Amaechi-Led NGF Calls For Okonjo-Iweala’s Resignation

The Amaechi-led Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on the Minister of Finance  and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to resign her appointment or manage the economy well.

They said the non-compliance with the revenue projections of the Federal Government 2013 Budget, was a direct breach of the provisions of the Appropriation Act, 2013.

These decisions were part of the resolutions of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led NGF, which met on Tuesday evening.

Amaechi, who read the communique of the meeting, said “Members expressed concern in the management of the economy by the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and called for a strict adherence to the Appropriation Act, 2013.

They also pointed out that the National Economic Council (NEC) is the right body to manage the economy and not the Economic Management Team (EMT).

“Forum observed that the National Economic Council is constitutionally responsible for the management of the economy and should be used for that purpose as opposed to the Economic Management Team constituted by the Presidency.”

The governors also called on the National Assembly to separate the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation from that of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government for the purpose of accountability and better management of the economy.

States which were represented by their governors at the meeting were those of Rivers, Niger, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Adamawa, Oyo, Lagos, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano and Zamfara while deputy governors of Edo, Borno and Nasarawa states represented their governors.

Analyst Calls For Increased JTF Operation in Edo

A security analyst, Mr Ona Ekhomu has called on the Joint Task Force to increase its operations in Edo state, where members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, are hiding.

Speaking on Sunrise, Mr Ekhomu said that the insurgency has moved to the southern region of the country, into states like Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Edo. He added that Edo state is where the Ansaru factionof the insurgency, which was operating in Kogi, is now running into to escape law enforcement and JTF, he said.

That means “Edo ought to have a good JTF operation in place”.

A human rights activist, Razaq Oladosu, while speaking on the programme debunked claims that the insurgency declared a cease fire in honour of the Muslim fasting season.

Voicing his suspicions of certain people in government, who are using the situation against the Goodluck led administration, he said that it is just an effort to misinform and distract plans and strategy on ground because they know their days are numbered.

Mr Ekhomu also said that the government needs to control the violence until Boko Haram’s will to fight is down, afterwhich dialogue will be more effective.

Amosun Calls For Increased Unity Amongst South West States

 The Governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun has challenged governments of the south west states of Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Osun  to ensure more economic integration among the states to improve the socio economic development of the region.

He made the call at the opening session of the 4th summit of Heads of Service, south west geo-political zone held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital with the theme “Re-engineering the Public Sector for Regional Integration”

While commending the foresight of the region’s founding fathers, the governor called on the summit to come up with measures that would promote unity and a new lease of life to the people of the region in particular and the country at large.

The summit brought participants and heads of service from the south west states for cross fertilization of ideas, especially integration among the states for effective service delivery and to re awaken the sense of history  and achievements of the old western region.

Governor Amosun said the meeting became imperative in view of the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation. He also bemoaned the creation of states which he said stands as an artificial barrier that gives rise to the state’s citizenship

The governor also challenged governors of the south west states to create a more united front for the development of the region and its people

The summit is expected to come out with resolutions that would further strengthen the  socio-economic integration of the region, especially at a time when synergy among states has proved  to be a formidable avenue for development.

I am more than a conqueror – Mrs Ajimobi

The wife of the Oyo State governor, Florence Ajimobi, on Wednesday dismissed media reports that she had been arrested by London Metropolitan Police for alleged money laundering.

The wife of the Oyo State governor, Florence Ajimobi

Mrs Ajimobi, who arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos at 6:50am aboard a Virgin Atlantic Airways aircraft, said the PM News report that she was arrested in London last Saturday for money laundering was the handiwork of mischief makers, who she said were playing “dirty politics”.

She said the originators of the report were out to tarnish her image.

The Oyo state first lady explained that she had on Sunday accompanied her daughter, who was returning to school in London.

She said: “I have never had any encounter with the London Metropolitan Police and I will never do. It was just a rumour, like you said. I think the time has come for Nigerians to stop playing dirty politics.

“We should be very objective when giving information, particularly members of the press. We should always verify the information we are given. The ultimate measure of any man or woman is where you stand in times of conflict, challenges and controversy and not in times of comfort. I stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and all other grounds are sinking sand.

“This is a phase and it will pass over, because I am more than a conqueror. It is the price I have to pay as the wife of a politician, particularly in Oyo State, where there is a record of dirty politics. I do not have any blemish in my wardrobe and I am never going to have any.”
Mrs Ajimobi said contrary to another rumour that she was arrested two weeks ago, she travelled with her husband to Taipei, Asia, through Dubai, for an official assignment.

She said: “I went on an official visit to Taiwan with my husband and we did not go to London. From Lagos, we went to Dubai, then Hong Kong and Taipei. From Taipei, we returned to Hong Kong, Dubai and back to Lagos. The record is there in my international passport. I can give you my passport to photocopy.

“It was also alleged that I had travelled out of Nigeria 52 times since my husband assumed office. That sounds very ridiculous to me. It means I do not even live in Nigeria. Like I said, we can make photocopies of my passport for verification.”

On her mission to London on Sunday, Mrs. Ajimobi said: “I have a 14-year-old child that has been in England since 2007. She is still in secondary school and comes home. The school insists that parents pick up their children because they are minors and there are no exemptions for international pupils.

“I cannot shelve my responsibilities as a mother because my husband is a governor. I have to manage my home, take care of my children and be a responsible and committed mother. That I will do, no matter what anybody says. My children need me. My daughter in London needs me and I will be there for her. I am not using government funds because she has been there since 2007.”

The first lady said those spreading rumours about her arrest should fear God.

She said: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. If they have the fear of God, they will stop being mischievous. They should think before they act because on judgment day, we will all account for our actions.

“I do not grudge them; I just know they have God to contend with. I have maintained a good reputation for over 32 years and anybody trying to tarnish that image will have God to contend with. I know they will pay for it.”

Ministry of Environment warns 14 states of impending flood disaster

Fourteen states have been pinpointed as states to be ravaged by floods between now and the 19th of August 2012. This was contained in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department of the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Morohunkeji Oyeleke.

The states are Adamawa, Plateau, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno and Gombe states. Others include Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Oyo, Zamfara and Kano states.

Bauchi and Katsina were also listed amongst the forewarned flood prone states.

The Ministry listed Demsa, Numan, Jimeta, Mayo Belwa, Mubi and Song, all in Adamawa state; and Langtang, Shelleng, Shandam and Wase in Plateau state.

Others are Gada, Goronyo and Shinkafi in Sokoto State; Gumel, Hadeija, Miga and Mallam Fatori in Jigawa state; as well as Bama, Briyel, Damasak, Dikwa, Geidam, Ngala, and Kukawa in Borno State.

She also listed Nafada in Gombe State; Anka, Bagudo, Birnin-Kebbi, Bungudu, Bunza, Gwandu, Jega and Kamba, all in Kebbi State.

Also listed among the flood prone areas were Gashua, Potiskum, Dapchi, Kanama and Machina in Yobe State; and Bali, Gembu, Ibi, Lau, Wukari and Mutum Biyu in Taraba State.

Also to be affected are Apata, Bodija, Challenge, Moniya, Ojoo, Eruwa, Odo Ora, Ibadan and Oyo town, all in Oyo State and Kaura, Maru, Gusau; and Namoda in Zamfara State.

Others are Gezawa, Gwarzo, Karaye, Wudil and Kano, all in Kano State; and Azare, Bajoga, Jamaare, Kari and Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi State; and Bakori, Bindawa, Daura, Jibiya and Katsina and Funtua, all in Kastina State.

Oyeleke therefore called on governments of the affected states to take precautionary measures to avoid loss of lives and property.

The North Eastern part of the country is the most affected as all the states-Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi- were all listed. Kaduna state is the only state spared from the North West and Oyo state is the sole representative of the South West while Plateau that of the North Central.

Missing from the list is Lagos, a state that has suffered from flooding in recent years during the raining season.