A bill for an Act to establish the Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria has passed its second reading at the House of Representatives.
In a motion sponsored by Honourable Oluwole Oke, the sponsor outlined the need for the rehabilitation and reintegration in the Amnesty Programme.
Other lawmakers, supporting the passage of the bill, believe that the bill would ensure a legal framework for better implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Niger Delta Affairs for further legislative input.
The Amnesty Programme was an initiative of the late President Musa Yar’Adua who had an indigene of the Niger Delta region, Goodluck Jonathan, as his vice president at that time.
It was proposed to end restiveness in the region which was at that time affecting the nation’s revenue which largely comes from crude oil exploration.
The programme has suffered some set back that critics have linked the resurgence of militancy in the region to which is affecting the nation’s oil output.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, believes that the People’s Democratic Party should have subjected President Goodluck Jonathan to a contest for the party’s ticket for the 2015 presidential election.
Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, Abubakar explained that President Jonathan does not stand a chance against the All Progressives Congress, APC, because Nigerians now have a choice of which party to vote for at the 2015 general election.
Abubakar also informed Channels Television that some governors under the ruling PDP would join the APC in protest over the decision to make President Jonathan the sole presidential candidate of the party.
The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Wednesday night, resolved that President Goodluck Jonathan be the sole candidate of the party in the 2015 presidential election.
They said the resolution is born out of their conviction that President Goodluck Jonathan has done an excellent job in his first term and should be allowed to contest for a second term unopposed.
President Jonathan, who was elected into the office in 2011, was formerly the Vice President to late President Musa Yar’Adua.
Although he is yet to officially declare his ambition to run for a second term, thousands of supporters have been campaigning all over the country.
The President General of the Igbo Speaking Community in Lagos, Ebere Ubani has attributed the current crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party to the desperation of Northern elite and governors to produce the next president at the 2015 general elections.
Speaking on Sunrise, he said “I think it’s all about the 2015 election, who gets what but basically the north feels it is their right to produce the next president”.
He also hinted that the Northern elites have refused to support any other leader since the death of President Musa Yar’Adua, which led to Goodluck Jonathan becoming the new President, adding that “from day one the Northern elites never loved anybody again from the South”.
He also explained that the new PDP faction has demanded the removal of Bamanga Tukur because of his loyalty to President Jonathan who has been given approval by different groups to run for a second term.
He alleged that the suspended PDP governor, Rotimi Amaechi is a ‘spoiler’ who is “working for the governors from the North”.
He questioned the reason why Kano state should have 44 local governments and Lagos state 20 even though it is home to millions of Nigerians from different tribes and went further to say that the Northerners are against true federalism because it is not in their favour.
He highlighted major positions manned by Northerners in the country; Vice President, CBN Governor, IGP, Group Managing Director NNPC, Senate President, speaker of the House of Representatives and stated that “the little the government of Jonathan has achieved is based in the Northern part of the country thereby “denying us what we collectively own as a people”.
However, the former special assistant to the Minister of Works, Patrick Mba has said that the aggrieved faction of the ruling party will definitely come back to the main fold.
Although the Baraje led PDP has demanded the removal of Bamanga Tukur as Chairman and the reinstating of the suspended Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Mr Mba said they did not follow due process in airing their opinions.
“What I expected them to do at Eagle Square was to lobby their members and try to pull up numbers that will strengthen their request and then vote him out democratically” because Bamanga Tukur came in via an election, he said.
He also affirmed that there’s an internal agitation by some governors who are not in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan running for a second term in 2015.
PDD: Bed Of Strange Fellows
The former Alliance For Democracy Publicity Secretary, Popoola Ajayi, responded by saying that PDP, the off shoot of a group of prominent Nigerians called G34, is now full of ‘strange fellows,’ and populated by “all manners of characters” including “looters, 419ers, emergency millionaires, people with questionable characters and military apologists”.
The “reason for the implosion has nothing to do with the Nigerian people” he said.
For a 52 year old man who survived a plane crash, was hospitalized for 10 months, arrived in Nigeria following a 17 hour flight, Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state is fit to assume his duties as governor, according to the former Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Bello.
“How fit do you want him to be? As strong as Mike Tyson? As fast as Usain Bolt? Mr Bello asked, adding that no amount of evidence will please those desperate to be in power.
He said this during an interview on Sunrise, adding that the governor had been deemed unfit to continue as the leader by certain individuals as a result of their desperation for power and not out of concern for his health.
For those comparing Suntai to late President Musa Yar’adua, Bello explains that an accident is different from a terminal sickness. “Danbaba gets stronger by the day,” he said.
The former commissioner who was sacked upon the governors arrival, after months of assuring the people of his return, said he felt vindicated by the turn out of citizens of the state, who were dancing on the streets in celebration for Suntai’s return.
He said the crowd which welcomed the governor and the people of Taraba who were out on the streets, dancing, gave him the vindication he wanted since he had been the one assuring the citizens of the governor’s return.
He denied allegations that the crowd was paid to welcome the state’s leader, adding that, you couldn’t have paid that kind of crowd to come out.
“No one stayed in their house that Sunday. Everybody was out in the sun and they were dancing on the street”. He said.
He said he felt vindicated and happy until the governor fired him alongside the entire cabinet.
Attributing the crisis in the state to a tussle for power by certain individuals, Mr Bello stated that “the inside problem is the issue of power. The fact that there are desperate people” ready to work against the evidence they are given.
However, contrary to Mr Bello’s solid stance in favour of the governor, the Deputy Editor (Politics) of Daily Independent newspaper, Mr Habib Haruna disclosed that a report by a Nigerian journalist on vacation in America stated that the governor is “not too well”.
He added that the video of Suntai addressing the state does not convince him, as well as many others, that the governor is of sound health.
Reacting to the brouhaha, a public affairs analyst, Dare Ogunlana said “in the last 16 years, power industry has been one of the most lucrative industries” and “people will do everything possible to protect survival”.
He stated that “politicians are serial liars” and are ready to throw “their integrity, their morality into the dustbin for the sake of survival”.