| Politics / PDP Convention: South West Crisis Deepens As Oyinlola, Oladipo, Arapaja Clash by etokhana: 9:45pm On Oct 15|
PDP Convention: S’West crisis deepens as Oyinlola, Oladipo, Arapaja set to clash over Deputy National Chairman
The Southwest zone may end up being the only region that will not be able to agree on consensus candidates for the coming national convention of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/10/pdp-convention-swest-crisis-deepens-as-oyinlola-oladipo-arapaja-set-to-clash-over-deputy-national-chairman/
This is as three notable leaders of the party are set to slug it out for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South). They are former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former National Secretary of the party, Prof Wale Oladipo and the incumbent National Vice Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.
Already, Prof Oladipo, who has the backing of the Senator Ademola Adeleke led group in Osun State has obtained nomination form while Oyinlola, who was earlier favoured for the position is said to be insisting that he will go ahead and contest even if Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State withdraws his support.
The Oyo State Governor was said to have suddenly developed cold feet on Oyinlola and switched support to Arapaja.
It should be recalled that Oyinlola was earlier favoured to emerge as the National Chairman until the position was moved to the north. The Deputy Chairmanship position was meant to compensate him, but it remained unclear why Governor Makinde, no longer wants him.
Also, the position of National Publicity Secretary is creating ripples, with four people showing interest in Ondo State, where it was zoned to.
PDP governorship candidate in the State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) is allegedly backing Hon Debo Ologunagba, a former member of the House of Reps while the immediate past National Vice Chairman, Dr Eddy Olafeso has already obtained a nomination form. Others from the State who have shown interest are Mr Benson Enikuomehin and Mr Zadok Akintoye.
The National Publicity Secretary position was supposed to be between Ondo and Ekiti States, but sources disclosed that it was deliberately restricted to Ondo State.
The source, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, said the argument was canvassed that Ekiti was holding the position of National Treasurer and as such should be excluded while a counter-argument was raised that Ondo held the position of National Vice Chairman too.
In Lagos and Ogun States, the contention is on Deputy National Secretary position zoned to Lagos. A former House of Reps member, Hon Rita Orji, is favoured by Governor Makinde, but it is being said that the National Secretary of the party cannot be from the Southeast and another Igbo person will be deputy, using the Lagos State slot.
Our reporter was told that a member of the party from Ogun State has obtained a nomination form to contest for Deputy National Secretary while another may likely obtain a form from Lagos.
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| Politics / Explosions Rocks Nigeria Army Barracks In Calabar by etokhana: 4:34pm On Oct 15|
Loud explosions were intermittently rocking Ebrutu Army barracks in Calabar, Cross River State capital.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/10/explosions-rocks-nigeria-army-barracks-in-calabar/
It is still unclear what is causing the explosion but roofs of buildings in adjoining settlements close to the barracks are being shattered and window panes in some buildings pulled down
A source in the area, Ekong James, told Vanguard that the roofs of buildings in the estate he resides in were affected.
“The last one happened some two hours ago and I have pictures of roofs shattered by the explosions. Nobody has told us what happened”.
Captain Aluko, the Army Public Relations Officer for Cross River State did not pick calls made to her GSM line.
Cc: Lalasticlala Mynd44
| Crime / Re: Mark Zuckerberg’s Impostor, Others Jailed For Internet Fraud In Ilorin by etokhana: 3:40pm On Oct 14|
| Crime / Mark Zuckerberg’s Impostor, Others Jailed For Internet Fraud In Ilorin by etokhana: 3:38pm On Oct 14|
Mark Zuckerberg’s Impostor, Jatto, Others Jailed for Internet Fraud in Ilorin https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=235238978639313&id=100064596373289
A 21 year-old internet fraudster, Jatto Sheriff Umar, who posed as the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in order to defraud unsuspecting victims via online relationship, was on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 convicted and sentenced to prison for offences bordering on personation and cybercrime.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the EFCC, also secured the conviction of four other persons for similar offences. They are a fake US Military Officer, Oguntoyinbo Oluwatobi Damilola; Taiwo Akinyemi Kayode from Ekiti West LGA of Ekiti State, Adebayo Adeola Mark from Osi in Ekiti LGA of Kwara State, Adedoyin Olayinka from Ilesha West LGA of Osun State and one Yusuf Alameen Abiodun from Igbo-Owu Area of Kwara State.
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| Politics / Buhari’s N20b Budget For President’s Medical Unit Exceeds 14 Teaching Hospitals by etokhana: 11:34am On Oct 14|
If approved by the National Assembly, facilities that care for millions of Nigerians will receive less than the presidential wing of the clinic.
President Muhammadu Buhari plans to pump over N20 billion into the construction of a new presidential wing at the State House Clinic which he rarely uses, an amount that far outstrips allocations for new and ongoing projects in 14 federal teaching hospitals, an analysis of the 2022 budget shows.https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/489725-buharis-big-budget-for-presidents-new-medical-unit-dwarfs-project-funding-for-14-teaching-hospitals.html
The president has asked the National Assembly to approve N21.9 billion for the “construction of a presidential wing at the State House Medical Center” in 2022. The project has already received N1.4 billion since 2020, meaning by next year it would have received N23.3 billion in total.
The N16.31 trillion budget passed a second reading at the Senate on Wednesday amid complaints by lawmakers that the nation’s budgets were increasingly making less impact on the citizens, and have consistently paid more attention on vague and non-critical projects, than key items such as education, healthcare and job creation.
“We must change our implementation strategy and our budget system, so that Nigerians can benefit from this annual ritual called budget,” said Abba Moro, PDP senator from Benue State.
“We must try as much as possible to block the leakages in our economy, so that we can conserve funds for the development of our infrastructure. I don’t know the place of education in this budget yet we want to enthrone a vibrant population in our country.
“Poverty is on the rise. Several programmes have been churned out by this administration in all our budgets. We must change our budget system. The envelope system is a system that duplicates and continues to do one thing all over and over again and we will not expect a new result,” Mr Moro, a former Minister of Interior, said.
The huge proposal for the “presidential wing” is the latest example of how successive governments have continued to commit scarce resources to projects that promise limited value as they are aimed at providing services to a few individuals — in this case the president, vice president and their families – at the expense of critical projects that should serve millions of Nigerians.
For years, the State House Clinic has been a magnet for oversized budgetary allocations, but its efficiency has remained below par. In 2017, the first lady, Aisha Buhari, said the facility was poorly run despite billions committed to it over the years and her daughter, Zahra, said the hospital was unable to provide “paracetamol”.
“I called the Aso Clinic to find out if they have an X-Ray machine, they said it’s not working. In the end I had to go to a hospital owned and operated by foreigners 100 per cent,” Mrs Buhari said at the time.
“There is a budget for the hospital and if you go there now, you will see a number of constructions going on but they don’t have a single syringe there. What is the purpose of the buildings if there are no equipment there to work with?
“You can imagine what happens across the states to governors’ wives if this will happen to me in Abuja.”
The Aso Rock Clinic management blamed the poor services on poor funding and said the president had been briefed on the poor state of the hospital. Officials told lawmakers who probed the matter at the time that the amount released for the running of the hospital often fell short of the figure approved in the budget, a common problem often caused by low federal income.
In 2018, they said the total release for the clinic’s overhead expenditure was N331.7 million, representing 99.9 per cent of the approved figure, while only N231.9 million was made available for capital projects, representing 33.2 per cent of what it should have been.
Developments this year show that years after, the facility has continued to be dysfunctional. Mr Buhari himself has continued to spend public funds on foreign medical trips since coming to office, preferring to be treated in the United Kingdom. His latest medical trip was in July shortly before medical doctors in Nigeria began an indefinite strike that paralysed the sector for weeks.
After authorising the restriction of public access to the State House Clinic in 2020, the president in August this year approved a site for the construction of a new presidential wing at the State House clinic.
It remained unclear if Mr Buhari will end his UK medical trips and instead patronise the new facility he commissioned.
The permanent secretary, State House, Umar Tijjani, said in August that the “state of the art clinic” would particularly cater for the medical needs of the president, vice president, members of their families as well as other government officials. According to him, the project is expected to be completed in the next two years before the end of the Buhari administration.
He re-echoed calls for improved funding, saying that of N8.699 billion budgeted for State House in the 2018 fiscal year, only N5.083 billion was released. In 2019, out of about N6.955 billion budgeted, N2 billion.
He, however, admitted the funding rose in 2020 and the entire approved amount that year – N4.88 billion – was released, an indication that the problems of the facility go beyond lack of funding.
Presidential Wing More Critical Than Teaching Hospitals
Mr Tijjani said the biggest intervention needed by the State House was the building and construction of the presidential wing at the State House clinic.
“And by the time this administration leaves office, we would have the presidential wing of the State House Clinic in place,” he told senators who visited the clinic.
“For now, we have already started in earnest with activities that are required for the construction, we have received the necessary approvals. We have received no objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement. We have already directed the contractor because he’s going to come in the form of a turnkey project, in order to mobilise and take over the site.”
That project will cost N21.9 billion in 2022 if the National Assembly gives approval. It received N1.064 billion in 2021 and N416.7 million in 2020.
The 2022 figure is N2.7 billion more than the total capital allocation for 14 teaching hospitals in the country.
Capital allocations are for new and ongoing projects, different from recurrent which deals with administrative (overhead) and personnel costs.
According to the proposed budget, below are the amounts proposed for ongoing and new projects in the following hospitals. They sum to N19.17 billion, less than the capital allocation going to the presidential wing of the State House Clinic.
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| Politics / Why Edo Is Yet To Pass Anti-open Grazing Law ― Obaseki by etokhana: 6:14pm On Oct 13|
The Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Wednesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/10/why-edo-is-yet-to-pass-anti-open-grazing-law-%e2%80%95-obaseki/
The Governor, who spoke to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with the President, explained why Edo State was yet to pass the anti-open grazing law.
He said he told the president that Edo people have resolved that ranching was a private business but since it is expensive, the federal government should make funds available for interested individuals under the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
He also said that the people want the Federal Government to provide funds for private business people to set up ranches in the state.
He affirmed that while many southern states have passed the anti-opening grazing law as agreed, Edo was yet to do so because it wanted to be sure it could enforce the law.
Giving details of his meeting with the President, he said: “Principally, there were four issues I discussed with him. First has to do with the position of Edo State on the anti-grazing law. As you know, most southern states have passed laws relating to open grazing, but Edo has not, because we want to ensure that whatever laws we pass are laws that we can enforce.
“We’ve had extensive consultations with our people, extensive town hall meetings, to deal with the issue that, yes, we do not want open grazing, it is out-modelled, it’s outdated, however, what are the options?
“If we are asking that we should now have ranches and these cattle should now be constrained to specific areas, such as ranches, then who provides the land?
“My people say that, as far as they’re concerned, ranching is a private business and therefore, just like every other agricultural venture, those involved should provide the land.
“As you already know, it is expensive, it is not cheap to run and manage ranches.
“So, what I came to discuss with the President was that since the people of Edo would rather invest privately, those who are interested want to make it a private concern, then the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which is now being implemented by the federal government, should acknowledge our model, and should also be able to help people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and make investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes.
“He, as usual, took notes, and I’m sure he’s going to do something about it.”
Governor Obaseki said he also apprised the president of the debts owed by federal agencies to the state and asked him for intervention.
“I informed him about some amounts that are being owed to the Edo State Government by some federal agencies and he promised to look into them and to ensure that these sums are paid back to the Edo State government. So, in a nutshell, those were the things I came to discuss with Mr. President,” he stated.
He commended President Buhari for his assistance in effort to retrieved Edo artefacts from Europe and other countries, assuring him that Edo state would continue to support his administration.
Obaseki added: “The other issue was to thank the federal government, the President, for the efforts of the federal government in assisting the current efforts to return the Edo artefacts that are all over the world.
“As you may already know, there have been attempts over the last 30 years, by various people and various governments, to push for the return of these works.
“We took it as a project about three years ago, I know for me, it was a personal project, worked through most curators or museums in Europe and we were able to come to this breakthrough, which we now have received from the Germans.
“So, I want to thank the federal government for the support. As you know, these works, these artefacts, are coming from other sovereign countries and the laws of Nigeria stipulate that the federal government has preserved, exclusive rights to deal with arts, artefacts and monuments, and to pledge to the President that the Edo state government and Edo people will continue to support the federal government’s efforts.
“We’ll do all that is within our powers, to make sure that these works are brought back to Nigeria and also for them to be domiciled where they were taken from, which is Benin City.”
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| Politics / Lawmakers Withhold Details Of N134b Allocation Despite Calls For #opennass by etokhana: 9:08am On Oct 13|
2022 Budget: Again, lawmakers withhold details of N134billion allocation despite calls for #OpenNASS
The federal government has earmarked N134 billion for the National Assembly in the 2022 budget.https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/489646-2022-budget-again-lawmakers-withhold-details-of-n134billion-allocation-despite-calls-for-opennass.html?utm_source=&utm_medium=twitter
This is contained in the 2022 budget of N16.3 billion presented to the National Assembly President Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday.
Although details of the 2022 Appropriation bill were not immediately made public, a copy of the budget later released by the Ministry of Finance revealed the breakdown of the budget for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The total amount budgeted for the legislature for the coming year is the highest ever.
For 2021, the president increased the National Assembly’s budget from N125 billion in previous years, to N128 billion for 2021. And during the approval, the lawmakers upped the budget by N6 billion, bringing their total budget for 2021 to N134 billion.
With the president proposing N134 billion for the lawmakers for the coming year, there are concerns that the amount will grow higher.
Another concern, however, is the fact that details of the N134 billion budgetary allocation for the National Assembly were not made public.
This is despite calls made by individuals and civic groups to the lawmakers for transparency in their annual budget.
The allocation is also in disregard of the nation’s dwindling economy which informed calls by some concerned Nigerians for cut in the cost of governance.
Many Nigerians have berated both past and present assemblies for always shrouding their budgetary allocations in secrecy. Others have also said the budgets for the legislature increase annually with zero accountability.
The Bukola Saraki-led eight assembly only published a breakdown of its budget in 2017 after an #OpenNASS campaign was done across social media platforms to mount pressure on the lawmakers.
Similarly, the current assembly only released details of its budget in 2021. It was an attempt at transparency, Kano senator, Barau Jibril, had told journalists.
Of the N134 billion budgeted for 2021, the House of Representatives got the biggest share of about N52 billion while the Senate will get N33.2 billion.
A total of N9.6 billion was budgeted for legislative aides, N15.9 billion for National Assembly Management while N5.7 billion was given to the National Assembly Service Commission.
The sum of N275.2 million was budgeted for the Office of retired clerks and permanent secretaries while N389.3 million was appropriated for service-wide vote of the legislature. And another N9.1 billion was appropriated for “general service.”
Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, could not give any reason when asked by journalists on Tuesday why details of the National Assembly’s 2022 budget were not made public.
He merely said such inquiries should be directed to the clerk of the National Assembly.
Unlike the MDAs before the National Assembly, the legislature does not defend its budget before any government body.
| Politics / Anambra: Gunmen Attack APGA Rally, Hold Obiano’s Convoy Hostage by etokhana: 6:10pm On Oct 12|
Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday attacked Odoata Central School in Ihiala, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, where the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was scheduled to hold its rally.https://dailypost.ng/2021/10/12/gunmen-attack-apga-rally-hold-obianos-convoy-hostage/?amp=1&utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&__twitter_impression=true
It was gathered that APGA was preparing to hold a political rally in the area when the gunmen visited, at the same time the governor’s convoy was arriving, while the gunmen engaged the security operatives in the governor’s convoy.
“The governor’s convoy was held for about one hour, while gunshots were ratcheting everywhere in the area,” a source said.
Meanwhile, DSP Toochukwu Ikenganyia, the Anambra State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer confirmed that there was an attack in Ihiala.
He said: “The attack happened at Odoata Central school, beside St Martins Church, Ihiala. It happened at about 9:30am.
“We recovered one AK-47 rifle, two magazines with 30 rounds of ammunition and a Toyota Hilux vehicle from the attackers.
“The Police and military are currently on ground now while mop up operations are ongoing. Normalcy has since returned to the area,” PPRO Ikenga said.
When the Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Mr C. Don Adinuba, was contacted, he confirmed the report, but refused to talk about the attack on the governor.
He said: “A combined team of policemen and soldiers this afternoon repelled an attack by unknown gunmen at Odoata Primary School, Ihiala, where the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was scheduled to organize a campaign rally for the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
“The gunmen came on various motorcycles and in three vehicles, namely, a Toyota Lexus 350 ES with registration number EKY 765 EX, Toyota RAV4 with number JJJ 434FP and a Ford van whose number could not ascertained at the time of this report because it caught fire during the exchange of bullets between the gunmen and security forces.
“The gunmen, unable to withstand the superior fire power of the soldiers and police officers, quickly ran into the large premises of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital which is directly opposite the campaign ground.
“They suffered serious injuries, even though they managed to shoot a gallant soldier”, according to an eye witness who did not want his name disclosed in the media for fear of his safety,” Adinuba said.
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| Politics / Abuja Court Orders EFCC To Remove AIT Founder, Raymond Dokpesi From Watchlist by etokhana: 3:17pm On Oct 11|
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to remove the founder of the African Independent Television AIT, Chief Raymond Dokpesi from its watch list.https://dailypost.ng/2021/10/11/abuja-court-orders-efcc-to-remove-ait-founder-raymond-dokpesi-from-watchlist/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true
Justice Tsoho held that there was no justification for the anti-graft agency to continue to keep Dokpesi on the watchlist since there is no criminal charges or allegations pending against him.
Ruling in an application filed and argued by his counsel, Mr Kanu Agabi, SAN, the Chief Judge said that keeping Dokpesi on the watch list will amount to disobedience to the Court of Appeal judgment which in April this year quashed the N2.1B money laundering charges against him.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on April 1, this year dismissed the N2.1 billion naira money laundering charges filed against Dokpesi by the EFCC.
The court upheld the no-case submission filed by Dokpesi and DAAR Communications in the seven-count criminal charge.
In the judgment, Justice Elfreda Oyebisi Williams-Dawodu had held that the anti-graft agency, the EFCC failed to establish a prima facie case against Mr. Dokpesi in the charges.
The appellate court had held that the ingredients of the offences were not provided by the prosecution as required by law.
The court had agreed with counsel to the appellant, Kanu Agabi that being a predicate offence, the ingredients of the offences against his client must be clearly provided, adding that it is clear that none of the offences was established in line with provisions of the Nigerian laws.
The court had further held that EFCC failed to prove that the N2.1 billion allegedly received by the appellant as payment was a proceed of breach of trust.
A federal high court in Abuja had in November 2018 dismissed the no-case submission filed Dokpesi on the grounds that a prima facie had been established against him by the EFCC in the alleged N2.1B money laundering.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the high court, Dokpesi approached the Court of Appeal and asked that the ruling of the lower court be set aside and his no-case submission be upheld.
Justice William-Dowodu in a unanimous judgment on April 1, 2021, held that there was nothing in the evidence of the 14 witnesses called by EFCC to persuade the court to compel the appellant to enter a defence in the charges where ingredients of the offence were not provided.
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| Politics / Lawan: National Assembly’ll Pass 2022 Budget Before End Of 2021 by etokhana: 1:17pm On Oct 07|
| Politics / Senate Panel Clarifies Yahaya Muhammad's Age, Blames It On Typographical Error by etokhana: 9:03pm On Oct 06|
The senate committee on anti-corruption and financial crimes has made clarification on the confirmation of Yahaya Muhammad, one of those nominated for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) board.https://www.thecable.ng/its-a-typo-senate-panel-clarifies-age-of-confirmed-efcc-board-nominee/amp
On Tuesday, Muhammad and four other nominees for the board of the anti-graft agency were confirmed by the senate, following the request of President Muhammadu Buhari in September.
The other nominees confirmed by the senate are George Abang (secretary), Lukman Mohammed, Anumba Adaeze and Bola Adesina.
Before they were confirmed, Hassan Hadejia, senator representing Jigawa north-east, drew the attention of the senate to what he described as “discrepancies” in Muhammad’s credentials.
Hadejia said according to the nominee’s credentials, Muhammad started school a year before he was born.
“He was born on 29th of September, 1969, and he started his primary school in 1968,” the lawmaker had said.
The upper legislative chamber has since received backlash for approving Muhammad’s nomination.
In a statement on Wednesday, Suleiman Kwari, chairman of the senate’s anti-corruption committee, said the nominee was born in 1959 instead of 1969.
Kwari also said the nominees were thoroughly scrutinised by the committee during the screening exercise.
“An observation was made by Senator Hadejia on the floor of the Senate to point out the typographical error misstating the year of birth to 1969 rather than 1959. The resume of the nominee, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammad, is hereby attached for public scrutiny,” the statement reads.
“The resumé of the nominee was not presented before the senate. Rather, it was the report of the senate committee on anti-corruption and financial crimes that was presented before the committee.”
Meanwhile, in the document attached to the statement, the nominee’s date of birth is given as December — September was previously presented.
| Politics / Senate Passes Revised Fiscal Framework, Approves N16.4trn Budget For 2022 by etokhana: 3:09pm On Oct 06|
The Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s revised submission of the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/10/senate-passes-revised-fiscal-framework-approves-n16-4trn-budget-for-2022/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
The revised submission was received and referred to the Committee on Finance on Tuesday for consideration ahead of tomorrow’s budget presentation to the National Assembly by President Buhari.
The approval of the revised framework on Wednesday followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Finance.
According to a statement by Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant (Press)to President of the Senate, “The Senate in its recommendation approved the aggregate expenditure of N16.39 trillion from the previous N13.98 trillion for the year 2022.
“It also gave its nod to the retained revenue of N10.3 trillion; and N635.4 billion fiscal deficit.
“The upper chamber also commended the Budget Office of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for insisting that MDAs submit their revenue profile as premise for being captured in the 2022 budget proposal.
“Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, in his presentation, said that Gross Revenue Projection was decreased by N341.57 billion, from N8.870 trillion to N8.528 trillion.
“According to him, deductions for Federally-funded upstream projects costs and 13 percent derivation was slashed by N335.3 billion and N810.25 million, respectively.
“He added that while Net Oil and Gas revenue projection declined by N5.42 billion from N6.540 trillion to N6.535 trillion, non-oil taxes remain unchanged.
“He explained that the Federal Government’s retained revenue is projected to increase by N1.773 trillion, from N8.36 trillion to N10.13 trillion.
“Adeola disclosed further that the new increase to the FGN Expenditure is N5.241 trillion.
“Meanwhile, President Buhari in letter to the upper chamber dated October 4, explained that the revision was necessitated by the need to reflect the new fiscal terms in the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, as well as other critical expenditures in the 2022 budget.”
| Politics / PIA: DPR Scrapped As Senate Confirms NURC Board Members by etokhana: 2:43pm On Oct 06|
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of board members of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.https://punchng.com/breaking-pia-dpr-scrapped-as-senate-confirms-nurc-board-members/?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&__twitter_impression=true
The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources.
The new agency has automatically replaced the Department of Petroleum Resources because the commission would take over its responsibilities.
The nominees confirmed include Isa Modibbo – Chairman; Gbenga Komolafe – Chief Executive; Hassan Gambo – Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts; and Rose Ndong – Executive Commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management.
Chairman of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Senator Albert Akpan, in his presentation, said that the nominees demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the workings of the petroleum industry, especially the upstream petroleum sector, as well as the economics of petroleum exploration and production.
He added that the appointments of the nominees satisfy the requirements of Sections 11 and 18 (1-5) of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.
According to the lawmaker, “there are no adverse reports against the nominees as record checks and other forms of investigations by security agencies did not reveal any negative trace against them.”
Akpan stated that the Committee was satisfied about the qualifications, experience, suitability, competence and integrity of the nominees to assume the position of Chairman, Chief Executive and Executive Commissioners of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission would provide a foundation for the stabilisation of the petroleum industry in Nigeria.
He also said the confirmation of the NURC board has automatically led to the scrapping of the Department of Petroleum Resources as the new commission will take over its responsibilities.
He said, “The Regulatory Commission has the enormous and huge responsibility of setting and establishing the Commission as provided in the Petroleum Industry Act.
“They have the unenviable responsibility of ensuring that they commit themselves and work hard to provide the solid and stable foundation for that matter, that they don’t waste any time because time is of essence.
“The implication of the approval of board members for the commission is that the Department of Petroleum Resources has ceased to exist.”
“The Petroleum Industry will go through a reform process and the process has already started.
“This Commission is one of the huge arms of those reforms that will stabilize the petroleum industry in Nigeria.
“While the Senate confirms them, we expect nothing less than commitment and patriotism on their side.
“The Senate wishes them the best and a very fruitful tenure as they take their offices.
“We expect that the other regulatory authority for downstream and midstream will also be confirmed as soon as possible, so they also start their work immediately.”
| Politics / Buhari Supporters Stranded Following Facebook Shutdown by etokhana: 9:12pm On Oct 04|
President Muhammadu Buhari and cabinet members may be unable to communicate with the regime’s supporters following today’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp shutdown.https://gazettengr.com/buhari-supporters-stranded-following-facebook-instagram-whatsapp-shutdown/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost
The regime enforced Twitter ban on June 5, 2021 after President Buhari’s violence-inciting tweet was deleted.
Although the federal government has been in talks with the social app executives, the discussions have so far been fruitless as the ban is yet to be lifted.
Ever since Twitter ban, Buhari’s supporters and other government agencies have relied heavily on Facebook, adopting it as their major communication channel.
Political figures such as Femi Adesina, Garba Shehu, Femi Fani-Kayode with hundreds of thousands of followers are known to convey messages to the public via Facebook.
However, the outage has now rendered these regime mouthpieces socially invisible and unable to connect with supporters of Mr Buhari.
With Twitter ban, the Buhari regime and supporters may be stranded indefinitely should the Facebook shut down persist.
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| Politics / Sanusi: Zoning May Leave Us With Useless Presidential Candidates In 2023 by etokhana: 6:33pm On Oct 01|
Former Emir of Kano and one-time Managing Director of First Bank, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has lamented that the nation’s economy has not been diversified, over 60 years after the discovery of oil in Nigeria.https://www.today.ng/news/politics/kano-emir-zoning-leave-useless-presidential-candidates-2023-391406/amp?__twitter_impression=true
Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, the former Emir of Kano, has said zoning may leave Nigeria with two “useless presidential candidates” in 2023.
Currently, the issue of zoning has heated the polity as the governors are divided along the north and south.
While Southern governors have demanded that their region should produce the next president, their northern counterparts have said a rotational presidency is unconstitutional.
But speaking on an Arise Television programme, Sanusi said he has always been opposed to the idea of a rotational presidency.
He said what Nigeria needs at the moment is a president who can deliver.
“I have always objected to this idea that we should focus on where the president comes from. We have got southern governors saying we want the presidency and some northern governors saying that they want it in the north. Have you noticed that nobody has given the name of what they want?” he said.
“This whole thing is to corner the presidency to one part of the country and the big masquerade will come out. And that is why at the end of the exercise, you end up as Nigeria… presented with two useless candidates. Those who want to be president should show their face either from the north or the south.
“Meanwhile, we have before us very serious issues. You have a simple issue of electronic transmission of results which is designed to make the electoral process fairer and you have people saying that they do not want it, shamelessly announcing to the country that they want to rig. Why are we not talking about these issues?
“The greatest weakness we have as a country is that we do not think. We are very smart when it comes to making money by doing our work but we do not apply critical intellect to and these guys just take the entire country for a ride.
“Give me a president from any part of the country who can deliver and we should vote for him. He is not taking the presidency to his hometown.”
Sanusi, however, noted that although he’s an advocate of less money at the centre, the governors slamming the federal government are also guilty of not distributing funds to the local government.
He said, “I don’t want to talk about this matter because it’s in court but what we need is to learn how to distribute our resources properly.
“I’m a strong advocate of less money at the centre because this puts too much concentration on money from Abuja but the bulk of this Tax problem comes from not implementing what we have.
“These governors fighting for VAT are extremely undemocratic they hold on to money meant for the local government yet keeps complaining.
“The state governors complain what federal government do to them but don’t care about what they do to the local government, thereby ignoring the constitution.
“If we really want to put in for federalism we need to respect our constitution and do it at all tiers of government then I believe our constitution can work.
“Let’s make what we have work and we’ll see this constitution is not that bad.”
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| Politics / Revolutionnow October 1st Protest Ongoing In Abuja by etokhana: 7:00am On Oct 01|
| Travel / Passengers In Lagos Stranded As Fuel Suppliers Stop Service To BRT Buses by etokhana: 10:49am On Sep 30|
Hundred of passengers heading to their various offices on Lagos Island using the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) initiative were on Thursday stranded over a scarcity of buses caused by the shortage of fuel supply for running of the bus.https://tribuneonlineng.com/just-in-passengers-in-lagos-stranded-as-fuel-suppliers-stop-service-to-brt-buses/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
The scarcity which cut across the routes operated by the BRT buses was most pronounced on the Abule -Egba – Obalende route.
At the Sbule-Egba BRT park, many BRT buses under Primero, one of the franchise holders running the initiative, were seen parked with no driver inside them.
According to some of the passengers, the BRT buses that were parked had no fuel in them. A cross-section of the passengers who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune explained that the scenario has been on since Tuesday.
“We have been finding it difficult to get BRT buses to CMS and Obalende since on Tuesday. We heard that these buses that are parked here without drivers don’t have fuel in them because their owners are owing their fuel suppliers, who in turn cut off fuel supply to the buses.
“it’s unfortunate that this new initiative is already experiencing hitches. How long will this persist? Only God knows,” some of the passengers told the Nigerian Tribune.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mr Kolawole Ojelabi confirmed that one of the service providers, Primero is owing fuel suppliers.
In his words, “The authority is working towards providing buses to fill the gap created by Primero.
“This has been on since Tuesday. Due to issues with its fuel suppliers, some BRT buses operated by Primero don’t have fuel supply. Primero runs a sizeable number of BRT buses, and that is why the lack of fuel supply to their buses is affecting commuters.
“We have however sent some other buses managed by other franchise holders to fill in the gap. The issue should be resolved soon.”
Recall that the Lagos State government had in August 2020 launched the 13.68km Oshodi-Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor supervised by LAMATA. Until now, the initiative had brought a breath of fresh air to intra-state movement within the state.
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| Politics / $1.2m NNPC ‘bribe’ Used To Finance Jonathan, Buhari Elections – Report by etokhana: 7:52am On Sep 25|
Lawsuits in London and New York have shed light on how fees trading firms paid agents to win oil contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) may have been used to fund the country’s past two general elections, Bloomberg reports.https://dailytrust.com/1-2m-nnpc-bribe-used-to-finance-jonathan-buhari-elections-report
Quoting filings in a suit filed by an ex-employee of the British oil giant, BP Plc, Bloomberg reported that $300,000 and $900,000 were paid to intermediaries in 2014 and 2018 as part of the lobby for lucrative contracts, with the funds said to be funnelled into electioneering activities.
Pro-democracy campaigners have at different times expressed worry over campaign funding and failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor the source of campaign funds and spending limits by candidates.
According to Bloomberg, a former Glencore Plc employee in July admitted paying a middleman $300,000 to secure a crude shipment from the NNPC, understanding the money would be spent on the nationwide vote that took place four years earlier.
Jonathan Zarembok, who left BP’s West Africa desk last year, said in the suit that he suspected fees paid by the United Kingdom energy giant to obtain NNPC contracts would go toward the 2019 elections.
He filed an employment claim against the BP, alleging he was fired for raising concerns about the large sums being transferred to intermediaries to win business in Nigeria.
Zarembok said in a witness statement made public this month that emails sent in 2017 by a BP executive in Nigeria were a “clear red flag” and implied “there would be pressure to pay bribes.” The emails discussed how preparations for elections would get underway in 2018. “We understand what that means,” the executive wrote.
The company then wired $900,000 in fees to a local agent after securing two oil cargoes from the NNPC, he said.
“BP is defending in full and denies all allegations made by the claimant,” the company noted in a statement.
It declined further comment while Zarembok’s case at a London employment tribunal continues.
Bloomberg reports that similar details emerged two months ago when Anthony Stimler, who left Glencore in 2019, pleaded guilty to corruption and money-laundering charges.
Stimler was notified in September 2014 that “Foreign Official 1” was asking all NNPC clients to pay an advance on each cargo “in connection with a then-upcoming political election,” according to U.S court filings. He then had Glencore wire $300,000 to an intermediary company, which prosecutors said was used “to pay bribes to Nigerian officials.”
US prosecutors outlined how Stimler and others paid bribes worth millions of dollars in several countries, including to NNPC officials, between 2007 and 2018. A Glencore spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“The conduct described in the plea is unacceptable and has no place in Glencore,” the company said in a statement on July 26.
Bloomberg had previously reported that the unnamed “Foreign Official 1” refers to Diezani Alison-Madueke, who served as Nigeria’s oil minister and oversaw the NNPC between 2010 and 2015. Her party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost the elections in March 2015 to Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC).
It’s not true – NNPC
The NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Garbadeen Muhammad, said the allegation was “not true”.
When contacted, the APC deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, simply said, “The story is inconsequential for now until they come up with specifics.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the PDP were also not successful as the national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, did not respond to phone calls. He was also yet to react to the SMS and WhatsApp messages sent to him.
CSOs demand probe
Speaking on the allegations, the executive director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, lamented the failure of the government to block leakages and take measures to control the use of dirty money in politics.
Rafsanjani, who is also the coordinator, Transparency International (TI) in Nigeria, said the CISLAC had been calling for stronger sanctions against those corrupting and commercialising the country’s electoral process.
“The last election in 2019 showed gross impunity and open use of public funds to finance some individual’s elections without being sanctioned.
“There have been credible allegations that show how some officials in the NNPC were involved in financing individual’s elections and nothing was done to even stop the continuation of such abuses of public funds.
“Again, with the 2023 elections approaching, such abuses will continue since there is no political will to sanitise our electoral process,” Rafsanjani said.
Also, the executive director, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), Dr Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi said, “This is another scandal in which Nigeria’s oil company has been fingered.”
He lamented that this particular case is even more worrisome because the electoral process itself was targeted.
“The CHRICED believes these allegations should be comprehensively investigated. Who collected the bribes in question, and how were the monies used in the electoral process? These questions demand urgent answers, and those found culpable should be held accountable,” Zikirullahi said.
| Politics / Farouk Aliyu: We Sold Our ‘Change’ Agenda To Nigerians Out Of Ignorance by etokhana: 9:23am On Sep 24|
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Farouk Aliyu, has admitted to the party’s ignorance of the country’s situation before selling its “Change!” mantra to Nigerians ahead of the 2015 General Elections.https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/486531-2023-we-sold-our-change-agenda-to-nigerians-out-of-ignorance-apc-chieftain.html
With President Muhammadu Buhari as its candidate and its assurance of better security and socio-economic development to citizens in record time, the party won the election thus ending the 16 years rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Aliyu said inadequate knowledge of the situation in the country at the time was a mistake the APC made during the electioneering.
He stated this during a political discussion on “Politics Today ” on programme on Channels Television on Thursday.
He featured on the programme alongside a member of a newly formed political group, Rescue Nigeria Project, Usman Bugaje, and a chieftain of the PDP, Umar Ardo.
Mr Aliyu, a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives under the defunct ANPP, described the APC’s promises as “assumptions” which have continued to serve as yardsticks to measure the performance of the Buhari administration in the last six years.
Although the administration has recorded some modest success in terms of infrastructural development, that did not come without mounting debt profile and worsening insecurity situation across the country.
“Sometimes, let me concede, when we were in the opposition, there were certain assumptions that you made out of ignorance, sometimes out of sheer mischief.
“When we were in the opposition, we came all round the country demonstrating against fuel hike. That time, we were ignorant, that is the truth, I agreed.
“When we came to realise and we later thought what Jonathan did was not wrong, in fact subsidy should go. Now we have come to know that there are certain indices that can’t continue to be subsidizing. This is the reality,” Mr Aliyu said, highlighting the depth of corruption among other assumptions the party made as opposition.
He dismissed the speculated dilemma of the APC to present a candidate as acceptable as Mr Buhari in the 2023 General Elections.
The former lawmaker said the incumbent president had never been the best candidate the ruling party could offer but a candidate favoured by the electoral system.
He also admitted to the corrupt tendencies of some of the party members despite the promise to wipe out corruption in the country.
“I’m not telling you that there is no corruption in the country; corruption is still going on but this time around, you dare not sit and discuss corruption in the open.
“Back in the days, you sat around the table and you shared contracts, money and so on when PDP was in government.
“I’m not telling you that there are no corrupt people in our government, absolutely there are! Some of them are already being investigated,” Mr Aliyu said.
| Politics / Nigerian Soldier Who Threatened June 12 Protesters Loses Brother To Boko Haram by etokhana: 7:10pm On Sep 23|
A Nigerian soldier, Abubakar A, who threatened to attack Nigerians on June 12 during the planned nationwide mega protests, has lost his brother in the army, identified only as Muhammad to a Boko Haram terrorists’ attack.http://saharareporters.com/2021/09/23/nigerian-soldier-who-threatened-june-12-protesters-loses-brother-boko-haram-attack
SaharaReporters gathered that Muhammad was sadly among the 25 soldiers killed by some Boko Haram elements in the Monguno area of Borno State on September 15, 2021.
Sources had told SaharaReporters that the soldiers were on patrol to clear the insurgents in the area when they were ambushed.
The deadly attack left about 25 soldiers dead while some are still missing five days after the incident.
SaharaReporters gathered that military operational vehicles, several weapons and ammunition were stolen during the attack.
Monguno is North about 70km drive from Maiduguri the state capital and hosted thousands of IDPs mostly from Dikwa and Marte council areas.
“Hi, I am Abubakar, brother to Muhammad. I am so saddened and heartbroken to say that my brother Muhammad passed away on Wednesday 15th September after a long battle with ISWAP in ambush along monguno to Gajiram, may ALMIGHTY Allah accept their shortcomings. Nigeria will prevail,” Abbakar posted on Twitter.
Abbakar had in a tweet condemned by most of his followers in June threatened to attack June 12 Democracy day protesters.
“If e sure for them June 12, make dem come out,” the soldier had posted.
Some civil society organisations and human rights activists had then called for a nationwide protest against the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
| Politics / El-Rufai: Only Buni Knows Why Fani-Kayode Was Allowed Into APC by etokhana: 9:09pm On Sep 21|
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has stated his position on the defection of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode to the All Progressives Congress, APC.https://dailypost.ng/2021/09/21/only-buni-knows-why-fani-kayode-was-allowed-into-apc-el-rufai/?amp=1&utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&__twitter_impression=true
El-Rufai said only APC leaders who brought Fani-Kayode back into the party could explain why they allowed him.
He stated his position while responding to journalists who asked for his response on Fani-Kayode’s defection at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to El-Rufai: “I don’t comment on the decisions and actions of the leaders of the party. They have the job of running the party and they have to make the judgment on who to bring into the party.
“And you know politics is a game of addition. So you want to add and add. And they have taken that decision. But I don’t comment on that because they are the ones running the party.
“If I bring someone to Kaduna and you asked the Kaduna State Government to explain, I will explain. I don’t know how to run the party.
“I was deputy national Secretary for a short while and it was the only experience I had in party management. So I won’t comment on that.”
The former Aviation Minister had last week defected to the APC, after years of criticizing the ruling party.
Fani-Kayode’s defection was made public when he was officially presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was presented to the president by APC acting National Chairman, Mai Mala-Buni.
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| Politics / Expose Terrorists Sponsors If You Are Not Complicit - PDP Tells Buhari by etokhana: 6:47pm On Sep 21|
September 21, 2021https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=387224419642839&id=100050658511735
Expose Terrorism Sponsors if You are Not Complicit, PDP Challenges APC, Buhari Presidency
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asserts that the refusal by the Buhari Presidency to expose the names of sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria, vindicates its position that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has been providing official cover for terrorists and bandits pillaging the nation.
The PDP position is predicated on the declaration of the Buhari Presidency that it was not interested in making public, the names of six Nigerians reportedly sent to the Federal Government by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as sponsors of terrorism in our country.
The PDP holds that the decision of the APC-led government to cover the identity of sponsors of mindless mass killings, maiming, rapping, kidnapping of our compatriots as well as the endless violent marauding of our communities under the APC watch, validates our stand that such individuals have connections with the APC.
This unpatriotic stance by the Buhari Presidency raises serious national anxieties of high-level complicity in the administration and further explains the reported compromising of our security system in the escalated killings and acts of terrorism in our country in the last six years under the APC.
Nigerians can see why the APC-led administration has failed to take decisive steps to tackle terrorism, why it prefers to negotiate with terrorists and even makes case for them, instead apprehending and prosecuting them, as witnessed in the beheading of rice farmers in Borno state
The PDP had always alerted of a connection between the APC and terrorists ravaging various parts of our nation and how the APC, as a party, had always failed to forcefully condemn acts of terrorism in our country.
Nigerians can recall how the APC vehemently defended and still habours the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, a self-confessed terrorism apologist, despite national outcry and demand for his sack.
Also, the APC has failed to account for the bandits, thugs and hoodlums it imported from neighboring countries to unleash violence on Nigerians and muscle the 2019 elections.
If the APC and its administration have nothing to cover, our party challenges them to immediately publish the names of the sponsors of terrorism given to it by the UAE, instead of this vexatious desperation to provide official cover for them.
National Publicity Secretary
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| Politics / Buhari Writes Senate, Seeks Amendment Of PIA by etokhana: 12:13pm On Sep 21|
To Increase Non-Executive Members from 2 to 6
As Buhari forwards list of board members of EFCC
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate, seeking an amendment to the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/09/breaking-buhari-writes-senate-seeks-amendment-of-pia/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
In the letter, President Buhari wants an amendment to the new Act to allow for the removal of the Ministers of Petroleum and Finance from the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, saying that they can continue to perform their functions without necessarily being members of the board.
In the letter read on Tuesday during plenary by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, President Buhari is also seeking for the amendment to allow the Non-Executive Members to be increased from two to six in the interest of our national petroleum.
Also, President Buhari has written to the Senate, seeking the screening and subsequent confirmation of board members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
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| Politics / After Shutting Down Zamfara, Gov Matawalle Jets To US As Wife Delivers Abroad by etokhana: 7:01pm On Sep 20|
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has left the country for the United States of America, after vowing that he would limit his movements and share in the ban on mobile telecommunications in the state.http://saharareporters.com/2021/09/20/exclusive-after-shutting-down-zamfara-governor-matawalle-jets-us-wife-delivers-baby
The Governor had also said the ban would remain until the bandits terrorising the state were dealt with.
Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.
A source told SaharaReporters on Monday that the governor last week sent his wife to the United States where she was delivered of a baby girl.
SaharaReporters gathered that Governor Matawalle left for the US with other members of his family to meet the wife and the new born baby.
The baby is expected to be named during their trip.
“They are expected back in the country on Sunday, September 26,” the source told SaharaReporters.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, a government official confirmed the governor travelled to the US.
He, however, said he left the country as part of President Muhammadu Buhari's entourage to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).
Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara State where bandits have thrived.
Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.
In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.
About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different 'repentant' gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.
But despite all these, communities in the state are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.
To curtail the banditry, the government about two weeks ago placed ban on mobile telecommunications network.
There are also restrictions of movement in some parts of the state even as markets, banks and other commercial places have been shut.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed mobile telecommunications network providers to shut down their networks in Zamfara State for two weeks as part of measures to tackle the activities of bandits.
Sources told SaharaReporters that people in the state now travel to Sokoto and Funtua in Katsina State to make calls, send messages and do financial transactions.
The ban was expected to expire on Friday, September 17. But speaking via BBC Hausa Service, Matawalle said it will continue indefinitely.
| Politics / Nigerian Politician Indicted In U.S, U.K, May Become Governor by etokhana: 1:56pm On Sep 20|
The UK government said Andy Uba had been associated with “fraud and other criminal activities” and should stay away from the UK.
Andy Uba, a controversial Nigerian politician, indicted some years back for smuggling dollars to the U.S and pound to the UK, is just a step away from possibly becoming the next governor of Anambra State.https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-east/485820-nigerian-politician-indicted-in-u-s-u-k-may-become-governor.html
Mr Uba was subject of a U.S investigation into an advance fee fraud scheme, known as 419 in Nigeria, according to the U.S government.
In the UK where he was barred from entering, the authorities said the Nigerian politician was associated with “fraud and other criminal activities”, and that “his presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good”.
Mr Uba is the candidate of one of the major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, Nigeria’s South-east.
He had previously been sworn in as governor of the state in 2007, but his election was nullified by Nigeria’s Supreme Court on the grounds that Peter Obi, the man who was governor of the state at that time, was yet to finish his four-year tenure.
Mr Uba was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then.
As an aide on domestic matters to President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was among the country’s most influential politicians at the time.
Indicted in the U.S.
Mr Uba, otherwise known as Emmanuel Uba, ran into trouble with the American government in 2003 for smuggling $170,000 into the U.S, using Nigeria’s presidential aircraft which flew into New York for a meeting of the United Nations.
He concealed the bulk cash, failed to declare it at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, and later handed it over to his girlfriend, contrary to the U.S law which he was familiar with as a regular traveller and as someone who had lived in the U.S before, according to court papers released by the American government.
The U.S. government seized the $170,000 after going through legal processes in which Mr Uba and his girlfriend, Loretta Mabinton, were represented by lawyers.
Ms Mabinton said the money was meant for Mr Uba’s “personal businesses” in the U.S.
The U.S government also seized a luxury car, a 2003 Mercedes Benz SL500, which Ms Mabinton purchased at $91,262.50 in the U.S and wanted to ship it to Nigeria for Mr Uba, whose address in Nigeria was listed in the court papers as 772 Ibrahim Taiwo Street, Asokoro, in Abuja.
Ms Mabinton told a representative of Mercedes Benz that it was a birthday gift for her boyfriend, Mr Uba. She wanted the car to arrive in Nigeria before December 14, 2003.
Ms Mabinton, among her numerous financial transactions, also paid $45,487.28 to purchase farm equipment which were shipped to President Obasanjo’s farm, Obasanjo Farms Nig Ltd, in Nigeria.
Days before the Mercedes Benz SL500 was intercepted, Ms Mabinton made some deposits totalling $200,000 into a U.S bank, besides other numerous deposits classified by the U.S. government as “suspicious”.
Twenty-six thousand dollars ($26,000) was also seized from Ms Mabinton by the U.S. government.
Mr Uba brought the bulk cash into the U.S. in “a purple plastic bag”, according to an affidavit by a special agent with the U.S Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Guy Gino.
“The currency consisted of 1,600 new $100 FRN stamped with the phrase ‘AL GULAM’”, the agent said.
AL GULAM is a bureau de change operator in Abuja, checks by PREMIUM TIMES showed.
The arguments by Mr Uba’s girlfriend, that he had diplomatic immunity as an aide to the Nigerian president and also that the U.S. should turn their eyes away from the incident since the money was flown in a presidential aircraft, were rejected by the American government.
“Uba has no official diplomatic standing in the United States, and has no right to act in an official capacity for the government of Nigeria while in the United States.
“Even if the money had been transported into the United States via a diplomatic pouch, the money could only be used for official purposes of the government of Nigeria,” the U.S. law enforcement agent, Mr Gino said in his affidavit.
The U.S. also rejected Mr Uba’s claims that the seized money was from his personal savings and his family’s money. They said the Nigerian politician “failed to provide any documentation showing that the source of the $170,000 was legitimate”.
The U.S. authorities said Mr Uba could have wired the money to the U.S. through a Nigerian bank, but that he chose not to do so to avoid attention being drawn to it.
Uba: Not welcome in the UK
Mr Uba also ran into trouble with the UK government, and was barred from entering that European country.
“On the basis of your character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities, your presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good and the Home Secretary has therefore decided that you should be excluded from all territories of the United Kingdom,” the UK authorities told Mr Uba in a December 2, 2008 letter informing him of a decision to revoke his multiple visit visa to the UK, a document from a London court revealed.
Despite his being barred, Mr Uba attempted to enter the UK on December 24, 2008, in a private jet.
The UK authorities turned him back at London Luton Airport, after confiscating a large amount of cash, about €135,000, from him.
The UK authorities said he also had “a large quantity of gold jewellery in his possession”.
The UK government said they suspected that the money was “from crime, or that it would be used for a criminal purpose”.
Surprisingly, €100,000 of the cash found on Mr Uba, “subsequently became unaccounted for and later formed the subject of investigations”.
The remaining sum, the court document said, was seized by the UK government under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and subsequently forfeited by order of the Court.
Mr Uba, since then, made some unsuccessful attempts in court to challenge his exclusion from the UK.
In one instance, in 2011, he presented to the UK authorities his status as a newly elected senator in Nigeria. He said the Nigerian constitution would have barred him from contesting and holding political office if he really was involved in any criminal activities.
But that did not help him as the UK Government refused to revoke his exclusion.
Uba: APC beautiful bride
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately get Mr Uba’s comment for this report as he did not respond to calls and a text message from our reporter.
The Chairman of the APC in Anambra, Basil Ejidike, said he was not aware that his party’s Governorship candidate had issues with U.S and UK authorities.
“Andy (Uba) is not coming into election for the first time. The fact remains he was once an elected governor,” he told PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday.
This paper also spoke with Mr Uba’s media aide, Arinze Igboeli, who said Mr Uba remained a “regular visitor” to the U.S. and the UK.
He said the former senator made “very recent” trips to both countries.
When told about the court document as evidence that Mr Uba was barred from entering the UK, Mr Igboeli retorted, “I have not seen such a report, I cannot speak on what I do not know.”
The APC in Anambra seems to be doing pretty well since Mr Uba became its governorship candidate, although under controversial circumstances. Six state lawmakers defected from the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to the APC.
A senator from the state, Stella Oduah, also defected from the PDP to the APC.
It, however, remains unclear how Mr Uba’s indictments in the U..K and the U.S will affect him in the coming election.
“This is the best opportunity for Senator Uba,” his aide, Mr Igboeli said. “He has this appeal to the grassroots and the political class.”
| Politics / Hushpuppi: IGP Queries Abba Kyari, As Malami Considers Extradition Request by etokhana: 9:31am On Sep 19|
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has queried the erstwhile commander of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari, over the infractions noticed in his communication with Ramon Abbas, popularly called Hushpuppi, who is suspected of internet fraud.https://dailytrust.com/hushpuppi-igp-queries-abba-kyari-as-malami-considers-extradition-request
The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is also looking into the request of extraditing the famed super cop to the United States of America.
Daily Trust on Sunday learnt that the query was issued based on the findings by the Special Investigation Panel (SIP), which probeed the alleged indictment of Kyari by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Kyari was indicted by a US court as a conspirator in a $1.1 million fraudulent deal against a Qatari businessman by Hushpuppi.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) suspended him from office as a deputy commissioner of police and head of the IRT based on the recommendation of the IGP.
It was learnt that the DIG Joseph Egbunike-led panel, which submitted its report in August, established that there was communication between Kyari and Hushpuppi.
“The IGP has issued a query to Abba Kyari based on the findings of the panel. The panel discovered that there was communication between Kyari and Hushpuppi, as well as infractions on the part of the cop, which is against the procedure of engagement of the police,” a top security source informed Daily Trust on Sunday.
He, however, said the panel didn’t recommend the extradition of Kyari as it couldn’t be established that the decorated police officer committed any crime in the US.
“There is no proof that he committed any crime on the soil of the US to warrant his extradition. He will be sanctioned by the appropriate authorities here. However, it is for the AGF to advise if there is a ground to extradite him to the US, which is very unlikely,” he added.
Force spokesman, Frank Mba, in a telephone interview, disclosed that in line with the procedure of the Police, the IGP has forwarded the recommendations of the panel to the PSC for appropriate action.
“The committee submitted its report and the IGP has forwarded their findings to the appropriate authorities, which have oversight function on the police, specifically the PSC, which I believe is currently reviewing it,” he said.
Reacting, Dr Umar Gwandu, the media aide to the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said his boss would give his opinion on the matter as appropriate.
“In line with the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that of the extant laws, the AGF will do the needful,” he said.
However, a senior police officer said it was only the PSC that could sanction Kyari as stipulated by law. He said the sanction could be suspension, reduction in rank or dismissal.
A security expert, Kabir Adamu, added that police officers could be tried in court in the case of a criminal offence.
| Politics / 47 Days To Anambra Election: How APC, APGA, PDP Stand by etokhana: 7:27am On Sep 19|
Forty-seven days to the Anambra State governorship election, billed to hold on November 6, 2021, the major political parties in the state are being weighed down by endless litigations. Daily Trust on Sunday takes a look at how the parties stand in the state. https://dailytrust.com/47-days-to-govship-poll-how-apc-apga-pdp-stand-in-anambra
The three major political parties – the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) are intractably enmeshed in internal wrangling resulting from their primaries.
This is opening up for some minor political parties to be eyeing the governorship seat in the state.
The primaries conducted by the three major political parties in the state are being described as assault on democratic norms and principles by aggrieved aspirants.
The ruling APGA in the state may have better chances of being returned to the Anambra Government House, giving that the people of the state have come to accept the party as their own and as the only political party owned by Ndigbo. However, the internal squabble that trailed its primaries had forced most of its chieftains to abandon the party.
Recently, six state lawmakers and 12 others on the platform of the party decamped to the APC in protest of what they described as injustice meted out to them. This is becoming a serious concern to the party and those faithful to the party.
The Governorship candidate of the party, Prof. Charles Soludo, is seen by some in the state as too elitist, arrogant and does not have grassroots acceptance to curry votes for the party.
Some political analysts are of the opinion that Governor Obiano wants to plant him as governor to cover up some of his ‘misdeeds’ in the state.
But APGA insists that its outgoing government in the state has done so much to be able to continue in power for the good of the state.
Both the PDP and APC had accused the APGA-led government of mismanaging the economy of the state, saying the government has borrowed so much which has not reflected in the development of the state.
Even among the APGA faithful, there are insinuations that Soludo is too arrogant, and may not remember those who helped him, if elected the governor of the state.
The political permutation in the state is that catholics have been governing the state over years and now, the other denominations have to produce the next governor.
To end the catholic dominance of the political space in the state, most people are rooting for a none catholic to take over the affairs of the state after the incumbent governor.
However, the chances of APGA to emerge victorious in the election are still dicey as nobody can say for sure that the party had done so well to merit a re-election.
The issues of none conduct of local government election in the state is still an issue that other parties are leveraging on to chase the ruling party out of the government house.
Therefore, the party is almost like a movement in the state because of the founder, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State is regarded as an anti-Igbo party or rather a northern party.
But with the recent gale of defections of chieftains of the PDP and APGA, the party is gaining popularity and acceptability in the state.
Six state lawmakers and some chieftains of the APGA had in the last few weeks joined the party to strengthen its force of winning the poll.
Also, some heavy weights of the PDP have joined the party with promises to make sure that APC wins the governorship election.
Given the influx of big names in Anambra politics joining the party, if election is a simple arithmetic, it appears that APC will likely clinch the governorship position in the state.
What is happening in Anambra State is exactly what happened in Nigeria in 2015 when PDP openly said that it would rule the country for 60 years but when the big names in the party left and joined the APC, the party lost.
If the massive defection is what will determine the outcome of the election, APC is good to carry the day, as it continues to reduce the strength of other parties in the state.
Also, there is another thing likely to work in favour of APC, the Catholic-Anglican sentiment, may play out to the advantage of the party.
Catholics have been ruling the state over the years and today, many people may want the Anglican to occupy the topmost position in the state.
This may be an added advantage given that the party candidate Andy Uba is an Anglican.
However, the candidate of APC needs to work extra hard to convince the Anambra voters that he is not being planted by the presidency to establish open grazing in the state.
Whenever one mentions APC, what comes to the mind of the average Anambrarian is that the federal government wants to force Andy Uba on the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a party that has men and women who are likely to win the governorship election but at every election time, one or two problems will create cracks among members of the party.
Since it lost power in 2003, it has not gone to the polls with one united voice. However, this year, the party is approaching the election with tact and humility to avoid the repeat of previous elections where members worked against the candidate.
The party’s Governorship candidate, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, appears to be simple, humble and focused but elections are not won by these qualities.
Analysts see him as a new entrant into the Anambra politics with a different concept for new Anambra. The people of Anambra may decide to vote for him as ‘a virgin’ in Anambra politics, who had not soiled his hands.
However, he has been carrying on his campaign with seriousness, even when his candidacy is still being challenged in the court.
If the party is able to reconcile all the court cases hanging on its neck, PDP may bounce back to power in Anambra State.
Similarly, Anambra people may not have forgiven the party for kidnapping a sitting governor and burning the government house, while in power, though most of the actors then had left the party.
Ozigbo, being a new person in the party, may likely unite warring members for the victory of the party.
Meanwhile, some political pundits in the state are of the opinion that electioneering campaigns have not really picked up, due to the litigations and insecurity in the South East.
Speaking on the possible outcome of the governorship poll, Justice Apha Ikpeama, the Bishop-elect of the Bible Family Christian Assembly, said “The election is unpredictable because it is possible that nobody would come out on that day to vote and the government may use the opportunity to appoint a sole administrator in the state. Anambra election is dangling for near anarchy. This is time for our elders to come out and talk to us. Today, nobody speaks for us unlike when Zik was alive. May be the elders will speak to us at the appropriate time on how and where to vote,” he said.
| Business / CBN Confirms Investigation Of Oniwinde Adedotun, Abokifx Founder by etokhana: 3:25pm On Sep 17|
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the investigation of Oniwinde Adedotun, the founder of abokiFX.https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-cbn-confirms-investigation-of-oniwinde-adedotun-abokifx-founder/amp
On Thursday, TheCable reported that Adedotun and abokiFX Limited are currently under investigation for “illegal foreign exchange transactions”.
AbokiFX is a web platform that reports movements in the foreign exchange market since as early as 2014.
On the platform, Naira is quoted at 570 to the dollar at the parallel market, though the apex bank had described it as an illegitimate market.
“The only exchange rate remains the I&E window, which is the market we expect everybody who wishes to procure or sell forex to get it,” Emefiele said.
“I am sorry to say that I do not, and I do not intend to recognise any fx in the market.
“Go to your bank. Even if your limit is above what the bank is selling, put it forward, and we will look into it.
“If you want to sell the dollar, go to your bank and sell it. “
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| Politics / Bandits Release NBC Ex-director, Hold Daughter by etokhana: 7:56am On Sep 17|
The kidnappers of a former director at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ahmad Abdulkadir, have released him after nine days in their captivity.https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/485383-bandits-release-nbc-ex-director-hold-daughter.html
They, however, refused to release his 15-year-old daughter, Laila Ahmad, who was kidnapped alongside him in Bakori, Katsina.
Premium Times reported how the gunmen attacked Bakori Housing Quarters and took away the duo with some neighbours.
The suspected bandits also requested a N50 million ransom for the release of the broadcaster and N20 million for his daughter’s.
A close associate of Mr Ahmed, who is also a broadcaster, told Premium Times that he was released Thursday evening by the bandits.
“Yes. He has been released but his daughter, Laila, who is seriously sick, is still with them,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
As usual in such cases, he did not say if ransom was paid before Mr Abdulkadir was released.
The police spokesperson in Katsina, Gambo Isa’s line was busy the three times this reporter called him.
| Politics / Babafemi Ojudu Unhappy As Femi Fani-Kayode Joins APC by etokhana: 8:20pm On Sep 16|
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, is unhappy after Femi Fani-Kayode joined the All Progressives Congress.https://punchng.com/todays-saddest-in-my-political-career-says-ojudu-as-ffk-joins-apc/?amp&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&__twitter_impression=true
This is as he described Thursday as the saddest in his political career.
He posted the message on Facebook, hours after FFK met his boss at Aso Rock and defected to the ruling party.
“This is the saddest day of my political career,” Ojudu posted.
Ojudu subsequently shared a previous vow by FFK that he would never join APC, adding “I prefer to die than join APC”.
Before joining APC, Fani-Kayode is one of the prominent opposition voices in the country and he was a spokesperson for his former party, Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential campaign.
The PUNCH had reported that Buhari formally Fani- Kayode, who recently defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress.
Kayode was led into the President’s office by the Caretaker Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe , Mr Mai-Mala Buni as well as Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.
Speaking to State House correspondents after Kayode’s presentation, Buni quoted the President as describing the defection of Kayode to APC as a welcome development, saying that the president was pleased that the former minister had joined the APC.
He said, “We are here to present our newest member of the party, Chief Femi Fani- Kayode to the President and leader of the party.
“He is the newest member of APC and we just received him in appreciation and understanding of the President’s vision and magnanimity.
“The President received him very well. The President is a leader who shares his vision and looks toward greater Nigeria, so he received him very well and commended his courage.”
Fani-Kayode, who also spoke to the correspondents, said he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the President in moving Nigeria forward.
He said, “The point is that I felt it was time to do the right thing, to put Nigeria first and appreciate the efforts that have been made, particularly in the last couple of years in terms of security; fighting insurgency and terrorism.
“It is not always negative and when the time is right, we change direction to join forces and join hands to move the country forward.
“Doing this doesn’t mean we are enemies to anybody. Even if we are in another party, the PDP or any other party or group, we can still work together across party, regional, ethnic or religious lines,” he said.
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| Politics / Buhari’s Minister Awarded Multi-billion Naira Contracts To Self,tinubu, Others by etokhana: 2:02pm On Sep 15|
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, awarded Value-Added Service contracts to himself, the All Progressives Congress National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu and late Isa Funtua, a long-time political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, SaharaReporters has learnt.http://saharareporters.com/2021/09/15/exclusive-buhari%E2%80%99s-minister-awarded-multi-billion-naira-contracts-self-ex-governor-tinubu
Investigations by SaharaReporters showed further that Dare awarded the contracts, when he was the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Dare, a former spokesman of Tinubu, was appointed by Buhari as the South-West executive commissioner of the NCC in 2016.
He was however replaced with Adeleke Moronfolu Adewolu in 2019 after the President named him a Minister.
Others awarded the multi-billion naira projects by Dare included Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Naomi Adenuga, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, and others.
A top source said, “The current Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare singled handedly gave some corrupt Nigerians the NCC licenses when he was the Executive Commissioner.
“He gave himself a slot, Naomi Adenuga for Glo, Bola Tinubu a slot, Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the NCC a slot, Senator Ararume, late Isa Funtua, Abdurrahaman Ado Musa and his brother, Abdul Sallam Abubakar.
“They were all awarded the Value Added Service for the NCC. The use of USSD code; they generate at least N25billion naira per month. They are taking 90%, leaving the brain mind content provider with 10%.”
| Politics / Edo: Philip Shaibu To Defect From PDP by etokhana: 10:36am On Sep 13|
Barring any last minute change, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu will dump the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to an undisclosed political party.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/09/breaking-edo-deputy-gov-to-dump-pdp/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
Vanguard was made to understand that if the body language and recent marathon meetings that took place outside the country last week between the Edo Deputy Governor and some party bigwigs in the country, are anything to go by, then Shaibu may dump the PDP anytime from now.
It was gathered that series of meetings took place outside the country, during the deputy governor’s vacation before he returned to Nigeria last week.
A source, who confided in Vanguard, said: “Philip Shaibu is one man I admire as a political tactician and Maradona in the Edo political space. Quitting PDP may frustrate the developmental plans of the Obaseki’s administration due to his nuts and bolts experience as a voracious student of politics, as well as his sterling track record and pedigree as a fearless and charismatic lawmaker.”
According to the source, there are strong indications that the Deputy Governor may not join any other political party immediately after quitting the PDP.
Another source, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said: “This rumour, however, did not come as a huge surprise to many, because the Deputy Governor was once quoted to have said he merely escorted Governor Godwin Obaseki to PDP.”
The source said it is a widely held belief across Edo State that Shaibu was, no doubt, the major face of the Edo 2020 governorship election, as many still believe that it was an election between Shaibu and his political father, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to secure victory for the incumbent.
However, while some have expressed curiosity that after such hard-earned victory, one wonders the justification for the Deputy Governor to quit the PDP, others have also chided the Governor for operating a one-man show without appointment of cabinet.
A source, familiar with the development, told Vanguard that “The Governor’s rigid position on some critical decisions that are now causing considerable disaffection between the Deputy Governor and some of his most loyal and committed supporters, who stood firmly by him, contributed morally and with resources and even risked their lives to deliver the Obaseki/Shaibu ticket and ensure that the Deputy Governor was not disgraced and embarrassed politically in his Constituency, which he shares with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole may have also justified his reason for defection.”
Multiple sources, who confided in Vanguard, noted that should the Deputy Governor finally quit the PDP, the action “will go a long way to justify the political resistance of the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the choice of Godwin Obaseki in the September 2020 Governorship election.
Efforts to reach the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Mr. Benjamin Atu, to clarify the rumour and the exact day of defection proved abortive, as calls out across to him were unanswered just as he did not respond to several messages sent to his known telephone number.
Prior the 2020 Governorship election, Governor Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu had led their supporters to the PDP.
Comrade Shaibu, who spoke to journalists after obtaining his PDP membership card at the party secretariat in Benin City, expressed disappointment over the undemocratic actions and tendencies of Comrade Adams Oshiomole in his management of the APC at the national level.
He said: “I have a mixed feeling with this action. First, one struggled to form a party and after forming that party, those that benefitted from the party took over the party and became tyrants. It is not always easy that after one helped to form and nurture a party, one individual would say he is an Adolf Hitler in the system and becomes undemocratic. That was what happened in the APC.
PDP keeps mum
When contacted, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP spokesperson, Mr. Duran Odeyemi said he was not aware of the development.
But party source told Vanguard that “it is strange that Obaseki and Shaibu are not on good terms because I know they have a cordial relationship.
“What I know is that there has been a delay in the appointment of commissioners in the state; the Governor wants to bring in some APC members who helped him during the Governorship election but the PDP leadership is not disposed to this. Their argument is that you cannot use our platform without us not benefiting from you. I know that issue has been on ground for sometime now, but it will be resolved.”
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