Former Governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has disclosed that he had to step down his ambition for the position of Deputy Senate President in deference to discipline and supremacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Kalu, who spoke at a private reception for family and political associates in Abuja, on Tuesday, hailed the peaceful nature of election of the new leadership of the Senate and congratulated the new leadership of the red chamber.
“The APC, as a party, had already made a decision. If they have made a decision, we should all abide by the decision because party is supreme. It is only these days that I am not seeing the supremacy of the party.
“In all my life, from NPN to all the parties I have seen, the party is supreme. That was why I stepped down because once the party says it is over, it is over because the party is us and we are the party.
“So, if our party says this is the position, we have zoned this here, we must respect the will of the party,” Kalu said.
He charged the newly elected Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, to follow due process in the discharge of their duties.
“It is a very smooth day. APC had its way because what we planned worked for APC by voting in a bipartisan manner which is the essence of constitutional democracy.
“In any parliament with majority members, the ruling party must elect the officers. Not the minority party. It is becoming abnormal in the Nigerian political system where in any House there is majority, minority also wants to get involved. In the real sense, there is no room for minority in going for anything,” Kalu said.
The former governor added that it was not a normal practice of sincere democracy to see the minority making moves to control the parliament, noting that it was a cunning democracy in practice.
On Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s participation in the contest, Kalu faulted the move, saying that the APC, as the ruling party, should have the key presiding officers.
He, however, proffered solution that the rules of the Senate should be amended in such a way that anytime there is a party with majority members, they should form the leadership.
According to him, the actions of Ekweremadu and Senator Ali Ndume were not, in anyway, taken for the sake of safeguarding the independence of the legislature.
N2trn spent on constituency projects without results – ICPC
T he Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said the nation had spent about N2 trillion on constituency projects without commensurate development at the grassroots.
The commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, quoted the chairman as saying this at the induction of newly-qualified members of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors in Abuja.
Owasanoye, while making emphasis on the ongoing tracking of constituency projects by the commission in 12 states, said that the exercise was not to witch-hunt anyone.
He said that tracking the projects was an important assignment for ICPC as the nation had spent about N2 trillion on the funding since 2000 without commensurate impact at the grassroots.
Owasanoye, however, said that ICPC would not hesitate to prosecute any contractor that has failed to deliver on the projects, including accomplices.
He said that ICPC commenced the Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG) initiative to ensure proper implementation of funded projects at the various constituencies across the nation.
He further said that the initiative was already yielding positive results as some contractors had gone back to site to complete unfinished projects.
He, however, noted that the commission was collaborating with the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in the on-going exercise.
Nigerians are worried over insecurity –Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has confirmed that many Nigerians are worried over the rising incident of insecurity across the country.
To this end, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the weekend, directed him to consult widely with traditional rulers across the country with the view to finding lasting solutions.
He said: “As you know, there are many significant concerns all over the country; and of course there are concerns also in the South-West.”
Most parts of the country have been faced with cases of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, insurgency and the herders/farmers crisis.
Osinbajo, who has already began the tour to traditional rulers, told the Akarigbo of Remo land and the Awujale of Ijebu land in Ogun State on Saturday that the Federal Government was determined to tackle the challenge and restore peace in the land.
Oyegun to Oshiomhole: You’re fuelling Edo Assembly crisis
Former National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday took a swipe at his successor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, describing him as a disgrace to the ruling party and Edo State.
Oyegun, who was reacting to the ongoing battle for supremacy between Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki, accused the APC National Chairman of fuelling the crisis plaguing the Edo State House of Assembly in a desperate bid to remain in control of the power levers in the state.
The former party leader, who once governed Edo State, said he was yet to come to terms as to why Oshiomhole, who claims to have fought and defeated political godfathers in Edo State during his tenure, would choose to play the godfather after he had completed his tenure and moved on to higher responsibilities.
Oyegun, in a statement issued by his Public Affairs Adviser, Chief Ray Morphy, wondered why Oshiomhole failed to realise that Governor Obaseki should be supported as the only APC governor in the South-South geopolitical zone rather than vilifying and destabilising his administration.
He specifically urged the Progressive Governors’ Forum not to stand aside and watch their fellow governor being harassed and distracted by a party chairman whose actions may lead to political misfortune for the party.
His words: “The recent outburst by Governor Obaseki and the report by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee, indicting the current National Chairman of the APC, have confirmed my earlier claim that Oshiomhole is not only the architect, but is also responsible for fuelling the crisis in Edo state.
“In the face of these confirmations, I want to urge Oshiomhole to stop disgracing the ruling party and the good people of Edo State. I wonder how he could easily forget that I never interfered or bothered about how he ran the government as the then governor of Edo State all the while I occupied the position of the party’s National Chairman.
“I am yet to come to terms why it has become difficult for Oshiomhole to realise that Governor Obaseki is the only APC governor in the entire South-south and should be allowed to concentrate in giving the people of Edo the dividend of democracy.
“It is shocking that a man who boastfully claimed to have buried godfatherism in the Edo State politics could become enmeshed in playing God to his successor. Oshiomhole is not only guilty of godfatherism, but also guilty of anti-party activities considering the ignorable role he has been playing and his shameful involvement in the whole Edo crisis.
“Rather than dissipating energy in fomenting more crises, Oshiomhole should rather concentrate in ensuring that the Federal Government policies conform with the party’s manifesto and campaign promises to the good people of this country.
“I appeal to him once more to stop disgracing the governing party, the APC and Edo State. He should give the governor a breathing space to concentrate in doing the job of serving the people of Edo State.
“I want to also appeal to the APC governors not to stand aside and watch their fellow governor hampered by a party chairman whose actions may lead to political misfortune of the party in the state.”
However, the Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, has dismissed the statement, insisting that Oyegun himself should speak instead of passing his message through a proxy.
Asked to comment on the story credited to Oyegun against his principal, Ebegbulem said: “I have no comment. Chief Oyegun is a respected leader of the party and an elder statesman. Comrade Oshiomhole has so much respect for him. If he really wants to address Oshiomhole, he can come out openly to address the man who succeeded him in office and not one Murphy.”
Police dismiss news of poisoned meat in Enugu
Enugu state police command yesterday dismissed speculations that cow meat sold in a community market in Enugu was poisoned.
The state police command was reacting to a viral video showing several dead vultures in a local market, Ihe in Awgu local government area. An unidentified voice in the video attributed the death of the vultures on consumption of poisoned cow meat at the local abattoir consumed by the birds.
The voice was warning people not to consume cow meat sold in the market that day (Saturday), alleging that herdsmen poisoned the cow slaughtered in the market.
The viral video raised a lot of concern and panic among Enugu residents. But reacting to the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu dismissed the video and the alleged speculation of poisoned cow, saying it was the activities of bird hunters that caused the death of the vultures.
He said: “The attention of the Enugu state command of the Nigeria police force has been drawn to a wide speculations occasioned by a video in circulation that a lot of vultures consumed cow meat and died in Enugu community.
“The command wishes to inform members of the public that there is no cause for alarm as enquiry conducted by the command revealed that it is the activity of bird hunters(poachers) who usually mix some concoction with slaughtered animal left overs and faeces with a view to attracting vultures to it and to consume it.
“Further information gathered revealed that after consuming it, vultures will be weak and subsequently die for them to go and pick it .However, some vultures believed to have taken the concoction of these bird hunters(poachers) fell down Enugu community market and were not able to be picked on time before the widespread speculations.
DAAR Communications petitions IGP over threat to facilities
The management of DAAR Communications Plc. has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, over alleged threat to the media outfit’s facilities across the country.
In the petition titled, ‘threat to facilities and premises’ dated 19th July, 2019, the Group Managing Director of DAAR Communications Plc., Mr. Tony Akiotu, sought for the IGP’s intervention by immediately deploying additional security personnel details around the company’s facilities nationwide to prevent any attack.
The petition reads: “We write to convey the goodwill and greetings of the Chairman, Board of Directors, Management and Staff of DAAR Communications Plc, operators ofAfrica Independent Television (AIT), Raypower FM and Faaji FM platforms.
“We have reports that indicate that our facilities in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos and other locations around Nigeria are under imminent threat.
“The reports contend that these premises may be attacked anytime between this evening and the weekend.
“Consequent upon this, this letter submits a formal request for your kind intervention and approval for the immediate deployment of additional security personnel details around the facilities nationwide to prevent any attack.
“While counting on your prompt intervention, kindly accept the assurances of our highest regard.”
Nigerians unfair to Buhari on killings , says Presidency
The Presidency yesterday declared that Nigerians were unfair to the President Mohammadu Buhari over allegations that he was doing nothing about the killings and other security challenges in different parts of the country.
The position of the presidency came through the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu. Speaking on Politics Today on Channels Television in reaction to criticisms from different quarters, including the recent open letter by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and statements credited to other eminent Nigerians on security issues in Nigeria, Garba said President Buhari is running Nigeria very well and people should continue to give him support.
His words: “It would be very unfair to this military general, who fought to keep this country as one; a gentle man who is a father and the grandfather, who is a community leader. President Muhammadu Buhari is responsive on to the security situation.
Politics in this country is about everything. People have turned everything into politics including matter of national security. If people want to make everything politics, they can do so, but at the expense of the wellbeing of this country?
“People have forgotten about Boko Haram and all that. People have forgotten that there was time they couldn’t go to churches on Sunday in some places in this country. In the Mosques, people were been bombed.
This is a government that conquered all that. And then somebody sits down in the comfort of air-conditioner in his parlour and say we are doing nothing. That is absolutely rubbish because it is political and we understand. “Some of these people, they set up political parties and they didn’t perform. They assembled all the enemies so that President Buhari will fail in the election but President Buhari won the election overwhelmingly. And so, what is the big issue there?
The next election is four years away; let them contest for the election.” President Buhari’s spokesman also kicked against calls for convocation of the National Conference. He said those calling for the conference are not democrats.
“To call for a national conference when there is a sitting parliament in place; whoever that is making that call is not a democrat. If we believe in democracy, the Parliament is the highest body representing the entire aspirations of Nigerians. If you have issues you want them to solve, go and put it in form of a proposal but otherwise this government will not run two parallel parliaments because it is not allow by the constitution,” he said.
Garba also disclosed that government have no hands in the travail of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibrahim El Zakzaky, and warned the followers of the El Zakzaky not to push government to the wall with their actions.
“They are not intelligent. If they read our statements correctly, they would have seen an olive branch from that statement. What government said is that we are still open to dialogue and we are willing to abide by adjudication by the court of law.”
Lagos to rehabilitate 100 roads to curb gridlock
Determined to make Lagos roads motorable and ensure free flow of traffic across the state, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday revealed that about 100 roads had been targeted for rehabilitation in the first phase of ongoing road rehabilitation.
Speaking while inspecting rehabilitation of Iju Road by Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Sanwo-Olu said the ongoing road rehabilitation across Lagos was the first phase, saying the state government’s plans about six to seven phases of roads rehabilitation with about 100 expected to the rehabilitated.
The governor said the ongoing works were being carried out day and night, promising to visit one of the eight gangs rehabilitating one of the roads last night to see first- hand how they are working.
According to the governor, once the rehabilitation works were completed, traffic situation across the city would ease, urging residents to be patient, especially if the roads within their area were not listed in the first phase.
The governor assured residents of Ikorodu, especially those living around Igbogbo and Ishawo axis before the end of this month or early August, the main contractors would be back to site. He disclosed that discussion was already on with the main contractors handling the two roads about returning to site, adding that discussion was ongoing with the contractor handling the Agege-Pen Cinema Flyover to also return to site.
While x-raying traffic situation around Iju-Fagba area of Ifako-Ijaye Local Government, Sanwo-Olu threatened to deal with any Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officers found wanting on duty. He also implored residents to change their mindset about not being unruly and indiscipline when held in traffic.
The governor also appealed to motorists to obey traffic rules, saying that when a driver or motorcyclist drove or rode against traffic, the passengers on board are also culpable.
A’Ibom Assembly seeks govt’s intervention on Calabar- Itu road
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to intervene in the failed portion of the Enen- Itam axis of the Calabar-Itu federal road, with a view to alleviating the plight of road users and residents in the area.
The House gave the directive at the weekend at a plenary session, sequel to a motion of urgent public importance raised by the member representing Itu state constituency, Hon. Kufre-Abasi Edidem, who informed the House of the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road, particularly Enen-Itam axis of the road.
He said members of his constituents and other road users were expressing difficulties plying the road; and pleaded that the state government to take urgent intervention measures in the interest of the people.
Speaking on the motion, many lawmakers argued that the current situation of the road was affecting economic activities as the road connected Akwa Ibom with neighbouring Cross River State.
RUGA: Abia monarch lauds government’s restriction on land sales
A prominent Abia monarch, Prof. Sunday Owualah, has expressed joy over the state government’s resolve to henceforth regulate the sale of land above five hectares in any part of the state.
Owualah, who is the traditional ruler of Umuobasi Autnomous Community in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia, stated this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia yesterday.
He said that the state government’s policy had justified his fear about the large expanse of land acquired by the Federal Government for a trailer park at Umuonyeukwu Village and Umueje Village in Arongwa Autonomous Community on the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway.
He was reacting to a media briefing in Umuahia, where Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Mr. Uche Ihediwa, accused him of “malicious insinuations that Abia has already set aside land for Ruga settlement at Arongwa.”
In a statement entitled “Truth of the matter: Trailer park not RUGA,” the monarch described Ihediwa’s accusation as false, saying, “nothing can be farther from the truth than this smear and aspersion on my name and image.”
He, however, admitted that he took up the issue of the land for the trailer park with Ihediwa and the traditional ruler of Arongwa, Eze Edward Enwereji, but said that he never alluded to the RUGA settlement. He said: “I never alluded to RUGA which by then was not known in popular lexicon of Nigeria nor did I maliciously insinuate land being acquired for it.”
He said that he merely cautioned Enwereji on “the need for circumspection, in view of the unfolding developments about cattle colony and cattle route in the country then.”
“My word of caution stemmed from the size of the land involved and the facilities to be hosted in the park,” Owualah said. He said specifically that in his discussion with Ihediwa “I shared my concerns and fears with him for the size of project in a landscarce environment.”
He said that his worry further stemmed from the possibility that the land could be “diverted for the purpose it was not intended in the long run in the unfolding events in Nigeria.” Owualah also said that he drew the attention of Ngwa Social Club to intervene in interrogating the trailer park at the appropriate quarters.
“As a traditional ruler whose community is contiguous to Arongwa, particularly the two villages in the location of the proposed proposed trailer park, I consider it my moral and ethical duty to protect the overall interest of my people and others resident in it now or in the future
Bayelsa govt to aspirants: Leave Dickson, Jonathan out of campaign for PDP ticket
Bayelsa State government at the weekend called on politicians aspiring for the gubernatorial election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to leave Governor Seriake Dickson and former President Goodluck Jonathan out of their political campaigns.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, advised aspirants of the PDP to focus their attention on unveiling their development agenda for the state rather than deploying underhand tactics to create division between the governor and the former president for targeted political benefits in a statement on Sunday.
Soriwei was reacting to an opinion article sponsored by desperate politicians involved in the governorship contest, which targeted the former president and his family.
The governor’s aide decried the detestable situation where politicians seeking to contest the governorship election sponsor parallel publications against him, his team, and the former president and his team with the regrettable intent of deepening disagreement and fault lines in the state.
Soriwei, who condemned the acerbic attack on the former president fingered desperate politicians and their cronies, who according to him, were reacting to the outcome of meetings and consultations between the governor and the former president on the issue of the aspirants in the forthcoming primaries.
He appealed to all aides and supporters to devote their energy to the propagation of the politics and nu- merous programmes of the government. He also advised the good people of the state to be wary of the sinister antics of desperate politicians, who have devised a strategy of division in the PDP as their political lifeline in the state.
“Our attention has been drawn to a scurrilous publication targeted at the former president. We have also seen the reaction from people suspected to be the former president’s publicists.
We decry the situation where politicians seeking to contest the governorship election in the state sponsor parallel publications against the governor, his government and his team, and the former president, his family and his team, thereby deepening and taking advantage of disagreement and fault lines in the state.
“We have read the publication by the PDP Youth Network and we condemn any attack on the former president. Our suspicion from all preliminary enquiries is pointing in the direction of some desperate gubernatorial aspirants, who are doing everything possible to deepen division in the state, especially between the governor and the former president for their own selfish advantage.
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