The Supreme Court yesterday nullified the victory of the governor-elect of Zamfara State, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris, as well as all the candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, who emerged as winners in the various elections during the last general elections.
The apex court in a unanimous judgement, held that the APC did not have any valid candidates in all the elections that held in the state, while awarding a cost of N10million against the party. In a judgement that was delivered by a five-man panel of Justices led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, held that the ruling party did not conduct valid primary elections to nominate candidates for any elective position in the state.
The apex court further maintained that the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal was right when it held that the APC did not field any eligible candidates in the 2019 general election in Zamfara State. Consequently, the apex court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Paul Galinje, dismissed an appeal the APC lodged to challenge the appellate court’s judgement.
The candidate of the APC had earlier been declared winner of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after he polled 534,541 votes despite controversies trailing his candidacy. The PDP candidate Bello Mohammed Matawalle who came second in the election is expected to be declared the governor-elect in the state, after INEC’s meeting on Monday. The ruling also affects all APC Zamfara Senators, members of the House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates who were initially declared winners.
“I find that the lower court was right in holding that there were no primary elections in Zamfara State. The appeal had no merit and it should be dismissed. It is accordingly dismissed. The party that has no candidate cannot be declared a winner of the election.
”Therefore, all votes that are credited to such party is deemed as wasted voted. Candidates of parties with the highest number of valid votes cast with the required spread stands elected in Zamfara. “Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest vote stand elected.
A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant,” the Supreme Court held. Idris and others had filed an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which nullified the primaries that produced all the APC candidates for the last general elections in the state at all levels. The court had held that due process was not followed in the conduct of the primaries, but not satisfied with the decision of the court, the governor-elect approached the apex court to challenge that decision.
Residents happy, 2 die in wild jubilations Many people in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, yesterday stormed out and flooded the major streets in jubilation to show their happiness after the apex court ruling, leading to the loss of two lives via stray bullets. Immediately the news of the Supreme Court judgement filtered in the state around 9:45 am, the major roads of Gusau that comprises of Ahmadu Bello Way, Sani Abacha way which linked up to the state Government House Gusau were flooded by hundreds of youths, some on bikes and some motorists, showing happiness over the judgment.
The jubilating youths took several hours going round Gusau metropolis celebrating, chanting different slogans, such as; ‘Retirement Dole’, ‘Change of Government has come’, and ‘we thank God for the ruling’ among many others, to express their happiness. Speaking with Saturday Telegraph, some residents said they showed their happiness for the court judgment because of their belief that a new government will come to the state to give justice.
A resident, Aminu Abdullahi Bakura, who is also celebrating on the judgment said, majority of the people in the received news as a welcome development and we are behind any one that come to rule the state apart from the present government of the state. “In fact, we are tired with the way the present government is ruling the state, so, we don’t mind whoever will come over to rule the state, provided it is from either the PDP which the Supreme Court pointed as the government or the APC G8, but we are against the continuity of the present government of the day”, said Bakura.
Saturday Telegraph also witnessed jubilations in some of the local government areas. In Maradun town, the local government area and home town of PDP governorship candidate, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, who is now the governor elect, there was wild jubilations, as the celebration claimed the lives of two youths who were killed by police strayed bullets in a bid to control the crowd. In Gusau metropolis, some groups of people were seen discussing the situation in joyful mood, while some prayed for the next government to come and end the sufferings and killings of innocent people. Another resident, Nature Magaji Maradun, who visibly happy with the news, said: “Today’s decision of the Supreme Court is a great testimony that truth and patience will always excel. We wish to extend our gratitude to the Almighty Allah and the entire people of Zamfara especially the PDP supporters for their patience and good conduct while the court judgment lasted”.
Verdict, sweet, bitter victory -Marafa
Reacting, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa, described the judgement as a sweet, bitter but a huge victory for democracy, Zamfara and the country as a whole. In a statement he personally signed, Marafa said no matter how long, truth will always prevail over falsehood, saying that the victory is a triumph of truth over falsehood and redeemer of the integrity of the judiciary. “As we all know the APC was unable to conduct primaries in Zamfara state following Yari’s thuggery and violent machinations.
With this, lesson has been served that only strict adherence to rule of law and due process will take the country to the next level as being advocated by President Muhammadu Buhari. “This Judgement has shown that the president is religiously sincere with his non-interference stance on function of other arms of government. He has further endeared himself to Nigerians and the world for resisting all efforts by Abdulaziz Yari to force him to interfere on the judgement”. Marafa urged his adversaries to take the judgement as the will of God and a lesson that only the Almighty God can crown a king, while commending the Justice Tanko Muhammad for leading the Justices aright, saying, the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man.
“The acting CJN and the Justices that delivered the judgement have with this judgement, laid the foundation for the redemption of the battered image of the judiciary as painted by the likes of justice Bello Shinkafi. “I will like to thank the judiciary especially the Justice Tom Yakubu team at the Appeal Court and now the Ag CJN team in the Supreme Court, the courageous position of INEC, the unflinching support of the people of Zamfara State, my family for their wonderful support and prayers, my well-wishers and admirers in Nigeria and diaspora for their overwhelming support. “Judiciary remains the last hope of the common man, therefore all hands must be on deck to strengthen it” he said.
Verdict changes Senate configuration
The judgement has however changed the configuration of the 9th Senate as the PDP will now gain three more seats to make 44 senators as against its earlier 41. Before the judgement of the apex court, the APC had 65 senators-elect which would now be reduced to 62; PDP had 41 and the Young Progressives Party (YPP) 1, while the results of Imo North and Imo East senatorial districts are yet to be determined. The incumbent senator representing Imo North, Benjamin Uwajumogu of the APC, who was not satisfied with the outcome of the election in his district, had approached the court to void the result, a matter that is still pending in court. For Imo West, INEC had withdrawn the certificate of return it earlier issued to the Governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha, after the returning officer in the election, alleged that he declared the Governor winner under duress.
This therefore, means that the 9th Senate currently has 107 senators-elect while two seats are pending. Unless the issues around the two senatorial results are resolved as quickly as possible, the districts may not have representatives during the inauguration of the 9th Senate in less than three weeks.
Meanwhile, in Bauchi State, although the INEC declared APC as winner of the Bauchi South senatorial election, the internal wrangling in the party has made the electoral umpire not to announce any particular candidate as the winner. A breakdown of the current senators-elect shows that the APC won 14 Senate seats from the South West while the PDP won 4 in the last senatorial elections. Also, in the South East geopolitical zone, the ruling part secured one seat, YPP one and the PDP got 11 seats as the results of Imo North and Imo East senatorial districts are pending final declaration. In the South South, the PDP captured a total of 15 senatorial seats while the APC secured three seats. The ruling party however won in the North Central, where it secured 13 seats while the opposition party grabbed only five senatorial seats. In the North West, which has the largest number of seven states, the APC won 17 seats while its rival PDP managed to get four seats. Similarly, in the North East, APC won a total of 14 senatorial seats while the Peoples Democratic Party got four seats. In the nation’s political capital, Abuja, which has only one senatorial district, the incumbent Senator, Philip Aduda of the opposition party, won the seat. With the current configuration, it is obvious that the ruling party is going to enjoy simple majority in the next dispensation just as is the status in the elapsing 8th Senate.
INEC meets, to make reaction public on Monday
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will take a decision based on the ruling and make its decision known to the public on Monday. The commission in a statement by its National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said it would meet to deliberate on the issues raised in the Supreme Court judgement. INEC in the statement said it held an emergency meeting on Friday to consider the court’s decision. The statement read: “Following the Supreme Court’s judgment delivered today 24th May 2019 on the governorship, National and State Assembly elections held in Zamfara State, the independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) held an emergency meeting to consider the court’s decision. “The Supreme Court ruled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not hold valid party primaries as required by law
“It held that all the votes scored by the APC in the said elections are wasted votes and declared that the candidates of political parties with the second highest valid votes and the requisite spread should be declared as having been elected. “The commission will meet again on Saturday (today) to further deliberate on the issues arising from the said judgment, while the final decision on the matter will be communicated to the public on Monday 27 May 2019.”
Zamfara: Judiciary has shown courage, professionalism – Atiku, Dickson
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, Seriake Dickson, have said that the judiciary has displaced courage and professionalism, by the ruling. In a separate statements, Atiku and Dickson, said the judgement was “pleasing to the ears” and commended the Supreme Court justices for putting Nigeria first. Atiku in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe stated that “When justice prevails, the people rejoice, chains are broken, freedom is multiplied and society is enriched.”
He commended the apex court justices for putting aside the interests of the powerful and upholding the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians. “God first, Nigeria second, must be our priority as trustees of the people,” Atiku stressed. The former Vice President expressed the hope that “the Supreme Court and our Lords Justices will let Lady Justice have full reign in other petitions that will come before them, and that good conscience, fear of God and the rule of law will prevail.
“In so doing, they will write their names for good in the sands of time and avoid the infamy that oppressors wish to thrust on them as their legacy.” He congratulated the beneficiary of the judgment, Hon. Bello Matawalle and the people of Zamfara, adding “the storm is over and peace and calm are coming to Zamfara.” Dickson on his part, said the ruling by the five-member panel of the Supreme Court lead by Justice Paul Adamu Galinji, was victory for justice and democracy in action. He congratulated the gubernatorial candidate of PDP, Mutawalle, “on his victory at the Supreme Court whose ruling returned him as the winner of the gubernatorial election in the state. “I also commend the leaders of the PDP and the teeming supporters of the party in Zamfara for their dedication and resilience. “And very importantly, I thank the judiciary, once again, for standing up to the expectations of the wellmeaning Nigerian public as a strong, impartial arbiter that could be trusted.
APC agonises, as governors console Yari
The National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday agonized over the judgment of Supreme Court judgement on Zamfara State governorship and legislative elections. The news of the judgement threw the APC National Working Committee and the staff at the National Headquarters into a moody situation. Members of the Working Committee who had been to the secretariat for a meeting expressed different reservations of the Supreme Court ruling. This is coming as the APC Governors’ Forum visited and consoled the Zamfara State governor, Alhaji Abdullazizi Yari over the Supreme Court judgement. The governors, led by its new chairman, Kebbi State governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu, trouped to the Zamfara State governor’s house in Maitama, Abuja after the judgment to console the governor. This led to the new chairman of the Progressives Governor Forum, Atiku Bagudu, rescheduling his maiden press briefing.
According to the Director General of the PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman, who called off the briefing said the chairman and other Progressives Governor could not meet with the Press because of the Zamfara judgment. He said, the PGF chairman led other APC governors to the house of the Zamfara State governor. Among the governors that went with Bagudu to Yari’s house were governors of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello; Edo State, Godwin Obaseki; and Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi. On the election of Bagudu as the PGF chairman, the Director General said “The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), comprising all state governors elected on the platform of the APC, at their meeting, on Thursday, at Imo State Government Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, unanimously elected Kebbi State Governor HE Atiku Bagudu as Chairman of the Forum. Speaking on the ruling, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Niyi Adebayo, said it was a bad day for the party.
Lamenting that there was no way the party would have been happy with the ruling. Also, the APC National Organising Secretary, Chief Emma Ibediro said it was an agonised day, expressing reservations over the ruling. The National Vice Chairman, South South, Hilliard Eta in his reaction said: “It’s a sad day for every member of the APC. It’s a very sad day for us.” On internal democracy, he said: “for me, I am a democrat. The issue of internal democracy is a serious problem in our country but it is work in progress. We have made a lot of stride in the party.” On whether the party mismanaged the crises in Zamfara, he said: “I don’t think that the party mismanaged the crises in our Zamfara state chapter. We don’t have any option than to accept the judgement of the Supreme Court and go ahead and learn some lessons from it. That is what I can say for now
Two Israeli drones crash in Beirut – Hezbollah
An Israeli drone came down and another exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, Lebanon, an official from the group said.
Residents of the Iran-backed group’s stronghold in the south of the Lebanese capital reported one large explosion that shook the area early on Sunday, triggering a fire.
They said the nature of the blast in the Moawwad neighbourhood was not immediately clear but said it may have been caused by the drone that went down in the area amid Israeli air activity in neighbouring Syria.
The Hezbollah official, who spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity, said the drone crashed before dawn close to the organisation’s media centre in the suburb of Dahyeh.
Residents told the Associated Press they heard an aircraft flying just before the blast and reported later that Hezbollah sealed off the area.
One building appeared to be slightly damaged where the drone went down. A man was seen taking away metal fragments in a white plastic bag that he said contained parts of the aircraft that went down.
The Israeli military said it does not comment on “foreign reports”.
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said it was “a densely populated neighbourhood in the Lebanese capital and also a Hezbollah stronghold”.
Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanese airspace and have struck inside neighbouring Syria from Lebanon on numerous occasions.
Late on Saturday, the Israeli military attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone attack on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.
The raid, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Al Quds force, working with allied Shia fighters, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.
Syrian state TV said the country’s air defences responded to “hostile” projectiles over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.
In recent days, US officials said Israeli attacks have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq.
Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006. The volatile border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm since.
…IPOB breeding enemies for S’East –Balarabe Musa
•Attack destroyed Ndigbo legacies, integrity in global politics –Yakassai
•It’s wake up call for others –Ohanaeze
lder statesman and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has berated the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) for putting spanners in the wheels of the quest for an Igbo presidency in 2023.
Reacting to the agitation for the zoning of the presidency to the South East on the heels of the attack by IPOB on Ike Ekweremadu last weekend, Musa said that he is among those canvassing for Igbo presidency in 2023, but that IPOB is making their job difficult.
Musa said: “They (IPOB) are now breeding enemies for the South East. We are campaigning for the presidency to go to the South East, even though zoning was introduced by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that we are opposed to. It is good for us as a country because it gives every person and area a sense of belonging.
“So we support the zoning and we are saying the presidency should go to the South East and we have our reason. Now, they are making our job even more difficult and they are not helping even the people in the South East .”
On the attack on Ike Ekweremadu, the former governor of old Kaduna State said: “IPOB is wrong to have attacked the former deputy president of the Senate. Even though we are opposed to them because they are a separatist organisation, because they are an organisation that wants to separate NIGERIA, but we also have sympathy for them because they have genuine grievances.
“They are now spoiling the little sympathy they have by doing what they did. It is uncalled for, the person they attacked is an individual, not an organisation. I think it’s wrong for them to have done so.
“They are also making it difficult for us. Even though we are opposed to them as a separatist group, we have sympathy for them because of their grievances. But this mindless violence is making them to lose sympathy. I expect them to be concerned with organisations, not individuals; they should engage individuals with reasons. They should stop this violence.”
Musa added: “The threat on the South East Governors is not worth it. As a separatist organisation like Afenifere, OPC, Northern Elders Forum and so on, these are separatist groups, what they are doing will further alienate them from people that have any sympathy for them.”
Also weighing in, Elder Statesman and former adviser to late former President Shehu Shagari, Mallam Tanko Yakasai said that the hostile position of the Igbo Nation to Northern Nigeria and not the attack on Ekweremadu would do damage to their ambition.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, Tanko Yakasai, said: “Neither the Ndigbo collaboration with the Yorubas nor the entire South would make them realize their ambition, but the support of the entire country.
“The votes of the entire South can’t produce the president in 2023, neither would the North alone. We need one another, and the Igbos who are being favored by some elites are showing some uncompromising attitudes that would completely deny them the chance of producing the president.
“Although there are strong agitations to allow Igbos to have the 2023 bid, but that is within the elites. What happens to the downtrodden electorates? Northerners are not that stupid.”
Yakasai continued: “Talking about what happened to Ekweremadu, that has proven to the world that these people have problems and they cannot be trusted. That action has completely destroyed their legacies and integrity in global politics.
“Ekweremadu is a leader with no match in the entire South East in the current dispensation. Do not forget he was Deputy Senate President thrice and he has done all he could for the Igbos, but because of the behaviour of some, look at how they disgraced themselves.”
But the apex Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo differs. Rather, it said the Nuremberg, Germany show of shame would enhance the Igbo 2023 presidential ambition.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Pan Igbo group, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, drew a parallel to similar attacks on former President Goodluck Jonathan by Ijaw youths as well as rejection of former President Olusegun Obasanjo by the Yorubas in 1999 and yet both still became presidents of Nigeria.
Ibegbu also argued that despite the terrorist activities of Boko Haram and the attendant killings and destruction of the economy of the North East and other parts of the North, both current president Muhammadu Buhari and late President Umaru Yar’Adua still became the president of Nigeria.
The Ohanaeze spokesperson said that the action of IPOB, though misguided to the extent that it was violent and targeted at the wrong person, will serve as wake up call for Igbo leaders, especially the governors, to rise to their responsibilities to the people that elected them into office.
He counseled IPOB not to use illegal means to address their grievances, noting that Ekweremadu was a victim of circumstance; as he had been at the forefront of the fight against the marginalization of Ndigbo and also one of those that secured the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB when he was detained.
“The attack by Ijaw militants on Jonathan did it stop him from becoming president. They attacked him. I was in Yenagoa the day they attacked him, attacked his house, sacked him from his house. Did it stop him from becoming president?
“The refusal of the Yoruba to support Obasanjo, did it stop him from becoming president? Yoruba voted against Obasanjo, they voted for Olu Falaye.
“Boko Haram militants and their killings did it stop Buhari and Yar’Adua from becoming presidents? Why must everything about Ndigbo, even we ourselves we start doubting ourselves?
“There is no effect. It (attack on Ekweremadu) will not stop the Igbo presidency; in fact, it will enhance it. How? Because these young men are not happy with the situation of things in the country. They are not happy that they are politically, economically and socially marginalized. They are venting their anger, although misguidedly. They are venting their misguided anger because I don’t think Ekweremadu deserves that treatment.
“Ekweremadu is seen as being at the forefront of de-marginalisation of Ndigbo. He was one of those that stood for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, he was one of those that worked against Operation Python Dance. So the attack on him was misguided. I think he was a victim of circumstance.
“My advice to IPOB is that they should not use illegal means to approach their grievances. I know they have grievances, but they should not use illegal means and unlawful means; and it will also be a lesson to those who are not doing anything in Igbo land.
“I’m aware some governors owe their workers’ salaries and pensions; I’m aware that infrastructures in some states are dilapidate. I don’t want to mention names. Our cities are dilapidated and the little money that comes to South East, they pocket it. So this is a warning to them that they should live up to expectation,” he said.
Another woman raped, murdered in Enugu by suspected herdsmen
Ohanaeze calls for investigation
Less than 74 hours after 67-year-old Mrs. Pat Ugwu was raped and murdered in her farm by suspected herdsmen at Nchatancha Nike, Emene Enugu in Enugu East LGA, another woman has been raped and killed around St Benard Road, Nchatancha Nike, Enugu.
A resident of Emene area who gave the information to Sunday Telegraph, said the woman was a native of Akpugo and was attacked by suspected herdsmen on her way to Emene in the morning of Saturday.
The source, who could not give the name of the victim, said the development has sparked panic among residents of the area, even as security personnel had been alerted.
But in a quick reaction, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the death of a woman however, said the body of the deceased was found floating in a river.
Amaraizu said the locals alerted the police who rushed to the area to take charge of the situation.
He said there was no mark on the body of the woman to suggest rape.
The PPRO, however, said police were still investing the matter with a view to ascertaining what happened.
“There was no mark on the body of the woman to suggest rape or violence, and the incident happened around Nkwubor Emene, not Nchatancha,” he said.
Meanwhile President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has called for thorough investigation into the killing of Mrs. Ugwu.
In a release by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Emeka Attamah, the President General said that though the Executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu State had visited the home of the victim, it was still necessary for him to add his voice to the condemnation of the dastardly and inhuman act.
Chief Nwodo decried the growing tendency of some detractors of the state government who are out to destabilise the peace and tranquility in Enugu State that earned it the sobriquet of the most peaceful state in the country.
The President General enjoined the state government not to be distracted by enemies of progress, but to continue to carry out measures it has put in place to secure lives and property in the state.
He called on security agencies to unravel the conspiracy and tendency of hoodlums who are making the state insecure through incessant kidnappings and killings which hitherto were absent.
Chief Nwodo commiserated with the family of the deceased and urged them to bear the loss with fortitude.
Chief Nwodo called for general vigilance and precautions among the people to nip these acts in the bud.
Meanwhile Enugu State Government has directed the Management of ESUT Teaching Hospital Parklane, Enugu, to immediately carry out an autopsy on the deceased.
In a statement the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, the medical exercise is to assist the security agencies in their ongoing investigations.
Primate Ayodele predicts outcomes of Bayelsa, Kogi Edo guber polls
The servant of God, Primate Elijah Ayodele of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke Afa, Isolo, Lagos, has released some prophecy regarding elections coming up in some states in the country in few months’ time.
Speaking at a press presentation of the latest edition of his best seller, “Warning to the Nations, the 2019/202 and Beyond Edition”, the servant of God revealed the parties that will likely win the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Edo states.
According to him: “For the election in Bayelsa in November, if it is free and fair, PDP will win. In Kogi State, it is going to be volatile; if PDP wants to get it right and win, Dino Melaye should be the best candidate for them; otherwise Governor Yahaya Bello will retain that seat. In Edo State, PDP cannot get it. If PDP don’t want to waste their money, let them wait for the next four years because APC will still retain that seat. I appeal to Governor Obaseki of Edo State to align with his boss, Adams Oshiomhole, continue with his developmental projects, that will help him coast to victory. At the moment PDP cannot take Edo State, it will still be maintained by APC.”
Primate Ayodele has been publishing prophesies since 1994 and has always given insights to the happenings going on in various arms of government all over the
world and a number of his prophecies have been proven to come to pass at various points in time.
Speaking also at the press conference, the Primate warned former Vice President Atiku Abubakar not to continue in pursuit of his mandate at the tribunal as it will not come to fruition.
“For Atiku and Buhari tribunal, Atiku should step down. The money he is using to hire lawyers to go for further court cases should be used to help the poor in our society because it will be a waste for him to continue. He can still pursue his cause later in the next election but he cannot win at the tribunal or even at the Supreme Court. As for the Kano case at the tribunal, PDP’s governorship candidate will win it but it will be maneuverer.”
The Primate did not give a positive prediction concerning the economy, saying the country is likely to go into another recession if care is not taken.
“We are still going to face another recession if we are not careful enough because Nigeria is broke; that’s what’s God said to me. Buhari should not take the security issues for granted thinking he can handle it. He should sack all the service chiefs because they don’t know what they are doing again. He should put the right people there so that the country can move forward. Buhari should also change his economic team and put competent hands so that the poor will not continue to stone the rich,” he said.
Archbishop Martins to ministers: Be selfless, patriotic, diligent
he Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, has admonished the newly sworn-in Ministers of the Federal Republic to serve the nation with utmost diligence and deep sense of patriotism in their various Ministries in order to help the President move the nation to greater heights.
He gave counsel in a statement issued through the Acting Director of Social Communications, Lagos Archdiocese, Rev Fr Anthony Godonu, and made available to journalist yesterday.
While congratulating the new ministers on their appointments, the Archbishop reminded them that they have a great responsibility as the country was going through very difficult times in all facets.
Hence he charged new cabinet to rise up to the demands of their offices by hitting the ground running and being alive to the yearnings of all segments of Nigerians who, the Archbishop noted had been clamoring for better life.
His words: “There have been varying analysis and evaluation of the appointments but what is beyond contention is that the challenges before the new ministers are enormous. They are coming in or being re-appointed at a time when there is so much distress, anger and dissatisfaction among the people.
“The expectations of Nigerians are high since their desire for no more than the barest minimum of good living has been left unfulfilled for far too long. So, we hope that the Ministers would hit the ground running.”
The Cleric took cognizance that the two-day gathering or retreat organized for the Ministers should have helped them to identify the various ways their ministries can impact meaningfully on the lives of the people.
He added that he ruling party had made lots of promises pointing out that Nigerians only hope that the Ministers would work to ensure that the promises would not go the way of similar promises made in the past that were not satisfactorily discharged.
“It is only by making the lives of people manifestly better that they would be able to justify their appointments to these high offices,” Archbishop Martins stated.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari and his Ministers to avail themselves of wise counsel from all well-meaning Nigerians irrespective of the source of counsel.
“The President should use his second term in office to make amends for all the shortfalls of his first tenure, namely: security of lives and property, supply of constant and stable power (electricity), fixing the dwindling economy as well as consolidating on the construction and provision of social infrastructure in country,” he added.
Owerri Declaration: Igbo leaders demand autonomous status for Igboland
•Say ‘Anarchy prevails in all spheres of the society’
gbo leaders and development groups in Igboland, weekend rose from the 2019 Igbo National Summit with a demand for the autonomy of Igbo land and her neighbours.
The summit was convened by Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) led by Prof. Uzodimma Nwala; World Igbo Congress (WIC) led by Prof. Anthony Ejiofor; Association of South-East Town Unions (ASETU) led by Chief Emeka Diwe and Christian Association of Nigeria, South-East (CAN-SE) led by Bishop Goddy Okafor.
The summit which was convened primarily to discuss the peace, security and development of Igboland and her neighbours, regretted that the endemic instability in Nigeria was due to the inherent incompatibility of values among the dominant religions, traditions and cultures of its indigenous ethnic nationalities.
Participants regretted that the democratic norms that would have provided the regulatory and binding force for all Nigerians is missing by the deliberate machination of a few.
A communiqué signed by 11 Igbo groups read in part: “The participant note that today the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it exists today is a phantom political state which has lost all the basic principles of rule of law, justice, equity and humane values; anarchy now prevails in all spheres of the society.”
The communiqué continued: “Given the daunting and unabated militarization of our homeland by extortionist Police and Military agents of state, the senseless and conscienceless killing of our clergy, the condescending sacking of our churches, villages and rural communities, the routine rape of our women, mothers, wives and daughters, the wilful destruction of farmlands and humiliating desecration of our sacred traditional grooves, shrines and deities by ravaging terrorist Fulani herdsmen; the immolate destruction of our lives and properties; and the wanton implementation of the obnoxious RUGA policy despite widespread citizen rejection and resistance, we hereby declare that our people are no longer willing to live a life of meaningless existence in Nigeria.”
Furthermore, it urged that Ndigbo and her willing neighbours be regarded as an autonomous region, with the right to full control of her territory, her resources, her executive and legislative institutions, her judiciary, her economic and social resources among other things.
We must take action against slavery –Buhari
resident Muhammadu Buhari has called for strong action against all forms of slavery around the world.
The President said although slave trade had been abolished 400 years ago, African descent are still facing the effects of the dehumanizing legacy.
President Buhari, in a article to marks the United Nations (UN) declaration of International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, said centuries ago, the first 20 documented African slaves arrived on the shores of Virginia. In the years that followed, millions more were shipped in dehumanizing conditions across the ocean and enslaved.
In the article published in the Washington Post newspaper, President Buhari says slavery had, of course, existed before, it thus indicated the beginning of a mechanized trade that saw human beings reduced to property on an unprecedented scale.
He said: “Despite the fact that descendants of African slaves have made valuable contributions across the society, they are still dealing with the effects of this poisonous legacy. They still have to navigate its everyday manifestations, such as discrimination, racism or lack of access to resources and opportunities. This must not be overlooked or forgotten.”
The article reads in part: “Yet, as we reflect on this day, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition, it is clear slavery did not only thrive then. It still thrives today. Across the world it is estimated there are as many as 40 million men, women and children living in forced servitude. They are the industrial victims of a business many believe was abolished hundreds of years ago. They are the modern enslaved.
“Their exploitation appears in many guises, though usually unrecognized as slavery. Many victims are unseen, hidden beneath opaque supply chains. Others are hidden in plain sight, entrapped by circumstances that rob them of autonomy. In any case, their labor, often dangerous, is no product of choice, and its conditions are self-perpetuating.
“In Africa, its modern forms include debt bondage, the enslavement of war captives, commercial sexual exploitation and forced domestic servitude. Holding people held against their will, controlling their movements and forcing them to work for the sole profit of others — wherever they are — is slavery today and always.”
It continued that: “The abolitionists of the 19th century succeeded more than any before: By working to extinguish the transatlantic slave trade that had claimed 15 million victims, they laid the groundwork to ensure it did not manufacture millions more. But their work is not done. We must take up their examples as we forge a path forward to eliminate modern-day slavery in all its forms.
“Slavery, once again, has become entwined in the global economy — and it is largely unseen. For instance, most of us might know in principle that the mining of cobalt crucial to our smartphones might have used forced labor. But what do we know of those that experience it? Just as personal testimony and resulting public pressure led to the passing of the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Britain in 1807, these stories must be told and used to inform policy. Once heard, they can elevate visceral reactions, driving the public pressure needed to ensure the application of anti-slavery laws.
“One distinction from then and now is important: the costs. From records, adjusted for today’s prices, the cost of a human-being-as-property was valued on average at $40,000. Today, it is just $90, sometimes even lower. We must remember that slavery is not simply a campaign of hatred; it is the pursuit of profit. One way to extinguish it in its current forms, therefore, is to make it economically unfeasible. This means making sure that any anti-slavery laws have bite, come with strong penalties and are enforced.”
President Buhari notes that: “It is also vital to have a robust tip-off and reporting system. Where this once meant detecting ships, today the signs are less conspicuous. The public must be shown how to see what is hidden in plain sight, particularly signs of suspicious behavior. This might seem broad. But vagueness should not give rise to reluctance to report anything that could be smuggling or forced servitude. If something doesn’t look right, report it, for you could be securing another human’s freedom.
“In Nigeria, our anti-trafficking agency has rolled out the ‘Not for Sale’ campaign to protect against the deceptions of human smugglers, helping those who might be vulnerable to false promises see through the ruse and say no,” the article noted.
APC to kidnap kingpin: Name APC members who gave you money
n reaction to the allegation of the Kidnap Kingpin, Hamisu Balla, popularly known as Wadume, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) gave him N13 million as a political thug to work for the party during the elections, the party has asked the alleged kidnapper to names it’s members who gave him money.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who reacted to the allegation, dissociated the party from any relationship with the kidnapper.
According to him, APC would not in any way patronize a thug for its election, as such behaviour ended with opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wadume, who was recently arrested by policemen for kidnapping, in an interview with a national daily, denied being a kidnapper, but refered to himself as a political thug that worked for the ruling party in the last elections.
But reacting to his allegation, Onilu said, “It is expected that the alleged kidnapper, haven come face to face with justice, would throw whatever he could lay his hands on into the fray.
“In any case, our party did not have budget for thugs. Unlike the period when the ruling party dipped hands into the public treasury to fund political campaigns and elections, APC had to rely on its own resources. Even if we had all the money, we would never allocate money for kidnappers and murderers. That era ended with PDP.
“Perhaps, he can name whoever gave him money. Definitely, it was not APC. From his purported confession, he claimed to be a PDP member before he went on to contest under another party.”
War against terror: How we smoke out insurgents –Theatre Commader
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army and Sector Commander Sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Major General AbdulMalik Bulama Biu, has assured the residents that his men would do all within their power to ensure they give the insurgents a bloody nose.
Major General Biu gave the assurance recently, while giving an account of what his men have been doing to give no space for the remnants to carry out their attacks on innocent citizens.
Also, he said that seriousness is required on all concerned for the enemies to be hurriedly quashed. What we are seriousness. “What we are doing now is to go after them and smoke them out from their enclaves to ensure that we conclude this business that we are very much in a hurry to do.”
“In a speedy move to stamp out insurgents”, he continued, “Army created Operation Alakadodo, which was intended to focus more greatly and more closely under degrading the remaining marauding Boko Haram insurgents.
“Not that Boko Haram has been substantially degraded, so what they go around is to look for some targets or look for a way to make they relevant by attacking here and there on some of these targets.”
Since his redeployment as the Commander sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole he said: “We have been engaging with the terrorists, on a daily basis, on hourly basis, a minute basis, my business is to look out for Boko Haram and look out for those that are very adamant.
“In spite of the fact that they have been given the opportunity to lay down their arms , so that they can be integrated into the society, but for those of them that have remained adamant, we are on the watch every minute, hour for everyday, and for every week for them.
“And in most of these timings that I have outlined to you, there are occasions, that we have engagement with them. But every day that we go out, we locate them in some of their hideouts. We make contacts with them as they maraud about. As they run here and there, we try to bring them to book.
“I must say that, if you look at the fight against terrorism before now, it has been so difficult, because of the issue of perception. The issue of understanding of the people and that is why we have always been on top of our game in terms of our civil military relations.
“We’ve tried to also up of our game or trying to call on the civil populace to understand that this war is not about the war against the army alone, or the security agencies.
“It is not even the war against the Borno State, but this is a war that seeks to undermine the corporate existence of Nigeria, as a people to undermine our national security.
“So our call has been very consistent that the people must be together with us, share with us, understand the problem together, and then we find the solution together. And I think if I look at it days back or years back and now, there is a lot of achievement.
“Today, I can say we are enjoying a lot of good level of information from the civil populace. We have seen some individuals, but not trying to condemn the sector and their activities. What we are trying to say which is very fundamentalist is the fact that we are still not there.
“There is a need for everybody to continuously come on board, so that we can all together in unity, strength put hands together, so that we will be able to complete this business.
“Because this is the only sure way in getting this done, as far as possible, so we will continue to encourage people to have faith in the Nigerian military, to have faith on the security agencies that they are also stakeholders, so that we work together and be able to conclude the problem.”
He, however, debunked the speculation that the three neigbouring countries were working against the Nigerian military, “I will tell you that, the neigbouring countries Niger, Chad and Cameroon, we are working together. As I speak, Operation Yankytanshi, the Chadians are there with us, they are operating operation Yankytanshi.
“Two days, we had an encounter in Wulgo, which is on the border, between Nigeria and Cameroon. We are jointly with the Nigerian Defence forces cleared in those areas and defeated the insurgency on that land.
“So one cannot say that we are not working together, you see the expectations of human beings are always very high. And a times we just assumed something, but I can tell you, we have multinational task forces belonging to the countries that are contiguous for us.
“We are working together, whatever we are doing as far as this insurgency is, there is gap, however, whatever we are doing, we can do better and work better than what we are doing.”
He assured Nigerians,“I think it is a stale news now for Nigerians to say that if the military is optimistic of the winning the war on terrorism, they know that. Nigerians we are winning the war, that is why, the hope of the Nigerians is increasing on a daily basis.
“And we saw that as amply demonstrated by their commitment, by giving information and to collaborate with us. I tell you any of the movement of the Boko Haram, we are getting the information.
“Their movement wherever they are, I can tell you, only few of them are marauding within the few of the ungovernable spaces and we will close up one day certainly.”
With all successes recanted in defeating Boko haram by the Sector 2 Commander, the army Chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai during the Nigerian Army Day Celebration, (NADCEL), July 6 presented awards and cash of two million naira each along with other officers for the commendation of excellence.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the accelerated promotion and subaltern of the Nigerian Army, along with others two officers and were granted promotion for their extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the North Eastern part of the country.
Reacting to the army Chief’s recognition, Biu said: “It was an opportunity for me to show myself, I have gone there and I had put in my very best.
“The Chief of Army Staff has aggregated my contribution there and said indeed it is worth commending and this is how, I have been awarded this Chief of Army Staff Award of Commendation for Excellence.
He said the award gingered him to work harder: “It is something that will continue to inspire me to continue to put in my very best as a professional military officer and to the service of my country, Nigeria.”
Biu, who was not excited on the cash attached for his excellence performance, said, “I feel great of the excellence award, it is not even the issue of the monetary value that goes with the award.
“How else will I appreciate the Chief of Army Staff for bringing me before the Mammoth crowd and says I appreciate what you are doing?
“What you are doing is worth being recognized, that is a great thing for me, like I say today, I have been challenge once again to put in the very very best.
“If I have every other thing that would do more than I have done leading me to this award today, I am ready to bring it out and I will continue from there.
Recalling, “All that is going in 7 Division, Maiduguri, is ensuring that the Operation Lafiya Dole continue to work towards a very speedy resolution of the war against terrorism that we have been undertaken, and this will do with fashion, focus with a lot of strategist.”
Attack on Ekweremadu: We’re afraid of Igbo presidency –ACF
…says court justified in calling IPOB terror group
rewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has raised the fear that the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) may scuttle the chances of the South East producing the President in Nigeria in 2023.
The ACF said that other sections of the country are now genuinely afraid that a president of Igbo extraction can lead to the the break up of the country. The forum’s statement is based on the attack of Ike Ekweremadu recent by IPOB members in Germany.
Speaking through its Secretary-General, Anthony Sani, ACF told Sunday Telegraph that the implications of the attack on the Igbo Presidency in 2023, “would be the fear by other sections of the country that a president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction could play Gorbachev and cause the split of the country.”
He, however, added that, “the good news is that majority of Igbos do not share the aspirations of IPOB, which is to cause the disintegration of the country.
“Most Igbos seem to share the view that the certain benefits of togetherness are far more than uncertain gains of disintegration of the country. This is because there is not enough land for the Igbos in the South East.
“Igbo people, more than any ethnic group in the country, need large domestic market for expression of their commercial acumen by way of trading, considering that millions of Igbos have settled and invested outside their Igbo land.”
The Northern group scribe added: “I saw the attacks of the Deputy Senate President in a foreign land as vindication of Nigeria’s courts, which passed the judgment that IPOB is a terrorists group. Otherwise, the platform would use democratic due process to pursue its aspirations.
“As a result, both Nigeria and the international community would not take IPOB serious, by dismissing their members as group of rascals who have no idea of what they want, let alone how to pursue it.”
On the threat directed at the South East Governors, Anthony Sani said: “The threat to attack the governors of the South East further demonstrates the wisdom of those who believe members of IPOB are not democrats, but group of rascals with no idea of what constitute multi-party democracy.
“As a result, they are merely stone groping in the wild sea. Otherwise, they would know that the governors are elected by the people of the South East, and not by ghosts. And there is no way IPOB can realize its aspirations without the support of the elected leaders from the South East.”
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