Kwara Deserves Better Leadership in 2015, Says Suruk

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Read Time:9 Minute, 11 Second

 Senator Baba Ahmed Suruk represented Kwara North between 1999 and 2003, and in this interview with Adebiyi Adedayo, he bares it all
You are one of the more experienced politicians from Kwara State, how has the journey been so far?

I came to national limelight in 1999 when I became a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and that was my first elective contest. Before then, I was a member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), as far back as 1983, I was the Youth Leader in Kwara State and I will like to say I was a very active member of the party. During that period, the party had three main organs; we had the Elders’ Wing, the Women Wing and the Youth Wing. Each of the wings had very strong affiliations and were interrelated. Activities of the party were well coordinated and controlled to the national level.

I was very lucky, by that 1983, when I was Youth Leader, I had the opportunity to work directly under our leader, late Senator Olusola Saraki, who was then the Turaki of Ilorin and later became the Waziri of Ilorin till death. He was the state chairman of the party; the party was controlled such that anything you do in the ward translated to the local government chapter and to the state chapter. But as we all know, by 1983, the military struck and the ruling party was thrown out. So, with all the efforts put in by people like me, there was really not much to say that we enjoyed, but thank God at least, some of us are still alive and we have stories to tell.

I have been a community leader since then, not only because I was involved in politics at a younger age, I enjoy meeting people and leading a group, so I am very dear to the youths in my place. They are always around me, I enjoy talking to them and I enjoy discussing issues that concerns their growth, educationally or otherwise.

You were in the Senate from 1999 to 2003, what would you say are the major differences between the National Assembly then and now?
I will consider the 1999 to 2003 service as laying the foundation for real democracy, we did the rough road working, mind you, there was no so much money then, but we were absolutely dedicated. We lived up to our responsibilities, and I think it is the same even now; senators are all responsible people. But the luxuries available now were not available during our time, and yet I don’t think we disappointed Nigerians. We may not have all the good returns, but we gave an impression that we did our best.

You seem to have good insights into the Saraki’s political dynasty. From your vantage position, would you say Bukola is following Baba Saraki’s path, especially as he is in the opposition contrary to your analysis of his father’s style of maintaining relationship with the centre?
I don’t think his movement to APC is a matter of the interest of Kwara State. I think what prompted him to move away from the PDP is more of a personal thing than a collective decision. He decided to move and those that are his cronies moved with him to achieve his own aim. For those of us that did not move and will continue to remain in the PDP, there is no gain saying that we are going to beat any other political party in Kwara.

I am not saying this because I am in the PDP. There has been only one formidable political structure as far as Kwara State is concerned and that structure is Baba Saraki’s political structure, which is now divided into two. Mind you, Bukola as a former governor would have certain advantages, but you have the daughter, Senator Gbemisola Saraki who was two times a senator, and also a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003. By any calculation, Senator Gbemisola’s structure is incomparable. She is very strong. She has taken all the attributes of the father and she commands a very strong followership. Whether you like it or not, she is not someone that anyone can push aside in Kwara politics today.

The APC government in Kwara is very good in propaganda, using the media to say so many things they have not done. I will give you an example. Look at the agricultural sector, they claim that the farm they have at Shonga, in Kwara State, the Zimbabwean agricultural project, is a huge success. All we read about is on the paper, how many of the foods produced under the project are found in Kwara or even in Ilorin main market or any market in Nigeria? I am from the Nupe community; I have not seen any of their food produced in our market. We still eat our own local rice. If it is for export as they sometime claim when they are challenged, which countries are they exporting to? How much are they making yearly? How much is coming to the purse of the state in form of tax and other charges?

The last governorship election was won by Bukola’s candidate, whereas Baba Saraki supported Senator Gbemisola against the incumbent governor who enjoyed Bukola’s support. It was believed that the purported fight between them was stage-managed and that Baba Saraki only wanted to transfer power to his son. What is your view?
There was nothing like transfer of political dynasty from the father to anybody for that matter. What happened is exactly as we saw it.

Who would you say inherits the political structure of Olusola Saraki?
The two of them inherited it, because the followers of Bukola are from his father and those of Gbemi are also from the father. But the Bukola side has the advantage of the machinery, which belonged to the government, that is a weaker one, take the government interference out of their own group, then nothing is left.

What do we expect in the next election?
Whether Bukola goes to any other stronger party or whatever, that is irrelevant, as far as we are concerned, we in the PDP will defeat APC hands down. The people they have are people who will do what he wants to be done, we in the PDP are collective and we have decided to work for the success of the party, money or no money.

With the exit of Baba Saraki, how would you describe the state of politics in Kwara State now?                   
I will not say that there can never be the likes of Baba. Only God has that attribute. But I can tell you that things can never be the same. As we are in the PDP, we are out to tell each other nothing but the truth, and we will work together and deliver the state together. On the APC side, they have only one leader who they cannot tell the truth. They only tell him what he wants to hear. On our own side, it is totally different. Baba was always ready to listen to everybody, Baba was never bias, he was never a dictator, he worked for the interest of everybody, at least for the interest of the majority and that is why people like me and others will work the way Baba would work if he was alive.

There are various groups within the PDP in Kwara; do you foresee a divided PDP after the party’s primaries?
In politics, there has to be this kind of division, we think differently, but there is one thing that stands clear, and we are committed to that, we will deliver Kwara for PDP irrespective of the diversity and operational values.

Which of these groups do you belong to and what is your aspiration?
I belong to one solid group which people know, I need not to mention it, but those who understand politics know it.

Who in Kwara politics now best captures those attributes that made Kwaran people to love Baba Saraki that much?
All the good things that you know Baba for till he died, there is none you will not see in Senator Gbemisola Saraki. She has taken virtually everything of her father. She is accommodating, understanding, and she is a listening mother. I am close to the Sarakis and I am judging her from that point of view.

Given the religious inclination of the people of Kwara State, some people believe it will be difficult to have a female governor, what is your take?
It is only God that gives and takes anything, including power; if God decides to make Gbemisola a governor, who can stop it? In some years back, if they told you that a female would be a senator representing Kwara Central would you say yes or no? She was an elected senator twice from the same people, the same people are still there and I believe by my own judgment that these people can do more for her, not only because of her father, but because of her own character. And it will not be a mistake; rather, people will say if they knew, they would have given her the opportunity a long time ago. She is the person to beat when it comes to elections in the state. Senate election in Kwara Central is more rigorous than the other two senatorial districts, and I don’t think the two times she represented Kwara Central in the Senate, her people were disappointed. I can see the love for her is on the increase, day-in-day out, she is commanding more followership and I pray that God touches the heart of everybody to see that she is worth taking that number one seat of power in the state.

What have you been doing since you left the Senate and what is your next political aspiration, if any?
I was supposed to contest for another term, but I withdrew on my own. Baba Saraki reasoned with me and Senator Muhammed Ahmed took over from me in Kwara North. I have no regret at all, because after my tenure, I became federal commissioner serving in the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, representing Kwara State, and I think I did the best I could for five years.
I have never asked for any elective office for myself, people have always asked me to come and serve. If they deem me fit to come and serve again and I am still alive and healthy, I will be glad to do so. If they don’t, whoever they give the opportunity, I will give my advice and pray for the person.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Lagos Asks FG to Include States, LG in Security Framework

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Read Time:2 Minute, 21 Second

 

A body of chairmen of 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas in Lagos State yesterday canvassed the inclusion of state and local governments in the country’s security framework.

The body, also known as Conference 57, lamented what it described as the growing incapacity of the Nigeria Police to contain diverse security challenges, which it said, had constituted threats to Nigeria’s indivisibility and unity.

The Chairman of Conference 57, Mr. Hakeem Suleiman, expressed the concerns in Lagos, at a workshop on security strategies, grassroots awareness and information management for functionaries and stakeholders in the state.

The workshop was addressed by a wide range of stakeholders including the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi, his local government counterpart, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, and the state’s Attorney-General, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, among others.

At the workshop, the chairman lamented that there “is a problem of insecurity which needs urgent attention and re-strategising. Adding,”One of the most increasingly worrisome issues in Nigeria today is the issue of insecurity.”

He explained that thousands of lives and properties “have been lost during the incessant killings, bombings and abductions in various parts of the country under the jack boot of the Boko Haram insurgency.”

He cited the militancy in the Niger Delta, which he said, had degenerated to oil bunkering and oil theft, stating that it had created serious economic problem and loss of great revenue to the nation.
 He, therefore, attributed the security challenges to the wide spread poverty in the nation, lack of job for the teeming youth, the existence of inequality in the wealth distribution in the nation, open stealing of the nation’s wealth by some in the political class and job insecurity.

But the chairman said one of the strategies “to be adopted to tackle the issue of insecurity headlong is to ensure the inclusion of the state and local governments in the security framework through community policing.

“It has been widely suggested as one of the best channels to handle crimes and insecurity in the country. The idea of state and community policing has gained popularity, as a result of the surge in the rate of highly sophisticated crimes in the country and the inability of the federal police alone to contain the challenge.”

He said the closeness of the state and communities “to the people places it in a more proactive position for the detection and uprooting of any emerging crime before it grows. I strongly believe that state and local government police will come up with lasting solutions to insecurity in the country and there is no need for doubts, while the people suffer.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Ayoola: Jonathan Has No Anointed Candidate for PDP in Oyo

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Read Time:7 Minute, 14 Second

 Former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, in a recent interview, spoke on the recent political developments in Oyo State and the controversy over the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party. Ademola Adeyemo presents the excerpts:

What are the chances of the PDP in the 2015 governorship election in Oyo State amid internal crisis in the party?
The chances of the PDP are very bright going towards 2015 because the people of the state have seen the APC government in action in the last three and half years. They have seen their elitist and arrogant policies – policies that have impoverished the masses. People, who are in the informal sector, I’m talking about the hawkers, have been deprived of their means of livelihood. This government has not embarked on any poverty alleviation programme and the major issue in our society is poverty. If a government is able to address it, then it has found solutions to more than half of the problem in our society. The APC has not done that in the state and therefore, our people are looking with hope towards the PDP to provide that leadership. The hope is even more stoked by the fact that we have an array of capable hands in the PDP.

Don’t you think the large numbers of aspirants will do themselves in as they are locked in unhealthy battle?
It is not a problem. If it is, it is a good problem to have an embarrassment of riches of candidates, who can actually hold this office and do well with it. The issue of factions is more superficial than it is deep-rooted in our party. By the time we pick our governorship candidate, all the other groups will come together and work for him.  Many people in our people worked against the party in 2011. They have seen the other side; that the grass is not always necessarily greener on the other side. So, they have learnt their lessons and they have now returned home.   They are now back to the PDP because when you look at the synergy of these individuals and groups in Oyo State, the APC cannot withstand it when the push becomes the shove. So, we know that we have a party that is capable of winning the election in Oyo State and send the non-performing APC parking.

Some observers say your candidate, Mr. Seyi Makinde, should not have been part of the gang up to zone the governorship ticket to Ibadan?
Why? Is he not a native of Ibadan? If he didn’t come, he would have been accused of either being anti-Ibadan or a bastard of Ibadan because issues were raised that bothered on Ibadan’s interest in the unfolding political arrangement at the meeting. So, he did the right thing by attending the meeting. The sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, said that we should attend any meeting we are invited to. It is only what is against your interest which is said at the meeting that you should not go with. So, politics is about meetings to iron out interest and harmonise positions.

Don’t you think it is better to provide a level-playing ground for all the contestants?
I have told you about something that preceded it. There was a meeting held by Ogbomoso aspirants and leaders of the PDP in that zone, where they resolved that they would only back an Ogbomoso candidate. So, the Ibadan meeting was a reaction to the Ogbomosho meeting.  It is like me refusing to attend a meeting called to discuss the interest of home town, Oyo, I would be a bastard to do that.

I want to, as a man, who God has given the privilege to occupy the number three seat of Oyo State, a man who has closely and participated in the politics of the state for the past 15 years fully back Seyi Makinde for the PDP ticket. He is young and that means he will be a bridge between the younger elements in the society and the older ones. The younger elements in the society, people between 18 and 45 years, have been totally marginalised from determining the affairs of our state and Nigeria over the years.

Two, he is educated in the sense that he understands what the issues are in our society today. He knows that our own oil in Oyo State is agriculture and that our wealth is locked up inside agriculture. So, he has brilliant ideas on how to unlock that wealth to the benefit of the masses, teeming youths, who constitute 70 per cent of our population, according to 2006 national census.  Makinde is not a hungry man.

He is man that has been blessed with means to take care of his basic needs. He is not a man that does not have a second address. Some of the people angling to become governor today, ask them what is their job? What have they done before; what are they doing right now as a means of livelihood? The money Makinde is making is not out of a government contract or something he must have siphoned in an earlier political office. No! He is bringing the money from the sweat of his brawl.

What of the much talked political experience?
When people say he doesn’t have political experience, what they are saying is that he has never been a governor or senator before. Those, who have been governors and senators before that are running for this office now, can we ask them what is it they are bringing into it again? Is it an experience of mismanagement of resources? Is it an experience of not being spirited enough to do those things that would make people happy and live a comfortable life and not as sub-humans? Is it an experience of bringing their wives and girlfriends into government, where the mantra of money interest will hold sway?

Is it true that President Goodluck Jonathan has anointed an aspirant for 2015 race in Oyo State?
People have been fed for several months with the odious lie that the Presidency has ‘promised’ someone the PDP governorship ticket for Oyo State. The spin doctors first moved from “the state executive of the party is in our pockets” to “Jonathan is backing us”. Our people, especially unwary and innocent party members, have helped to circulate this lie for so long.
This is therefore the time to stop it. It is a lie. The PDP is a big ocean that invites all kinds of fishermen to fish in it. It is not a private fish pond kept at the exclusive pleasure of the owner.

The chief promoter of this lie has tried, as we are aware, to see the president several times but did not succeed. He has been using methods common with 419s including fear appeal to keep people in his grip. Our people must be told the truth. PDP gubernatorial ticket will be fought for and won at a Primary Election in which only Delegates will vote.

The truth is that those spawning these lies do not even have a fraction of the credibility they claim to have with the presidency as the highest institution in Nigeria. So also, their records with the people are at the lowest.

Your candidate, Seyi Makinde, promised to sink boreholes for the displaced traders at Aleshinloye. What happened?
Some thugs were sent from the office of Chairman of Ibadan South-west local government on Monday to stop Omi Tuntun engineers from drilling a borehole that Engineer Seyi Makinde had promised the traders whose stalls were razed by fire some weeks ago at Aleshinloye Market.

It was based on the ridiculous excuse that we did not take permission from the LG before drilling a borehole there.
This is a government that is not known for quick response in emergency cases. It took days before any semblance of reaction could come after the 2011 flooding. It took the humanitarian visit of Seyi Makinde to Apete community (where he released three buses to convey their children to school at Sango) before the Ajimobi government copied the same gesture.

Similarly, it took the visit of Seyi to the Ife Road plank market before Ajimobi would go there.
And of course, Seyi Makinde’s N1million plus the borehole was what spurred the governor to action on the Aleshinloye traders’ plight.
Now this good gesture has been stymied by people who see politics in everything.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria Federal Govt set to ban ‘ponmo’

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Read Time:2 Minute, 42 Second

Federal Government may have concluded plans to ban sale and widespread consumption of hides and skins(Ponmo)which is a delicacy to most Nigerians.

This indication emerged Tuesday  when the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina called for competent regulations that would check the consumption and sale of the product.

PONMO

He said this at the 3rd joint anniversary of Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) and Nigeria Institute of Animal Science held at the University of Ibadan.

If this is achieved, he noted that livestock farmers would stand good chances of making high dollar return if the hides and skins are tanned into leather.

The minister who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Animal Production and Husbandry in the Ministry, Dr. Ademola Raji, said, ”I also commend NIAS for its advocacy and public enlightenment programs on Radio and Television that promote value addition in Livestock, as against sale and consumption of primary products alone, particularly with the issue of curtailing the widespread consumption of hides and skins as Kpomo which ought to be tanned into leather for a very high dollar return to the farmer and Tanneries.

I expect that competent regulations acceptable by all stakeholders will be developed so as to give credibility that our set standards for food safety are being implemented which will boost value addition.”

The theme of the programme was entitled, “Value Addition in the Nigerian Livestock Industry: A strategy for Economic Growth and Stakeholders Empowerment”.

The minister stressed that FG would continue to drive its Agricultural Transformation Agenda with increased vigour in all its ramifications, pleading for continuous support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the livestock sector to deliver the benefits.

He said,”I am confident that the satisfactory production levels achieved in the poultry and swine segments will soon stretch to reach other commodities such as beef, dairy, micro livestock and animal by products such as leather, bones, hides and skins.

The drive to turn Agriculture into business and not merely a way of life is now in full gear, with the use of mobile phones and e- wallet for input distribution directly to farmers, farmer’s registration with biometric identity cards and the Growth Enhancement Support scheme.

We have all seen the revolution in Rice production and processing; in cassava, sorghum and cotton that have increased output per hectare, through the supply of high quality raw materials to revive industries that have hitherto closed down.”

Food production, he said, rose in 2013 by 8 million metric tonnes over 2012 figures which represents over 70% growth of the target set for 2015 by Government.

“In 2012, 264,000 hectares of dry season paddy rice cultivated in the Northern states alone yielded 1.1 million metric tonnes.” he added.

Speaking earlier, NIAS President, Professor Placid Njoku, applauded the Federal government for tackling the deadly Ebola virus disease, noting that the institute would encourage its members to undertake visionary studies aimed at producing popular bush meat in the country in ”intensive ,hygienic and Ebola disease free environment.”

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/09/fg-set-ban-hides-skin-ponmo/#sthash.Z76xF2bp.dpuf

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Photo:Husband catches his pregnant wife having sex with another man

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Read Time:48 Second


A woman simply identified as Mercy was on Monday morning caught sleeping with another man in Otukpo, Benue State.Her husband identified as Okpani caught the wife and her lover red-handed after he set them up, having suspected the wife was constantly cheating on him.DailyPost gathered that Okpani, a Local Government staff told his pregnant wife that he will be going for a NULGE meeting which is supposed to take place in Makurdi, the state capital this morning.

However, Okpani went to the neighbour’s house to stay and spy on his wife’s movement.After a while, a middle aged man who was identified as Omale walked stealthily into his matrimonial room. Okpani gave them a little time before coming out of his hideout into the room, and alas, his wife was having sexual intercourse with Omale.As at press time, people are gathered at Okpani’s compound, waiting for the Police to arrive

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Chibok girls: The buck stops on Jonathan’s table – Fashola

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Read Time:2 Minute, 29 Second

ABUJA— GOVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said yesterday that it was the President and Commander-in-Chief who is in possession of the whole security report that has the final decision to make on the issue of the abducted schoolgirls from Chibok.

Fashola, who was one of the moderators at the political debate tagged: “Fixing Nigeria: The nuts and bolts” organised by the  Kukah Centre,  which also had the Governor Sule Lamido of  Jigawa State in attendance, said it was the President that was in control of the Nigerian Army and the armed forces.

Although, he noted that the dimension the Chibok issue had taken had made it difficult to make a decision especially as it concerned the safety of the girls, he said the abduction had become one of the issues that should provoke debates about the method and clarity of the choices of words that should be used.

Answering questions from some of the guests on the sincerity of government in ensuring that the abducted girls regained their freedom, he said: “As far as sincerity about Chibok is concerned, honestly, let me just say that the problem that Chibok symbolises has assumed a dimension that is ordinarily outside the authority and control of government.”

He stated that on national security, he did not have the briefing that the president had, adding: “That is why I have always said that the easiest thing to do is to criticise. Do you have the facts that are at his disposal because it is only then that we can have a very serious disagreement that on this set of facts this should be my own choice.

“It is now a matter of insurgency and therefore the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Armed Forces have only one Commander-in-Chief and that is Mr. President. The buck stops on his desk on this matter and it cannot be an easy decision.

“The most I am willing to say, I can’t measure sincerity. I know it is a tough call now.  The Chibok parents, who are grieving, want their children back. There are many options on the table, but I don’t also think they are expecting body bags of their children.

“It is a difficult place to be. But of course I have always said, issues of this nature may provoke a debate about the methods, and by the clarity of the choices that are being made, about the judgment calls that are also being made.”

Debate
Fashola also canvassed the need for a debate before leaders were elected, pointing that quality debate among the contestants of various positions would give the electorate the idea about the dispositions of those who want to lead and their knowledge of the problems facing the people.

According to him, democracy does not guarantee good governance as people vote for so many reasons including emotional reasons.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Jonathan orders removal of repugnant #BringBackJonathan signs

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Read Time:54 Second

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has directed that the #Bring Back Jonathan 2015 signs and banners around Abuja which he and many Nigerians find offensive and repugnant  be brought down immediately.

This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

The statement reads;

President Jonathan wholly shares the widely expressed view that the signs which were put up without his knowledge or approval are a highly insensitive parody of the #Bring Back Our Girls hash tag.

While President Jonathan appreciates the enthusiastic show of support for his administration  by a broad range of stakeholders, he condemns the #Bring Back Jonathan 2015 signs which appear to make light of the very serious national and global concern for the abducted Chibok girls.

The President assures all Nigerians and the international community that his administration remains fully engaged with efforts to rescue the abducted girls and that he will not knowingly promote any actions that will fly in the face of the seriousness of their plight and the anguish of their families.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria leaders place more premium on money rather than values – Fashola, Lamido

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Read Time:2 Minute, 56 Second

ABUJA—Two Nigerian governors, Babatunde Fashola and Sule Lamido of Lagos and Jigawa states, respectively, yesterday, examined the nation’s polity and concluded that the major problem facing the country was misplaced attention being paid by the leadership on wrong values.

The governors, who made their observation at political discourse organised by the Kukah Centre at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, noted that the country needed to place more premium on values that have propelled other nations to greater heights.

Fashola lamented that although Nigeria was blessed with a rich reservoir of laws, which were adequate to provide good governance and prosperous system for all, the propensity to pay selective attention based on political expediency of the leadership had stalled national advancement and cohesion.

“There is nothing wrong with Nigeria,” the governor said, noting that ”Nigeria as a system has not changed but the people and leadership have been changing over the years.

“We seem to place more premium on money rather than values. We value awards, honours and titles more than hard work. That is why people, who have tainted records and should be barred from holding pubic offices are bestowed with highest national honours.”

On his part, Lamido, who is a Peoples Democratic Party governor, noted that the problem with the country was the attempt by leaders to appropriate public offices to themselves and their associates at the expense of the people they were expected to serve.

“For us to advance as a nation, we must build strong institutions to serve Nigerians better. We must avoid the practice of converting public institutions to private estates to serve individual needs instead of catering for the overall benefit of the citizens.

“As leaders, we should be more concerned with using our offices to help the people who elected us than using the offices to acquire power and wealth.

“All those at leadership level in Nigeria must be ready to account to the people while the citizens should be bold enough to demand for their rights from their leaders,” Lamido said.

The governor lamented that because of poor leadership being exhibited in the past, the meaning of government and good governance had diminished in Nigeria in the last 16 years and called for a change of attitude.

Fashola noted that going by what has happened in the country so far, Nigeria was in need of what he called ‘urgent repairs’.

The two governors said the leadership needed to do something to revive the sense of nationalism of all Nigerians so that they could work together in tackling the challenges facing the country.

They said they did not care who takes over from them but expressed the hope that the work they had done would speak for them now and in the future.

Fashola and Lamido made it clear that they would not influence the choice of their successors since the people of Lagos and Jigawa states were sound enough to decide on who governs them.

They said they succeeded in breaking the jinx of underdevelopment in their states because they were aware of the challenges facing them for the outset and were determined to address them in the interest of the people.

The leader of the Kukah Centre and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, explained that the debate was put in place to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas on various national issues so as to move the nation forward.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Military, Boko Haram battle for CDS’ town

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Read Time:9 Minute, 16 Second

ABUJA—The military, yesterday, engaged the Boko Haram terrorists in a fierce battle at Vimtim, the home town of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, inflicting heavy casualties on the insurgents. At the end of the gun battle, the troops who moved in from the 1 Division Kaduna, 3 Division Jos and TRADOC, Minna killed 40 sect members and also succeeded in reclaiming Michika, Uba and Gulak towns from the terrorists.

Giving details of what transpired, the source said, the terrorists encircled the troops from all angles of Vimtim as the troops concentrated in the city centre and a gun battle ensued. Unknown to them, the newly deployed soldiers arrived and joined the battle, taking on the terrorists from behind leading to killing of over 40 insurgents while others fled.

The military also recovered 17 Hilux vehicles, General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) mounted on their Hilux vehicles, and several Anti-Aircraft guns (AA weapons). Several surface-to-air missiles were destroyed while four were taken away by the troops.

The military source added that the initial retreat by soldiers from Mubi was to enable soldiers re-strategize and attack the insurgents in full force, adding that this was what made civilians  panic.

The situation, however, changed dramatically when troops from the other three states arrived and assisted in cutting the insurgents off in the confrontation that ensued.

3 Army officers, 2 soldiers injured —Defence Hq

The Defence headquarters has also confirmed that three officers and two soldiers were injured in the bloody encounter. In separate tweets posted, yesterday, it said the injured officers and soldiers were currently receiving treatment at a military facility.

Vanguard gathered that the General Officer Commanding the 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Mohammed Zaruwa was personally directing the counter-insurgency operation.

The tweets read: “Counter Terrorist Troops have carried out an attack on insurgents in Mubi town, Adamawa State. In the fierce battle to root out the insurgents, scores of insurgents lost their lives, while several others escaped with fatal gunshot wounds.

“Two officers and three soldiers who were wounded in the battle are currently receiving treatment in a Military Medical Facility”.

FG refocuses on Boko Haram’s source of funding, weapons

Meanwhile, the Federal Government, said yesterday, that it would focus on the source of funding and weapons used by the insurgents, as part of efforts to end terrorism in the country.

The Coordinator, National Information Centre and Director-General, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, who stated this during the routine security briefing, in Abuja, insisted that it had capacity to counter the ongoing insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country.

Omeri said the recent Regional Ministerial Meeting convened to explore ways of achieving international cooperation in tackling the challenge of insurgency in the North East had called for more action in tackling the menace.

According to him, the meeting was summoned to look into the level of implementation of the decisions and commitments made at the Paris Summit of May 2014 and the follow-up meetings in London and Washington DC.

“Particularly, the meeting underscored the need to effectively address the sources of funding and supply of weapons to Boko Haram and called for greater international co-operation in tackling all forms of illegal transfer of arms and ammunition,” he said.

Omeri added that the forum also advocated strict sanctions against terrorist groups, especially Boko Haram, while commending the effort of the Nigerian government in setting up the Victims Support Fund for alleviating the plight of victims of insurgency.

He noted that the recent recapture of Bama town by the troops attest to the renewed zeal and commitment, which officers and men of the Nigerian Army had shown towards defending the country and her territorial integrity.

The NOA Boss commended the efforts of the Nigerian military in containing the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, urging the people to always pray for them.

Speaking further, Omeri warned Nigerians against purchasing used and pre-registered SIM cards from uncertain sources, saying such phones and SIM cards might have been used by terrorists for criminal activities.

“The caution has becomes necessary to save members of the public the embarrassment of being apprehended for crimes committed with phones and SIM cards found in their possession,” he said.

 

We are in control of Bama, Michika, Mubi —Boko Haram

Boko Haram on its part declared, yesterday, it was still in control of Bama, Michika and Mubi towns. Its spokesman, Abu Zinnira, in a statement said: “This is a rebuttal from the information dissemination and sensitization unit of the Jamaatul Ahlil Sunna Lidawati Wal Jihad (Boko Haram) on the series of lies that the Nigerian military have been feeding the world on our recent conquests.

“Let the whole world know that we are on the path of victory because up to this minute, the town of Bama is under our control,  the whole of Michika is now in our hands, as well as Mararaban (Junction of)  Mubi now fully under our control. We are assuring the world that this would be continuous and there will be no going back by God’s grace. This is a message from me on behalf of our brethren.”

As thousands of displaced persons continue to troop into Yola, the Adamawa State capital from the Northern Senatorial district following fierce fighting with the insurgents, the hometown of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh is said to be close to the reach of the insurgents.

Vimtim, Badeh’s hometown is about 30 minutes drive from Mubi along the highways on the Yola–Maiduguri road.

Attempts by the insurgents to overrun the CDS’ hometown came few hours after the insurgents shot and wounded the son of a former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at Bazza, the hometown of the General Officer commanding, GOC 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos, Major General J.S. Zaruma.

Emir of Mubi flees; LG chairmen desert councils

The fighting has forced the paramount Ruler of Mubi, Emir Abubakar Isah Ahmadu, the Vice President of Adamawa Council of Chiefs and Emirs to sneak out of the town.

Attempts to speak to the chairmen of Mubi North, Michika and Madagali local government councils proved abortive as they were reported to have deserted their council areas and relocated to Yola, the state capital.

The siege on Gulak, Michika, Bazza and its environs had affected commercial activities with reports saying that several people crossed over to the neighboring Cameroon.

“We couldn’t sleep due to the heavy gun shots that pervaded the air in the night and for now no one could say the exact situation. They kept shouting, chanting Allahu Akbar, people are now living in an atmosphere of despair and agony, even our Emir, His Royal Highness has left in the night,” said a resident that pleaded anonymity.

Also a palace source had confided that the emir was escorted out by security operatives following reports that the insurgents were advancing towards Mubi, already jam-packed by displaced persons.

“His Highness had earlier declined to leave the town, but security personnel mounted pressure on him, hence the reasons for the paramount ruler to travel out,” said the source.

A fleeing resident taking refugee on the hills disclosed in a telephone interview, that many residents were trapped in Michika, Bazza and Shuwa.

“We are in trouble now, many are trapped, some could not get out of their homes, these people were everywhere hoisting their flags on bikes, others brandishing their guns,” said another fleeing resident.

I’m eager to return to the battle Front, Col. Obasanjo tells Atiku

Son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt Col Adeboye Obasanjo, an army engineer at the 3rd Division in Jos, Plateau State, who was on Monday wounded by Boko Haram terrorists in the ferocious Michika battle between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram, said yesterday that he was eager to return to the battle front.

The injured son of former President Obasanjo, who led soldiers on an offensive to reclaim Michika town in Adamawa State but fell into the hands of the insurgents, disclosed that his mind was at the battle field. He sopke when former Vice President Atiku Abubakar visited him at a government medical facility in Yola, Adamawa State, yesterday, where he was said to be recuperating.

Atiku, who was in Yola over the weekend to vote in the APC gubernatorial primaries and to collect his permanent voters’ card, on learning that Lt. Colonel Obasanjo was being treated at a government medical facility in Yola went to visit him yesterday afternoon.

According to a source at the hospital, Atiku was happy to find Lt. Col. Obasanjo  in high spirits. According to the source, the former Vice President, who recently settled his differences with his former boss was impressed to learn from the injured officer his readiness to return to the battle front to deal with the insurgents.

The source quoted Atiku to have told Lt. Col Obasanjo that he was impressed to see him display the type of courage associated with his former boss, President Obasanjo.

The chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC was said to have wished Lt. Col Adeboye Obasanjo speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained from gunshots.

The source quoted Atiku as saying:  “He was even marching before me as he was recovering from gunshots.”

 

….He is in stable condition – Hospital

Meanwhile, the Chief Information Officer of Federal Medical Centre (FMC, Yola), Mr Adamu Dodo has confirmed that,  “Obasanjo’s son is recuperating after minor surgery and he is in stable  condition in the hospital.”

The  State Acting Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri had earlier visited him and  lauded all officers of the Nigerian Army who are battling to curtail the activities of insurgents in Adamawa Northern Senatorial Zone.

The governor  said the people were proud of the soldiers who have lost their lives while defending their fatherland.

A senior military source told correspondents  that troops today retook Bazza after a fierce battle in which soldiers killed several Boko Haram militants.

According to our source, “our soldiers circled Baza and engaged the terrorists in a serious battle. We have now recaptured Bazza after defeating the resistance of Boko Haram militants in the township.”

Thousands of residents of Gulak, Michika and Bazza had fled to neighboring towns and Cameroon as Boko Haram had unleashed mayhem on residents during their short reign over the towns.

Sources disclosed that  successful attacks on Boko Haram insurgents was made possible by an advance team of Nigerian Air Force pilots who bombed the insurgents’ command centres in Bazza.

“It was after our Air Force jets bombarded their strongholds mounted on roads that the troops moved in on a clearing mission,” the officer revealed.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Adamawa 2014: NYSC gives INEC conditions on corps members’ participation

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Read Time:3 Minute, 10 Second

As next month’s governorship bye-election in Adamawa State draws nearer, the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, has spelt out stringent conditions which must be satisfied by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before serving corps members could be released for the polls.

Sources at the headquarters of the NYSC in Abuja told Vanguard  that the conditions include provision of bullet-proof vests, armed escorts and payment of attractive allowances.
It was also learnt that the NYSC had insisted that participation by corps members in the forth-coming polls would be made voluntary.

An impeccable source told Vanguard that the Director General of NYSC, Brig. Gen. Johnson Olawumi had insisted that he was not ready to lose any corps member on any account.

The NYSC boss was said to have insisted that the issue of adequate security for corps members should not be handled with kid-gloves.
The source said  that NYSC would not take any position on whether to release corps members or not until those conditions given to INEC were substantially met.

The source further stated that the number of corps members currently serving in Adamawa State is not enough for the conduct of the election adding that there would be need to mobilise   corps members from neighbouring states for the polls.

Speaking in a similar vein on the subject earlier, Mr Kayode Idowu, the Special Adviser on Media to Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega told Vanguard that the Inter-consultative Committee on Election Security which undertakes risk assessment of electoral contests would determine security measures that the Commission would implement during conduct of the election.

Said he: “The committee would advise the commission and also draw up its own operational orders that suits the assessment that has been done.”
He further stated that the committee is doing its work now, “so it may be pre-emptive to say whether or not the template we have will suit that election.”

He further stated that INEC had also deployed a risk management tool that was developed with support from the African Union and the International Idea. “We deployed it in Osun and we would deploy it Adamawa too”, he said.

He explained that the tool enables the Commission “to do the risk assessment of particular places and the factors peculiar to them. All these would be factored in by the Commission in decision making.” He further assured that INEC shares the sensitivity of Nigerians who are apprehensive over the deployment of corpers in the state given the high level of insecurity prevailing there.

Said he: “ There is no responsible organisation that would deliver innocent youths into the lion’s den.”
He explained that if corpers were to be deployed as adhoc staff for the polls, “ it would be based on the guarantee that they are secured; otherwise, INEC would not expose them to danger. If both INEC and NYSC   are convinced that they are secured, then the corpers would be deployed.We would consult the NYSC.”

He stressed that there is a dynamic relationship between INEC and NYSC.
Said he: “The collaboration has taken a depth that is unusual. In Osun, we didn’t have enough corpers. However, the Director-General of NYSC, mobilized corpers from the surrounding states to handle the last election.

“The NYSC released the corpers to us because their safety and welfare was guaranteed. When people complain about militarization of elections, this is one of the reasons why it happens. This is because we need adequate security for men, materials and voters.”
As at the time of filing this report, NYSC and the electoral Commission were holding a crucial meeting over the issue.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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