Presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, has urged members of the National Assembly not to be in a hurry to impeach President Muhmmadu Buhari.
The minority caucus of the National Assembly earlier this week resolved to begin impeachment proceedings against the President in six weeks if the country’s security situation does not improve.
But speaking during a courtesy call on the Kwara State Governor in Illorin, Kwankwaso urged the lawmakers not to rock the boat.
“I don’t know the facts that they have. But as their former colleague, I want them to tread very softly,” he said.
“They should not be in a hurry to rock the boat. Yes, I know they have reasons to be worried – I am sure everybody in this country is worried about insecurity; because some of these things could happen to anybody – even the presidential fleet was attacked in Katsina State. So, I think we need to do more.”
He said the military is capable of winning the war against insurgency but advocated for wide consultation irrespective of political differences.
On his part, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, called for understanding and collaboration between politicians to bring about development to the country.
The story of Chief Ernest Shonekan’s life is one centered on merit, humility and service to humanity, and that was re-echoed when the British-trained lawyer, industrialist, Baba Isale of Egbaland and former Interim President of Nigeria turned 80.
The celebrant, who takes his Christian faith seriously together with his dear wife Margret and their lovely children, began the special birthday event with a thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina in Lagos
The occasion saw several important guests honouring Chief Shonekan in a service officiated by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh.
The special guests include former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and wife Victoria; former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme and wife Helen; Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and wife Olufunso, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Adegbule.
Others are former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma and wife Senator Daisy; Chairman of FCMB, Otunba Shubomi Balogun and wife Adebutu; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Micheal Adedotun Gbadebo amongst others
Indeed, it was a special day as they joined him on the altar for thanksgiving and then sang a special birthday song for him.
Students from his Alma Mata, CMS Grammar School Lagos, also did a special presentation in his honour.
The social part of the celebration kicked off right away with veteran juju music maestro, Ebenezer Obey, dishing out some of his evergreen tunes in honour of the celebrant and to the delight of his A-list guests.
More important guests joined the party, like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and wife Olori Wuraola; former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and former Governor of Lagos, Chief Mobolaji Johnson.
Business mogul, Chief Razaq Okoya and wife Shade; Justice George Oguntade and wife; Chairman of Doyin Group, Mr Samuel Adedoyin; and the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also shared in the fun.
Chief Ernest Shonekan was born on the May 9, 1936 in Lagos. He is a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and was the former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC), before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on August 26, 1993.
Chief Shonekan’s transitional administration only lasted three months before General Sani Abacha took over on November 17, 1993.
A lawyer and supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Ladipo Johnson on Monday said despite the number of political heavyweights showing interest in contesting for the position of the president of Nigeria in the 2015 general election, the party has the wherewithal to produce a candidate that will fly its flag without causing ripples within the party.
“I believe it will be properly handled, whether it is an outright primary or you have a consensus candidate,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.
He, however, debunked rumours that Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had shelved plans to contest in the party’s presidential primaries.
“Kwankwaso will take his message to the people tomorrow and to the party in the next one month to say to them that he believes, in all sincerity and humility, that he is the person that can take on any person being brought forward by the PDP and lead this country to where the majority of the people want us to go to.
“I do not think he is stepping down, but he will accept the final result of the primaries because he believes in the party first mantra,” he said.
He also had some nice words for the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and former military Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari who he said told their supporters that “we are one and we must make sure that we present a credible alternative to what we have now”, insisting that the APC would not have any internal rancour.
He further noted that “the APC has not made any decision on mischievous headlines” suggesting a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the party, adding that “there are certain people who are trying to box the APC into a corner, to say it is an Islamic party”.
He brushed aside claims that the APC was a Muslim dominated party, maintaining that “there are many Christians in the APC. It is not a Muslim party, it is not a singular-religious party”.
Mr Ladipo also accused the present government of “dividing the country more than ever before”.
“We are at a stage where we are more defensive of where we are coming from ethnic wise and religious wise” he said, explaining that “that is what President Obasanjo is saying that you cannot be insensitive at this period in time”.
The legal practitioner also agreed that General Buhari had earlier said that there was a possibility of him picking a Muslim as his running mate because “he doesn’t feel he should be restricted based on the person’s religious beliefs”.
He justified the fact that all those that have shown interest in flying the APC’s flag during the 2015 presidential election were from the northern part of the country, saying: “the only presidential candidate is coming from the South South in the PDP”.
“Every political party takes decisions based on what it feels the people and the country needs to move forward.
“It may be that the APC subconsciously has decided that maybe it is time for the presidency to rotate back to the northern part of the country and if that is the case, then so be it,” he said. “I feel it will create some form of balance and help us to move forward in the next four to five years.”
Mr Ladipo insisted that what Nigeria needed at the moment was the kind of change that Kwankwaso had effected in the north western state of Kano.
Though the Governor is yet to make his intentions known to Nigerians and the APC, Mr Ladipo maintained that Kwankwaso still had one month to do so.
Meanwhile, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and former military Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari have declared their intentions to run for the President, under the platform of the APC, come 2015.
The former head of state and Presidential Aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari says the greatest problem facing Nigeria is not religion or tribal differences, but the deliberate plot by the ruling People’s Democratic Party(PDP) led government to use religion and ethnicity to polarise the country for selfish gains ahead of the 2015 general election.
Speaking during the APC Northern Stakeholders Interactive Meeting held in Kaduna on Saturday, General Buhari noted that going by the militarisation of the last governorship election in Ekiti and Osun states where a large number of soldiers and other security operatives were deployed for the election, shows that the ruling PDP is desperate to hold on to power using every means at its disposal.
He argued that the abducted Chibok school girls from Borno state by the Boko Haram members would have been rescued if the federal government had deployed such number of soldiers to the north east where the Boko Haram terrorists have killed thousands of innocent people.
While stating that 2015 should be another year of extreme concern for the country, Buhari said another four years of PDP will send Nigeria down the drain and therefore called on the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) to ensure that it does not disenfranchise eligible voters in the ongoing voter registration and to also provide a level playing ground for all political parties and candidates.
Also speaking Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, stressed the need for the north to be united in order to defeat some of the challenges confronting the region, lamenting that the north had remained backward despite its contribution to nation building, calling on all Nigerians to be actively involved in the political transition by voting an APC government that will rescue the country from alleged maladministration of the PDP.
The Deputy national chairman of the party, Lawal Shuaibu who set the agenda of the day, said the meeting was convened primarily to discuss the state of the party as it affects the north and the country in general and thereafter seek the opinion of party leaders on how to move the party forward.
He said since the last APC national convention, the party has faced a number of challenges which include the impeachment of the former Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako, the move to remove his Nasarawa state counter part through unconstitutional means and the loss recorded by the party in the Ekiti state governorship election, stating that the meeting has nothing to do with discussing on who emerges as the consensus presidential candidate of the party.
Other speakers include the Northern Elders Forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF) which urged the party to come up with a formidable consensus presidential candidate that will be acceptable to the North and the country at large in other to defeat the ruling PDP in the next election.
Present at the meeting were presidential aspirants of the party, General Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Sam Nda Isaiah.
Others are governors of the party, senators, party chairmen and other stakeholders from the 19 northern states.
A member of the Save Adamawa Group, Mr Panny Boga, has commended the Adamawa State House of Assembly for impeaching the state governor, describing the impeachment “as long overdue and the best thing that has happened to Adamawa State”.
Mr Boga said the impeachment has vindicated the group, who had earlier accused the governor of 12 of the 20 allegations levelled against him by the State House of Assembly.
“Out of all the impeachable offences, 20 of them raised, 12 were the issues that we raised earlier, adding that “having him impeached at this time, to me is something that has been long overdue and is the best thing that has happened to Adamawa State”.
Debunking claims that there is more than meets the allegations that led to the impeachment, 7 years after Mr Nyako was sworn into power, Mr Boga noted that “this is not the first time” the former governor was handed an impeachment notice “only that this time around it succeeded”, he said.
He noted that “in June 2008, to be precise, he was also served with impeachment notice by a different set of members of the House of Assembly listing 20 allegations” insisting that “the man was a failure”.
Mr Boga denied that the impeachment plot was instituted because of Mr Nyako’s change of political party, wondering why such plots are yet to be in place for governors of Sokoto (Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako) and Kano (Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), insisting that his “movement to All Progressives Congress (APC) has nothing to do with the monumental corruption Nyako is involved in and I think it is on that basis that members of the House of Assembly actually impeached him.
“It is not on the basis of whether he has moved to any other party; in any case, he is not the only People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governor that moved to the APC. Why is Wamako stil there? Why is Kwankwanso still there?, no impeachment procedure has been instituted against them, he maintained.
Mr Boga said the “people of Adamawa State should be given a medal for being the most patient human beings to have endured Nyako for even 7 years”.
Further buttressing his point that the impeachment was based on the facts presented to the members of the State House of Assembly, Mr Boga argued that “if it were a party affair, the members would have left the Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, alone”.
He also noted that the former governor would have been impeached in 2008 but for appeals by stakeholders of the party at that time, who intervened and botched the impeachment saga and blamed the former governor of not carrying the people of Adamawa along in his government for his impeachment.
Acting Governor Sworn-In
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State House of Assembly’s speaker, Umaru Fintiri, has been sworn-in as the Acting Governor after the House impeached the state governor, Murtala Nyako, on allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.
The governor was impeached on Tuesday by the lawmakers after reviewing the report of a panel of inquiry set up to investigate the allegations against him and his deputy.
Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, resigned from office to avoid being impeached.
Mr Ngilari’s resignation letter was read at plenary by the speaker of the Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, after which the lawmakers approved it.
The seven man panel, chaired by Mr Bala Kaigama, who submitted the report to the speaker, observed that the panel encountered initial problem of having a venue for sitting but eventually overcame the challenge and produced four volumes of the report on allegations levelled against the governor and the deputy.
Don’t Misuse Power, Atiku Tells PDP
A former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday (July 15) warned the PDP-led Federal Government against what he described as ‘‘excessive use of power’’, which Atiku said was not good for decent democratic practice.
The ex-VP, who was reacting to the impeachment of Nyako, said in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja that wielding the axe of impeachment against elected public office holders in order to settle scores by the Federal Government would needlessly build up tension in the country.
The former Vice-President said, “The reckless use of impeachment to settle scores could not have been the intention of the framers of the 1999 Constitution. The frequency with which elective officials were being shot down by impeachment would destroy the whole purpose of inserting the impeachment clause in the Constitution.
“The use of impeachment to harass and humiliate perceived opponents by the PDP-led Federal Government would ultimately bastardise the spirit in which the constitution provides for the impeachment clause.”
He admonished the Federal Government to take it easy in the way they use power, adding that “the constitution was not meant to provide ammo for anybody to harass and humiliate opponents or force them out of office.”
He also criticised the use of financial inducements to influence the removal of perceived opponents from office.
Nyako’s Impeachment Adds No Value To Nation’s Growth
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the impeachment of the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, has no iota of value to add to the Nigeria’s growth and development, and even to the progress of Adamawa State.
In a statement by the chairman of the APC Governors Forum, Mr Rochas Okorocha, released hours after the impeachment on Tuesday, the party stressed that the impeachment of the governor was not what the country needed at a period it is faced with serious security challenges.
Governor Okorocha expressed surprise that in spite of appeals and steps taken by patriotic leaders across the country to make the members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly review their impeachment move against the governor, with a view to resolving whatever was the bone of contention, the legislators still carried out the impeachment.
“What the nation needs most this time should be ideas, unity of purpose and patriotism to deal decisively with the lingering security problems threatening our nationhood and not actions that would further inject bad blood among the leaders of this country and the citizenry in general.
“The impeachment of the Adamawa State Governor and similar impeachment threats against the governors of Nasarawa, Edo, Rivers and so on, could be explained as bad politics of intimidation aimed at stifling the APC as a party and threatening our nascent democracy,” the statement read.
The APC insisted that the impeachment was not a good image laundering for Nigeria, saying it will not encourage other nations willing to help Nigeria come out of the security problem to take the nation serious.
Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has officially received the former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, alongside over 10,000 people who joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He also accused the Kano State governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, of deliberately denying Kano delegates their mobilisation fund and refreshments given by his campaign headquarters in 2011.
At the ceremony organised by the PDP on Tuesday to receive new members that defected from other political parties, President Jonathan promised to work hand in hand with the former governor in bringing back Kano State to his party.
Mr Shekarau was also a presidential candidate in 2011 presidential election.
At the airport, where he was received by the former governor, President Jonathan expressed his satisfaction with the turnout of party supporters who came out in large numbers to welcome him.
On his part, Shekarau pledged his commitment to working under the ideology of the PDP.
“As long as I remain in active politics, I will continue to work under the ideology of my party, the PDP.
The celebration, however, took another turn when President Jonathan accused the Kano State governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, of diverting mobilisation and refreshments funds belonging to Kano delegates during 2011 presidential primaries.
President Jonathan’s comment was triggered by a newspaper report that quoted Kwankwaso as saying that he voted for President Jonathan during the said primaries.
President Jonathan denied the claims published in a newspaper showed to him by the PDP national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, with the caption “Kwankwaso regrets voting for Jonathan”.
Unknown gunmen have attacked the father of the Kano state governor, Alh. Rabi’u Kwankwaso leaving at least three dead and few others injured.
Although the attack has not been confirmed by the police, sources close to government house told our correspondent in Kano that the governors father was attacked at about 8 pm yesterday while leaving a mosque in Kwankwaso village, Madubi local government area of Kano state.
Alh. Kwankwaso is a member of Kano emirate with the title of District Head of Madubi.
Kano is one of the northern states infiltrated by Boko Haram, a violent Islamist group seen as the main security threat in Nigeria. The group is calling for the Islamisation of northern Nigeria.
It is also believed to be the headquarters of Ansaru, a smaller jihadist outfit that specialises in kidnapping and often killing of foreigners.
The last attack by members of sect occurred in December when gunmen abducted a Lebanese national.
Kano State Government has sponsored 25 indigenes of the state to study Marine Engineering in India and the United States.
A statement issued in Kano on Saturday by Alhaji Baba Dantiye, the Director of Press to Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso, said the four year course would cost the government $80 million annually.
According to the statement, Gov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso said this during the graduation of over 1,000 youths under the government’s youth empowerment programme, tagged “Lafiya Jari.”
It said that the governor emphasised on the resolve of the administration to give priority to human capital development.
“We are doing all this because we need to see our youth everywhere in the world and reduce unemployment facing the state”, the statement quoted the governor as saying.
It added that Kwankwaso further revealed that the government had concluded plans to sponsor 100 students to study avionics and another 100 to study medicine abroad.
The statement said that the state government, through the Col. Yakubu Bako (Rtd.) Youth Employment Committee had secured over 200 jobs for indigenes of the state in various Federal Government establishments.
The “Lafiya Jari”, is a healthcare based empowerment scheme under the state Entrepreneurship Institute.
The scheme provides drugs and financial support to students who graduated from the Schools of Health Technology to set up their own businesses.
The Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso on Sunday described the attack on Christian worshipers at the old campus of Bayero University Kano as an unfortunate and sad incident that has breached the peace in the commercial city.
Mr Kwankwaso who cut short an official trip to Abuja to visit the scene of the incident said that such a painful thing is happening at a time peace was gradually returning to the state capital following sporadic attacks by suspected gunmen.
He said that the state government has made arrangements with public and private hospitals in the state to ensure that victims of such incidents are treated satisfactorily, while the government will foot the medical bills.
“The state government will give those victims maximum support so that they can get first class treatment,” Mr Kwankwaso said.
The governor decried the loss of lives and property as a result of the attack on the Christian faithful, commiserated with the university authorities and its community over the happening, hoping that it will not reoccur.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Yahuza Bello who conducted the governor round the scene of the attack explained that some of the worshippers were attacked in an indoor sports hall at the old campus of the university, which they use temporarily as place of worship.
Mr Yahuza added that the second group of worshippers was attacked while conducting the Sunday service in an open space outside the Dandatti Abdulkadir Theater, which they hitherto used, but which is currently undergoing renovation. He said several wounded victims were receiving treatment in hospitals in Kano city.