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Politics (189)

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.

Posted On Tuesday, 08 January 2013 14:16 Written by

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”

Posted On Monday, 07 January 2013 02:46 Written by

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’’.

"Even though having too many political parties is not a crime, but all of them cannot be participating in one election. Looking at the ballot with over 65 candidates having their names on a ballot paper would be confusing to the electorate and the worst scenario is when there is more than one election in a day, it becomes more confusing.’’
Igbani suggested that ``for a healthy outing all politicians should come together and set criteria for names to being on the ballot papers. He said it was time for politicians to stop tying their existence to elections, rather they should focus more on issues. "The smaller parties instead of fighting for a place on the ballot papers, they can exploit various avenues with focus on different areas that include gender, environment, health, social issues and other areas of development.
He said it was not necessary for all political parties to contest elections rather they should pursue issues.
Igbani said `` even though having too many political parties is not a crime, that is not a criteria for the field to become junk yard and ground for all comers. He said de-registration exercise by INEC was in accordance to the law, because the Electoral Act 2010 as amended states that “any political party which contests elections and does not win any electoral seat shall be deregistered.”
"Our constitution allows for a multi-party system but INEC has the power to deregister parties and it has started and it is a continuous process as the commission will continue to de-register parties that do not meet requirements.
Igbani reiterated that ``there are some conditions that must be met for any parties to operate as a political party and if you don’t meet them you become de-registered.

Posted On Thursday, 27 December 2012 12:28 Written by

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.

Mcintosh spoke on the sidelines of a sensitisation workshop on protocols, conventions and activities of the commission’s integration process, organised in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that for a single currency to work well in the region, each country must have solid reserves to back up its currency.
"Currency has roots. You must have the reserves to back up your currency. "Now if the individual country has its own reserves, and that reserve is strong enough to back up your currency when you transfer to national business, then you are in good shape.’’ The ECOWAS vice president said that member states would need to begin to learn from the European Union, to avoid pitfalls. He said that it was good to talk about a single currency but that there was need to spend more time to study the lesson coming out of Europe.
"You don’t have in reserve, country x, to be able to sustain its share of that common currency. Then how do you use that currency to buy from Japan? "You are putting other people at risk, so currency is international tender in exchange for goods and services. "If it a currency amongst ourselves, even that may create difficulty, unless we are producing everything within our sub region.
"So when people talk about those things, that is the first thing; how much money should Gambia have in its reserve to hook on to this currency, how much money should Liberia have and will you be able to keep that? "That is a problem in Europe. So whether Germany or may be one more country, they are carrying the burden and by carrying that burden, they weaken their own positions.’’
He said that the region must learn lesson from EU, and on the basis of that lesson, ``come back and look at our own structure and plan a programme. "This is because we do not want to make the kind of mistake that is now surfacing in the European zone.’’
Mcintosh also stressed the need to put in place certain infrastructure to enable citizens of the sub-region move freely within the member countries. "The region is looking from within to see how we can put on the table those critical infrastructural programmes that will make our people move freely amongst country and better their own lives.
"So that is a critical challenge I see, moving forward. But it appears it’s a challenge that can be dealt with.’’He, however, noted that single currency was necessary ``because we wanted an ECOWAS where economic activities, social activities, production would be vibrant.
"If we can still meet the same objectives, depending on what comes out of the lessons and analysis from Europe. "We also need to give ourselves ample time to do this thing right and I think we will be on the right track. "It means keeping our eyes on the real objective of regional economic integration.’’
Posted On Tuesday, 25 December 2012 02:54 Written by

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.

Ndu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that INEC was right in de-listing the party for operating with no verifiable headquarters and not winning a seat in the National and State assemblies. He also admitted that composition of National Executive Committee (NEC) of his party did not meet the requirements of Section 223 (1) and (2) of the amended 1999 Constitution.
"It’s true that we no longer have a functional national headquarters, if I say it’s not true I am a liar. "I don't play politics of lies, I will prefer to fall on the side of truth than to stand on the side of lie,’’ he said.
Ndu said that his party would reapply for registration and had begun the process of setting up a new and functional national secretariat. He advised other de-registered parties to accept INEC’s decision, arguing that the commission acted within the provisions of the law.
"As far as my own party is concerned, the conditions that INEC set, we are no longer fulfilling them and that is why it is deregistering us. "INEC would not have de-registered the political parties if they have not done something wrong. "The law which INEC acted on was made more than one year ago and political parties did nothing to change some of the issues which they have been indicted.’’ He recalled that INEC reached out to political parties in July during a meeting in Tinapa Calabar to discuss some issues with the new law.

"All the parties that came for that meeting walked out on INEC, I was the only party chairman that remained,’’ he said.

Posted On Tuesday, 25 December 2012 02:14 Written by

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.

Posted On Friday, 21 December 2012 13:55 Written by

Burn bank, vehicles, attempt attack on emir’s palace

• Security operatives kill 13 suspects

DARING gunmen on Monday killed a divisional police officer (DPO) as they attacked a police station and a branch of Unity Bank in Potiskum, Yobe State.

The suspected members of Boko Haram who also struck in Borno State killed Peter Hamidu of the state Agricultural Development Programme at his Maiduguri mechanical workshop.

The gunmen, according to an eyewitness and resident of Potiskum, Hamisu Yusuf, came in unmarked tricycles and vehicles and torched the police station and the bank, before attempting to attack the emir’s palace at about 3.00 a.m.

He said the gunmen operated for over six hours, before men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the police rushed to the separate scenes of attacks on Idriss and NPN roads.

Another eyewitness told The Guardian that the gunmen used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petro-bombs in torching the divisional police station, the bank and several vehicles, adding that the two buildings continued to burn, until yesterday morning, when fire fighters put out the fire by 7.00 a.m.

Confirming the incident Monday in Damaturu in a statement, the Yobe State JTF spokesman, Lt. Lazarus Eli, said a gang of Boko Haram gunmen attacked the police station and a commercial bank on NPN Road, Potiskum around 2.00 a.m.

He said the gunmen were, however, repelled from torching the divisional police station, stating that 10 bodies of the killed suspects were carried away by their colleagues, leaving only three in the custody of the JTF and police for autopsy and identification at the mortuary.

The statement reads in part: “The hoodlums attacked the Potiskum Area Police Command Office, as JTF reinforced, the police promptly repelled the terrorists. Three of them were killed, but the DPO later died in the hospital, because of the gunshot wounds he sustained in the exchange of gunfire yesterday.

“Ten other bodies of the hoodlums were also carried away by the terrorists during the attack which started at about 2.00 a.m. Monday.”

The statement also assured residents of adequate security of lives and property, as well as appealed for calm as measures were being taken to restore normalcy in the state.

The killing of the Borno State official at his mechanical workshop in Ruwan Zafi ward, according to the spokesman of the Borno State Police Command, Gideon Jibrin, occurred yesterday afternoon.

He said that some gunmen on a tricycle trailed the slain official to his workshop on Dikwa Road, and shot him dead, before men of the JTF rushed to the scene to prevent further killings.

Besides, because of the increased level of insecurity in Kaduna State, the people of Dogon Dawa Community in Birnin Gwari Local Council Area have again urged Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa to intervene in their situation.

Already, Yakowa has assured the community members that his government has taken the issue to the Presidency with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.

Yakowa said that the state government was liaising with the Federal Government and the four states bordering Kaduna in tackling the issue. He named the states to include Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kebbi.

Yakowa also assured the inhabitants of the area that the problem facing the communities would be exhaustively discussed at the next 19 governors’ meeting in Abuja.

“We are not resting on our oars; all measures are being taken to curtail the phenomenon. I can’t say more than that now,” he said.

The complaints of daily attacks and killings by armed hoodlums in Dogon Dawa came when Yakowa kicked off the rehabilitation of the 31-kilometre Dogon Dawa-Sabon Layi-Old Birnin Gwari road.

The District Head of Dogon Dawa, Musa Ibrahim Yerima, told the governor about their ordeal, saying that marauders sneak into the area at night, maiming the inhabitants, killing and stealing animals before retreating into the forest.

Yerima said the situation had become too alarming, while people hardly sleep with their two eyes closed.

He explained that the Federal and the state governments would live up to their responsibilities of providing security for the people who were now at the mercy of gunmen.

To check insecurity, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has advocated the involvement of traditional rulers in the policing of various communities and towns in the North.

According to him, traditional rulers are best suited for community crime prevention if supported by the Federal and state governments.

The governor spoke in Kaduna while inspecting the completion of the Shehu of Borno’s palace on Doka Crescent and shopping complex on Kano Road.

To the Bishop of Remo Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Michael Olusina Fape, the government should be blamed for the insecurity in the country, adding that politicians were largely responsible for the insurgency of Boko Haram.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Ogun State, Fape said Boko Haram was not the only security problem facing the country. He identified cults, factions fighting one another and traditionalists with their festivals, as part of the security threats destroying the foundation of the country. He warned politicians to be very careful with their utterances.

Posted On Monday, 10 December 2012 19:03 Written by
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