Twenty-One candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who lost the April 11 House of Assembly election in Anambra State, have withdrawn their petition from the Election Petition Tribunal.
After the PDP candidates withdrew the case, they pledged to support Governor Willie Obiano’s administration.
They had lost to the candidates of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) the same party that the Governor belongs to.
The PDP candidates said their action was in the spirit of moving the state forward, citing the exemplary approach of President Goodluck Jonathan in conceding defeat to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, as their inspiration.
Receiving the 21 man delegation at the Governor’s Lodge, Awka, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, commended their resolve to sheathe their swords saying, they have done noble in placing the interest of the state above their personal gains.
The Leader of the delegation and former House of Assembly member, Honorable Egwuoyibo Okoye, added that distracting the governor in the tribunal would slow down the pace of development in the state.
The Senate has suspended its plan to overturn President Goodluck Jonathan’s veto of the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
The Senate had started the process of overturning President Jonathan’s veto as it scheduled the Constitutional Amendment Bill for first reading on the order paper for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Senate has resolved to challenge the order of the Supreme Court which demanded that the status quo be maintained in the disagreement between the President and the Senate over the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution. The President had approached the Supreme Court seeking an end to the move by the Senate to override his veto of some sections of the 1999 Constitution amended by the lawmakers.
Two of the reasons which President Jonathan gave for vetoing the fresh amendments is that the National Assembly infringed on executive powers and also did not comply with the constitutional provisions in the amendment of the Constitution.
The Senate majority leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, however disagreed and blamed the executive for not voicing its concerns earlier.
The Constitution Amendment Bill may suffer the same fate which befell it in the 5th Assembly where the bill was thrown out in one fell swoop by former President Obasanjo.
Although the Senate intends to challenge the order of the Supreme Court, it is not clear how far it can go given the fact that it has less than a month to the expiration of the Seventh Assembly.
President Goodluck Jonathan has felicitated with Chief Ernest Shonekan on the occasion of his 79th birthday anniversary, saying that Nigeria owes the former Head of State a huge debt of gratitude for his immense contributions to national development.
“On behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I write to felicitate with you on the occasion of your 79th birthday anniversary, on May 9, 2015.
“Over the years, you have always readily given of yourself to the cause of peace, stability,
growth and development in our country, Nigeria. For this, we owe you an enduring debt of gratitude,” President Jonathan wrote to Chief Shonekan.
The President wished Chief Shonekan a very happy birthday and prayed that God Almighty will continue to guide and bless him.
According to a statement by the Presidency, President Jonathan similarly felicitated with Chief Jim Nwobodo who celebrates his 75th birthday on Saturday, May 9.
In a congratulatory letter to the former Governor of old Anambra State, President Jonathan noted that Chief Nwobodo had every cause to celebrate and thank God Almighty for His benevolence on the joyful occasion of his 75th birthday anniversary.
“In a life that has seen you reach the apex of your entrepreneurial, public service and political endeavours, there is great cause for you, members of your family, your many associates, protégés and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for His benevolence upon you.
“As you deservedly celebrate this landmark, it is my prayer that Almighty God continues to bless you with robust health and many more years of happiness,” President Jonathan wrote to Chief Nwobodo.
President Goodluck Jonathan says he is the most documented president in the history of Nigeria, following the works of his Special Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr Oronto Douglas.
The President was paying tribute to late Oronto Douglas at the end of a commendation service in his honour at the Saint Peters Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.
He said that Oronto was a dedicated and committed special adviser who stood by him till the end, without any sign of betrayal.
He said that Oronto was a dependable ally who will be missed at all times.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, in his tribute, extolled the selfless life Oronto Douglas lived and promised that the legacies he left behind should not be allowed to die.
Governor Dickson, who said that the experience and vast contacts of Douglas Oronto would be greatly missed, called on well meaning Nigerians to rally round the Oronto family to ensure that they do not suffer.
He also disclosed plans to give out scholarships up to university level to his children, as a token of appreciation of his life of service to the people of Bayelsa State.
As part of the tributes, children from the EK Clerk Preparatory School founded by Oronto Douglas, made a presentation in honour of their founder.
Douglas Oronto was a foremost environmental activist renowned for his intellectual articulation of the Niger Delta struggle.
He died on April 9, 2015, four months to his 49th birthday.
The House of Representatives has responded to President Goodluck Jonathan on the reasons he cited for withholding his assent to the Constitution alteration Bill.
This is coming a day after President Jonathan dragged the National Assembly to the Supreme Court, asking the apex court to nullify the proposed amendments.
President Jonathan had argued that not less than four-fifth majority members of each house of the National Assembly was required to amend the Constitution and demanded that evidence be made available to show this was complied with.
Briefing journalists in the National Assembly, the House Minority Whip, Samson Osagie, said that the four-fifth requirement was met, as evidenced in the votes and proceedings of July 24, 2013.
Osagie also explained why the National Assembly amended section 58 of the Constitution which looks at the President’s failure to assent to a bill passed by the National Assembly.
President Jonathan’s letter to the National Assembly detailed the sections which he refused to approve.
In the letter read by the Senate President, President Jonathan rejected the alteration of section nine of the Constitution which removes the approval of the President in the process of constitution amendment.
President Jonathan also rejected the amendment which separated the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General from the Commissioner for Justice in the states of the Federation.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke on Wednesday reacted to reports that she is seeking asylum, following the defeat of the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential election.
It was alleged that the Petroleum Minister, who is one of the closest to the administration of President Jonathan will flee the country, to avoid being prosecuted over allegations of fraud, especially in the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC).
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Mrs Alison-Madueke denied seeking asylum in any part of the world.
According to her, this administration has done a lot in the Oil and Gas industry that cannot be rubbished by such malicious claims.
Speaking on the current fuel scarcity across the nation, she said Marketers are cashing in on the transition process to cause scarcity in fuel, adding that the nation has enough reserve of petrol in the system.
Condolences have started pouring into the family home of the late Special Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy Mister Douglas Oronto who passed on Thursday morning.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo, were the early callers at the Abuja residence of Mr Oronto to commiserate with the wife, Mrs Terinabo Oronto, and the other members of the family.
Prayers were said for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed and for the family to bear the loss with fortitude.
In his condolence message, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said Nigeria has lost a very good man, who has contributed positively to the development of the country.
While President Goodluck Jonathan described him as a dedicated and committed personality with a strong will even to death.
The Late Oronto Douglas, one of President Jonathan’s influential aides, is said to have passed on at the State House Clinic early on Thursday morning.
Reports revealed that he battled a terminal illness but it is not clear the cause of his death
Mr Douglas, until his death was the Special Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy.
A lawyer and an influential environmentalist, Mr. Douglas served as a Commissioner for Information in Bayelsa State.
He was responsible for the documentation of the President’s achievements, legacies and coordinated campaign strategies.
The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has condemned the results of the National Assembly election, saying it was hijacked at the collation stage by elements of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extraction.
Governor Obiano, who is a member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), while speaking with journalists in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area, said that the seeming victory of the PDP in the National Assembly elections would be challenged in court.
Mr Obiano, while reminding the people of the April 11 elections, assured the people of Anambra that the mandate of APGA candidates would be reclaimed.
The Governor also commended President Jonathan for his statesmanship and humble acceptance of the outcome of the Presidential election, also congratulating the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari for his victory at the polls.
Governor Obiano had expressed his concerns on the election day. In an interview on Channels Television’s special election programme, Nigeria 2015, he called the overall performance of the card reader device in the state ‘a disaster’, noting that his fingerprints could not be captured despite several attempts. “It was in my opinion a disaster at the early stages”, Obiano said.
The Governor also listed other issues recorded in the state, including nonavailability of result sheets at some polling units as well as cases of thuggery.
Manual accreditation was eventually applied in the state. Nevertheless, issues and complaints continued to trail the polls.
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the Senator representing Anambra Central and a leader of the party in the state, Senator Chris Ngige, on Monday condemned the election and called for its cancellation.
In a press briefing, Senator Ngige, demanded that another election should be conducted. He cited challenges with the use of card readers and the issue of party members being held hostage in some parts of the state.
In the spirit of Easter and the Lenten season, President Goodluck Jonathan held a breakfast meeting with members of the Abuja branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in his residence.
The breakfast meeting started with a prayer session led by the Chairman of the association, Reverend Israel Akanji.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the breakfast session, Rev Akanji said that the organized breakfast had been a tradition, describing this as a special one as it comes immediately after Nigeria’s presidential elections.
He also reacted to President Jonathan’s widely celebrated concession of defeat to General Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election, particularly his phone call to congratulate the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate ahead of INEC’s official declaration.
Rev Akanji said that what President Jonathan had done was great, adding that whoever makes a sacrifice for the good of others will be elevated in due time.
The Reverend also described as heroic, the courage of President Goodluck Jonathan, who accepted the verdict of the election. He described the President’s action as sacrificial.
Some Civil Society activists have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to correct the lapses associated with the use of card reader machines before the governorship and states’ House of Assembly elections.
The society called a post-election news conference in Abuja, having observed the advantages and challenges posed by the card reader machines during the presidential elections.
They told journalists that the use of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and the card reader machines would need to be implemented more effectively to ensure credible state level elections on April 11.
The group also urged the electoral body to probe reports of irregularities in some states to prevent a re-occurrence of the 2011 violence.
The activists, however, commended INEC for its transparency and President Goodluck Jonathan for his statesmanship after the results were announced.
INEC declared the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, winner of the Saturday, March 28 polls.
Governorship and House of Assembly elections are scheduled to hold on April 11 and Nigerians hope that the elections would also be peaceful and adjudged credible like the just concluded presidential elections.