Federal Allocations: APC Governors May Drag FG To Court

Rochas OkorochaGovernors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), may be heading to the court to ask the federal government to explain the several deductions from their federal allocations.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting of the governors in Abuja, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who is also the chairman of the forum, said that some states in the last few months have had about 40 per cent of the allocations deducted.

He described the deductions as illegal and that every constitutional means will be explored to ensure the deductions are stopped.

Other governors who attended the meeting include Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state, Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe state and the Deputy Governor of Borno state, Alhaji Umar Mustapha.

On the proposed National Dialogue, the governors said that the Party will make its stand known at the end of their National Executive Committee meeting, which is on-going at the Party’s National secretariat in Abuja.

Jonathan’s Treatment To Muslims Will Determine 2015 Election– Sultan

Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad said on Sunday that Jamatrul Nasril Islam (JNI) will evaluate the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as it relates to the condition and welfare of Muslims in the country before taking a common position on 2015 presidential election.

The conference which  chaired by sultan of Sokoto, was almost all about lamentations from a people that appears to be worried, even panicky, about the future of northern Nigeria in a continually evolving nation.

The conference aimed at bringing all stakeholders from the region together to brainstorm on how to end the insurgency and foster unity among Muslims in Nigeria.

Sultan Abubakar said the assessment of Jonathan’s government by the Islamic body became imperative in order to ascertain if the president has treated Muslim faithful’s fairly as he promised Islamic leaders during his electioneering campaign in 2011 before seeking for a re-election in 2015.

Abubakar who spoke in Kaduna at   the opening ceremony of the national conference on the role of Muslim scholars in fostering unity, peace and security in Nigeria blamed the ruling political class for the security challenges in some parts of the country, adding that Muslims are not responsible for the boko haram insurgency in the north.

Since its inception some years ago, the boko haram insurgency has crippled socio-economic activities in the north. It is estimated that not less than five thousand lives have been lost in the insurgency.

Ignore NGF Meeting Summoned By Jang– Amaechi Tells Governors

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has called on members of the Nigeria Governors Forum to ignore a Monday meeting summoned by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state.

It appears the tussle for who really has control as the Chairman of the forum has begun as Governor Amaechi who returned as the Chairman of the forum in an election that was captured on video, is asking his fellow governors to ignore the meeting by Governor Jang, scheduled for 7pm on Monday.

Governor Amaechi told his colleagues that for the avoidance of doubt, the only meeting is that with President Goodluck Jonathan holding in the Presidential Villa, at 9pm.

In a counter response, Governor Jang said he is aware of the meeting with the president, but that the meeting he is asking the governors to attend will hold about 7pm before the 9pm meeting with the President.

It would be recalled that the governor of Lagos State who is in the camp of Governor Amaechi approached the court on behalf of the NGF asking the court to stop Governor Jang from parading himself as the governor of Nigerian Governor’s Forum.

Meanwhile, the sole administrator of the Jang faction; Osaro onaiwu insists that the 7pm governors meeting will hold.

Troops Crack Down On Terrorists’ Attempt To Infiltrate Maiduguri

The Special Forces deployed to rid the nation of any act of terrorism that has been rocking the northern region of the country has apprehended 65 persons confirmed to be terrorists, attempting to infiltrate Maiduguri while fleeing from various camps now under attack by the Special Forces deployed after President Goodluck Jonathan declared State of Emergency on three northern States that were fast becoming the sect’s stronghold.

A total of 11 vehicles, 4 tricycles and 24 handsets were also seized in the process and the suspects are in custody of Joint Task Force and are currently being interrogated, according to the press release by the Director of Defence Information; Brigadier General Chris Olukolade.

In what is looking like a sure victory against terrorism, the troops claim that camps of these terrorists have been found deserted in several locations and they immediately take possession of the facilities.

The Director of Defence Information; Brigadier General Chris Olukolade has however advised Nigerians to report to the JTF, any group of persons roaming around the local communities with large quantities of containers in search of fuel as some of the fleeing insurgents from various camps have been noted to be in search of fuel from neighbouring communities..

In another development, troops have engaged and dislodged elements of insurgents groups who carried out attacks on citizens in localities such as Gamboru ward and at the end of the encounter, a total of 10 suspected terrorists were confirmed dead while weapons such as Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, assorted ammunition and rifle magazines were recovered.

The area is being combed to fish out any of the surviving insurgents.

Keyamo Backs State Of Emergency Declaration

Reactions have started to trail the nationwide broadcast by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in which he expressed his anger over the endless bloodshed in some northern states, and declaring a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

Lending his support to the President’s action, prominent lawyer, Festus Keyamo, says the decision was long overdue, adding that the activities of the insurgents had left President Jonathan with no other choice than to take the step he has taken.

“The declaration of a State of Emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States as a result of months of ceaseless bloodshed and carnage by insurgents is a step that has long been overdue. The bloodletting in these states left the President with no other option but to take this extraordinary step. This step must be appreciated in the light of the refusal of the insurgents to even dialogue with the Federal Government,” Mr. Keyamo explained in a press statement.

Mr. Keyamo added that the protection of lives and properties all citizens lies primarily with the government and it is also the responsibility of the same government to find solution to any threat to peace, warning that the Federal Government should not politicise the state of emergency on these states.

The human rights activist maintained that the president was right in not suspending the governors in the respective states as nothing in the constitution in Section 305 of the amended 1999 Constitution states that the President has the power to suspend the governors.

He urged the President to make his actions legitimate by following the amended 1999 Constitution, section 305 to the latter and order the return of the troops to the barracks once peace is restored in the affected states.

“We all owe it a duty to assist government to restore law and order in the country. It is for our overall benefit,” Mr. Keyamo stated.

Nigeria Army Backs Amnesty For Boko Haram

The Nigerian Army has thrown its weight behind the federal government’s proposed amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgents.

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin addresses JSTF counterinsurgency troops.

The Director of Army Public Relations; Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru told journalists at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, that exploring amnesty option, does not undermine the competence of the military.

He disagreed with insinuations that amnesty is sort as government’s last resort because of  unsuccessful security operations.

Brigadier General Attahiru said quick response patrol groups have been deployed to patrol designated areas nationwide, establish military presence along the highways while assuring Nigerians of the Army’s commitment to fighting terrorism in the country.

Unity Of Nigeria Embedded In The Federal Character Commission– Abdulraheem

The Chairman of the Federal Character Commission; Professor Shuaib Abdulraheem has condemned the call for the scrapping of Federal character in the nation system adding that it has contributed to the unity and oneness of the country.

He also pledged that equitable distribution of infrastructural facilities to all parts of the country would continue to be giving utmost priority.

The chairman of the commission in an interview after a prayer organized by Ilorin emirate descendants union on his re-appointment said his major challenge during the second term in office is to ensure that no community was marginalized in the provision of amenities in the country.

He noted that the challenges require a lot of funds, manpower and dedication and expressed optimism that it will come to reality.

The Professor of English condemned insinuations that the commission has achieved nothing, stating that the real symbol of unity in Nigeria is embedded in the Federal Character Commission.

He said the commission will continue to protect the interest of all Nigerians against misunderstanding and misinformation.

He expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and pledged not to betray the confidence repose in him in the discharge of his responsibility.

Jonathan Congratulates Uhuru Kenyatta

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta on his victory in Monday’s presidential election in Kenya as declared Saturday in Nairobi by the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

As Mr. Kenyatta prepares to assume office later this month as the first Kenyan President to come into office under the country’s new constitution which was adopted after the crisis that followed its 2007 elections, President Jonathan urge Kenyatta to rededicate himself to carrying forward the process of national healing and reconciliation.

President Jonathan also called on the Kenyan President-Elect to do his utmost best to foster greater peace, unity and progress in the country by forming a truly national administration that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of all Kenyans, including his opponents and their supporters.

President Jonathan applauded the call by Mr. Kenyatta’s closest rival for the Presidency, Prime Minister Raila Odinga for his supporters to remain calm and eschew violent protests while he takes his complaints about the election results to the Kenyan Supreme Court.

The President also welcomed Mr. Odinga’s expression of confidence in the court and his pledge to adhere to the rule of law and accept the court’s verdict on the elections in good faith.

President Jonathan commended the ordinary people of Kenya who showed their undying faith in democratic governance by turning out in their millions to set a new voter turn-out record of 86 per cent in Monday’s elections.

He however assured them of the best wishes of  his administration and that of the people of Nigeria.

 

 

Blasts Rock Maiduguri After President Jonathan’s Visit

Barely hours after President Goodluck Jonathan left the Borno State capital; multiple explosions were reported to have hit the city of Maiduguri.

Witnesses say they heard loud blasts, in Jajeri ward of Budum town, the heart of the insurgency shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan ended his trip there to try to galvanize support for his battle against terror.

Our correspondent in Borno Jonathan Gopep reports that the explosions, seven in all occurred within minutes of each other.

No casualties were reported in the incident.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan visited Maiduguri, the borno State capital to salute the courage of men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in tackling the Boko Haram sect, could not hold his enthusiasm as to the level patriotism demonstrated by the JTF, by way of leaving their various families to come and stay under the scorching sun of Borno State in a bid to rid the state of insecurity.

He commended the officers for their patriotism since the violence began, while insisting that the JTF will not be pulled out of the state unless peace returns and called on the elders who asked for their withdrawal to sign a pact with him which will guaranty security of lives and property.

Agriculture To Create 3.5 Million New Jobs By 2015 – Jonathan

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has disclosed that that his administration has embarked on bold policy and institutional reforms aimed at adding 20 million metric tonnes of food to domestic supply and creating at least 3.5 million new jobs by 2015 in the agriculture and allied industries.

The President made this known on Tuesday while speaking at the formal opening of a meeting with members of the Eminent Persons Group on the Transformation of Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.

President Jonathan said that the present administration’s objective was to build on Nigeria’s tremendous natural resources, reverse the decline in the agricultural sector’s productivity which followed the discovery of oil, establish domestic self-sufficiency in food and make the country “a major net exporter of food”.

“Such a shift will not only reduce the billions of dollars we spend importing basic food items, but will also create millions of jobs, especially for our youth,” the President said.

He also told the gathering that his administration was wholly committed to a government-enabled, private sector driven transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector.

He further disclosed that the initiative to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector through the private sector is already paying off with new private sector investments worth about Eight Billion U.S. Dollars now committed to agriculture.

Thanking members of the Eminent Persons Group for their support, he stated that their contributions will not only help to achieve food security for the nation, but also help to create more new jobs to take millions of unemployed youth off the streets and into productive employment.

Dana Air was not indicted for any wrongdoing – Aviation Minister

Re-visiting the Dana Air re-instatement by the authorities, Nigerians reacted sharply towards the move as Nigerians expressed shock and surprise in a vox-pop done by the ‘Station of the Decade’ to sample the opinion of Nigerians about the re-instatement of the Dana Air.

The Minister of Aviation; Stella Oduah was our guest on Sunrise daily this morning as she reacted to the lifting of the ban saying the ban was something that was not supposed to be done in the first place as it not an aviation practice as it has laws and procedures guiding the sector internationally.

She said further that the panel that was set for the technical and administrative audit for Dana Air and other airlines have completed their reports and Dana Air was not indicted for any wrongdoing.

Lawyer expresses reservations on planned introduction of E-voting in Nigeria

An Abuja based legal practitioner, Ismaeel Ahmed on Friday expressed his reservation over the planned introduction of the electronic voting system by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr  Ahmed, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said though the E-voting system is a good idea, it will be hard to implement it in a place like Nigeria where most people cannot “differentiate between a television screen and a computer monitor.”

Speaking on the ability of the E-voting system in reducing electoral fraud, the lawyer said “computers do not operate themselves,” but obey commands from human operators who without sincerity can choose to manipulate the system for selfish purposes.

Watch the video below for other reservations Mr Ahmed expressed over the E-voting system.