Buzz news

Latest news from across Nigeria and worldwide

Discordant tunes in states over FG’s N179bn ranches

OUR CORRESPONDENTS The Federal Government’s decision to create ranches in some states is already causing confusion among the state governments, herdsmen and farmers, according to SUNDAY PUNCH investigations. Our correspondents, who spoke with governments, farmers and herders in the affected states, report that though several states rejected the plan, some were awaiting further details, while the rest embraced the project for political reasons. The development has also pitched the herdsmen and the farmers associations against each other. The Federal Government, last week, unveiled the plan, expected to cost N179bn over a 10-year period, to improve livestock production in the country and put an end to herders/farmers crisis. Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara states will receive interventions in form of ranches in the pilot phase. In Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi vowed to resist any attempt to convert land in the state into a cattle ranch by the Federal Government. Umahi, who was the Chairman of the Mediation Committee on the farmers/herders clashes, said his panel merely recommended that state governments, willing to embrace the project, were free to do so, through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme. He said, “FG has not taken any land from anywhere in the country. No state government has been forced to give any land for ranches. There is no land for ranching in Ebonyi State.” The Benue State government and the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria have also disagreed over the issue. While the state government rejected the planned cattle ranches, the herders group said the state government’s resistance might create more problems. The Miyetti Allah vowed to continue to oppose the state government’s anti-open grazing law, a situation that would lead to further clashes. Governor Samuel Ortom, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, explained that sections five and eight of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Establishment Law of the state had already mapped out procedure for acquiring land for ranches, According to Akase, the Benue State Government has not repealed the existing anti-open grazing law. He wondered why the same government would begin to donate land for people to establish ranches. But the National Coordinator of MACBAN, Mr. Garus Gololo,  said his group was in full support of the Federal Government’s proposal to establish ranches in 10 states including Benue. Gololo said, “If the Federal Government wants to establish ranches, they are free to do so anywhere in the country but there must be schools, veterinary hospitals and other social amenities as well as shelters where the cows can stay. “Benue State said it had rejected the Federal Government plan; the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has also rejected the Benue anti-opening grazing law too.” The Edo State Government had yet to take any action on the national ranching project as it had not been discussed at the State Executive Council meeting. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Monday Osaigbovo, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone, said the state would support the project only “if it is going to be done as it is being done abroad.” The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has, however, advised Governor Godwin Obaseki not to cede any land in the state to the Federal Government to create ranches. The party’s chairman in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, said the national livestock transformation plan was a subtle way of dispossessing farmers and other property owners of their land. He said, “Edo people say no to cattle colony. Edo PDP openly rejects the new national policy on ranching. “It is an attempt to grab our land. No Edo community to date has agreed to give a portion of its land for the purpose of establishing a cattle colony; we say no to the new national policy by President Muhammadu Buhari.” The Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, has approved seven grazing reserves in the Awe, Keana, Doma, Assakio, Konva, Gtata and Kurudu local government areas of the state for the take-off of the programme. There was no official reaction yet from the Kaduna State government on the proposed project as the mobiles of the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Manzo Maigari, and the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, indicated that they were switched off. The Taraba State Government and the leadership of MACBAN have expressed their support for the project, stressing that the project will solve the herders/farmers’ clashes. In separate interviews with one of our correspondents in Jalingo, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity,  Mr. Bala Dan Abu, and the North-East Zonal Chairman of MACBAN, Mr. Mafindi Danburam, commended the development. The governments of Plateau and Adamawa said they had embraced the project. The Zamfara State Commissioner for Agriculture, Lawal Jangebe, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the Federal Government had yet to discuss the project with the state government. The Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Oyewole Oyewumi, also said the state would provide land for the project in the northern part of the state and that it could be in lease form or the state contribution to the scheme. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Oshiomhole emerges APC chairman, Baraje, Melaye warn of looming crisis

JOHN ALECHENU The much awaited affirmation of the preferred candidate for the position of National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress held on Saturday. Chairman of the APC National Convention Planning Committee, Abubakar Badaru, who presided over the convention, announced that Adams Oshiomhole was the only person contesting the position of national chairman. He said, “Adams Oshiomhole has been returned unopposed for the position of national chairman, there will be no election. So, I will ask you if you affirm him as chairman, you answer ‘affirm’ or say  ‘aye’ when I ask for affirmation.” Badaru then asked the delegates if they would affirm Oshiomhole as the party’s national chairman and they all chorused “affirmed.” He then announced the former Edo State Governor as returned unopposed. None of Oshiomhole’s former opponents was sighted near the stage when Badaru made the announcement. Three persons namely: Prof. Osareimen Osunbor, Clement Ebri and Ibrahim Emokpai, who earlier expressed interest in contesting against Oshiomhole, pulled out of the race before the convention. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Convention foundation shaky — Baraje

SUCCESS NWOGU Leader of the New Peoples Democratic Party bloc within the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, has warned the APC leadership not to celebrate yet despite the fact that its convention went on successfully on Saturday. Baraje, in a statement from his media office in Ilorin, said the foundation of the convention was already shaking. He said the party was fully aware of many aggrieved party members and stakeholders. Baraje noted that his group decided to attend the APC convention because his members wanted to demonstrate to the entire Nigerians, particularly their supporters, that they were still loyal to the party. He said their attendance at the convention did not mean that all the group’s grievances stated in their letter had been addressed. He lamented that the convention was held despite the fact that there were lawsuits in court against the party arising from parallel primaries in over 18 states of the federation. He said, “We still believe that our loyalty should be demonstrated. “That is why we attended the convention. The fact that we  attended the APC convention and the convention was progressing well, should not be mistaken for peace within the party.” Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Lingering disputes price to pay for success, says Buhari

JOHN ALECHENU  and SOLA FABIYI President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the lingering crisis within the All Progressives Congress, describing it as the price to pay for success. He, however, expressed confidence that the party would emerge stronger after the issues would have been resolved. Buhari stated these while addressing delegates to the APC National Convention in Abuja, on Saturday. Buhari noted that the struggle for party positions was normal especially in a party that had achieved the level of successes the APC currently enjoyed. The President, while going through his protocol list, avoided mentioning either the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives as he simply said, “Members of the National Assembly”. He said, “I want to assure everyone here that despite a few lingering issues with the congresses in some states, our great party will emerge stronger after this convention. “The unresolved cases we have are the price we have to pay for success, as everyone wants to be associated with a winning team. “I am imploring all those with grievances to keep faith with the party until we put things right.” He expressed delight that the party was holding its second national convention since it rode to power in 2015. The president used the occasion to express gratitude to party members for the sacrifices they made to ensure the party’s victory in the 2015 general elections. While acknowledging the presence of all elected delegates to the convention, Buhari urged them to use the opportunity of the convention to elect and usher in a new leadership to take the party to the next level. Buhari added, “I am also using this opportunity to, thank the outgoing national executives of the party, especially those who will not be offering themselves for re-election at today’s convention, for their tireless efforts in securing victory for the party at the last elections and managing the success thereafter. “I commend all the delegates from across the country for your sacrifice and patience, travelling all the way from your different destinations and waiting in inclement weather, as it has been raining all the day. Thank you for your commitment.” On the issue of consensus candidates, Buhari said, “The adoption of consensus as a first option is commendable and the process has led to a lot of healing and cohesion across the states and the zones, and where elections are inevitable, I have been assured that the process adopted will result in clear and undisputed results. Again I am appealing to all contestants to keep faith with the party.” The president appealed to all to put the party ahead of personal considerations and to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith. “You are all important to our party’s progress and all must come together to ensure success in the forthcoming polls so as to enable us to continue the good work we have been doing for our fellow Nigerians,” he said. New party excos emerge The incumbent National Secretary of the party, Mai Mala Buni, retained his position after all other contestants, including his main challenger, Kashim Imam, was prevailed upon to step down. Earlier, the outgoing National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun expressed gratitude to party members and leaders for the opportunity to serve. Those who were also returned unopposed, after their challengers withdrew from the race included, Otunba Niyi Adebayo (Deputy National Chairman South), and Tunde Ogala (National Legal Adviser). The three positions zoned to the South East – the National Organising Secretary, National Auditor and National Vice-Chairman South-East – were still being hotly contested as of the time of filing this report. Several unity lists were being distributed to delegates by interested parties. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

It’s beginning of party’s obituary — Melaye

LEKE BAIYEWU The Lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, on Saturday mocked his party, the All Progressives Congress, describing the national convention of the ruling party as a joke. According to him in his posts on his Instagram page, the congress is the beginning of the “political obituary” of the party. He also quoted from a song by the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, making a veiled reference to the APC as a bad party. The posts read, “Happy to be away from the joke going on in Naija today (Saturday). “Political obituary of APC activated. Egbekegbe na bad society…beast of no nation…egbekegbe…” Melaye had recently relocated his seat from the APC section of the Senate chamber to that of the opposition and minority Peoples Democratic Party. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Lingering disputes price to pay for success, says Buhari

JOHN ALECHENU and SOLA FABIYI President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the lingering crisis within the All Progressives Congress, describing it as the price to pay for success. He, however, expressed confidence that the party would emerge stronger after the issues would have been resolved. Buhari stated these while addressing delegates to the APC National Convention in Abuja, on Saturday. Buhari noted that the struggle for party positions was normal especially in a party that had achieved the level of successes the APC currently enjoyed. The President, while going through his protocol list, avoided mentioning either the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives as he simply said, “Members of the National Assembly”. He said, “I want to assure everyone here that despite a few lingering issues with the congresses in some states, our great party will emerge stronger after this convention. “The unresolved cases we have are the price we have to pay for success, as everyone wants to be associated with a winning team. “I am imploring all those with grievances to keep faith with the party until we put things right.” He expressed delight that the party was holding its second national convention since it rode to power in 2015. The president used the occasion to express gratitude to party members for the sacrifices they made to ensure the party’s victory in the 2015 general elections. While acknowledging the presence of all elected delegates to the convention, Buhari urged them to use the opportunity of the convention to elect and usher in a new leadership to take the party to the next level. Buhari added, “I am also using this opportunity to, thank the outgoing national executives of the party, especially those who will not be offering themselves for re-election at today’s convention, for their tireless efforts in securing victory for the party at the last elections and managing the success thereafter. “I commend all the delegates from across the country for your sacrifice and patience, travelling all the way from your different destinations and waiting in inclement weather, as it has been raining all the day. Thank you for your commitment.” On the issue of consensus candidates, Buhari said, “The adoption of consensus as a first option is commendable and the process has led to a lot of healing and cohesion across the states and the zones, and where elections are inevitable, I have been assured that the process adopted will result in clear and undisputed results. Again I am appealing to all contestants to keep faith with the party.” The president appealed to all to put the party ahead of personal considerations and to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith. “You are all important to our party’s progress and all must come together to ensure success in the forthcoming polls so as to enable us to continue the good work we have been doing for our fellow Nigerians,” he said. New party excos emerge The incumbent National Secretary of the party, Mai Mala Buni, retained his position after all other contestants, including his main challenger, Kashim Imam, was prevailed upon to step down. Earlier, the outgoing National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun expressed gratitude to party members and leaders for the opportunity to serve. Those who were also returned unopposed, after their challengers withdrew from the race included, Otunba Niyi Adebayo (Deputy National Chairman South), and Tunde Ogala (National Legal Adviser). The three positions zoned to the South East – the National Organising Secretary, National Auditor and National Vice-Chairman South-East – were still being hotly contested as of the time of filing this report. Several unity lists were being distributed to delegates by interested parties.

Continue Reading

Imo delegates exchange blows

OLUSOLA FABIYI Some delegates at the All Progressives Congress Convention engaged in a free-for-all at the party’s national convention on Saturday. Imo State delegates, loyal to Governor Rochas Okorocha, exchanged blows with loyalists of the Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere. The two groups fought over who should occupy the seats reserved for Imo State delegates Trouble began when Okorocha arrived at the stand reserved for Imo delegates and insisted that supporters of Madumere must vacate the seats. Some security guards descended on members of the deputy governor’s group. The Chairman of the anti-Okorocha faction, Hillary Eke, and other members of the group were forcefully thrown out of the seats. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Ortom, Onu, Ribadu say APC set for greater heights

OLUSOLA FABIYI Three prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress have said that the the party is set for greater heights after its national convention. The leaders are the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Sam Ortom; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The three men spoke with journalists in Abuja on Saturday at Eagles Square, venue of the convention. Ortom said he was looking ahead to the election of those he described as vibrant officials that would run the affairs of the party for the next four years. He said, “At the end of this national convention, I expect a united National Working Committee and expected a united APC. Everyone should be his brother’s keeper. “I expect that we keep working together, we forgive one another and see how we can deliver the dividends of democracy to our people through our vibrant party.” In his short interview, Onu said he has what he called “high expectations” from the convention. He said he was sure that the covention would unite members of the party against the general notion that it would divide them. Ribadu on the other hand, said that the APC remained the best vehicle that would bring positive change to the country. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Convention, a charade, mockery of democracy — PDP

OLUSOLA FABIYI The Peoples Democratic Party has described the national convention of the All Progressives Congress as a charade, a mockery of democracy and assault on the sensibility of Nigerians. The party also alleged that the open intimidation and physical assault on aspirants and delegates to the convention further confirmed the alleged desperation by President Muhammadu Buhari’s camp to seize the APC’s presidential ticket. National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. kola Ologbondiyan, alleged in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, that delegates and other members of the APC were horrified when aspirants to various party offices “were being threatened, harassed and in some cases, paid and handed written orders to mount the stage and announce their withdrawal for aspirants listed by President Buhari, under heavy security presence.” He said, “Nigerians are invited to note that some of the officials preferred, particularly, the National Chairman, are individuals overburdened by heavy corruption allegations, whose expected investigation and prosecution have been traded for a Presidential ticket for President Buhari. “The world observed with shock how aspirants and delegates who dared to raise questions were manhandled by thugs and intimidated by security operatives. “It is instructive to state that the APC convention directly reflects the confusion, intimidations, violations and descent to fascism that have characterised governance in our nation in the last three years.” Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

FG seeks 28 countries’ help to stop ISIS, others

OLALEYE ALUKO   The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Defence, is currently perfecting strategies in collaboration with the defence ministries of 28 African states, to establish a counter-terrorism force. The force is expected to tackle terrorist groups in the Saharan region, particularly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters, and Boko Haram. The resolution was contained in a communiqué tagged ‘Abuja Declaration’, issued after a meeting convened by the defence ministers in Abuja from Wednesday to Friday, to seek regional cooperation, towards combating ISIS and other terrorist groups. In the Abuja Declaration, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Saturday, the defence ministers said they were “strongly concerned by developments in Libya, Mali, Central African Republic, Somalia, the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, characterised by crises and terrorist groups’ activities.” Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said the meeting would submit its recommendations to the Conference of Heads of State and Government for onward implementation, noting that it would not be talks alone as usual. Part of the declaration reads, “The Ministers of Defence of member countries of the Community of Sahel-Saharan states meeting in Abuja are convinced that security in Sahel-Saharan area is a major concern. We are concerned by the regional upsurge and expansion of terrorist activities in parts of the Sahel-Saharan region. “We have decided to intensify bilateral, multilateral and sub-regional security and military cooperation among member states. “We have agreed on the following measures which we will submit to the Conference of Heads of State and Government; there will be a continuation of the fight against residual mercenaries and foreign combatants in the region. “We agree on the call for the rapid opening of the Sahel Saharan Counter-Terrorism Centre with a view to accelerating cooperation in the various areas related to the fight against terrorism. We will support all regional initiatives in the fight against terrorism. “We will also support the implementation of strategies for the resettlement and return of conflict displaced persons with particular emphasis on the socio-economic reconstruction of affected communities.” The defence ministers also agreed that every country would implement national plans on counter terrorism and accompany them with “demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes.” Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has said its findings revealed that the Al Barnawi faction of the Boko Haram terrorists pledged allegiance to the ISIS fighters in 2016 after Operation Lafiya Dole troops in the North-East dislodged them from the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State. The acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Agim, said there was, however, no evidence from military intelligence that the ISIS group was sending its members to Nigeria to train Boko Haram terrorists. Agim said the military would outwit all tactics by the terrorist group to have any foreign collaboration. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Buhari’s Morocco trip to yield 18,000 jobs -Presidency

Olalekan Adetayo The Presidency on Saturday stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent official trip to Morocco would yield 18,000 new jobs, among other benefits for Nigeria. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a document titled ‘President Buhari’s visit to Morocco: Six quick takeaways’, which he made available to journalists. Shehu said the President, who visited Morocco between June 10 and 11, signed many memoranda of understanding and agreements that would produce the new jobs and many others. He said the development reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to making a difference by linking foreign policy directly to Nigeria’s economic interests. He noted that the Federal Government’s programme of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former agitators in the Niger Delta as part of the Amnesty Programme brought calmness to the country at its commencement. “If the disarmament and rehabilitation of 30,000 ex-agitators could do so much for the nation, how far would 18,000 skilled and unskilled new jobs go towards cementing that peace? “While analysts take their time to assimilate and give us the answer as to how much good the new jobs will bring, President Buhari, who visited the Kingdom of Morocco from June 10 to June 11, 2018, signed onto memoranda of understanding and agreements leading to the new jobs and many others,” he said. The presidential spokesman said the jobs in view would from the commitment to the Regional Gas Pipeline, which will connect Nigeria’s gas resources, those of some West African countries and Morocco, thereby fostering integration and development of countries in the West African region. He said the jobs would also come from the establishment of a Basic Chemicals Platform, specifically to develop a significant Ammonia Production Plant by the Kingdom of Morocco in the Niger Delta. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

INEC, APC preloading card readers, says Fayose

Kamarudeen Ogundele The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has accused the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission of colluding to preload card readers for the July 14 governorship election in the state. The governor said the plot to manipulate the poll in favour of the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was being perpetrated in Akure, Ondo State, in collaboration with the state government. He made the allegation on Friday on a broadcast programme, ‘Governor Explains’, in Ado Ekiti. Fayose, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, on Saturday, said, “I don’t want to bring this picture out yet, but those who said preloading is not possible are lying. Right now, they are doing manual preloading in Akure as I speak. For polling units with over 1,000 voters, they spread the preloading to between 50 and 200 votes per polling unit. “In Ikere, 58 of such polling units were targeted and Ado Ekiti has 158 of such polling units. They want to get people they will stuff with the ballot papers and dump such papers in the ballot boxes at such polling units. “They are also printing fake voter cards in Akure with support from the Ondo State Government. They are also working to bring in about 14,000 people from Ondo State to come and vote here. They have already issued fake 7,000 voter cards and they are daily printing this. “They promised to give each person N15,000 if he/she helps them stuff ballot boxes with the fake ballot papers they are printing.” He also challenged Fayemi to account for the over N46bn he collected as excess crude oil funds while in office. According to the governor, Fayemi lacks the moral right to seek re-election after allegedly plunging the state into debt. But the Director of Media and Publicity, Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, said Fayose’s conscience, for the first time, was pricking him over his “unprecedented, historic and historical 2014 poll fraud.” He added, “All over the world, Fayose’s voice was heard on the popular Captain Sagir Koli’s audio tape harassing a major-general of the Nigerian Army and forcing him to carry out his orders to assist him in the manipulation of the electoral process through illegal arrests and intimidation of the opposition to enable him win the election. “Fayose’s voice was heard on the audio tape talking about how he collected sensitive copies of INEC materials that he said he printed to win the election. On the same audio tape, he spoke about how he collated election results in Efon-Alaaye on Thursday, June 19, 2014, two clear days before the June 21, 2014 election.” Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Omisore dismisses EFCC allegations, declares for gov

Eniola Akinkuotu A former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, has dismissed allegations levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Omisore, who is also a former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, said this while picking the expression of interest form at the national secretariat of the Social Democratic Party in Abuja on Friday. The former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party was detained by the EFCC in 2016 for allegedly receiving N1.3bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.). However, the former deputy governor told journalists that the EFCC ought to go after the PDP, which provided the funds and not him. He said, “The EFCC knows what it stands for today. I wasn’t detained because I took money from anybody. It was election money. Election money ought to be from the party. The money referred to by the EFCC was election money and in an ideal country, it ought to go to the party and not the person involved in the election. “Are you going to collect money from the voters or members of the public? That is why I am confident that nothing will come out of it because the facts are clear and sacrosanct. So, the issue of the EFCC does not arise at all because it was election money and it is a party issue. “It is not an individual issue and it has been taken too far.” Omisore berated the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, accusing him of putting the state in intensive care. The former lawmaker said the debt profile had risen to the extent that the state was almost comatose, adding that it would take 25 years for the state’s debts to be cleared. In his remarks, a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said Omisore was a credit to the SDP, adding that the party would not only win in Osun but in the 2019 presidential election. Gana, who defected from the PDP last year, said Nigerians’ celebration of the SDP’s victory in the June 12, 1993 presidential election in the present day showed that Nigerians had not forgotten the potential of the party. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

Man brutalised by Ogun customs officers cries for justice

TOPE OMOGBOLAGUN A 42-year-old businessman, Mr. Abayomi Abiona, has accused some operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service of assaulting him while they were in the convoy of their state comptroller. Abiona, a resident of Agbara, Ogun State, told SUNDAY PUNCH that he was coming from Apapa in a public bus when the convoy overtook his bus and one of the operatives used a horsewhip on him. He said, “I was coming from one of my business errands in Apapa and I sat in the front passenger seat of the commercial bus. Suddenly, the convoy of the state customs comptroller passed by our vehicle. “The first escort vehicle and the comptroller’s vehicle had passed, leaving another escort vehicle, a Toyota Hilux pickup with number plate A01- 79CS behind. “Immediately the last escort passed our vehicle, one of the officers sitting at the back of the pickup beat me with a horsewhip. I was left dumbfounded as well as other commuters of the vehicle I boarded.” The businessman said he was deeply traumatised by the action of the customs officer. Abiona said when the bus caught up with the escort vehicle, having also been stuck in a traffic jam, he walked up to the customs official who assaulted him to demand an explanation for such action. However, he was said to have been beaten black and blue by the operatives. He added, “I have a video recording on my phone, which they tried to smash, but I didn’t allow them. I still do not understand what warranted the inhuman treatment meted out to me.” Abiona said he reported the matter at the Agbara police division and was told to write a statement and get treatment at a hospital, adding that since then, nothing had been done about the matter. When contacted, the Customs spokesperson in the state, Mr. Abdullahi Maiwada, requested the number plate of the vehicle, which our correspondent gave to him and was confirmed to be that of the Customs Service but not the state comptroller. Maiwada said, “The number plate is not that of the Ogun State comptroller but I have sent it to the Customs at Seme and in Lagos to confirm. I cannot ascertain if the incident is true or not because it is not within my jurisdiction.” In a separate reaction, the Ogun State Police Public Relations, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, requested to speak with the victim and promised to investigate the matter. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

The battle is the Lord’s

In 1986, I was appointed Special Adviser to Nigeria’s Minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi. When I was offered the job, my boss at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Gabriel Olusanya, advised me to reject the offer. When I decided nevertheless to accept it, he gave me a bad security clearance. He said I was too close to my West Indian wife and would not be able to keep national secrets away from her. As a result, my appointment could not be confirmed. The post The battle is the Lord’s appeared first on Vanguard News.

Continue Reading

Accept ranches, go on exile, MASSOB tells S’East, S’South govs

Chukwudi Akasike and Tony Okafor The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has told governors, monarchs and politicians in the South-East and South-South to be ready to go on exile should they accept the establishment of cattle ranches in the regions. MASSOB also explained that it would not accept any attempt to establish emirates in the two geo-political zones through the setting up of ranches, adding that the Igbo would not allow itself to be pushed to the wall. The group’s Director of Information, Mr Sunday Okereafor, told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview on Saturday that the Federal Government was inciting violence with the plan to establish ranches outside the northern part of the country. Describing cattle rearing as a personal business, Okereafor said it was necessary for the Federal Government to allow herdsmen to handle their business the way other Nigerians managed their personal business. He said, “We (MASSOB) are telling the world that the Nigerian Government is inciting violence. They want to bring problem to the South-South and the South-East by bringing ranches. “But we are not for violence. The so-called governors and politicians who think that ranches can be brought to the South-East and South-South should be prepared to go on exile. They want to establish emirate in Owerri, emir of Uyo, emir of Port Harcourt and emir of Calabar, Awka and Onitsha. “Now, we are telling the politicians, the monarchs, governors and lawmakers who are supporting this course that they should be prepared to go to exile and leave our eastern Nigeria alone because we cannot be pushed to the wall and be asked to standby. We have to defend our right now; they cannot impose ranches and Emirates on us.” Okereafor also criticised Igbo who crowned themselves kings of Ndigbo outside the South-East, adding that the tag, ‘Eze Ndigbo of Akure, Ibadan, Kano or Kaduna’ was wrong, adding that no Igbo man could be king outside Igboland. He stated, “The Eze Ndigbo you see in the North and West are political monarchs; it is wrong for any Igbo man to go outside Igboland and claim that he is Eze Ndigbo of that area. Have you ever seen Oba of Yorubaland in Imo State?” Meanwhile, the Anambra State Government has asked the Indigenous People of Biafra to remain peaceful in all its activities, saying anything short of that would be resisted by the people. The advice came following the announcement by the pro-Biafran group that it would conduct a referendum to determine a sovereign state of Biafra. The group in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said IPOB had printed 40 million ballot papers for the exercise. Speaking with one of our correspondents on Saturday, the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Don Adinuba, said the people of the state cherished the peace and security in the area. He said the people would not tolerate anything that would disrupt the peace and harmony that had existed in the state over time. He said, “We expect IPOB to remain peaceful in all they do. Anambra is one of the most peaceful states in the country and investors are flocking daily to the state. Investment is a coward that won’t want to go where there is a threat to peace and security. “The people of the state, not government, will not tolerate anything that will disrupt the social harmony that has existed in the state.” Adinuba, who said he wouldn’t disclose the government’s plans to counter any move to thwart the peace in the state, assured the people that any threat to the social harmony in the state would be met with maximum force. Also, the Anambra Police Command said adequate measures had been put in place to ward off any violent agitation from anybody or group of persons in the state. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Haruna Mohammed, said adequate security arrangement “has been put in place by the command in conjunction with other sister agencies to forestall any breakdown of law and order.’’ Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com          

Continue Reading

We save N684m annually from LG reforms — Bayelsa

Simon Utebor The Bayelsa State Government has said through the reforms in the state’s civil service, it has saved N684m annually from the review of the grade levels of workers at the local government level alone. It added that through the ongoing public service reforms, it had reduced its workforce from 55,000 to 27,000 thereby expunging 28,000 ghost workers from its payroll. The state Commissioner for Local Government Administration, Dr Agatha Goma, made the revelation at a joint media briefing of top government functionaries in Government House, Yenagoa, a statement by Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said on Saturday. Goma explained that the review of the grade levels of workers was to ensure that council workers were at their appropriate grade levels and check arbitrary promotions. According to her, from the exercise carried out by the Local Government Service Commission, the Government made savings of about N57m monthly. She added that part of the efforts to clean up the problems included physical assessment of workers to identify over aged persons, review of the certificates presented by workers to ascertain the validity of those certificates. Goma stated that as a result of the reforms being carried out since 2012, the wage bill of the state had been reduced from over N6bn in 2012 to about N3.8bn in 2018, noting that the local government councils now have the capacity to also pay salaries of workers promptly. In his remarks, the Head of Service, Rev. Thomas Zidafamor, urged Bayelsans to discountenance the rumours that the government had sacked 28, 000 workers, pointing out that it was the handiwork of misinformed members of the opposition. According to him, the fact that organised labour in the state is in a harmonious relationship with the state government on the reforms, shows that the information and the rumours being peddled are a not only cooked up, but also a figment of their imagination. He challenged those peddling falsehood about the reforms to publish the names of the sacked workers, describing the statement as false and unfounded. Also speaking, a member of the state House of Assembly representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Ebiwou Koku-Obiyai, stressed the need for Bayelsans to embrace the reforms and support the government in cleansing the service of sharp practices. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com        

Continue Reading

Shiites deny killing policeman in Kaduna protest

GODWIN ISENYO Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, otherwise known as ‘Shiites’, have denied killing a police officer during their clash with the police on Thursday. The Shiites members had, between Wednesday and Thursday, besieged the Kaduna metropolis to protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeena, by the state. The reported killing,  also coincided with the arraignment of El-Zakzaky before the Kaduna State High Court along the Ibrahim Taiwo Road in the heart of the city. The group alleged that 23 of its members had been killed by the police in Kaduna since 2015, whereas they had never killed anybody in any of their processions. The IMN further alleged that the death of the policeman was executed by thugs allegedly contracted by the police to smear their image. Addressing a news conference on Saturday, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi of the Resource Forum of the Islamic Movement, an arm of the IMN, said, “It was in the news that a policeman was allegedly killed by the members of the Islamic movement in Nigeria during a free-Zakzaky-procession. “To back up the story, there was a video recording supposedly of ‘Shiites’  members lynching  a policeman that went viral on the Internet. “Most certainly, this is not true at all. It is the greatest subterfuge of all times. “This was to discredit us in order to turn the tables against us.” The group therefore called on the police to stop intimidating its members. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com        

Continue Reading
“She was there for me when I had nothing” – Peter Okoye on his Car Gift to Wife Lola | WATCH

“She was there for me when I had nothing” – Peter Okoye on his Car Gift to Wife Lola | WATCH

This video by Wotzup ONTV captures the behind the scenes, as well as the moment Lola Omotayo-Okoye saw her Range Rover gift from her husband, singer Peter Okoye a.k.a Mr P. Click here if you missed the story. “Anything I own, she owns. She was there for me when I had nothing,” Peter Okoye said, adding that they’ve known each other for 15 years. Speaking on the gift, Lola said: ”Well, I’m really… I’m super excited. I can’t really even… I’m really shy, so don’t take my shyness for not being surprised. I’m surprised and really, really excited. I can’t believe it.” On her husband’s motivation for the gift, Lola said: “All my hard work na, all these years. I deserve it (laughs).” Watch video below: The post “She was there for me when I had nothing” – Peter Okoye on his Car Gift to Wife Lola | WATCH appeared first on BellaNaija – Nigeria breaking & top news to the World 24/7. Read Today.

Continue Reading

All Nigerian politicians sponsor thugs — Olofa of Offa

The Olofa of Offa in the Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, in this interview with SUCCESS NWOGU, speaks on the April 5 bank robberies in the ancient town and the police investigation into the raids How do you feel about the killings during the bank robberies of April 5 in your kingdom? Nobody feels good or is happy about it. We are all not happy about it. Life is very precious and sacred. Even if it was one person that was killed, nobody would be happy and we are not happy about it. Government at the federal and state levels made promises to address some of the concerns raised. What is the latest on the promises? Construction is ongoing on the new police station which they promised to build. The mobile police barrack they promised is also being constructed. There are about two mobile police units in the town; the UTC area manned, by 12 riot policemen, is also in the town. Are you satisfied with the efforts of the police in relation to the investigation being carried out into the bank robberies so far? To some extent, the investigation was going on perfectly but later, it took another dimension that was not clear to all of us because it was politicised and we are praying to the almighty Allah that such should not affect the dispensation of justice or jeopardise justice. How do you mean that it was getting politicised? Security agents made some arrests and investigation was going on but we later heard that names of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and others were being mentioned and linked to the incident and we do not believe (their involvement in the incident). We believe that is politics. We believe that it is political persecution and nothing more than that. Why did you say it is political persecution? Do you expect somebody like Bukola to ask someone to carry a gun and kill the people he is ruling or steal their wealth? He has been giving us; we do not expect that he would go and rob Offa or ask some people to go and rob us. What will he gain from that? But some of the suspects arrested were allegedly seen at the wedding of Saraki’s daughter suggesting that they are close friends of his family. You can see them at (social) venues. It is just like you sending someone with your car to go and get something from the market and he decides to use the car for another thing. Would that mean that you are the one that sent him to go and do that? If I give you my car to pick a friend from Ilorin, and on your way, you decide to branch to Omu-Aran to go and do another thing, does that mean I am the one that sent you to Omu-Aran? That is it! If it is a question of thugs, all the politicians have thugs. You would not know what they are doing. I listened to the confessions of the suspected robbers. They never said he (Saraki) sent them to go and rob. They said they were his political thugs and that he was not aware of their robbery (operations). Some people argue that Saraki, by empowering them and giving them vehicles, emboldened them to commit crimes and they felt protected or shielded by the number three citizen of Nigeria. He gave vehicles to a lot of people. He gave many people all over the country. Many people received vehicles from him. Even in Offa, any time politicians are doing their empowerment programme, they give out cars, motorcycles and other items to people. Did they give them such things to them so that they can commit crime? It is to empower them. If they are sensible enough, they use it for commercial purposes. Empowerment is not an encouragement to go and steal. What is your view on the protest and counter protests that took place in Offa on the issue when you went for the lesser Hajj? The protesters are politicians. Those who protested in favour of Saraki and those who protested against him are politicians who are not saying the truth. What is your advice to parents because some Offa indigenes were allegedly involved in the incident? Parents have great roles and responsibility to play towards the upbringing of their children. Parents must ensure that their children have sound moral training and must ensure that they avoid crimes. When you see your son or daughter, with some kinds of people that appear not to be noble, you are supposed to ask questions. You must demand to know the identities of his friends and what they do for a living. Unfortunately, some people do not care. However, we know that there are many children who usually deviate from the sound moral, social and African training their parents give them. Some parents have tried their best to provide everything necessary for their children to become useful citizens and even become self-reliant, but sometimes, some of them would deviate and engage in anti-social conducts, vices and crimes. Parents should not be held accountable for the conduct of children who deviate from the good paths introduced to them by their parents. So, what is your advice to the youths? The youths must refrain from the get-rich-quick syndrome. There is dignity in labour, patience and hard work to become wealthy. Youths must learn to embrace dignity of labour. Many of them do not want to work and make money. They want quick money through quick fixes. Such money may not last. The government has been encouraging them to go into farming or get themselves engaged in some productive and useful ventures but some of them do not listen to such advice and words of wisdom. The youths must refrain from crime which ultimately may cut short their lives or put them and their families in bad reputation and even in suffering. They must avoid crime. They should also know the friends they make and keep. They must not make friends with ungodly and evil-minded youths. The police report appears to have also indicted the Kwara State Government on its empowerment programme. Do you think the programme should continue or be stopped? Is it bad for a government that swears to ensure the welfare of the citizens to renege on empowering the people it has promised to alleviate their poverty and ensure their well-being and development? It is not bad. One of the cardinal responsibilities of the government, even as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is to ensure the welfare and well-being of the citizen. It is a primary responsibility of the government. So, that is what the Kwara State Government and other state governments that embark on the empowerment programme have done. They are just being alive to their statutory and constitutional responsibilities. It is not the fault of the state government. The government is doing the empowerment for the boys to have something doing. It is now the fault of the boys, who, instead of using the empowerment items and gifts to do something productive and useful to themselves, used them for crime. We will still continue to encourage government to continue with its empowerment. We will not say because these few boys misused their empowerment, government should stop. No! Out of 100 per cent that the state government empowered, the arrested suspects are not up to five per cent. So, it is better for the government to continue the empowerment programme in order to reduce employment and thuggery in town. There is unemployment in the country. Many youths graduate from tertiary institutions and have no jobs.  Even those who could not attend tertiary institutions cannot find something meaningful to do. So, any reasonable person will not discourage the government from implementing programmes geared towards reducing unemployment, which could lead to crime reduction and wealth creation. When youths are meaningfully engaged, they use their energies for productive ventures rather than dissipating their energies on crimes and other anti-social ventures as the saying goes, ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. So, we must encourage government and even individuals and organisations, groups and bodies; that empower the youth and other people, to continue. They are doing great things, they should rather be encouraged. Getting people employed or usefully and gainfully engaged is another strategy to address crime and boost the welfare of the people. When some youths are employed or gainfully engaged in the African society, he or she will take care of many dependants who could have been languishing in poverty, penury and suffering. So, the multiplier effects of empowering somebody are so great and positive. We must encourage such noble commitment for societal development and well-being. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com  

Continue Reading

Military owed Abiola N45bn it wasn’t ready to pay –Sule Lamido

A former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, who was the National Secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party, speaks about the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election among other national issues with JOHN ALECHENU T he former Secretary-General of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers of Nigeria, Frank Kokori, accused you of abandoning the struggle to actualise the June 12 mandate. Now, where was Kokori in the power equation of the South? He came on board during Babagana (Kingibe)’s chairmanship, when I was the chairman of Kano State SDP. When I became the party’s National Secretary under Chief Tony Anenih, Kokori had lost out. He was nowhere near; he didn’t even know what was happening in the Social Democratic Party, especially how June 12 was prosecuted because after the Babagana-led executive was dissolved, Kokori simply went back and relapsed into oblivion. It is part of this story of opportunism: people coming in to latch in and exploit June 12, because they have found a way to re-invent themselves. The annulment of June 12 was a pattern that had been established, a continuation of a tradition of disqualifying candidates to annulling conventions. It was the character of the transition. After the annulment of June 12 (1993), I was called by the people who were then holding forth and I made it very clear that we were through with elections; we will only come back to it in 1996 because we ran an election, you cannot annul it and say we should go back and hold another one. They then told me the reason why they annulled June 12. What did they tell you? Depending on whom you are talking to. When (General) Murtala (Muhammed) died, Abiola came in with a claim that he was owed, I think, about N45bn for contracts executed by International Telephone and Telecommunication for the Ministry of Communications. The military high command at that time said no. He went round the Emirs in the North to lobby and the emirs asked that they (military) should please pay the money. They (military) said they cancelled the June 12 elections because if they made him President, he would take his money and the country will become bankrupt. Those who were close to Abacha should know this, because Abacha was then one of the big shots; they were all aware. There was this Bosnian war going on in Yugoslavia. I said sir; the Nigerian people are very innocent. This is like the case of a Bosnian woman raped by a Christian Serb who got pregnant. Yes, it is true that the pregnancy is a product of rape but this is also my flesh and blood, I cannot kill it. This (election) is my baby, my flesh and blood, I will not kill it. I said so. We went through a process and expenditure, the campaign, the Election Day and even the entire government machinery was involved in the election which we won and you are now coming with the excuse that you owed some money. That’s your problem. The baby is my baby. Yes, it is a product of rape but I can’t kill it. At that time, the Nigerian mood had been worked to go against June 12. How? There were organised rallies all over Nigeria even National Republican Convention governors coming to support (Ibrahim) Babangida. In the National Assembly, (Iyorchia) Ayu, who was the Senate President, was impeached because of his stance on June 12. They put in Ameh Ebute and protesters were mobilised by state governors to Abuja on solidarity visits. I can also remember Hajiya (Abibatu) Mogaji was the arrow head of the anti-June 12 rallies in Lagos. I remember her coming to Abuja – because she was very close to Babangida – she brought women (protesters) from Lagos to Abuja. I mean no offence. All the mallams and clerics, Nzeribe and Association for Better Nigeria, all of them, they were all there. When I say there was too much treachery, it is true there was. Kabiru Rabiu from Kano and I went to Abiola. We saw him very frightened. He told us they were coming to kill him. We took him in a car. We were the only people he trusted in this world, Rabiu, a driver, and I, and we sneaked him out of his house in a car. The story of June 12 is a very sad history of political adventure. (Shehu) Yar’Adua felt betrayed by Kingibe and he decided to punish him by instructing his supporters to vote for Abiola during the Jos convention. The (SDP) governors blackmailed Abiola into picking Kingibe as running mate. So many things happened. What do you make of the posthumous GCFR award to Abiola and the GCON given to Amb. Babagana Kingibe? This administration has been on board for more than three years. It never talked or thought about June 12. I think Professor Wole Soyinka captured it very succinctly that for the time Abacha was there, Buhari never said anything about June 12. He said by the time you were there with Abacha, you never talked about June 12. How do you honour Abiola and then praise his tormentor? It was a case of opportunism. Simple! Nobody was consulted. Who were the key players at that time? Call them. Call (Prof. Humprey) Nwosu, call Tony Anenih, call Tofa, and ask what happened on June 12. You can then, based on very genuine premise, instigate the process to make it more credible than opportunistic. The people of Kano voted Abiola and rejected Tofa, their own son. Northerners all over gave Abiola their votes against Tofa. We should see June 12 as the sincerity of Nigerian voters. The North was able to vote their son out to install Abiola. This government is simply acting on instincts about elections; it is simply desperate for power. You spoke recently about the growing culture of hate speech especially in the North. What were you driving at? In the North today, we have preachers insulting each other because a government has come with a culture of hate. Speak and the government will come at you, barking and harassing you to keep quiet.  If you speak against any bad thing in the government – which is your right – they will take it personal and say you are speaking against Buhari. He is Nigeria’s President, like it or not. Whether I like him or not, he is my President. Whenever I disagree with him, I will say sir, ‘I don’t agree’, it’s my right. If you look at Buhari’s campaign speeches, they are laced with hate. He was on record during the campaigns saying ‘in pursuing my ambition, cast your votes and count them. Protect it. If you are touched, kill’. He said it. Some have said the PDP brand is so damaged that a change of name is required and that governors Nyesome Wike and Ayo Fayose are the people calling the shots. Is this true? Before we went into the last convention, so much was said. Wasn’t it? They said we couldn’t do it. They kept on whispering into our ear. No matter what you are going to say, in any convention, there are people who determine the outcome. There are factors; there are events and there are circumstances. There are people who guide the circumstances. There were elections in 2015. All of us in the North lost elections; people in the South-South won their elections. They withstood all the APC machinations and onslaught. As governors, they are supposed to be visible. If my party were to be the one in Jigawa, my governor would be very, very visible, but then, we lost out. So, naturally, those who are very visible are those who won their elections in their states. For prevailing against and surviving APC, you are now condemning them; come on, you should commend Wike, Fayose and the governors of Enugu, Bayelsa and others for having the capacity to win the elections against all the machinations. Look at Rivers State, the killings and the maiming to terrorise but they won the elections. If you say it’s all about Wike and Fayose, whom do you want to guide us? El-Rufai? They were abusing us when we were going for our convention. I told them to wait for their own. They will be bringing ambulances to pick bodies. We saw what happened during ordinary congresses. They will simply kill themselves. If you become President, what would you do with June 12? If I become the President, I will put it in proper perspective. I will go into the archive and bring out the genuine results and if Abiola is the winner, I will call INEC to announce the results and I will then go through the process and make sure we pay the N45bn he was owed because that was the main thing they said led to the annulment. I will withdraw the honour given to Babagana Kingibe, because he doesn’t deserve it. He betrayed June 12 and followed his kinsman (Abacha), going by the tribal bond, to undermine June 12. They picked Abiola and locked him up. I will put in place processes and procedure and see how best to properly honour Abiola through due process. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH. Contact: theeditor@punchng.com  

Continue Reading