotiation…
When Nigeria is fully negotiated, when Nigerian component states fully subscribe to the idea of Nigeria, then we will have a great nation; we will have a prosperous nation, we cannot grow a nation without the freedom of people who subscribe to that dream…
Personal income tax is a tax that shows that the economy is working, we cannot collect from the poor to build a state, we have to grow the state by growing the people who live in the state…
The greatest advantage Anambra state has is its human beings, we need to be the place in the country that is exporting programmers and coders to the world; we should be able to train a new generation of people who will sit in Anambra state and write programmes for Indian and American companies…
What is important is to focus on the issues before us – the issue before us is that Anambra state is not on a sustainable path to growth; the sustainable path to growth is focusing on the human beings…
Taking grounds that the problem of IPOB is a problem of unemployed youths, that is false; the problem of IPOB is a fundamental structural problem with Nigeria, it has only manifested in different forms…
One of the governorship aspirants in Anambra State, Mr Osita Chidoka, has explained why he drove Nnamdi Kanu home after the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was released on bail.
This comes amid speculations that Chidoka, a former minister of aviation, drove Kanu home for the sake of popularity and to achieve his governorship ambition.
Chidoka, who spoke on Sunday during a governorship debate organised by Channels Television, however, said, “If it was a popularity contest, I’m sure that candidate would have gone for it.”
“The issue is the fundamental philosophy of the right of individuals in a democracy to freely express themselves within the laws of the country.
“Once we have that right as enshrined in our Constitution, I believe we must respect it and if anybody violates the terms of our Constitution or our laws, then the law should take its course,” he added.
Candidates from five major political parties had a tough debate on Sunday, six days to the Anambra governorship election slated for November 18.
The aspirants are Chidoka of the United Progressive Party (UPP); and incumbent governor Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Others include Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and Godwin Ezeemo of the Progressives People’s Alliance (PPA).
Explaining further why he drove the IPOB leader home, the former minister said any persons or groups found to be expressing grievances against the law should be punished.
He said that there was nothing wrong in driving Kanu home after he had been granted bail by the court, stressing that the law had taken its course on him.
Chidoka added that his intention was not to gain any form of popularity as claimed by to bridge the gap between the people of the South East and other parts of the country.
He said: “The law took its course on him (Kanu). He got bailed from a court, I now participated in ensuring that the bridge of communication between the angry young people in the South East and the rest of the country is a burden I believe I bear as a young minister.
“As a young former Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, I believe I serve as a beautiful bridge; I serve as that bridge that connects the dreams of Nigeria with the people of Ndi-Igbo.”
One of the aspirants for the governorship election in Anambra State, Osita Chidoka, has asked the people of the state to leverage the November 18 poll to determine how they want their future to be.
Chidoka, who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the United Progressive Party (UPP), stated this on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“The election of November 18 is a referendum on our future, is a referendum that Indi-Anambra and Indi-Igbo, in general, have a great opportunity to air their grievances through the political process,” he said.
“They have a great opportunity to elect a leadership that wants to make Anambra State a leading state in Nigeria. They want a leadership that is of the future, a leadership that is thinking about the infrastructure of tomorrow; Anambra has to go UPP to up its game.”
The former Minister of Aviation further asked the people to vote wisely during the election and urged them to cast their votes in support of who would treat their welfare with utmost importance.
He was, however, hopeful that democracy has gone past the days where aspirants deceive electorates to get into office, adding that the people would vote for the candidate that would ensure the dividends of democracy.
“I believe that this election is an election for the person with the biggest ground game. That is – the person that is able to reach the voters, the person that is able to talk to the voters directly, speak to their hopes, address their fears and connect with them emotionally,” he added.
“Anambra has to know that they need a leadership that views the development of human beings as the most important, a leadership that does not celebrate output but cares about outcomes. Now, what are the key outcomes we want in Anambra? We have the best results in WAEC, we need to turn that into an advantage.”
Responding to critics who said he lacks the political structure to win an election, Chidoka said the “structure of diverting electoral materials” and the structure “of bribing electoral officers” were irrelevant.
“We saw Emmanuel Macron form a party and within two years he became the President of France; we saw Barack Obama set up a campaign machinery that most people thought was a team of young people but they were able to knock on the doors of the people, they were able to speak to the hopes of Americans, they were able to connect emotionally.
“It goes to show you that today’s voters, there is a rise of the new voter and the new voters are people who are willing to look at the issues of the person involved,” the former PDP member said.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved loan facilities to the tune of over $400 million for various development projects across the 36 states of the federation.
Minister of State for Finance, Mr Bashir Yuguda, told State House Correspondents after the council meeting that the loan approvals were part of the Goodluck Jonathan administration’s commitment to better the lives of Nigerians in line with the transformation agenda.
Also approved by the FEC is the establishment of nine new private universities across the country.
They are Augustine University, Iloran, Lagos State, Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State, Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun state, Hallmark University Ijebu Itele, Ogun State, Kings University, Odeogun, Osun State.
Others are Micheal and Cecilia Ibru University, Orode, Delta State, Mountain Top University, Makogi Oba, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Summit University, Ofah Kwara State.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka after the council meeting.
The FEC also approved the contract for the award of contract for consultancy services and construction works of the head office complex and ancillary facilities of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, for the sum of N27.1 billion.
Chad’s army has dispelled the Boko Haram terrorists out of Malumfatori town in north-eastern Nigeria, a senior security source from Niger said.
The reported recapture followed a two day fighting, the source disclosed.
Both air and ground forces are reported to be in the assault. The ground forces are said to have moved in after crossing Lake Chad.
The Nigerian authorities said they were doing all they could to tackle the militants, but neighboring countries, including Niger and Cameroon sent troops to help it counter the incursion.
However, the Nigerian military confirmed that the town had been captured but said the action was performed by soldiers from Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Though Cameroon was supposed to be a part of the countries contributing troops, they are yet to participate in the activities of the force.
Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, was quoted as saying that Nigeria “has to redefine its fault lines in fighting the Boko Haram”. He also added that tackling the group required not just military action, but also “improving the capacity of the Nigerian State in areas such as the judiciary, prison system and law enforcement agency”.
He expressed optimism that a lot would be done about Boko Haram beyond fighting them in the Northern part of the oil rich nation.
Ghanian President, John Mahama had said that the leaders of Nigeria must produce a “specific plan of action to deal permanently with the Boko Haram”.
The terrorist group has carried out series of terror attacks on communities in Nigeria’s north-east, as they sought the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to western education in the region.
The Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, has blamed the shortage of funds for the slow pace of remodeling going on in airports around the country, but noted that most of the Phase One work started a the airports are more less completed.
Mr Chidoka, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, added that “most of the Phase Two works are still on going, but there has been budgetary constraints in some part of the work going on.
“There is some privatisation in the completion; many of them are quite advanced”, he said.
The Minister also noted that they are focusing on airports with 80 per cent completion rate and above “for now” before “moving on to the Phase Two projects to make sure they are completed over the next one to two years”.
He , however, noted that “the expansion of the left and right wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) has been done, the re-tiling has been done, but there is still somethings that we are trying to prioritise correctly”.
He further noted that in remodeling the airports, especially the MMIA there has been an expansion of capacity which must be supported by an expansion of infrastructure, which may have resulted in the long queues suffered before luggage is claimed by passengers at the airport.
“The physical space does not allow you to install more than two of those (conveyor belt/carousel). So, invariably, what you are going to have is some kind of bottlenecks coming out of the expansion“.
Mr Chidoka maintained that the remodeling, which is taking place on existing structures, will be hard to effect a high level of impact as seen in European countries, because the airports are being demolished and rebuilt from the scratch, adding that “we have conducted a study to find out what the causes of the delay; where the delays are.
“Unfortunately, the data does not support the number people of minutes or hours people say they suffer for delay”, he said.
He said the infrastructure that will support the capacity increase in airports will include fast, modern and technologically driven carousels that will be able to read the tags on the bags and separate them based on airline tags.
The two cargo warehouses of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport have been reopened.
This comes after two weeks that the Nigeria Customs Service sealed the two cargo warehouses at the Lagos airport.
The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, had said that the Ministry of Aviation was in support of the closure but was also in talks with the top hierarchy of the Customs to resolve the issue.
Speaking about the fracas between clearing agents and Customs officials at the Lagos Airport, which led to the closure, he warned that no group of people would be allowed to hold the nation to ransom and determine the rules by which government agencies should operate.
It is believed that the Minister’s intervention led to the reopening of the warehouses.
The new Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi has promised to reduce road accidents in the country by fifty percent by the year 2015.
Mr Oyeyemi said the commission has a huge responsibility to reduce road crashes and fatalities to two deaths per ten thousand crashes, in other to place Nigeria among the league of global twenty safest roads by the year 2020.
He also read the riot act on reckless driving, as tougher sanctions await reckless motorists across the country.
He said although it is too early to unveil his agenda for the Corps, he would work hard to build on the foundation already laid by his predecessor.
He said, “The foundation has been laid. We shall continue the transformation of the FRSC. We shall not fail Nigerians. “We already have a foundation that we will build on. We will improve on it. It is too early now. But we will do our best.”
Speaking further, Oyeyemi identified attitude of the Nigerian motoring public as the bane towards safer roads in the country and pledged that the FRSC will harness its potentials to ensure strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.
Addressing a parade later at the FRSC national headquarters in Abuja, the new Corps Marshal commended Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for the confidence he has with the FRSC to deliver its mandate by appointing a career officer from the Corps to succeed the former Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka.
Boboye Oyeyemi, who joined the FRSC on 6th June 1988, was until his present appointment, the Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle Administration and has served the FRSC in various capacities as Sector Commander, Zonal Commanding Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal Operations (2009-2010), Assistant Corps Marshal, Training Standards and Certification (2008-2009), Assistant Corps Marshal Planning, Research and Statistics (2006-2008) and Deputy Corps Marshal Operations (2010-2014).
He is a member of several professional institutions such as Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Member, American Society of Safety Engineers, Member, Institute of Road Safety Officers, London, Member, Royal Society for Prevention of Accident.
The new Corps Marshal hails from Odo-Owa, Oke Ero Local Governement Area of Kwara state.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, in Abuja swore-in the Former Corporal Marshal of Nigeria, Osita Chidoka as the Minister of Aviation .
President Jonathan also appointed Mr Boboye Oyeyemi as the new Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), taking over from Mr Osita Chidoka.
Also sworn in, is Doctor Abubakar Suleiman as the Minister of National Planning.
Speaking to the new minister and the new Corp Marshal, the president told them that Nigerians are expecting much from them and urged them to bring their wealth of experience to bear in their new positions especially now that his administration was coming to an end.
The President said that it was the first time an in-house person was appointed into the new position of the Corp Marshal urging him to work with his colleagues to improve on the foundation laid by Osita Chidoka.
The Senate has confirmed the Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety (FRSC), Mr Osita Chidoka, a lecturer from the University of Abuja, Dr Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman as ministers.
Mr. Chidoka, an indigene of Anambra state, replaces former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, who was removed from office over allegation of the purchase of two armoured cars at the cost of N255 million, while Mr. Olarenwaju, a lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Abuja, would be replacing former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi in the Federal Executive Council..
President Goodluck Jonathan had last week forwarded the names of the two nominees last week to the senate for confirmation.
The President on Wednesday swore in four new ministers – Ibrahim Shekarau (Education), Adedayo Adeyeye (Minister of State for Works) Stephen Oru (Niger Delta) and Abdul Bulama (Science and Technology).
President Jonathan also forwarded the names of Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and Ebenezer Fobi, for confirmation to the Senate as director-general and commissioner South-South zone of the National Pension Commission.
The Pension Reform Act states that the commission shall comprise a part time chairman, director-general, four commissioners and seven part-time members.
The Act also provides that the appointment of the chairman, the director-general and other members of the commission, other than ex-officio members, shall be made by the President subject to confirmation by the Senate.