FG Is Repositioning NDDC, Amnesty Programme, Says Buhari

President Buhari Mourns Veteran Industrialist, Emmanuel Adesoye
File photo President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government is repositioning the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Amnesty Programme to ensure that they deliver on their mandates to develop the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari stated this while declaring open the fourth Meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.

Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, noted that the Niger Delta region had suffered so much deprivation and thus needed a new deal.

“We are committed to changing the fortunes of the region to give the people a new lease of life,” stating that “the government was addressing the challenges of under-development and insecurity in the region,” he was quoted as saying via a statement issued on Friday by NDDC’s spokesman.

To the President, the on-going forensic audit of the NDDC was expected to reposition the commission and galvanize it towards optimal development and provide the needed infrastructure for socio-economic development that the region so much requires.

“Due to the efforts and commitment of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, the new headquarters building of the NDDC, which had been on-going in the last 24 years, has been completed and is awaiting commissioning by my administration.”

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On the East-West Road, Buhari said: “The completion of the East-West Road, which is a priority to this government, has been handed over to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and I assure you that it will be delivered by the end of 2021 or the early part of 2022.”

Speaking also, the Niger Delta Minister called for harmony between the NDDC and the state governments in the region for the benefit of the people.

According to him, the disharmony between these critical stakeholders was caused by many factors, including political differences.

Development should not be tied to any political party because what the people need is development, irrespective of political affiliation. Poverty and hunger have no political party,” Akpabio said.

Senate Swears-In Christopher Ekpenyong To Succeed Akpabio

 

The Senate on Thursday swore-in Senator Christopher Ekpenyong of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Ekpenyong will be representing Akwa-Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

The lawmaker took the oath administered by the Deputy Clerk of the Senate, Musa Abdullahi.

READ ALSO: Senate Swears In Smart Adeyemi, Replaces Dino Melaye

Senator Ekpeyong defeated Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the January 25, 2020 re-run election for Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District, held in Essien Udim Local Government Council.

 

See more photos of the swearing-in below…

 

PDP Lost The Presidential Election The Day I Left The Party – Akpabio

 

Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the election the day he left and joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). 

“My former party lost from the day I stepped out of it” Akpabio stated in a one-on-one interview with Channels Television‘s Seun Okinbaloye.

Akpabio said the PDP became lighter when the minority leader of the Senate moved to the ruling party.

He said when he moved, he moved with thousands, hence depleting the PDP’s numbers and by extension its chances of winning the elections.

The former governor of Akwa Ibom however, noted that the PDP would not have been able to defeat President Buhari even if he was there because Nigerians wanted continuity.

“I believe strongly that the President needed to be re-elected,” Akpabio said.

Speaking about his loss at the Senatorial polls following his defection to the APC, Akpabio said he was robbed.

He said the results from Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial District were mutilated in a bid to deprive him of his mandate.

The lawmaker, however, pleaded that his mandate is restored, and he is granted justice.

He said, “Those responsible, whether the REC in Akwa-Ibom State or those he instructed know the reality, my plea now is that they should announce my result.

“The reality is that I am asking for justice. Am saying that INEC should be bold enough to do the right thing.

“I am disappointed that a state with so much followership as far as the party is concerned, the state that loves President Buhari so much was not allowed as a result of a conspiracy to bring out the votes,” Akpabio opined.

NASS Barricade: Attempt To Impeach Saraki, Make Akpabio Senate Leader, Says Murray-Bruce

Lawmakers denied entry into the National Assembly.

 

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has alleged that the heavy presence of security operatives at the National Assembly complex, on Tuesday, is to intimidate lawmakers and enable the impeachment of Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker representing Bayelsa East in an interview on Channels Television Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily, claimed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers are planning to appoint Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Senate President.

“The front gate has been blocked by DSS and police. The plan is to allow APC senators entry. Senators who will install Akpabio as the Senate President and impeach Saraki and Ekweremadu,” Murray-Bruce said.

He, however, noted that the plot by the APC lawmakers will not stand, adding that the PDP has majority members. He said the PDP lawmakers would resist any attempt by the APC senators to effect any leadership change in the Senate.

Murray-Bruce said they would make sure that countries like the US, Canada, The United Kingdom, among others revoke the visas of Senator Akpabio and his cohorts as well as their wives and children.

“It can’t stand. They do not have the numbers. I have been in touch with Britain, Canada, and requested from the management that the visa of Akpabio and all the other senators involved in this be revoked.

“So that their request to go to London, Washington, Paris, Berlin will be revoked.”

Masked security operatives at the National Assembly.

He further lamented about the heavy presence of security operatives at the National Assembly claiming that they were sponsored by APC senators.

“What they are doing is illegal. What they are doing is against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This makes no sense,” he said.

Murray-Bruce then said lawmakers breaking the law will be exposed so that the world will know what they are doing.

Akpabio Visits President Buhari In London

President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate Minority Leader, Senator Goodswill Akpabio in London, United Kingdom on Sunday August 5, 2018.
President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio in London, the United Kingdom on Sunday, August 5, 2018. PHOTO: Bashir Ahmad/Twitter

 

Senator Godswill Akpabio on Sunday visited President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on vacation in the United Kingdom.

Although details of the Senator’s meeting with President Buhari are not yet known, there had been speculations that he may defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Akpabio, who represents Akwa Ibom North West District is the Senate Minority Leader and currently a member of the PDP.

President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate Minority Leader, Senator Goodswill Akpabio in London, the United Kingdom on Sunday, August 5, 2018. PHOTO: Bashir Ahmad/Twitter
President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio in London, the United Kingdom on Sunday, August 5, 2018. PHOTO: Bashir Ahmad/Twitter

 

The Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang, on Saturday announced that the APC will receive Akpabio into its fold on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, had also posted on Facebook, a picture of Akpabio and the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, noting that there will be an APC Rally at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, to receive the former governor to APC.

Akpabio’s visit to President Buhari follows a gale of defections from the ruling APC. Many lawmakers at the National House of Assembly had announced their defection to the PDP.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and three APC governors, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Abdul Fatah Ahmed of Kwara State and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State had also dumped the APC for PDP.

Sen. Akpabio Endorses Governor Wike For Second Term

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has endorsed the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for a second term, saying, that the state needs his developmental prowess to be completely repositioned.

He described Governor Wike as the best performing governor in the country.

Commissioning the completed Kpopie-Bodo Road in Gokana Local Government Area on Monday, Senator Akpabio expressed gratitude to God for allowing him to witness another governor in the Niger Delta who believes in profound development.

Picture: L-R: Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator George Sekibo during the Commissioning of the reconstructed Kpopie-Bodo Road in Gokana Local Government Area on Monday by the Senate Minority Leader.

He commended Governor Wike for diligently constructing the Kpopie-Bodo road, which has given the people of the area a sense of belonging.

He said: “From the Pictures, I have seen here; I wonder how you people lived before Nyesom Wike became governor. Oh, my people, you must have suffered. This road will help revive the economy of the area”.

He added that by creating access to communities of Gokana, Governor Wike has empowered them and given them the leverage to grow.

In his remarks, Governor Wike said that his administration has fulfilled the promise it made to Gokana people, without giving excuses.

He criticised that the former Works Commissioner who hails from Gokana Local Government Area for allowing a project under his supervision to be abandoned.

He noted that Senate Minority Leader was invited to commission the project because he was one of the pillars of support during the electioneering period.

He stated that he will continue to deliver democracy dividends to the people of the state.

The Commissioner of Works, Iheanyichuwu Bathuel said that Kpopie-Bodo Road which is about 10 kilometres has been fitted with street lights.

While Secretary to Rivers State Government, Sir Kenneth Kobani lauded Governor Wike for his commitment to the development of Ogoni land.

He assured the governor of the support of Ogoni people in his future political endeavours.

The highpoint of the occasion was conferment of a chieftaincy title on Governor Wike by the Gokana Traditional Rulers Council.

Makarfi Insists Appeal Court Ruling Will End PDP Crisis

PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, Appeal CourtMembers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by the Caretaker Committee, have met with state governors and lawmakers from the party with a view to rescuing the PDP from collapse.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, noted that the leadership crisis rocking the party would soon be put to rest.

An Appeal Court in Port Harcourt is expected to deliver judgement on the leadership case involving the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Makarfi led factions of the PDP.

The two factions have said that the judgement would be the end of internal litigation in the party.

Senator Makarfi said the caretaker committee was hopeful that the judgement at the Court of Appeal on the matter would be just and fast.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has advised the leaders of the party to put their house in order, so as not to lose in future elections as it has experienced in recent times.

Senate Constitutes Committee To Probe NEITI Report

Senate, NEITIThe Senate has setup an adhoc committee to look into the audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

This comes after the NEITI report alleged fraud in the Nigeria’s extraction industry to the tune of 12 billion dollars.

The Senate came up with this decision after listening to a presentation by the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr Waziri Adio, on Wednesday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, announced that the committee has four weeks to submit its report to the upper legislative chamber.

He directed the committee to come up with a draft legislation that would help fight corruption and fraud over non-remittances to the Federation Account.

In his submission, Mr Adio gave recommendations on what should be done to stem the tide of the shortcomings experienced in the extraction sector.

The debate also featured the contributions of some legislators including a representative from Kogi State, Sen. Dino Melaye, and the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

Obasanjo Expresses Concern Over EFCC’s Performance

olusegun obasanjoA former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed concern over what he called an ‘observed ineffectiveness’ of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in recent times.

He said that the anti-graft agency was becoming a toothless bulldog.

The former President made the observation on Saturday while addressing a gathering at his 79th birthday ceremony held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria.

He commended the EFCC under its pioneering chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, insisting that the feats achieved then seemed to be going down.

Mr Obasanjo also expressed satisfaction on the war against insurgency, saying that “the country seems to be gaining the upper hand”.

He further called for more action against the menace.

Also giving his opinion about the anti-graft agency’s performance, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, had a different view.

Senator Akpabio said that legislation was being made to strengthen the institution.

At the occasion were family members, political associates, serving and former governors, members of the Federal Executive Council and members of the National Assembly.

Some of them described the celebrant as a detribalised Nigerian and an elder statesman.

The event was rounded off with the cutting of the birthday cake as dignitaries joined the former president and his wife at the occasion.

PDP Laments ‘Oppressive And Unfair Treatment’ Against Its Leaders By FG

pdpThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday lamented the oppressive and unfair treatments against its key leaders by the Federal Government.

A statement by the National Legal Adviser, Mr Victor Kwon, said “the arrest and detention of its Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is part of the grand script by the APC-led Federal Government to decimate the opposition.

“We are also aware that plans have been perfected by the Federal Government to arrest and detain the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio and other leaders of the party on imaginary charges.

“Indeed, intelligence available to the party shows that the Federal Government, using its various agencies, is bent on destroying any opposition to the ruling party as all indications show that the government is more interested in humiliating the PDP than fighting corruption”, the statement added.

Mr Kwon maintained that the “war on the PDP and its leaders has indeed gone too far” and “has now become a mockery of democratic practice”.

The party’s Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) in his Abuja home.

A source at the EFCC told Channels Television that Mr Secondus received luxury buses worth over N110 million from a person being investigated by the anti graft agency.

 

Akwa Ibom Governor Promises Residents Better Days Ahead

Akwa IbomAkwa Ibom State Governor has expressed determination to remain totally committed to the task of delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.

Governor Udom Emmanuel made the commitment at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium during a reception in his honour by Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District Consultative Assembly, after the Supreme Court verdict on his victory in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.

He thanked the people for their support during the Election Petition Tribunal cases, promising that he would live up to their expectation while working earnestly for the progress of the state.

The Governor further solicited the continued support of the people and cooperation to build a better Akwa Ibom State.

‘Victory For Democracy’

The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, also expressed appreciation to the people of Ikot Ekpene and the state at large for supporting him, urging them to support the Udom Emmanuel-led administration to succeed.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for not interfering in the election petition cases in Nigeria, describing the Supreme Court ruling as ‘victory for democracy’.

Goodwill messages were offered by members of National Assembly led by Senator Bassey Albert, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the three senatorial districts among others.

At the event, a sword and a Bible was presented to Governor Emmanuel while Senator Akpabio and his Wife, Ekaette – Unoma Akpabio, were also honoured for their contributions to the state.

Appeal Court Upholds Akpabio’s Election

Appeal Court Upholds Akpabio's ElectionThe Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal challenging the election of Senator Godswill Akpabio as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district.

In the unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Moshood Oredola on Friday, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit and upheld the decision of the Lower Tribunal.

Justice Oredola said that although, there was an error in one of the nomination papers which indicated that Senator Akpabio stood for election for Akwa Ibom North-East, the mistake was however, successfully corrected in all other documents.

The Judge also held that the oral evidence of appellant witness and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) successfully rebutted the case of non-qualification alleged by the appellant.

The Appellate Court also said that Senator Akpabio met the requirements of section 65 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution which clearly states that ‘a person can only contest an election if he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party’.

The court, however, held that evidence showed that there was no other candidate for Akwa Ibom North-West for the PDP as such, it is clear that nobody was deceived as to the candidature of Senator Akpabio.