…says Nigerians should be suspicious when soldiers speak
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday said a psychiatrist should be called to examine him should he joins the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) recently conceived by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Soyinka, who spoke in an interview with BBC Yoruba, said Obasanjo masterminded CNM and that such movement was not meant for someone like him.
Obasanjo had in a letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari in January, canvassed a new movement that will give Nigeria a deserving leadership. But Soyinka said: “Me? Obasanjo would establish a group and I will become a member of such group? That means they should get a psychiatrist to examine me,” he said.
Speaking further on Obasanjo’s letter and the statement issued by former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, the laureate said people should get suspicious ‘when these soldiers speak,’ because there was the possibility that “what they have in mind is different from what we have in mind.”
However, Soyinka said the content of the message should be examined even though the messengers were not trustworthy.
“When these soldiers begin to speak, we are supposed to get suspicious and ask what exactly do they have in mind? It is possible that what they have in mind is different from what we have in mind,” he said. “You can look at it from two perspectives, the messenger and the message. The message should be examined closely. We should not look at the misdeeds of the messenger alone.
Let’s start by asking, is he saying the truth or telling lies, or is he being tricky? “If he is saying the truth and talking about things that are beneficial to the masses, we would allow that be.
After that, we would now look at the person speaking, what is in his mind? …even if it’s a little child who is speaking, as far as that child is saying the truth, we won’t ask the child to keep quiet. We won’t ask the child what do you know?
We would listen. It is the same situation with those who have presided over the affairs of this nation without making significant progress.
“We have seen their weaknesses, we have seen their nakedness in public, if they now want to be covered, by saying that they have turned a new leaf, we would examine that too. What I am saying in essence is that what they have said should also be examined.”
While urging the youth to coalesce and present a candidate to represent them, he said the older generation would support them if they are serious. He said: “We have a lot of them. It is the turn of the younger ones. If they come together, as we speak, if they can start now and bring out one individual among them, we will work with him.
We’ve been abandoned – Atiku Support Groups cry out after buying N12 million form
Everything seemed not to be going well for some members Atiku Abubakar Support Groups since the former vice president emerged as the presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP) early this month.
The groups, which claimed to have raised the sum of N12 million to purchase the PDP presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for Atiku, said they have been abandoned by the Gbenga Daniel led Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCO).
But another support group, Atikulating a New Nigeria Movement, however, assured that the former vice president would not outsource his presidential powers to surrogate or allow his government to be hijacked by cabal, if elected president in 2019.
The over 130 Atiku Support Groups said in petition forward to the former vice president that they were denied funding by APCO, adding that no refund was made to any of the groups’ trip to the Yola, Adamawa State rally, during his declaration or the Port Harcourt National Convention where he emerged as PDP candidate.
“It is unfair that most of us, I mean the over 130 groups, that have put our time and resources from the onset of his campaign are being shelved aside.
“Most of our members suffered various degree of loses and they are yet to be compensated,” a member of one of the groups said.
He disclosed that one Comrade Bello Godspower, who was leading the protest, has been removed by the APCO as its whip.
“We were promised that we will be funded but up till now we have not seen anything,” the source said, adding that there was lack of adequate communication between APCO and support group leaders.
He accused the campaign organisation of “undue favoritism to brothers, friends among the support groups.
“The leaders of the campaign group are mismanaging the goodwill that our principal has being enjoying since he joined the presidential race.”
Atiku who travelled out of the country is expected back today, and the source said they intend to meet to lay their complaints before him.
Attempts to reach the campaign organisation proved abortive as the spokesman of APCO, Segun Sowumi did not pick his calls while a text message sent to him was not replied as at press time.
However, the National Coordinator of Atikulating a New Nigeria Movement, Chief Chukwuma Chiboka, at a press conference in Abuja yesterday called for free, fair and transparent elections in the country next year.
It added that Nigeria needs a president who understands the economy, rebuild the nation and unite the people.
The group decried the state of affairs in the country, and said what Nigerians expect is “executive orders to be signed to revitalize our decaying and ailing health care and educational architecture.”
“The truth is Nigerians are dying; the health sector is in shambles and education in doldrums.”
APC crisis: El-rufai, Akeredolu, Fayemi, working against Buhari – Group
A group of All Progressives Congress (APC) members, on the aiges of Federation of Buhari Support Group (FBSG) has named the governors of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Adamawa, Jibrilla Bindow and others as those causing crisis in the party.
The group, which staged a protest to the National Secretariat of APC in Abuja, pledged their support to the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, President Muhammadu Buhari and former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Leader of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Sikiru told journalists, that the aforementioned governors and others were in the forefront of those working against the National Working Committee (NWC) and Comrade Adams Oshiomohle.
They opinionated that with the development, President Muhammadu Buhari might lose 2019 presidential elections in the affected states.
“We believe in the leadership of the party ably led by Adams Oshiomhole and his determination to position the party for a landslide victory in the forthcoming elections.
“Our party is greater than any individual or group, So let us come together and face our common goal or remaining the most efficient and trusted party in our clime..”
The group said it was protesting in solidarity with the chairman and to expose a sinister plot of some conservative APC governors to frustrate the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee and truncate President Buhari’s re-election bid.
Sikiru said: “t is evident that Gov Akeredolu is purely a mole in APC, it would be recalled that he worked alongside with Gov Kayode Fayemi and Gov Amosun against the party’s choice in Osun election. Right now, he has instructed all his loyalists and cabinet members in Ondo State to work against all party’s candidates in Ondo during the general election.
“We believe in the leadership of the party ably led by Adams Oshiomhole and his determination to position the party for landslide victory in the forthcoming elections.
“Our party is greater than any individual or group, so let us come together and face our common goal or remaining the most efficient and trusted party in our clime. Together we can make this happen.”
Meanwhile, some women aspirants have decried marginalization, threatening a protest vote against APC.
Speaking with newsmen during the protest, one of the aspirants from Imo state, Milicent Duru, said despite paying amount of money for nomination and expression of interest forms, the ruling APC marginalised them at primaries nationwide.
“We women have been marginalised for a very long time and it has to stop because we still need to be included for the 2019 general election. We were promised 35% affirmative for women. In August the president of Nigeria came for a summit organised by Women in Politics, the president spoke that women were going to be included, his wife the First Lady also spoke that women will be included and even the National Chairman of the APC promised us that this time around we must get our 35% affirmative.
“So far, what we have in APC now is about 0.5% from statistics. So, to us it’s a scam and it’s not as if we do not have the capacity or we did not buy nomination forms, we bought the forms, we paid half of the money compared to other parties, which does not charge women for anything. So, we paid good money for but to our surprises, we are wondering why we should not be included in the affairs of the country when we are the best when we are the main people that will bring out people to vote in the 2019 election. If this continues, it shows we are going to boycott 2019 election. That is exactly why we are protesting today.
“We are women of APC this is APC secretariat. I am speaking on behalf of the women in APC, why because we even paid 50% of the forms, no party in this country pays up to what we paid. So, we should be given the respect, we should be included in this country.”
Army begins `Crocodile Smile III’ exercise in Niger Delta
The Nigerian Army says it has commenced Operation Crocodile Smile III exercise across the states of the Niger Delta to stem the tide of pipeline vandalism in the region.
This is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday by the Acting Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Lt. Tayo Oluwafemi of 2 Brigade Nigerian Army.
According to him, the exercise which started on Monday October 22 would last till November 22, 2018.
“In line with the Army Headquarters Training Directive for Year 2018 which tasked Headquarters 6 Division, Port Harcourt to organize above mentioned exercise, the exercise is going to take place within the States in the Niger Delta Region including Akwa Ibom State.
“In view of this, Headquarters 2 Brigade, Uyo will from Monday 22 October to 22 November 2018 conduct Exercise Crocodile Smile III.
“This is aimed at stemming the tide of pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries/bunkering, kidnapping, cultism and other related crimes, “ he said.
He added that other activities to be carried out include; Medical Outreaches, Sanitation Exercise, Distribution of items to Orphanages, Distribution of Sporting Equipment to Schools, Distribution of items to Market Women and Sinking of Borehole in selected Local Government Areas.
He warned members of the public that there would be movement of troops and equipment and advised them not to panic.
He urged members of the public especially residents of Ikot Abasi and Mbo Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom to keep away from the exercise area. (NAN)
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