APC Accuses PDP, Wike Of Attacking Members In Rivers State

Lai Mohammed on Attack of APC members in Rivers StateThe All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Rivers State governorship candidate, Mr Nyesom Wike, of attacking its members and supporters in Rivers State.

Briefing reporters In Abuja on Sunday, the spokesman for the APC, Mr Lai Mohammed, said although the attacks on party members started before the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections, it had become progressively worse, as the governorship elections approached.

Mr Mohammed called on local and international observers and the civil society organisations to pay close attention to Rivers State and other states considered to be flash points during the forthcoming Governorship and House of Assembly Elections.

On Saturday, at least nine persons were killed and two others injured after gunmen stormed two communities in Rivers State in Nigeria’s south-south.

In a statement, the Police spokesman in Rivers State, Mr Ahmad Muhammad, said the armed men went on a shooting spree, in Obrikom and Obor communities.

Mr Muhammad said that six persons died immediately after the attack while three more victims died hours later.

NPC Commends Nigerian Police On Conduct During Polls

Police The National Peace Committee (NPC) has commended the Nigerian Police for its conduct during the 2015 presidential and National Assembly elections.

The commendation was made at the Nigerian Police Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital as members of the committee led by its Chairman, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), embarked on a ‘thank you visit’ to key actors in the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections.

The committee noted that the Police remained neutral even in the face of the tension before and after the elections.

The committee further urged the Police to ensure that the conduct is replicated during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

Similarly, General Abdulsalam urged Nigerians to support the Police in the next round of polls.

The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, who expressed gratitude for the commendation, however, promised that the same conduct would be replicated during the governorship polls and beyond.

The Police have received several commendations from not only Nigerians, but the international community for its conduct during the polls.

They have been commended particularly for their arrest of some persons in possession of registration materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State.

They have also been lauded for the deployment of over 6,000 police officers to monitor Saturday’s presidential elections across the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State.

The Police in different states across the country had, prior to Saturday’s election, given assurances of their readiness for the election.

The Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, said that the command was fully ready and prepared for the elections, urging residents not to panic as they go about their lawful duties.

The Zamfara State Police Command also assured indigenes of the readiness of the Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies, to provide effective security and ensure smooth and orderly conduct of the election.

Police Arrest Man With INEC Registration Materials In Oyo

ArrestPolice have arrested some persons in possession of registration materials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Katsina, said that the arrests were made following some intelligent tip-off.

Mr Katsina said that the arrest would serve as a stern warning that the command meant business and would not hesitate to bring any culprit to book.

The suspect, an elderly man, was caught with in possession of the INEC Permanent Voter Cards and registers.

He was arrested around Olorunsogo area in Ona Ara Local Government.

The suspect admitted that the registers were given to him on Friday morning by a party member.

The Oyo State Police boss said investigations would continue into the matter.

Meanwhile sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been distributed by the INEC to all the 33 Local Government Areas of the state, while accreditation for all election monitors and observers have been concluded.

Over 700 observers have arrived the state for Saturday’s election.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said that he was satisfied with the level of preparedness with INEC and state of security in the state even as the police read riot acts to transport unions in the state.

Governor Ajimobi expressed satisfaction at the level of Permanent Voters Card distribution and expressed confidence in the joint effort of security chiefs to ensure violence-free and credible elections.

After a meeting with youth across the state on the need for credible polls and zero violence, Governor Ajimobi expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness and security in the state.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner had earlier held a crucial meeting with members of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers on the need for peace to reign.

At the meeting the Police boss listed the rules of engagement in the elections.

The transport union on their part also assured the Police of their commitment to violence-free polls.

Jega Says Voters’ Presence After Voting Makes Process Transparent

Professor Attahiru Jega on Voters presence The electoral body in Nigeria says voters can wait after casting their votes, saying voters presence makes the process more transparent.

The Independent National Electoral Commissions’ statement is contrary to an advice by the Nigeria Police, which said voters should go home after voting.

Addressing reporters on Friday, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, said the commission believed that the electoral process would be more transparent if voters stayed behind after voting.

Professor Jega also said the commission had not received any indication that the security for the card readers had been compromised.

The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Tuesday advised voters not to remain at the polling centers after casting their votes on Saturday.

Mr Abba told a gathering in Abuja, in very clear terms, that the security operatives expect everyone to vote and go.

The IGP made the pronouncement during the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC stakeholders’ meeting.

Buhari Meets Private Sector Leaders, Reels Out APC Manifesto

Muhammadu Buhari APC Presidential candidate2The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday met with private sector leaders, promising to strengthen and make government institutions more independent if elected.

At the meeting held in Abuja, General Buhari reeled out the manifesto of the opposition party, saying it took the party six months of service and painstaking analysis of the Nigerian condition to develop.

The former military president said that the APC had come out with a comprehensive economic development plan geared towards promoting agriculture, power supply, infrastructural development, industrialisation and job creation among others.

He said that the party would provide the necessary regulatory framework for a conducive business environment.

Value Chain Of Opportunities

“We will provide level playing field and we will not allow politics to creep into and constrain the business climate.

“We will embark on multiple tracks reform in the oil and gas sector, especially government institutions like the NNPC, to block revenue transmission leakages and make them more efficient and accountable.

“We shall promote sound micro economic positive environment, run an efficient and transparent government. Restore and strengthen financial confidence by putting in place a more robust monitoring, supervision and regulation of all financial institutions.

“We shall embark on natural infrastructural development programme that will promote road, air and water transportation in the country to make Nigeria a hub of the West African sub-region,” General Buhari said.

The APC Presidential candidate also said that the party would embark on roads and rail construction that would unlock a value chain of opportunities for construction companies, builders, engineers, architects, quarry operators cement and iron rod production and supply.

General Buhari earlier in a rally in Nasarawa urged all Nigerian voters to come out en masse and vote in the general election that will hold on March 28 and April 11.

Shun Desperation, Jonathan Tells Nigerian Politicians

president-jonathanNigeria will be a better place if those who want to hold public offices from Councilors to Governors or President can shun desperation in a bid to get to such positions, President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday.

President Goodluck Jonathan was speaking at the lunch of a book ‘The People’s Choice’ – the story of President Goodluck Jonathan written by Reverend Father Imokhai.

President Jonathan said he had never been ruffled by the desire to hold public office even when he was ready to serve. He urged all Nigerian politicians to do same.

“For all of us who want to serve, we should be ready to serve, but we should not be desperate to serve our people.

“Some times people ask me; Mr President, from what we see and read, we see you still smiling and you look so unruffled.

“Yes! Nothing will really ruffle me because I am willing and ready to serve but I am not desperate to serve and that is what keeps me going.

“If all of us, who want to hold offices from the least, may be councillor of a ward in a local government council to the President, are always ready and willing to serve Nigerians and we are not desperate, then of course Nigeria will be a better place for all of us,” he stressed.

A Humble Beginning

President Jonathan said that his story, told in the book, was meant to inspire young Nigerians, especially those who were now in the Almajiri schools he built in northern Nigeria.

The President insisted that “if a Jonathan could be the President of Nigeria”, anyone of them could make it in the future.

He described his story as a humble beginning that could not have been possible without education.

“My story is the story that is meant to encourage young people.

“If I were from India, I may not have dreamt of becoming a councillor.

“Nigeria is an open society and you can move from the lowest level to the. But for you to do that, one key thing is education. And that is why I am pleased and I place so much emphasis in education.

“I am dreaming that one day, a product of the Almajiri schools will stand here as the President of this country,” the President said.

The book launch attracted the big wigs in the political scene including former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd).

S/West Youths Hold Post National Conference Summit

national conferenceSome youths from across the south-west States of Nigeria converged in Akure, Ondo State capital, for a Post National Conference Summit, and unanimously resolved to support the second term bid of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Summit which had the theme: Youths: ‘Our Hope for the Future’ was convened by Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko who also doubled as the south-west Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation.

In his welcome address, Governor Mimiko maintained that the Summit aimed at canvassing for the implementation of the resolution of the 2014 National Conference, which called for true federalism and resource control by States as agitated for by the Yoruba nation.

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Jonathan on Youths and Students’ Affairs, Jude Imagwe and the Chief Press Secretary to Ondo State Governor, Mr Eni Akinsola, both assured the youths that supporting President Jonathan was the way forward for them.

An academician and entrepreneur, who was the keynote Speaker, Prof. Modupe Olatubosun urged the youths not to vote for any presidential candidate that would dash their hope by not implementing the recommendations of the National Conference.

At the end of the of the summit, the Chairman of the Youth Summit, Dr. Lanre Olu-Adeyemi read the ten point communique which focused mainly on true federalism, devolution of powers, community policing and resource control by States which would help in generating employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the region.

This is the third post national conference summit convened by Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, having recently convened such in Akure and Ibadan.

Key political players in the South Western States of the country: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti converged on Akure, for the one day summit on the 2014 National Conference, which was organised by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The summit had the theme: The National Conference, the 2015 Elections and the Yoruba Nation.

Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who was the Convener of the summit emphasised the benefits of the recommendations of the report of the 2014 national conference.

While at the Post National Conference Summit held in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, the convener of the post-CONFAB summit, Mimiko, in his opening address had said that true federalism, which empowered regionalism, remained the pedestal on which every dream of the Yorubas’ rests.

Only Jonathan Can Take Care Of Nigerian Women- First Lady

jonathanThe First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan has called on all women to vote for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan as he is the only one that can take care of their interest.

The First Lady stated this in Lokoja at  a campaign rally to galvanize support for the President in  the forthcoming March 28th presidential election.

Dame Patience had taken the campaign for the re-election of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to several States in the last few days.

Patience Jonathan made a stop at the confluence city, Lokoja where a rally for Mr President had been organised by the PDP Women Presidential Campaign Team at the Lokoja township stadium..

Women were already seated as early as 8am while security at the venue was also beefed up as Governor Idris Wada and his cabinet members were also at the venue to receive the First Lady.

Arrival of the First Lady and her entourage in company of the wife of the Governor kick started the event with an opening speech from Hajiha Lami Wada assuring the First Lady that women in the State would vote the President come March 28th.

Different speakers came up to the podium to urge women to vote for President Jonathan whom they said had done so much for the women.

Governor Idris Wada was not left out as he enumerated some the achievements of the President to the people of Kogi and urged kogite to vote for continuity.

The First Lady told the women that the past government had restricted women to the kitchen while President Jonathan came and changed the statue quo by appointing women into various  leadership position.

‘Oath’ Claim Designed to Dampen Buhari’s Chatham House Success – APC

APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has responded to the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, plans to assume the position of Vice President through the back door, which was designed to divert attention from the success of the APC Presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari at the Chatham House in London, last Thursday.

In a statement issued in London on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP and the Jonathan Administration still do not have any answer to what has now become an epochal moment that has separated the wheat from the chaff.

”Our presidential candidate’s globally-acclaimed outing has presented Nigerians, and indeed the global community, to choose between an ineffective, incoherent, and incompetent President and an assertive, knowledgeable, dignified, purposeful and principled President-in-waiting.

”Having failed to discredit that outing with a rented crowd, some of whom confessed to have been paid to carry placards they do not understand, the PDP and the Jonathan Administration had resorted to making nauseating claims that were totally untrue, absolutely incomprehensible” it said.

APC said the claim was the latest in a series of desperate moves by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration since the emergence of Gen. Buhari as the APC presidential candidate, and the clearest indication yet that they had no answer to the unstoppable momentum of a man of history.

”They had thrown everything imaginable at Gen. Buhari, but he had continued to wax stronger and stronger: They said he was not qualified, that he was too old, then they fabricated a medical report of an illness of their own choice, sponsored death wish adverted against him and instituted a myriad of court cases to stop him.

”After they failed to stop him, they went after the election itself, using the PVCs as a tool to launch a campaign for postponement and, when they realized that would not work, came up with the bogey of insecurity in the North-east to force a postponement of the election, hoping they could buy enough time to revive their electoral misfortune.

”With everything working against them, they engaged in a show of shame at The Chatham House that backfired badly, on the heels of their bare-faced lies that Gen. Buhari was hospitalized in London. The preposterous claim of a secret oath – reminiscent of what they do in their own party – by the  spokesman of the Jonathan Campaign Organization, Femi Fani-Kayode, is their latest desperate act,” the party said.

APC said in as much as it had so far refrained from engaging Fani-Kayode in his game of character, abuses and irresponsible name calling, the party was becoming seriously concerned that he may be caving under pressure and reverting to his undignified past of substance abuse.

Jonathan’s Eligibility Suit Moved To Appeal Court

Goodluck JonathanA suit challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria to take part in the presidential election, for another 4-year term in office, has been referred to the Court of Appeal, Abuja division for proper adjudication.

The legal action was moved to the appellate court by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja for interpretations of sections 135 and 137 of the constitution, as they relate to tenure of the office of the President.

Justice Mohammed said he had taken a look into the four issues formulated for determination and eight reliefs sought by the plaintiffs and discovered that they were the same.

He said the issues raised were the same in content and fact with another suit earlier referred to the Court of Appeal for judicial interpretation of section 135 and 137, as they relate to the tenure of the President.

He further stressed that no court had pronounced any judgement on the issue before now, hence the need to refer it to the appellate court.

The plaintiffs are insisting that President Jonathan was ineligible to be elected president for another term of office having taken oath of office twice for the same office.

On February 10, the Supreme Court of Nigeria dismissed an appeal filed by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Umar Ardo, challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal that stopped him from joining in the appeal challenging President Goodluck Jonathan’s eligibility to contest in the 2015 election.

The court dismissed the motion after it was moved by Ardo’s Lawyer, Mr Amuda Kannike, seeking to withdraw the appeal.

In dismissing the appeal, the panel of seven justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, said the appellant had no business joining in the appeal challenging Jonathan’s eligibility, stating that no law stopped him from participating in the just concluded convention of the party.

A PDP member, Cyriacus Njoku, had approached an Abuja High Court to stop Jonathan from contesting in the 2015 election.

Justice Mudashiru, now elevated to the court of appeal, who presided over the matter at the high court of the Federal Capital Territory, had dismissed the suit, saying the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.

Buhari Is Not An Islamic Fundamentalist – Spokesman

Jasper Azuatalam.The chairman of the Buhari Vanguard and a member of the Advisory Board, Mr Jasper Azuatalam, has described the former Nigerian Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, as a devoted Muslim and not a fundamentalist.

He said that describing Buhari as a fundamentalist was a wrong perception about the former leader, whom he said had good intentions for Nigerians.

While answering questions on Monday about the race for the All Progressives Congress’ presidential candidate that is at the moment between Bhuari, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and the Governor of kano State, Kwkwanso, Mr Azuatalam further described General Buhari as a man with the qualities of a good leader.

“I have never seen the image of Buhari with any top Islamic or in Mecca.”

General Buhari had, in 2011 said it was his last time in the race for the Presidency, when he contested under the CPC in that years election. But he has not only declared his interest to contest in the 2015 election, he has bought the nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Asked why he is contesting again, his spokesman said he was part of the persons that convinced Buhari to contest again.

“I told him that if it was for the interest of Nigerians that he was contesting, he should come back and contest again. Buhari is not a materialistic person and the only reason he is contesting is because of Nigerians.

“There is use for it now. He has ran for the presidency for three times. He has almost ran as an independent candidate in all the three appearances,” he said.

An Opposition With National Spread

Mr Azuatalam explained why he thought General Buhari would win the Presidential election if given an opportunity, but emphasised that paramount in the APC’s agenda was not any particular candidate but one that will bring change to Nigerians.

“There are two reasons why the APC will win now.

“Now we have an opposition for the first time in Nigeria with a national spread even more than the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

“If Buhari will contest under the APC there is no doubt that he will overwhelmingly win.

“Whether it is a consensus candidate of a primary, there is nobody among these presidential candidates that will leave the party. They will all remain. All of them have one goal and the goal is to rescue Nigeria.

“All the candidates are prepared for the position. I have no doubt that they can all perform as presidents.

“What we need most that has made General Buhari unique is that he intends to tackle indiscipline that has bred corruption in Nigeria. We need a president who has enough influence and respect.

“One of the problems that President Jonathan has been having is that he gives orders and some of his subordinates flaunt his orders including his ministers. But there is high respect for Buhari when he gives an order,” he stressed.

There have been mixed reactions over the age of the aspirants and the need for the younger persons to be given a chance to rule the nation with fresh ideas, but Mr Azuatalam said that a younger person would not do well as a leader , considering the existence of different cabals that would stand against him

“If we bring someone that is young and good, the cabal in the country will not let him succeed. Buhari has high respect and leadership quality.”

He also said he had observed a rise in popularity of Buhari in the south-east and south-south region of Nigeria, citing cheers that Buhari received from the crowd at a rally organised by Governor Chibuike Amaechi in Rivers state to mark his seventh year in office.

However, in Nigeria, the crowd at a rally does not translated to the number of votes that a candidate gets, due to lack of trust for the people in government.

The APC National Executive Council has suggested an indirect primary for the selection of the presidential candidate, but the constitution did not make provision for such indirect primaries in line with the Electoral Act.

At a convention that will hold on 29 October, the APC will be looking to address the discrepancies between the APC constitution and the Act as it concerns selection of the presidential candidate through an indirect means.