Ogunlade: Ekiti People See Hope in Labour Party

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Read Time:8 Minute, 44 Second

Alhaja Maryam Bimbola Ogunlade is the deputy governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Ekiti State. In this interview with Akinbami Faloye, she speaks on development in the state. Excerpts:

How do you feel with your nomination as the running mate to Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele?
I thank the Almighty God for the opportunity to serve. In fact, I appreciate my nomination to represent the entire women in Ekiti State as the deputy gubernatorial candidate to Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele. I also appreciate the Labour Party (LP) for accepting my nomination. The party set criteria in the choice of running mate: LP wanted a Muslim, a woman and a civil servant. So, I feel elated and happy when I was nominated.

Since your nomination, how have you contributed to the growth of the Labour Party in the state?
I have been able to galvanise support of the Muslim community, women and civil servants to the side of LP. You know the entire Muslim community in Ekiti recommended me. The civil servants are in my support and the women at large. Women form the larger part of the electorate in Ekiti State, so everybody is just coming out to give their support to Labour Party in the state. Ekiti people see hope in LP and its flag bearers. Hence, the people are ready to vote out the Kayode Fayemi-led government come June 21, 2014.

You said Ekiti people are ready to vote out the government in power. Why do you think so?
It is because the programmes of Labour Party have been rolled out to them during the campaign rallies. LP programmes have human face and better than any parties participating in the June 21 governorship election. And because of our programmes, Ekiti wants a change of government.

What are the specific programmes Labour Party wants to give to Ekiti people?
Labour Party has designed its manifestoes. In terms of agriculture, we have a lot of packages for the farmers because we want to embark on modernised agriculture in the state. Our government is going to embark on aggressive empowerment for women and youths. Today, like in the past, we have a lot of our youths roaming the streets, having nothing to do. The Labour Party government in Ekiti is ready to empower them through acquisition of skills and vocational training, setting them up in trade and economically positioned them.
Also, we want to make education qualitative and affordable for everybody irrespective of class. What we have in the state is that the cost of education is on the high side. In the state university, EKSU, our students paid up to about N150, 000 as tuition fees, whereas in Ondo State, which is a state governed by the LP, the students there pay N25, 000 as tuition fees. So, if Labour Party is elected on June 21, we will reduce tuition fees to N25, 000 in the state.
As regard the civil service, we have a lot of packages. The Labour government will embark on capacity building of the state workforce. There will be motivation of staff through prompt payment of salaries, allowances, training and retraining. We will ensure that pensioners are treated well. The era of having accumulated pension arrears will be gone. There is no sense punishing people who have served the state meritoriously.  In all, we will reposition Ekiti through good governance.

But Governor Fayemi has done well in the payment of pension and social security?
We have lots of pension arrears and gratuities. We met pensioners about two weeks ago and these people presented their case and we looked into them and we are sure that this present government has a lot of outstanding to pay pensioners.

Why do you think the Labour Party will defeat the incumbent and the PDP in the election?
The flag bearer of Labour Party in Ekiti State for the gubernatorial election, Bamidele, is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing Ekiti Central Constituency II. He has done a lot within the constituency. When we visited the constituency for our campaign, we were inaugurating one project or the other and the people were happy.
Even within the traditional rulers in Ekiti State, he has been doing wonderfully well because as we move from one town to the other for our campaign, the monarchs used to commend him for reaching out to them from time to time since he became a member of the House of Representatives.
Everybody has benefitted from him; he has been assisting the youths and empowering them. Even the widows and the less privileged in our society in Ekiti State; all of them are just singing his praises everywhere. So, I am sure that he will win the election.  

LP is relatively unknown in Ekiti; how do you plan to contend with an incumbent and PDP?
You know in a place where the incumbent is popular, incumbency may be a factor. But what we have is a situation where the incumbent government is not popular with the people and that he has disappointed Ekiti State because he has not been able to meet their yearnings and aspirations. So, he is not popular with the people.
Talking about PDP being sponsored by Federal Government or that it has federal might; there is no problem about that. What I can tell you is that Ekiti people are determined; they want a change and Labour Party is their alternative.

You mean you don’t see the incumbency factor as a threat?
If the incumbent governor is popular, then you can talk of being a threat to other parties but he is no longer popular in the state.

Why do you say a sitting governor is no longer popular in the state?
He is no more popular because lots of students have been disappointed because he called the entire students in Ekiti State when he was inaugurated and told them that he would reduce their school fees from N80, 000 to half but unfortunately he later increased the tuition fees to N150,000.
And few weeks to election now, he said he want to reduce their school fees. Even the teachers has been collecting there 27.5 per cent increment in their wages and when he came in, he removed the package from their salary and now he has returned it because of election. You can see all those things.

You talked about disappointment; in what areas has Governor Fayemi disappointed Ekiti people?
We have about four dams in Ekiti State and you cannot find any tap running water in the state. It is a big disappointment. During our campaign, the traditional rulers and the people were all calling on Labour Party to give them water when they are in power. So, that formed the major request of people for the Labour Party. For a sitting government; a government that is still in power and people said they are unable to produce this or that for them is a big disappointment.

In the area of tourism, road construction, health and social security, Fayemi is adjudged to have done well. Isn’t it?
In term of social security, a lot of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are running social security in Ekiti State. I have a foundation, Yewande Ogunlade Foundation. I reach out to the less privileged, especially the widows, the aged whom I used to distribute foods and give them money monthly within my environment. I didn’t know that I will go into politics.

But this is the first time a sitting governor would be giving stipends as monthly allowance for the elderly?
Yes, but because he is aware that some NGOs are giving it out in the state; that is why he has come around to make it a policy.

What is your expectation on June 21?
What will happen on June 21 is that people would use their power; I mean their votes. They will speak with their votes and I am sure that they would vote Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele and me as governor and deputy. I can tell you that Labour Party would take over the governance in Ekiti State come June 21.

How do you see the violence that has been going on with the campaigns?
People are aware that the APC are the violent group. What happened after the mega rally in Ikere-Ekiti speaks volume because after we left the campaign ground, the APC thugs came around and destroyed the AIT crew gadgets and they started chasing people, destroying vehicles. So, they are violent and people are now aware of the fact that they are violent because of their desperation to stick to power in Ekiti State.

You said the Muslim community nominated you as the running mate; to what extent has the Muslim community been able to support you? Also, what is the population of Muslims in Ekiti?
The population of Muslim community in Ekiti State is about 35 per cent and I am sure they are in my support because it is their wish that they have the deputy governor in the government of Labour Party.
The Muslim community has been supporting our aspiration. In fact, my aspiration is their aspiration. It is our aspiration in the state, I mean the Muslim community. So, they cannot nominate and drop me in the middle of the game because no one will shift the goal post at the middle of the game.

How about your former constituency, the civil service?
I retired as a deputy director in the Local Government Service and these people are proud of me and they really support me. They are given me every support so that they too would be able to beat their chest and say: this is our person, this is our man and this is one of us. So, it is a thing of joy and thing of pride to them.

What is your message to Ekiti people as you approach the governorship election?
I want to enjoin the entire Ekiti people to vote massively for Labour Party on June 21 governorship election. To tell them that Labour Party is the only party that would care for their welfare because we have a lot of packages for them as our programmes and I am sure that the change that Ekiti State have been looking up to would definitely come on June 21 through the enthronement of the Labour Party government.

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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Williams: Jonathan Should Get Rid of Fifth Columnists

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Read Time:3 Minute, 42 Second

A Lagos-based lawyer, Chief Ladi Williams, in this interview with Ademola Adeyemo speaks on the state of insecurity in Nigeria, especially the kidnapping of the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls, and the efforts of the government to rescue them, among other issues. Excerpts:

What is the hope of rescuing the Chibok girls now that their abduction has entered the second month?
Nigeria is a prayerful country, we should continue to believe in the power of God, we should not be discouraged. God will give us the peace to go through this terrible crisis. We should continue to pray for the safe return of our dear daughters as soon as possible well and alive. However, the utterances of some government officials are callous, unpatriotic and unfair.

Specifically, it was the minister of state for FCT, Jumoke Akinjide that spoke in this regard; she said that the mothers of the abducted girls and other protesters should direct their complaints to the terrorists. This is shocking from a junior minister of Nigeria. This is most arrogant, inconsiderate, irresponsible statement ever made in such circumstances. She showed no compassion for the plights of the parents forgetting that they may be poor, downtrodden but they are human beings with rights to protest and they were right to have directed their protests to the president who stands in locus parentis to all Nigerians anywhere.

One cannot but contrast this arrogant statement with that of Mrs. Obama, who in great humility, despite her exalted position, identified with Nigeria and humanity when she displayed placard. In contrast, a minister, speaking for the nation and addressing a crowd of protesters was talking as if nothing has happened. What we have is a national calamity of such magnitude even history will tell us that this has never happened, abducting school girls, not every parent can afford the expensive education of Ms Akinjide, but that does not give her the license to trivialise this national calamity.

What do you advise President Goodluck Jonathan to do?
Well, Jonathan is vested with the executive power, all the legitimate instrument of cohesion is vested on the president, and he can use these to rescue the girls. Akinjide was wrong to have directed the protesters to go to Sambisa forest, is she indirectly acknowledging that the government is incapable and incompetent. The President has the duty to protect lives and property of Nigerians.

No matter what people say, our first lady, Mrs Jonathan, has done well, the first lady was compassionate, she broke down she was overwhelmed on television. She spoke in pidgin English which all Nigerians will understand. Akinjide should have kept quiet. I was dissapointed to see the SFG, Senator Anyim and Reuben Abati looking askance .They should have stopped Jumoke Akinjide and let the whole world know that she spoke for herself. It is by doing so that the international community will know that the President has no intention to send grieving mothers to Sambisa forest.

How would you appraise the efforts of the military in this matter?
We have a capable military which has assisted other nations such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Somalia, Congo and others. If we can help them to put their houses in order there is no reason why we should not put our own right. I do not share the lack of confidence in our military. The president should ensure that the military is well equipped, well trained and well-motivated to continue to do their best which is to protect lives and property. No stone should be left unturned in this regard.

The president should do whatever to bring back the girls without compromising our interest and integrity. He should be mindful of who speaks for the presidency so as not to cause disaffection to the president and the country.  I believe that with what the people know about Jonathan, one thing you cannot accuse him of is that he is not a compassionate person.

The abduction of the Chibok girls is part of the unfortunate happenings in the country. Nigeria has to accept that there is a war going on, a war being fought in a non-conventional way. Nigeria is at war with unseen enemies, they are ruthless, it has nothing to do with whether you are a Muslim or Christian. So, the protesters should continue to protest peacefully and make their points to the government, it is their rights to do so

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: ‘Why I Want to Be Imo Governor in 2015’

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Read Time:4 Minute, 6 Second

Mr. Okey Ezeh, the Chief Executive Officer of a Lagos-based firm and a charity organisation, Okechukwu Theodore Ezeh Foundation, is gearing up for the Imo governorship in 2015. In this interview with Maduabuchi Ubani, he spoke on his quest to govern Imo State, philanthropy and many more. Excerpts:

You have been in the private sector and now venturing into politics. What has been your antecedent?
I have been a professional in the banking industry.  I worked with City Bank for 15 years rising to senior management. I am an entrepreneur, the CEO of a company called SERVICOM LTD based in Victoria Island. We are a management consultant firm and I have vast interest in so many things. I like to call myself a humanitarian because the society we live  in  is one that when you are great in it at some point you have to look for a way to give back. I think it was Pope John Paul that said “nobody is rich that has nothing to receive and nobody is poor that he has nothing to give.”

Why go into politics at this time?
So my mission is simple. I think things can be done differently and  think the time has come for a thorough breed professional who has record of personal achievement, professional pedigree with antecedence you are quantified to lay claims to run a good government. And what else, if you look around the world, young people are in charge. We don’t have to go far on that one.  If you look at some of the states that have made progress in Nigeria under the current dispensation, these are states with someone with a bit of professional pedigree in charge. They are people who are conversant with global best practices in governance.

Governor Rochas Okorocha is serving his first term in the office. He has not declared that he would seek a second term but there are possibilities he would. What are the things he is doing now that you will do differently?

Let me start by saying that the issue should not even be whether Rochas Okorocha is talking about a second term. And why do I say this? It is because it is high time we started taking people by their words in Nigeria. Politics shouldn’t just be about experience.  All over the world, in countries that are serious, leaders should be accountable for what they say and do. When Rochas came into government or before he came into office, one of the first things he said was that he was stooping to become the governor of Imo State.  As a matter of fact, he said he ought to be the president of Nigeria, that he came second to the late Yar’adua during the primaries and that he already thought he was above that level. He said he was on a rescue mission. We all know what a rescue mission is, we know the most famous rescue mission in the world.

We know where it was done and it wasn’t in Europe after the World War II. Rescue missions are supposed to be short-lived. In Uganda, it lasted 90 minutes. In Imo, it is three years and counting. So, he shouldn’t be talking about a rescue mission and be talking about a second term.

So, what is your plan for Imo?
If we were to get power in Imo State by the grace of God come May 29, we would go back to our agrarian roots. We have lots of young people who are looking for jobs; we are going to bring back the farm settlements in Imo State like in the east during the Micheal Okpara days. Agro based industrialisation that is our plan for Imo State. Imo has young, vibrant and educated workforce. All we need to do is to harness this workforce and polish it and channel them to that sector. We will provide opportunities for young people.

The thing that most people neglect is that it is not rocket science to come about development. Even if you do have some revolutionary ideas, you can actually get your results by doing the basic things. I can tell that if you have many people – people who have conscience – such people if you give them governance, we can actually make progress. They may not be rocket scientists, because vast majority of our resources are not used to serve the people.

They are used for white elephant projects.  Let’s cut out the politics, let’ go down to the art of business like empowering people and also having the resources work for the people using the best talents to re-engineer  things. If we start with those basics, we would have gotten to 50 per cent of our destination.

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: Amaechi Assents to State High Court Law

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Read Time:3 Minute, 41 Second

River State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, last night signed into law the Rivers State High Court (Amendment) Law 2014.

The state House of Assembly had in the afternoon passed the bill and directed the Clerk of the assembly to immediately forward the bill to the governor.

This came as supporters of the governor, took to the streets yesterday morning to protest against the assumption of office of Justice Daisy Okocha as administrative judge of the state as directed by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The assembly, in passing the state High Court (Amendment) Law 2014, amended Section 40 of the Principal Law of 2001.

Section 40 of the Principal Law, which was passed by the fifth legislative assembly, was amended by the addition of a new sub-section 2, to read:

“Where the office of the Chief Judge is vacant and it is impracticable to appoint an acting Chief Judge, or a Chief Judge, the Chief Registrar shall assign cases to any judge and perform other administrative duties until an acting Chief Judge or a Chief Judge is appointed.”

The assembly, presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, sat the Old Executive Chambers of Government House about one hour after its committee on judiciary held a public hearing on the bill.
All the 18 members present voted unanimously in favour of the amendment.

Addressing members of the assembly after the amendment, Kwanee said no amount of sacrifice was too much to ensure the peace and progress of the state.

“I want to thank my colleagues for your support and sacrifice in the quick passage of the bill. I want to assure you that no amount of sacrifice is too much to pay. It is for the peace and progress of this state that we took the decision. All of our constituents are suffering and the judiciary has to function,” he said.

He directed the Clerk of the assembly to immediately transmit a copy of the bill to the state governor for his assent. Earlier, at the public hearing, Kwanee said, “The seventh assembly under the current leadership would not be intimidated out of its constitutional responsibility of making laws for the state.

He said the amendment of the High Court Law would create way for the resolution of the crisis that had impaired the state judiciary.

Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and sponsor of the bill, Golden Chioma, representing Etche Constituency II, said the essence of the bill was to ensure that there was no vacuum in the judiciary.

He stated that the amendment would remove some lacuna found in the Principal Law, which would, also, address the current crisis in the state judiciary with regard to the appointment of a Chief Judge.
He said his committee received six memoranda on the amendment, including one from the Chief Felix Obua-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

In his contribution, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Wogu Boms, welcomed the  amendment of the law by the assembly, saying it would enable the people to have an uninterrupted access to justice.

Also, on behalf of pro-Amaechi lawmakers in the National Assembly from the state, the Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Hon. Dakuku Peterside, said the High Court law was made by the state House of Assembly in 2001, and can also be amended by the same House.

They pledged their support for the amendment, saying the assembly had the constitutional powers to do so.

Meanwhile, commercial activities were brought to a halt for several hours yesterday in Port Harcourt when thousands of supporters of Amaechi took to the streets on a peaceful protest following the resumption of duty Justice Daisy Okocha as the Administrative Judge of the state.

The protesters, made up mostly of youths and politicians mobilised from the 23 local government areas of the state, alleged that Okocha, who was recently appointed the Administrative Judge of the state by the NJC, forced the office of the Chief Judge open on Tuesday and held a secret meeting with some judges of the state High Court.

The protesters, in buses, stormed the state Judiciary Complex at about 7am carrying placards, some of which read: “Daisy Okocha, whose interest is being served?” “Brazen impunity is an invitation to anarchy. NJC na wao!” and “stop this arrogance of power.”

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: APC Endorses Zoning Arrangement as Leaders Resolve Logjam

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Read Time:6 Minute, 45 Second

At last, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has formally adopted a zoning formula, thus ending weeks of apprehension by stakeholders on the possibility of a successful national convention.

With the resolution of the zoning structure, preparations for the successful hosting of the party’s maiden national convention has been intensified as the members of the planning committee swung into action yesterday, putting finishing touches to arrangements.

The resolution of the protracted zoning arrangement came after Tuesday night’s meeting of the national leadership caucus of the party made of 50 prominent leaders, including retired Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and the 16 governors.

Under the approved zoning structure made available to journalists in Abuja in the early hours of yesterday, the positions of the National Chairman, Deputy National Secretary and Deputy National Legal Adviser were zoned to the South-south, while  National Legal Adviser, Deputy National Chairman, and National Financial Secretary went to the South-west.

The South-east is to produce the National Organising Secretary, National Auditor, Deputy Finance Secretary and Deputy Women Leader, while the North-central has four offices zoned to it – the National Publicity Secretary
National Women Leader, Deputy Treasurer and Deputy Welfare Secretary.

The office of the  National Secretary, National Youth Leader and Deputy National Auditor went to the  North-east, whereas the North-west is expected to fill the offices of Welfare Secretary, Deputy National Chairman, National Treasurer and Deputy National Organising Secretary

The party explained that under the zoning arrangement, each of the six geo-political zones would in addition produce, a Zonal National Vice-Chairman,  Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Youth Leader and an Ex-Officio member.

Meanwhile, members and elders of the party who opened up on the outcome of the meeting, commended the APC National Convention Committee headed by the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko,  for brokering an end to the deadlock on zoning.
They said but for the consultations carried out by the committee with other stakeholders and elders of the party, the issue would have remained stalemate.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting held on the matter yesterday, a stalwart of the party, Mr. Abubakar Audu, said the party had achieved a significant progress by creating understanding and arriving at a favourable conclusion.

The former Kogi State governor praised the committee headed by Wamakko for living up to expectations.

Another party chieftain, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, expressed happiness on the progress being made by the party which is drawing more people to join its fold in their desire to have a change for the better.

Baraje, who led the defected PDP governors and other members to the APC, said he would be the happiest man for any achievement attained by the party, adding that their decision to join the party would not be in vain. On his part, Wamakko thanked the elders and all other members of the party for the cooperation given to his committee to make an impact by carrying out its responsibilities.

Wamakko promised that the forthcoming convention of the party would be one that would reposition the party for success in the 2015 elections.

As a fall-out of further negotiations for those that will retain their positions, the interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed from Kwara State (North-central), the interim National Organizing Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso from Imo State (South-east),  THISDAY gathered yesterday that party leaders also resolved  adoption of affirmation rather than actual voting process in approving candidates for all the party positions during the convention.

The use of affirmation is provided in Article 20 of the party’s constitution of the party.

It was learnt that in order to give effect to the agreed consensus arrangement, the leadership of the party had instructed the convention committee to discourage persons not in the consensus list from paying to obtain nomination forms.  According to the source, the idea was to avoid unnecessary bickering that might come up from allowing whole scale tussle among the aspirants.

Also yesterday, one of the aspirants for the chairmanship position and current interim National Vice Chairman for south south, Chief Tom Ikimi stormed the national headquarters of the APC to pick nomination form.
Accompanied by a crowd of supporters, Ikimi defied permutations that had confirmed his fellow compatriot from Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun as favourite to clinch the job.

In another development, the APC raised concern over the desperation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government to capture Ekiti State at all cost.

The party also described the ongoing clampdown on the national media as part of a grand strategy to silence Nigerians ahead of the satanic plan to thwart the will of the people of Ekiti and indeed that of all Nigerians.

In a statement issued yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the multi-pronged approach started with the harassment and intimidation of the people of Ekiti to prevent them from coming out to vote on June 21.

‘’The pre-meditated violence inflicted on innocent and harmless Ekiti people last Sunday by the police, which has now turned itself to PDP enforcers, is aimed clearly at signalling to the people of the state what they should expect before, during and after the forthcoming election,’’ it said.
The APC said that was followed up with a clampdown on all those who can challenge the federal government’s planned impunity in Ekiti, starting with the nation’s fiercely independent media.

‘’The clampdown on the media has nothing to do with Boko Haram or any ‘’intelligence’’ report. That is a ruse. Journalists do not carry weapons. They only fight with words. In fact, this terror band called Boko Haram has had occasions to threaten the media with attack over their reports exposing the terrorists for what they are.”

Therefore, the unprecedented and utterly indefensible clampdown on the media is part of a sinister plot that is not unconnected with the elections scheduled for this and next year.

‘’The PDP-led federal government’s strategy is simple: We must capture Ekiti at all cost, even when we may not have the votes to win the state. After that, we can then dare anyone who alleges rigging or election manipulation to head to court. In the meantime, we must tamper with the freedom of expression and the right to information, of which the media is at the vanguard,’’ APC said.

The party said anyone that believes this strategy is far fetched only needs to look at the groundwork that has been laid for it by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, who picked both the Minister of Police Affairs and the Minister of State for Defence from the South-west.

‘’This federal government sees the South-west as very critical to the president’s chances of getting re-elected next year, and has thus turned it to a battleground. They are desperate to capture Ekiti and Osun States, which they see as the road to the heart of the South-west next year. That explains their desperation about the elections in the two states,’’ it said.

APC however said that the federal governmaent has shot itself in the foot, first with the deadly attack on defenceless citizens in Ekiti, including the governor of the state, and then the senseless and irresponsible clamp down on the national media, the same media that no dictator in the history of Nigeria has succeeded in silencing.

The party urged the PDP-led federal government to desist from its plot and allow the people of Ekiti and indeed the people of Nigeria to choose their leaders in free, fair and transparent elections, warning that while a standing army or a tyrannical government can indeed suppress a people, no where in the world have they succeeded in defeating the people, the ultimate reservoir of power.

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, US, UK, Others Sign MoU, Set up Unit to Combat Terrorism

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Read Time:3 Minute, 30 Second

 The United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Republic of Chad and Niger Republic have set up an External Intelligence Response Unit (EIRU) on Terrorism.

According to a statement signed by the Coordinator of the National Briefing Centre on Terrorism and Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mr. Mike Omeri, the new structure was set up as part of the agreement reached at the Paris summit on terrorism.

Omeri confirmed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed by the nations which guarantees their commitment to sharing all information on security, particularly on challenges pertaining to terrorism.

Omeri said the move was initiated by the Government of Nigeria, elaborating: “As a fall out of the Paris summit, an External Intelligence Response Unit (EIRU) has been established by Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Chad, Niger, United Kingdom, France and the United States.”  He called the development a major achievement in the fight against insurgencies in the West African sub-region and Nigeria in particular.

He explained that the team met last month in Abuja to establish the framework that led to the signing of the MoU in Yaoundé, Cameroun.

Omeri had earlier in the briefing said the Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke, had participated in a meeting last Monday in Yaounde, the Camerounian capital, where other West African countries signed the MoU, pledging mutual assistance and cooperation against terrorism.

“As part of the continued efforts by the federal government to strengthen the alliance against terrorism, the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency participated in a meeting on Monday, June 10 in Yaounde with his counterparts from other West African countries, during which a Memorandum of Understanding pledging mutual assistance and cooperation in this fight against terrorism in the West African sub-region was signed,” Omeri said.

He also advised football enthusiasts to be vigilant and conscious of their environment as the World Cup kicks off in Brazil today, adding that the advisory was necessary due to the current security challenges facing the nation.

“The government is advising Nigerians, particularly football enthusiasts, to be extra vigilant and cautious of every movement of persons and any alien objects around their vicinity during and after the duration of the World Cup which starts tomorrow (today). This advice has become necessary owing to the unscrupulous activities of those that do not wish Nigeria well,” he said.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 19 persons have been killed and several others injured in Rim and Jol villages of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State by unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

It was also gathered that several homes and a church were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.
A source from one of the villages said the gunmen stormed Rim and Jol at 1.30 am yesterday and shot the villagers in their sleep.

According to the source, six members of the Special Task Force (STF) deployed to restore peace in Plateau were among those killed.

A member representing Riyom constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr Daniel Dem, confirmed the attack, decrying the killings and describing it as unfortunate.
He said: “At 1.30 am there was an attack in Rim and Jol villages. In Rim, persons were killed and houses were burnt. Some security personnel were also killed.”
Dem appealed to the people of the community to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands.

Fulani herdsmen had protested on Tuesday when 30 of their boys were injured and 60 cows killed following an attack by suspected Berom youths from Rim and Jol villages.

They had also called on security agents to investigate the incident, but barely 24 hours later, they may have taken their pound of flesh.

The Fulani, through Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), had also denied the alarm raised by the Berom community in the villages that they have a camp in Rim where insurgents were being trained for possible attacks on Berom villages.

Efforts to reach the spokesman of the STF, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, to confirm yesterday’s attack were unsuccessful.

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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Ndoma-Egba: Nigeria May Lose Obudu Resort, Eight LGAs to Cameroun

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Read Time:2 Minute, 56 Second

Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has said except the federal government takes a proactive action against the ongoing boundary adjustment in the country, Nigeria could lose most of its tourist sites including the popular Obudu resort.

He also said in view of the boundary adjustment going on in Cross River State, the state could lose eight of its existing 18 local government areas to neighbouring Cameroun.
The ongoing boundary adjustment between Nigeria and Cameroun by the United Nations (UN) is a fallout of the 2002 judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ceded the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun.

The senator, who promised to move a formal motion on the issue when the Senate resumes from its recess, said there was tension in the state last week over the presence of the UN boundary adjustment team led by one Isaac Baya of Zimbabwe.

According to him, the team was accompanied by Nigerian soldiers to Danari, a boundary community between Nigeria and Cameroun in Boki Local Government Area of the state in furtherance of the Green Tree Agreement (GTA) adopted for implementation of the ICJ verdict.

He said: “There is some boundary delineation exercise going on as a result of the Green Tree Agreement, which was the consequence of the judgment of the International Court of Justice on what we call Bakassi.

“The Green Tree Agreement necessitated some boundary adjustments and that exercise started somewhere from lake Chad and it is supposed to go right down to the Atlantic Ocean in the south, so the exercise is going on in a place called Danari in Boki Local Government in my constituency.

“The Anglo/German boundary of 1913 has been there and a particular beacon stone, beacon 113, we heard cannot be found, the rest has been found and that is the one they are trying to locate. The United Nations team is insisting on taking a straight line, and now the communities believe that the beacon is somewhere further in the Camerouns.

“If they follow a straight line as they want to, then we will be losing some communities to the Camerouns including the famous Agbokim waterfalls where Hon. John Enoh comes from. So I am in touch with the Cross River State Government and the community.

“But we are looking at it so that I will bring a formal motion to the floor. You know I came under Order 42 the last time just to give notice about my intention to bring a motion.

“We are going to lose some substantial territory, but I am still getting briefed on it. Now the good thing is for the boundary communities, we have Danari in Nigeria and we have Danari in Cameroun – Danari 1 and Danari 2. They know their traditional boundaries, they know where their traditional boundaries are and they have had no problems with that.

“So we want to make a case for the UN team to just accept the traditional boundaries that the two communities agreed on and let the sleeping dogs lie.”
The senator said even more worrisome was the fact that a few days ago, the UN team was in Danari with soldiers without the knowledge of the chairman of the local government and the state government.

“We were wondering where these soldiers came from and without the chairman of the local government knowing, without the state government knowing. So what is actually going on?” he demanded.

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: Alison-Madueke’s OPEC Bid Suffers Setback

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Read Time:2 Minute, 15 Second

 Member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have decided to extend the tenure of the incumbent secretary general of the oil cartel, Abdullah al-Badri, by six months, thus putting the bid by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deizani Alison-Madueke, to replace him in abeyance.

The 12-member body disclosed this in a communiqué it issued at the end of its meeting in Vienna, Austria, yesterday.

OPEC also agreed to maintain its oil production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day for the second half of 2014.

The federal government had nominated Alison-Madueke to succeed the long-serving al-Badri to break the deadlock over the post created by opposing candidates from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Had the cartel not extended al-Badri’s tenure and Alison-Madueke got the backing of most member countries to succeed him, she would have been required to step down from the federal cabinet by December.

In the communiqué, the oil ministers expressed satisfaction with oil prices of around $110 a barrel for Brent crude, which is above the organisation’s preferred price of $100 a barrel.

The oil ministers had reviewed recent oil market developments and world economic growth, in particular supply/demand projections for the second half of the year, as well as the outlook for 2015 and noted that the relative steadiness of prices during 2014 to date was an indication that the market is adequately supplied, with the periodic price fluctuations being more a reflection of geopolitical tensions than a response to fundamentals.

OPEC, however, observed that whilst world economic growth was projected to reach 3.4 per cent in 2014, up from 2.9 per cent in 2013, downside risks to the global economy, both in the OECD and non-OECD regions, remained unchecked.

The OPEC member countries noted that whilst world oil demand was expected to rise from 90.0 mbpd in 2013 to 91.1 mbpd in 2014, non-OPEC supply was projected to grow by 1.4 mbpd, with OECD stock levels, in terms of days of forward demand cover, remaining comfortable.

“In the light of the foregoing, the conference again decided that member countries should adhere to the existing production level of 30.0 mbpd. In taking this decision, the conference unanimously agreed that member countries would, if required, take steps to ensure market balance which is so important to world economic activity.

“Member countries in turn reiterated their willingness to firmly respond to developments that might jeopardise oil market stability,” the communiqué stated.
OPEC’s next ordinary meeting will hold in Vienna, Austria, on November 27, 2014.

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: NYSC Bars Corps Members from Borno, Yobe, Adamawa

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Read Time:2 Minute, 21 Second

 Following rising insecurity in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has suspended the scheme in the three North-eastern states, stating that any corps member who flouted this directive should be ready to face the consequences of his or her action.

The Director-General of NYSC, Brig-General Johnson Olawumi, stated this in Calabar yesterday while fielding questions from reporters shortly after the commencement of the annual management conference of the scheme holding in the Cross River State capital.

He said the statement had become necessary following the discovery that some stubborn corps members posted outside the violence-prone states sometimes travelled there to make more money doled out by the three state governments to attract them.

He said until normalcy returned to these three states, the management of NYSC would not post graduates of tertiary educational institutions there as the scheme was not ready to lose any corps member on national assignment to the activities of Boko Haram as witnessed in the past few years.

“The NYSC is mindful of the security situation in the country. The states where we have security challenges we will deliberately not post corps members there. But any corps member who deliberately goes there to serve is doing so on his own volition. They do that on their own because we do not officially send corps members to those troubled states.

“I want to emphasise that those three states are part of Nigeria. Our prayer is that peace returns to those places as soon as possible so that corps members who want to explore those places would have the opportunity of doing so,” the director general said.

Olawumi maintained that the focus of the NYSC programme, given the high level of unemployment in the country, was how to make corps members become self-sufficient after undergoing training on Integrated Entrepreneurship Development (IED) facilitated by the scheme.

“We have repositioned the scheme to address the current unemployment in the country so that after the service year, corps members can become self employed and self reliant. We want them to become useful to themselves rather than being idle after serving their fatherland,” he said.

The Chairman of NYSC Governing Board, Chief Gordon Bozimo, in his speech, said in the last 41 years, the NYSC scheme had contributed meaningfully to Nigeria’s socio-economic development and had undergone transformation, all which had impacted positively on the image of the country.

He revealed that under his leadership in the last one year, the board had taken steps to add value to the operation of the scheme through “the constructive engagement of state governments for sustainable development of physical infrastructure at the orientation camps and provision of other statutory support to the scheme”.

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: Ezekwesili Flays Critics, Calls them Heathens

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Read Time:3 Minute, 0 Second

 One of the organisers of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, yesterday went for the jugular of those seemingly opposing the group’s efforts.

This is coming on the heels of the recent twitter clash between her and the presidential Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, when the latter chided Ezekwesili over her inability to accept the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s sublime supremacy over her.

Tweeting from her twitter handle @obyezeks, the former Minister of Education replied those who strongly suggested that she was an opportunist who simply loved being in the limelight.

She said: “I had to offload my fury on those who should consolidate efforts at rescuing our #ChibokGirls but are rather directing energy at the wrong targets. Heathens who proudly work evil thinking that the creator of eyes and ears can neither see nor hear. Hear me well, God is not mocked.

“Heathens who seeing public office as a spoil can never understand we who passed through same office and spat on those ignoble and accursed wealth. If even the parents of the girls abducted them, would we as a sane nation not do everything to rescue them? What then is the irritation about?

“Heathens wish that we should feel guilt for standing for the cause of the vulnerable children of our nation. We shall stand on. Heathens wish to embed a culture of wickedness as the spirit of our shared humanity? No. It cannot be, keep on raging. We'll keep demanding.

“These heathen just cannot get it. How can they? Heartless, they make double victims of #ChibokGirls who were already victims. Heartless lot!”

Condemning claims that they were paid by the opposition, she said: “These heathens imagine vain things by lying to themselves that our empathy is opposition inspired, money or power induced. Heartless lot. We who will not stop demanding for our #ChibokGirls, take joy in persisting. No matter how loud the heathens rage and imagine vain things.

“We have reason to thank God for keeping filthy minds far from us. Filthy minds for whom money and power are reason to ignore the #ChibokGirls. Let it be known to all that nothing the federal government and their minions do to me for standing for the #ChibokGirls shall ever dissuade me.

“Heathens who have decided that we all must join and call bad, good and good, bad. We who refused are torn at. You waste your time.”

Meanwhile, Okupe had in a recent tweet from his handle @DoyinOkupe claimed that Ezekwesili had refused to greet him during a chance meeting.

He said: “Just met Oby at Heathrow Airport. Went over to say hello. Shockingly, she refused to say hello or shake me. We might disagree but it ought not to be personal.

“This unnecessary hostility of Oby is childish, petty and unbeffiting of a Christian, certainly not a pastor's wife. Oby is unfit for leadership. Oby is an over celebrated creation of Obasanjo with no clear antecedent or pedigree. An opportunist who profits from national tragedy to rise to fame.

“Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the problem Oby has. It is painful to her to accept Ngozi’s sublime supremacy over her. So she is desperate to surpass her. Pity.”
To his tweet, Ezekwesili simply replied: “If it matters to you at all, then know that I actually verbally answered that greeting but declined the theatrics of a false hearty handshake.”

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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