NEWS AND STORIES
THE General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said the only way Nigeria can grow and develop is to carry out a total cleansing, “the type that happened in Ghana.”
Speaking at a press conference Sunday, Bakare said those who put the country in its present mess would not escape when God arrives to do the cleansing.
“We need the Ghana treatment to send shock waves down the spines of everybody so that people would tip-toe when going into public office,” he said, enthusing that it remained “how God will do it.”
In a message titled “The Head that refuses a life-giving rebuke will be thrown down the cliff of perdition”, Bakare expressed regret that the present administration has missed the right path long before now. “Until good governance is in place and credible people are not discouraged from playing clean politics, things would not change.”
On the allegation by former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, at a lecture that the government squandered foreign reserves running to several billions of dollars, Bakare berated the government’s spokesmen and the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for chasing the shadow and leaving the substance.
He said the CAN leadership failed to address the real issue on corruption but was chasing shadow. According to him, “CAN is expected to serve as the voice for the voiceless but it has turned itself into government appendage. It was the re-tweeting of figurative expression of Malam Nasir el-Rufai that the agents of diversion have latched onto in order to take our focus from the fundamental issues Ezekwesili raised and to which they have no answer.”
He said rather than the government giving a lucid, reasoned and mature response to Ezekwesili, “it went into all manner of tirades against her person, virulently attacking the messenger while ignoring the message. This puerile approach must have incensed many Nigerians with sense of decency and propriety in public affairs.”
The National Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Adebisi Akande, spoke with TUNDE ODESOLA on national issues, his party and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party
What’s your position on the state of infrastructure in the country?
My position tallies with the disillusionment of the average Nigerian over the state of infrastructure in the country. You saw the situation at the Police College, Ikeja. How can you get anything good from any policeman or policewoman trained in such a college? The government expends money on it yearly but where does the money go? Look at the situation of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Sokoto Road, the country’s rail system, East-West Bypass, Benin-Ore-Sagamu Road and many others. You can’t get to Abuja from anywhere, the roads are bad. Go to the East, the roads are impassable. Erosion has eaten up the East.
Flooding occurred in about 23 states in Nigeria last year, killing people and destroying properties. You can see the proactive step taking by Osun State in checking flooding. In most homes, electricity only comes for few hours in a month. We keep having air disasters.
So, what infrastructure are we talking about? It won’t be out of place to say that Nigeria is a failed state - may be except for a few states not controlled by the typical Peoples Democratic Party politicians, because there are a few governors that are not of the Action Congress of Nigeria but they are working in the interest of their people.
Bloodletting and violence by Boko Haram has left the country writhing in the throes of perpetual insecurity. What’s your view on this?
Majority of Nigerians believe that poverty within the country gave rise to Boko Haram while so many people believe it’s due to the jostle for Peoples Democratic Party presidential ticket in the countdown to the 2015 general elections. Government may want to negotiate, it may not want to negotiate. Should you want to negotiate, who are you going to negotiate with? If not, why are you not going to negotiate? Government’s primary duty is to ensure peace and tranquility. Unfortunately, it is these key issues of governance that Boko Haram is attacking. It’s on record that most people have read politics of the PDP into Boko Haram insurgence. The President himself said Boko Haram is everywhere, including his government. The shielding of Boko Haram members by senators and people in power gave credence to the President’s submission. Do not forget that a police commissioner had once deliberately allowed a suspected Boko Haram member run away from police cell. You will remember also that the late National Security Adviser, Gen. Patrick Azazi, had at a public function attributed national insecurity to the politics of the PDP. If all of these have been the case, it could be submitted that the Boko Haram problem is like a ball in the court of PDP. Should it decide to negotiate, then, the presidency’s interest may be negatively affected. Second term ambition could be the underpinning of Boko Haram. Negotiation may mean shifting ground to accommodate lack of second term for the present occupant of the presidency, but which is most desired by a lot of other interested personalities and groups who may want a continuation of the present corrupt order. Already, the strategising for the above is already on and some people are already losing out in the power game. The dialogue option may not be workable for obvious reasons. It may be that the presidency may not be in tune with Boko Haram’s sponsors within the fold of the PDP and when a falcon cannot hear the falconer, then anarchy, like we have in Nigeria, is let on the loose. Therefore, the matter of negotiation with Boko Haram will be a matter of expediency as may be dictated by the interest of the President; does he want to hustle for second term and continue to lose more Nigerians to daily killings and bombings or does he want to adhere to the constitution he swore to protect Nigerians? He has a choice to make in all these.
The state of the country has been a source of worry to Nigerians. What do you think?
What exactly should we be talking about in Nigeria that is not known to all and sundry? Is it the corruption, assault on human lives or the ineptitude of the Federal Government to provide basic needs? Is it lack of power or lies by government officials in order to perpetrate themselves in power? Is it the inability to get our priorities right? We seem not to be getting anything right, we keep retrogressing. When other countries are in the moon, we are still dwelling in the caves. A number of good things happened to Nigeria in the past and some other countries came to copy those things. Those countries today have made it good with those things they copied from us. For us, we have lost them all. The values are dead. Calling somebody a thief in the past would evoke the feeling of death for the person but ironically, thieves are leading us today.
The spate of violence in the country has been linked with the 2015 election. Is this the reality?
Many people are linking Boko Harm with the contest for 2015 presidential elections. It may not be out of context to rein in that fact based on the earlier facts supplied. But besides the fact that the present violence is restricted to the northern part of the country, it is expected that there will be adherence to democratic practice as available in a free and fair electoral contest. In 2011, when the rules are adhered to, when the democratic processes were followed to some extent, there was less reportage of violence across the country and the elections were principally declared free and fair by observers. One can only expect that there would be an improvement on the 2011 elections in 2015.
Will your party latch in on the Board of Trustees crisis within PDP?
PDP has never had any serious influence in Nigeria; it has always been forcing itself on Nigerians through electoral rigging and manipulation. PDP has been a house of commotion since 1999. It is only when they have the common interest of cheating Nigerians that they always come together and have a common front. The issue of BoT is not anything serious but a continuation of giving jobs to the boys so as to ensure that the commotion within is reduced. Otherwise, what exactly is the constitutional role of a BoT for a political party? It is supposed to be an advisory body. And if it is merely an advisory body, why would you want to kill yourselves over its chairmanship? This tells you that there’s more to the PDP BoT than meets the eye. There must be a lot of corruption at the expense of Nigerians. In relation to our party, we have no political capital we have to make out of the PDP BoT crisis because we have a solid and good relationship with the people of Nigeria whom we have always been courting through the enhancement of due democratic processes, good governance and delivery of solid democratic dividends to the people. These are what we inherited from Obafemi Awolowo’s credo, which says “freedom for all, life more abundant.”
A lot of people were surprised that a well -respected monarch in the North could be attacked. What is your take on the attack on the Emir of Kano?
It is very unfortunate. But it tells you how daring the attackers are becoming. The institution of monarchy, especially as it concerns the Emir of Kano, which is one of the leading traditional institutions in Nigeria, is being debased in estimation. Once again, it is a product of the ineptness of the Federal Government to secure lives and property in Nigeria. If the Emir of Kano is violently attacked in such a manner, then who is safe in Nigeria? Yet, all that could be heard from the Federal Government are feeble statements lacking in action. It is a dangerous trend that should be checked from recurring.
How prepared is the ACN for election in Osun and Ekiti State next year?
Like it is well known, performance, delivery of democratic dividends and adherence to the rule of law have always been key issues in ACN-controlled governments. This is our strength and we rely on it so much. As you must have observed, Governor Adams Oshiomhole had a wonderful electoral ride into his second term on the basis of his super performance. I’m sure that not many people are aliens to the ongoing aggressive development efforts in Osun and Ekiti states.
Governors Rauf Aregbesola and Kayode Fayemi are turning the state around for good having inherited a decadent system foisted by the disgraced PDP administrations in the various states. With these sterling performances aimed at making life more comfortable for the people and with many more of such performances to come in another one year or so, definitely we should not have any problem with the people of the two states who are highly political sophisticated and who appreciate good governance when they see one. We expect that the Independent National Electoral Commission will provide a level playing ground whereby due process will be adhered to, adequate electoral materials will be provided and made to reach polling booths on time. We also expect that security agencies will be fair and impartial and will reject advances that could taint elections, I assure you the ACN will win at all times if these conditions are provided. The ACN will win not only in Osun and Ekiti but in Nigeria in general.
How do you feel at 74?
There’s nothing spectacular in being 74 without being useful to your people. It is purely the grace of God that has taken me this far. I thank God who has so far given me so much grace and opportunity to come this far.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said last night that Islamist extremist group Boko Haram would pose a threat to other African nations if not contained, while also pledging support for Mali.
Jonathan, speaking in an interview with CNN, however did not offer details while denying the Boko Haram insurgency was spurred by deep poverty in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and refuting widespread reports of major military abuses.
“Boko Haram, if it is not contained, would be a threat not only to Nigeria, but to west Africa, central Africa and of course to north Africa,” he said from Davos, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.
He mentioned Boko Haram members travelling to “link up” with members of Al-Qaeda’s north African branch operating in northern Mali and other north African nations.
“That is why the Nigerian government is totally committed to work with other nationals, other friendly governments, to make sure that we contain the problems in Mali,” Jonathan said.
Nigeria has pledged to send 900 troops to Mali and is to command an African force being deployed there.
Asked whether misrule and corruption were helping feed the violence blamed on Boko Haram in Nigeria, Jonathan firmly denied it.
Most Nigerians live on less than $2 per day despite the country’s status as Africa’s biggest oil producer, and many have seen the insurgency as largely in response to conditions in the north, which has been particularly neglected.
“Boko Haram is a local terror group and we call on the rest of the world to work with us,” said Jonathan.
“Because now we are talking about Algeria, we are talking about northern Mali, and what I believe is that if we allow terror to exist in any part of the world, it will not just affect that country or that state, but it will affect the rest of the globe, and we should not play politics with Boko Haram.”
Nigeria’s military has been accused of major abuses in its fight against Boko Haram, including killings of civilians, the burning of homes and indiscriminate arrests. Jonathan denied the assertions when asked about them.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both issued detailed reports on allegations of major military abuses, among others.
Informed that the US State Department has raised concerns over the military’s actions, Jonathan said US diplomats should seek out the true story.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
The perceived ambition of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in 2015 has sparked a dirty fight between him and the Minister of the Niger Delta, Elder Godson Orubebe, with both South South leaders publicly calling each other names.
Amaechi, who doubles as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), is widely rumoured to be nursing the ambition of running as presidential running mate to a Northern aspirant in the next election.
Orubebe believes that the Rivers governor, of all people, should not be a party to any move to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from getting a second term in 2015, declaring on Thursday night: “In America, people within the same political party do fight, but once the President emerges, everybody will sheathe their swords and support the President to succeed so that Americans can get the best. But is that what our President is getting? That is not what he is getting.”
He spoke at a press conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
However, Governor Amaechi, who is serving his second term in office, has not publicly declared any ambition; and he parries questions on the matter whenever he is confronted.
He added: “Unfortunately, the man (Amaechi) has forgotten that it was by the grace of God that he became the governor of Rivers State. He has forgotten so soon. He has arrogated to himself, powers that he does not have. It is God that has powers.
“Today, he sees himself as the governor of governors and he begins to feel that he is even bigger than the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But I want to let him know that God is still God. He must have respect for the Presidency. He must have respect for the President of this country.
“It is sad. It is unfortunate that people from the South-South, even governors, particularly Governor Rotimi Amaechi, have no respect for the President of this country. I think this is the right time we should let him know and I have decided to speak because this is the time to speak.
“Let him (Amaechi) use the resources of Rivers State to develop Rivers State. Let him not use the resources of Rivers State to bribe people in Nigeria. That must stop. He should understand that God is still God.”
But it was not only Amaechi’s speculated ambition that riled Orubebe.
The governor had on Wednesday expressed disgust at what he regarded as the minister’s lack of attention for the vital East-West road which runs across swampy sections from Oron in Akwa Ibom State passing through Ogoniland in Rivers State as well as Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ogun states, while terminating in Lagos.
The rehabilitation of the road, especially between Delta and Rivers, has suffered from severe red-tape which has slowed down its completion thus, exposing motorists and commuters to danger.
Governor Amaechi, reacting to a recent tanker explosion on the road in which about 14 people died, had said the nine Niger Delta states would take over the project in view of the alleged inaction of the Niger Delta Ministry.
The minister asked Amaechi to mind his business and stop using the resources of Rivers State to bribe Nigerians.
He said: “He (Amaechi) was saying that the governors of the Niger Delta want to take over the East-West Road. The resources of Rivers State are so enormous, but I can tell you that there are so many villages in Rivers State that have not been connected by road.
“Port Harcourt used to be the Garden City of this country. Today, Port Harcourt is a slum. You cannot move in Port Harcourt. I think that he should concern himself with utilising the resources that are in there to develop Rivers State and the people of Rivers State.
“I expect him (Amaechi) to talk, if he is performing like Akpabio (Godswill, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State). If today the Governor of Akwa Ibom State is talking about those things, I will tend to listen, sit down and reason with him, but not governor of Rivers State.
“He (Amaechi) is only talking. Almost the roads he is talking of are abandoned. Nothing is going on in Port Harcourt. The people are crying. He should think of doing that.”
Orubebe had earlier on Thursday inspected work on the projects in Warri, Kaiama in Bayelsa State, Port Harcourt and Ogoniland in Rivers State and Eket and Oron in Akwa Ibom State.
The inspected sections alone,according to him, has 42 bridges, with 32 completed and ten ongoing and 768 culverts, with 740 completed.
Sand-filling is epected to be completed by June.
Orubebe said that the recent collapse of parts of the road was caused by last year’s massive flooding.
Amaechi’s response to the minister’s attack was swift and no less strident.
In a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr.David Iyofor, the Governor said: “Ordinarily, I would not respond to the ludicrous, thoughtless and bizarre rantings of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, against Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, but it has become imperative for me to do this and show clearly that the minister’s game is just to divert attention from his ineptitude and abysmal failure.
“Contrary to his madcap vituperations, Governor Amaechi has tremendous respect for the office of the President of Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan. The office of the President of Nigeria is a big institution that deserves utmost respect and it would be grossly irresponsible for anyone to disrespect Mr. President which unfortunately Minister Orubebe is doing by dragging the President’s name into his inability to deliver on the East –West road.
“Minister Orubebe seems to suffer from a severe form of selective amnesia as he conveniently forgets that the same Amaechi he (Orubebe) now contemptuously, disgraciously and insolently disparages and flippantly accuses of not respecting Mr. President led Rivers people to overwhelming vote for and gave President Jonathan the highest votes by any state in the country at the last presidential elections. Minister Orubebe should please tell us, what respect, regard and show of love is bigger than that?
“Minister Orubebe’s imprudent and reckless attacks on the person of Governor Amaechi is a dubious but obvious attempt by the minister to divert attention from his abysmal failure to deliver on the East- West road. This callous attempt to drag the President’s name into it is what is most disrespectful and irresponsible.
“I challenge Minister Orubebe to show the world projects he started and completed in the Niger-Delta as Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs. I challenge Minister Orubebe to show the world one project he started and completed in Rivers State with the huge resources allocated to his ministry.
“Or is Rivers State not part of the Niger-Delta, Minister Orubebe? In the same vein, I challenge Minister Orubebe to come to Rivers State at anytime of his choice and since he has become too blind to see Governor Amaechi’s monumental developmental strides and projects in the state. I will be most delighted to show him the kilometres upon kilometres of brand new roads and bridges, the world-class new hospitals and health centres scattered all over the state, the exquisite primary and secondary schools that have become the models for many, the robust urban renewal programme, and many more developmental projects of the Amaechi administration.
“I will advise him to make sure he brings the press along as well, so when he suffers from his selective amnesia again, the media will be quick to remind him that they saw the projects with him.
“What an irony for an appointed minister, who has failed woefully and who has been unable to complete one single road, to cast aspersions on an elected governor who is judiciously using the resources of his people to better their lives and develop their state.
“What a shame! This is indeed most ridiculous and laughable. It’s no longer in doubt that Minister Orubebe does not like Rivers State. Minister Orubebe should please face the simple task of completing one road, just one road, the East-West road, as this dubious diversionary attempt to attack Governor Amaechi will not complete the road that is most dear to the hearts and lives of Niger-Deltans.”
ABUJA — The new party coming from the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, will pursue the restructuring of the country, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the CPC national leader said yesterday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the CPC merger committee in Abuja, Buhari said that a flag and logo for the new party which is expected to emerge in June this year have already been prepared.
The merger committee headed by former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Garba Gadi, is expected to formalize ongoing talks with the ACN and other opposition parties on issues ranging from manifesto, party flag and logo.
Buhari said: “It is not impossible that the new party is presented to the people by middle of this year after signing the declaration. It should not take more than six weeks for the parties to pursue the matter within their own constitutional context to ensure that the issue is legitimated through the proper procedures and processes of its own organs”.
He said the party and the ACN were already pursuing the merger at an advanced stage as both parties are near perfection on every detail of the agreements between the two parties.
Buhari said there was a strong understanding and determination between the ACN and CPC to create a new party with a brand new logo and flag already designed, including all other paraphernalia of a political party already in place.
Buhari who was optimistic on prospects of the new party said: “The new party will root for proper federation as the basis of the union and for the governance of the country; and should therefore support the restructuring of the country. The 36-state structure of the country is simply not working; and it must therefore be rationalised.
“The party should root for democracy, rule of law and the entrenchment of a democratic culture in the country; and the foundation of the new party should be anchored on the recognition and acceptance that our cultural and religious differences are a blessing and a source of strength, and should not be a cause for disunity”.
“The new party should as a matter of topmost priority begin to tackle and plan for the creation of a new security architecture for the country and possibly for the entire sub-region, a development that may involve the creation of local security networks and the restoration of traditional intelligence gathering techniques to shore up a police force that has obviously failed,” Buhari said.
According to Buhari the new party will bring about new work ethic in the public service and accountability by every public office holder.
He assured Nigerians that the merger between the CPC and ACN is going to be a full fledged one, and not an alliance, because Nigerians expect a merger.
However, he charged the Gadi led 18-man committee on CPC merger talks to be focused and see their assignment as a national task as it is an opportunity to build and run a better Nigeria.
“Your task is national, the issue before you now and as you go into your negotiations is fundamentally one that you will negotiate at the best deal for Nigeria. It is essentially a matter of give-and-take: there is nothing sacrosanct about any of the issues you will be called to thrash out, but of course, there is a bottom-line the outlines of which have been giver in the committee’s terms of reference.
“We are not going into a battle; we are going into a friendly game with our brothers who desire for this nation what we desire for. You must always remember to negotiate with respect, understanding and decorum as befits people who are ready and genuinely desirous of merging into one tomorrow,” Buhari added.
The Peoples Democratic Party has come under criticisms for appointing an ex-convict, Chief Bode George, into a panel to reorganise its Board of Trustees.
A Lagos High Court convicted George in 2009 for fraud after he served as Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority. He spent two years in prison.
Legal practitioners as well as civil rights groups, Anti-Corruption Network and Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, on Sunday, condemned the PDP’s action, saying the party had no respect for the public.
Executive Secretary of ACN and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, and the Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, said the PDP’s decision was akin to legalising corruption.
Melaye said, “Almost everybody in the party (PDP) is an ex-convict, only time will tell. The party is about corruption, so corruption and corrupt persons mean nothing to them. He (Bode George) is still carrying our national honours and so you can see.”
Adeniran said, “Nobody is expected to associate with a corrupt convict that has not been discharged of the burden of guilt because such people will not do anything to discourage similar crimes.
“He is not going to discourage people of doubting integrity from assuming office as a political leader. By implication, such characters will infest others with the criminal virus because he exemplifies corruption. And since like begets like, whatever decision taken by any committee he is a member can only be seen as lacking in integrity.”
But two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Rotimi Jacobs and Yusuf Ali, who spoke to our correspondents, differed on the issue.
Jacobs, who is a counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, while condemning the development, said it was an indication that the PDP was not sincere in its anti-corruption war.
He said, “Is that how the PDP will be fighting corruption? Is that how the ruling party will fight corruption? For a party that is supposed to be fighting corruption, it is a very sad development. It is the shame of a nation.”
But, Ali noted that despite his conviction, George had the right to belong to, and participate in the activities of a political party.
He added that the appointment was a PDP affair, and that the party was not the Federal Government.
Ali said, “The party is not the government. We should not equate the party with the government. Since he belongs to the party, he can function within the party.
“Even conviction cannot stop somebody from belonging to a group or a trade union. If he belongs to a group, he can take part in the activities of the group. It is different from taking public office.”
Meanwhile, a member of the PDP BoT, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the President suggested George’s name at the meeting where the decision was taken.
The source said, “The President suggested his name. You know this is politics; the President is losing followership in the South-West and other zones, so the best he thinks he can do is to look for those who can work with him.
“If he thinks an ex-convict is the best person to reorganise his party, so be it.
“Don’t forget that he said recently that another ex-convict, Chief Diepreye Alamieseigha is his benefactor.
“Ironically, both George and Alamieseigha were convicted for corruption. He has the right to choose his friends.”
When contacted, the Secretary of the Board, Senator Wali Jibrin, declined to speak on the matter.
Asked whether the appointment would not send a wrong signal about the country’s fight against corruption, he said, “I don’t know anything about that.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC will tomorrow arraign the Deputy Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Mato Dary Dogara before a Federal High Court, Kaduna.
Dogara will be docked alongside five others, including Kabiru Tahir Malali and Ahmed Yahaya former Chairman and Treasurer respectively of Lere Local Government, Kaduna State on a six-count charge on contract over-invoicing and criminal diversion of funds.
Dogara is a former Chairman of Lere Local Government and had also served as a commissioner in the state.
Another breakthrough came the way of security agents in their confrontation with members of the dreaded Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Lidawati wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, with the arrest of one of the sect’s suspected leaders, Hassan Pagi BUKAR, in the residence of a 2003-2007 member of the House of Representatives (names withheld).
The Boko Haram alleged leader was, according to sources, arrested along with the security guard of the erstwhile lawmaker.
Although the one-time member of the House of Reps was said to have been briefly arrested and interrogated, he has since been a daily guest of the security agency that effected the arrest.
The arrest was reportedly made in the Gwarimpa area of the Federal Capital territory, FCT, Abuja.
Sunday Vanguard learnt, last night, that the arrest and interrogation of Bukar had started yielding results.
For instance, the suspect reportedly disclosed, upon interrogation, that his brief as a sect member was to “carry out robbery activities by dispossessing members of the public of their cars”.
The security guard in the former House of the Reps member’s residence (who was described as a mere gateman) was said to have been “employed from Sokoto”.
During further interrogation of Bukar, Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that the suspect disclosed that the cars used for suicide bombings by the sect were stolen vehicles.
One of the very indicting statements of Bukar, the source said, “was that he implicated the former Rep by saying that he also buys some of the cars from him (Bukar) when they are stolen”
Nigeria’s National Emergency Agency, NEMA has confirmed that only one office was gutted by fire in the Abuja national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Abuja on Monday morning.
Ishaya Chonoko, Head of Abuja Operation Office of NEMA who confirmed that the fire incident occurred before noon said an office in the Annex Building of INEC was gutted in the incident.
Shuaib identified the office as that of the Director of Registry while there was no record of casualty because of what he described as the swift response of the emergency services to distress call from INEC.
In another statement, Yushau Shuaib, NEMA’s head of public relations said the timely response of rescue officers especially firefighters from the Federal and FCT Fire Service saved the situation from affecting other buildings within the premises.
However, it was not clear if important documents were consumed in the inferno as INEC said it will issue a statement on the extent of its loss in the fire incident later.
The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday said it did not endorse Senator Musiliu Obanikoro for the 2015 governorship election in the state.
Obanikoro was the party’s candidate in the 2007 governorship election in the state.
The party, in a statement on Sunday by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani, said the party was dissociating itself from a news report indicating that it had selected the ex-envoy for 2015.
He said the party had neither chosen any individual nor looking in the direction of a particular person to become the party’s governorship candidate in the next election.
According to him, the report is orchestrated to cause disaffection within the Lagos PDP.
The party said, “We are saying emphatically that we have not endorsed or focused on any particular person to be our governorship candidate in 2015.
“Presently, we are occupied with ensuring conducive environment for a free and fair primary as may be directed by our National Headquarters. Our party is a fully democratic one and we don’t intend to deviate from that identity, especially in selecting our candidates at all levels.’’
It added that it was aware that the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria was not comfortable with its new popularity in the state.
The party also alleged that the ACN had disappointed Lagosians so much that ‘‘they have become lepers and like the proverbial leper that cannot squeeze out milk, they will rather opt to spill the milk”.
He added, “We cannot underestimate the desperation of ACN to hold onto power in Lagos State. Consequently, we shall intensify our prayers this time so that no harm will befall any of our would-be candidates”
The Chairman, Election Monitoring, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mr. Ishmael Igbani, said too many political parties are unhealthy for elections in Nigeria. He said this on Sunday in Abuja that, ``for election purposes we don’t need too many political parties’’.
Lagos, Sept. 19, 2012 (NAN) The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is not in haste to introduce a single currency to avoid running into trouble, according to its Vice President, Dr Toga Mcintosh. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that the regional body was learning from the mistakes of the European Union on single currency.
Lagos, Dec. 24, 2012 (NAN) Alhaji Yahaya Ndu, the Chairman of the de-listed African Renaissance Party (ARP), on Sunday welcomed the decision of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-register his political party.
"All the parties that came for that meeting walked out on INEC, I was the only party chairman that remained,’’ he said.
President Obama spoke today with President Kagame to discuss the situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). President Obama underscored that any support to the rebel group M23 is inconsistent with Rwanda’s desire for stability and peace. President Obama emphasized to President Kagame the importance of permanently ending all support to armed groups in the DRC, abiding by the recent commitments he made in Kampala along with Presidents Kabila and Museveni, and reaching a transparent and credible political agreement that includes an end to impunity for M23 commanders and others who have committed serious human rights abuses. President Obama expressed his belief that from this crisis should emerge a political agreement that addresses the underlying regional security, economic, and governance issues while upholding the DRC’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and noted that he had also delivered this message to President Kabila. President Obama and President Kagame also discussed the longstanding governance problems in the DRC. President Obama welcomed President Kagame’s commitment to moving forward in finding a peaceful solution for eastern DRC.