Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ASUU strike: FG makes U-turn

The Presidency said on Monday it was no longer interested in the December 9 deadline it handed over to the striking university teachers to return to work.

Rather, it said it was satisfied with the lecturers’ level of compliance with the directive to them to resume work or be sacked.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this while briefing journalists on the payment of the N200bn by the Federal Government into the “Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructure” account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Okupe’s claim of “substantial compliance” was however described as total falsehood by the Academic Staff Union of Universities leadership, which also said it would not attend a meeting on Wednesday(today) with the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, and vice-chancellors on the University Needs Assessment Report Implementation Committee.

Okupe had told journalists that the Federal Government was soft pedalling on the threat to sack the defiant ASUU members because many senior citizens and institutions had intervened.

He said that as of Sunday evening, government had reports that there was substantial compliance by many lecturers with the directive.

The Presidential aide added that the development encouraged the government to mellow down on its earlier tough stance.

He cited the University of Lagos as an example of a public university where in the Faculties of Law, Arts and Science, out of 100 lecturers, “ between 60 and 70 signed up to resume work.”

The trend, according to him, was replicated in “virtually all the universities in the country, including the Obafemi Awolowo University and University of Ibadan.”

Okupe said, “The ultimatum is not a matter for discussion anymore. I told you, there has been substantial compliance nationwide. If I say you must return to work on the 9th and 70 per cent of the people that I am talking to have returned to work, that is substantial compliance.

“What becomes of the remaining 30 per cent who did not return to work, these are issues that we do not want to stop the wheel of progress in sorting out this resolution. We are not interested in a witch-hunt; we are more interested in compliance and in the resolution of the crisis.

“Many senior Nigerians, institutions and organisations, including labour unions such as the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, as well as royal fathers have intervened and have pleaded with the government to soft pedal on the issue of ultimatum.”

Asked if the government was serious about the ultimatum in the first place, he replied “Yes.”

Okupe explained that the government was forced to issue the ultimatum because every other avenue to end the strike had been explored to no avail.

He said, “I said it before that governments worldwide, when pushed to the wall take steps that may be draconian but sometimes, they have to be taken in order to protect the citizens and the states they govern.”

The Presidential aide accused the media of presenting the strike as if the Federal Government and ASUU were in a face-off.

He said, “There is no face-off between the government and ASUU.

“ASUU may be grandstanding but the government is more interested in the resolution than in any form of confrontation with any union whatsoever.

“Our interest is to ensure good governance, orderliness and peaceful coexistence nationwide and among all sectors of the economy and that education is not left behind.”

While giving further evidence that the N200bn had been paid, Okupe released a copy of the letter written by the Deputy Governor of CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, to the Accountant General of the Federation, to journalists.

The letter, with reference GVD/DGO/GEN/MPA/05/151 and dated December 10, 2013, reads in part, “Confirmation of the execution of your mandates for the credit of account No: 00200xx522, Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructure Account.

“I write to confirm the execution of the following mandates by the CBN for funding of the above mentioned account as follows:

1. Mandate FDL/LP201340/1/30/DF: N129,300,000,000:00

2. Mandate FD/FA/124/Vol X11/120/1DF: N20,700,000,000:00

3. Mandate FD/LP2013/40/1/DF :N50,000,000,000:00

“I wish to further confirm that the available balance in the aforementioned account is N200bn (two hundred billion naira) only.

“Please accept the assurances of my best regards.”

With this, Okupe said there was no need for the continuation of the strike.

He said the President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, had assured last Thursday that if there was proof of payment of the sum, the strike would be called off immediately.

Okupe said, “I hereby show the proof of payment to all Nigerians, not only to ASUU and to let the people know that when we say that this administration has no credibility issue, we mean it.

“We have kept our cool; we have taken a lot of insults and all that and things that were disparaging but we are glad to show this proof that this has been done as we said.”

culled from

Jonathan, PDP Govs Decide Tukur's Fate Saturday

President Goodluck Jonathan has scheduled a meeting with all Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors for Saturday to discuss the clamour for the ouster of the party's National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Saturday's meeting, it was learnt, was part of efforts by the president to finally resolve the crisis rocking the party, whose one of the root causes is Tukur's leadership style that has alienated many top party members.

THISDAY gathered yesterday that the president, who is on a two-nation visit to South Africa and Kenya, fixed the meeting after his talks with members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday night. He is billed to return tomorrow.

PDP governors, in recent weeks, have renewed the clamour for the removal of Tukur who is being accused of running the party like a personal fiefdom.
They have held three successive meetings on how to remove Tukur as the national chairman of the PDP and at their last meeting, attended by no less than 13 governors, they reiterated their position that the national chairman must go to enable the party manage its preparations for the 2015 general election.

In all the meetings of the PDP governors, they have consistently accused the party's national chairman of being the cause of the crisis rocking the PDP.
One of the PDP governors, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu from Niger State, had accused Tukur of administering PDP as a personal estate, while other governors are blaming the national chairman for pushing five PDP governors to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It was gathered that Jonathan who was in South Africa yesterday for the national memorial service for the country's former President Nelson Mandela, would be in Nairobi tomorrow to attend the independence day anniversary of Kenya.

On his return, he will go to Jos on Friday for the burial of the former National Chairman of the party, Chief Solomon Lar.

According to a source, the president, after his engagement for the week, will thereafter meet with all the PDP governors on Saturday to discuss their grievances against Tukur and take a decision of how to finally tackle the crisis in the party.
However, multiple sources have told THISDAY why despite the recurring demand for Tukur's removal from office, the president is unwilling to bow to pressure to sacrifice him for peace in the party.

It was learnt that the Saturday meeting between the president and the PDP governors would decide the fate of the national chairman and the way forward in resolving the crisis in the party.

But ahead of the Saturday meeting, party and presidency sources told THISDAY that the president may not endorsed the sack of Tukur.
They said the president was in a dilemma on how to handle the matter, hence his pussyfooting.

“The inner caucus around the president is often bothered about the unpopularity of Tukur. In fact, he has become an albatross around the neck of the president. But the president cannot see a situation where Tukur would be disgraced out of office. Tukur has been very loyal to the president and he (Jonathan) believes giving the man the boot is totally unfair to the old man.

Of course, the president is concerned but he is doing everything to save Tukur. He believes Tukur is the best person for that post. Don’t forget that Tukur is even married to a South-south lady and he is not a radical even in his faith. Tukur, though a thoroughbred northern leader, is committed to the prospect of retaining power in the south,” one of the sources said.

He added that Jonathan has explicit faith in Tukur to deliver on his succession bid in 2015 and he doubted the fact that any “other northerner in the shoes of Tukur would be able to actualise his hope of becoming president in 2015."
"The president always counter his kitchen cabinet, when the matter comes up, that Tukur is the only one he can trust especially as a buffer against top northern politicians like Atiku Abubakar. "Besides, Tukur appears materially comfortable enough to be bought over by the president’s opponents. Tukur is a fierce fighter and can take on all of the president traducers, especially those from the north. Tukur himself has told the president that only those oppose to his succession bid want him out of the way,” he said.

But another source explained that although he is bent on saving Tukur’s job, the president might eventually cave in to pressure if it becomes too much for him to bear.
“The president is being reassured on a daily basis that sacking Tukur may not affect his ambition. He also being told that there are other northerners who can commit to the cause even more than Tukur. They are telling the president that Tukur’s sack may actually strengthen the party and restore goodwill rather than weaken it,” the source added.

In a related development, the party's National Disciplinary Committee yesterday waited in vain for the suspended National Vice Chairman (North-west) of the PDP, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, to appear before it.

The committee had adjourned until yesterday to enable him to appear before it, explaining that Kazaure’s case was different from that of the suspended National Secretary of the party, Oyinlola Olagunsoye and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Alhaji Abubakar Baraje.

But members of the disciplinary committee waited in vain for Kazaure to honour their invitation. No reason was given for his absence.
The disciplinary committee had two weeks ago recommended the expulsion of Oyinlola, Baraje and Jaja for anti-party activities.

The trio of Oyinlola, Baraje and Jaja had written to the committee that they would not appear because of a subsisting case before the Federal High Court, where they are asking the court to allow them enforce their rights to fair hearing.
culled from

Maku lambasts northern leaders over development

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has lashed out at former presidents and leaders of the North.

The minister at a Town Hall meeting to climax the good governance tour on Tuesday in Kaduna said President Goodluck Jonathan had developed the North more than past leaders of the region since independence.

Maku said the North should blame its past leaders and not the President for the under development of the region.

He said gone were the days when the North dictated to the rest of the country who governed them (Nigerians), saying that the presidency would now go round the entire country.

According to Maku, who is also the supervisory minister of defence, northerners should be grateful for the efforts of the President in providing infrastructure for the use of northerners.

He said “There has been a denial, a deliberate denial that President Goodluck Jonathan is not developing the North and there has been an agenda of deceit which is carried out mainly by people and some politicians in some parts of the North who want to deny the achievements of this administration.

“The truth is that never in this country have we seen a government that is impacting significantly on the development of the North as President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and I want to challenge anyone to a debate on this and I will back it up with facts.

“We have been to a number of northern states and now, we are in Kaduna the capital of the old northern region and in all the places we have gone, the evidence is very clear that since 2007, the Yar’adua/Jonathan Presidency has impacted so much on the development of the North.

“For those who say that the leaders of Nigeria must come from the North, let me say that Nigeria has changed and the story is different.”

culled from

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cash-For-Lift In Civil Service:Directors Pay N5m For Promotion

A cabal in the Federal Civil Service Commission is doing all it can to sustain its grip on the promotion of senior cadres in the federal bureaucracy as the federal government attempts to check the excess of the group.

LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that some top civil servants from the level of deputy directors paid between N5million and N10million to be cleared for promotion as directors. Those who could not pay were stagnated for over a decade.

The illicit activities of the group allegedly came to the limelight when the federal government appointed Deaconess J.O. Ayo as the chairman of the commission and mandated her to sanitise the promotion exercise, especially for senior servants who had inundated the presidency with complaints on the exploitation of the cabal.

Sources in the commission disclosed to our correspondent that the top civil servants responsible for the exercise resisted Ayo’s appointment and did all they could to frustrate her, including dropping charms in and around her office apparently to intimidate her.

Although there were claims that the commission’s boss had cut the cabal to size, sources said that all was not entirely well with the exercise as the cabal had only changed its tactics.

According to one of the sources, the cabal that had been in charge of promotion has been rendered impotent because officers whose promotions were embargoed because they did not play ball now have cause to celebrate.

LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that since Deaconess Ayo assumed office, no fewer than 2,672 federal civil servants had scaled through the yearly directorate level promotion examinations, representing over 29 per cent increase compared to those who sat for same exams last year without the usual corrupt practice.

According to an insider, there was a cabal that had hijacked the promotion exercise and officers were made to pay as much as N5 million to earn their promotion from assistant director to deputy director while those moving from deputy to director used to pay more.

“I had been a deputy director since 1998 all because I could not pay a minimum of N5milion; I strongly believed my promotion would come without bribing these people and God has done it; thank God for President Goodluck Jonathan who appointed Deaconess Ayo as the chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission.

Nobody asked for a dime from us; we all sat for the examination and the results are out and I am now a director,” a civil servant told our correspondent.

Also, a newly promoted deputy director said: “I was supposed to have become a deputy director since the last five years but the powers that be would not let that be; this year, we were all surprised when about 100 vacancies were declared in our office, and I thank God I am one of the deputy directors.”

Another official who benefitted from the promotion said integrity, hard work, impartiality and dignity will soon be back in the civil service. According to her, “the era of money for promotion has ended; may God bless this woman for us.

As long as you are hardworking, your promotion is guaranteed. This is how things should be.”

According to the spokesman of the commission, Joel Oruche, a total of 4, 493 officers participated in the 2013 promotion for the directorate levels, with 2, 672, representing 59. 57 per cent, emerging successful.

According to him, the latest record is “against the 2012 record of 4, 034 officers with only 1, 229 being promoted, representing 30. 6 per cent of the participants”.

He said the improved scores were as a result of steps taken by the FCSC and other stakeholders led by the chairman of the commission to ensure a fair and objective exercise.

According to him, measures that resulted in the success include: “Putting on hold the indiscriminate transfer of officers into the federal civil service, abolition of proper placement which is an aberration that is not traceable to any rules and regulations or guidelines in the civil service.

“Others are strict adherence and enforcement of cancellation of notional promotion and streamlining of promotion exercises on annual basis which has led to clearance of promotion backlog.”

When contacted on the development, Deaconess Ayo simply said: “The glory belongs to God and not to me or any member of my team.

All we want is the restoration of the core values of integrity, impartiality and dignity that had existed in the civil service.”


Friday, December 6, 2013

Nigerian Army declares serving officer missing

The Nigerian Army on Friday declared a serving officer, Adeyemo Abimbola, of the Department of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters, Abuja, missing.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by Ibrahim Attahiru, Director of Army Public Relations.

The statement added that Ms. Abimbola, a Sergeant, was dressed in black jeans trousers and a top when last seen.

It said she left her residence in Mogadishu Cantonment, at about mid-day on November 30 to go to the Wuse Market Abuja and had since not returned.

“All efforts by her husband and family members to locate her has not yielded results.

“Abimbola is about 30 years old, 1.65 metres tall, light in complexion and with no facial marks,” the Army spokesperson said.

She is a native of Ikire in Irewolede Local Government Area of Osun, and speaks Yoruba and English languages fluently.

The army called on anyone with useful information on her whereabouts to contact the nearest Nigerian Army unit, police station or call 08033703837 and 08103880646.

culled from premium times

Oil Theft, Major Setback For Nigeria’s Economy – IMF

The International Monetary Funds (IMF) yesterday said that oil theft and production loss have adversely affected Nigeria’s economy.

Presenting a report of the recent visit of IMF’s officials to Nigeria’s finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido, in Washington, DC yesterday, Mr. Gene Leon who led the visit said that oil theft and production losses have adversely impacted export receipts and government revenues, leading to a significant drawdown from the Excess Crude Account.

The report however noted that Nigeria’s economy had continued to perform strongly in 2013, stressing that real GDP had grown by 6.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2013 (compared to third quarter 2012), supported by robust performances in agriculture, services, and trade.

It also said that inflation declined to 7.8 per cent (end-September 2013) from 12 per cent at end 2012, in part owing to lower food prices and monetary policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), adding that the exchange rate had been stable, and the banking sector was well capitalised with low levels of non-performing loans.

The report reads in part: “Although the outlook is positive, risks need to be managed.Growth is projected to increase to about 7 per cent in 2014, while inflation should remain subdued in the single digits. Nigeria could be affected, however, by a decline in oil prices, the pace of recovery in global economic and financial conditions, capital outflows, continued losses in oil production, or increased security concerns. At the same time, the economy can manage such shocks given a relatively flexible exchange rate regime, improved financial crisis management capacity, and a stable banking system. But fiscal buffers are low and a sustained high rate of growth is needed to reduce unemployment, and poverty.

“Fiscal consolidation is progressing well, and the momentum needs to be preserved through the ongoing election cycle. Key public financial management reforms are underway, including the implementation of a Treasury Single Account (TSA) and integrated information management systems, but lower-than-budgeted oil revenues are impacting budgetary plans at Federal, State, and Local levels and highlighting the need for rebuilding fiscal buffers to manage oil revenue volatility.”

culled from

2015: US Expresses Concern over Anambra Polls

The United States has expressed concerns over the conduct of the recent gubernatorial poll conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra State.

It, however, expressed its readiness to work with the electoral body to avoid a repeat of the errors which led to a supplementary election in future polls.

The US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja Thursday, reiterated that transparent elections remain a high priority for the US government.

"Based on what I have read, I would say the elections were problematic, that is what has been reported here in this country. We have met with various parties and we have heard from parties that the elections were problematic. It raises some concerns about future elections and we want to make sure that again, we will work with the electoral commission to ensure that the kinds of problems that occurred in the Anambra election do not occur in future elections," she said.

The US government is also willing to work with the Nigerian government and political parties to ensure that the elections in 2015 reflect the will of the people, Thomas-Greenfield said.

She spoke on other issues regarding security and expressed condolences to Nigeria for last Monday's attack by suspected Boko Haram militants on an Air Force base and airport in Maiduguri.

The attack, she said, was an example of the impact which terrorism can have on a population.

"Our cooperation with the Nigerian government, security forces and the people, is ongoing and we hope to assist in efforts to implement a comprehensive approach to the situation in the North east of Nigeria," he said.

Thomas Greenfield dispelled insinuations that the recent designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation would result in stricter screenings of Nigerians who wish to travel to the US, or that the US may execute drone attacks on militant bases in Nigeria.

"Those things never came to our mind when we made that decision. Designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation gives us tools, which we use in assisting Nigeria government on Boko Haram particularly in the area of terrorism financing. The designation does not imply in anyway, to more screening of Nigerians who are travelling to the US. Nigerians who have nothing to do with Boko Haram or are not in any way connected to Boko Haram have no reason to be concerned about this. We have very strict requirements to come to the US and they were imposed on everyone," she clarified.

She reiterated that military action alone cannot solve the problems brought on by terrorism, but a long term socio-economic strategy which she added, the US is interested in helping Nigeria implement in the North East.

The Commander, US African Command (AFRICOM), General David M. Rodriguez corroborated that there would be no drone attacks on Nigeria, rather the US would work with Nigeria to increase the capacity of its security forces.

He noted that areas of security cooperation between the US and Nigeria would be in intelligence sharing, intelligence gathering and public affairs to help citizens understand ongoing situations and developments related to security.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador James Entwistle said it is encouraging that INEC has realised its own shortcomings in the Anambra elections.

"It is encouraging that INEC itself realises its own shortcomings, they have been very public and transparent about that. They are taking a look at their own staffing, finding out why their performance was not better. My impression is that INEC is using the Anambra election as a lesson to get ready for the next elections," he said.

culled from

Thursday, December 5, 2013


A bill to amend the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Act yesterday scaled through second reading in the House of Representatives, which seeks to extend the validity of JAMB result from its present one year to three academic years.

Rep Ibrahim Ebbo (PDP, Niger), who sponsored the bill said Nigerians mostly the poor have been the highest in sitting for the yearly examinations, despite the increasing cost of purchasing the forms.
The law-maker cited the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the National Examination Council (NECO) as example whose validity extends into years.
The members voted unanimously for in favour of the passage of the bill. Deputy speaker, Emeka Ihedioha who presided over the sitting then referred the bill to the education committee for further legislative duties.

Abuja airport shut as Saudi plane blocks runway

The Nigeria Airspace Management Agency has closed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to air traffic.

It was learnt that this followed the blocade of of the runway by a Saudi Airline cargo plane, which landed around 9pm on Wednesday but developed a minor problem after landing.

NAMA subsequently issued a Notice To Airmen on Thursday morning, meaning that the airport had been closed to both incoming and outbound planes.

As a result, thousands of passengers are stranded at different airports in the country, especially those who are Abuja-bound in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Kaduna and Kano among others.

Officials are said to be battling to fix the grounded cargo plane and clear the runway.

culled from punch newspaper

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ekweremadu: Tenure May be Extended for President, Govs

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said the National Assembly might consider extending the tenure of the president and governors whose present tenure would expire in 2015, for another two years, as part of the initiatives aimed at resolving the threat that the 2015 elections already bode.

Ekweremadu, who spoke in Lagos at a dinner with select reporters, however said an end to the present security challenge in the country was not in sight except the nation adopted a multi-level policing system as practised in civilised economies.

Expressing concern at the turn of events in the body polity, especially pertaining to the 2015 elections, Ekweremadu said the idea, coming at a time the president had initiated the process for national conference, could only come up through a new motion since the idea of a single term tenure had earlier been shot down by the review committee.

The initiative, if it sails through, Ekweremadu said, would be a precursor to the single term tenure earlier proposed in the constitution review process, adding that the additional two years would simply allow the present actors to be eased out of office and allow for a fresh start on a clean slate, almost without tension.

“If you look at what is going on now, all the core problems we are having in all the parties are about the issue of succession. So we believe strongly that the matter can still be revisited. But I think some of the mistakes we made in our recommendation when we said the incumbent would not benefit from it were responsible for shooting it down. Then there was a kind of coalition of forces to defeat it.
“So I believe that if the players in the politics or stakeholders are able to come together one way to deal with the situation, it could be a win-win situation for everybody.

“I believe that the way it could work now is that people have been elected for four years, so let everybody complete the four years tenure for which they were elected.

“And then, through the doctrine of necessity and some sort of jurisprudential approach, do some kind of transition of two years in which case those present occupiers like the president and state governors who are finishing their tenures, will do another two years that would end in 2017.

“You can see that those fighting the president have hinged their complaints on the fact that if the president gets his second term by the time they are gone, he would start to chase them. So if we all agree, that is a way to solve the problem, after two years, both the president and other governors will exit.
“I believe that the fear would not be there and there would not be much pressure on the polity,” he said.

On the fate of the legislature, the chairman of the constitution review process in the National Assembly noted: “Of course, we don’t have much problem with the legislative positions. We can go ahead and hold legislative elections in 2015.

“The advantage there is when we do the legislative elections in 2015, then we do the executive elections in 2017, so we have a two-year gap for the INEC to have breathing space to prepare well.

“You can see what is happening in Anambra now. I believe INEC needs sufficient time to prepare for one election before the other.”

Making reference to what obtains in the United States, Ekweremadu said: “In America for instance, there is this two-year separation. In fact, in most countries, even in Senegal, and some places in Africa have adopted the separation of legislative elections from the executive elections.

“If we create a two-year gap, it creates a situation where the country would not be engulfed in a crisis in the process of conducting all the elections in one period.

“I think it is something we have to reflect on and see if it is something that can help resolve some of the challenges that we are having and I do hope that if we are able to do that and we all agree to it, it would solve even the executive situation, because it is believed that most of the challenges we have are as a result of the charged atmosphere arising from jammed elections.

“Somehow, everybody will benefit. All we need to do is to exercise patience and give them two more years. After that we move to one-term tenure that can be five years, six years or seven years depending on what we all agree upon.

“Besides, the cost of all these elections and all the problems that come with it would all have been resolved. So it would help to reduce cost of elections and also reduce the crisis that may come up due to the desire to run for another term in office.”

But for the matter to come up again for deliberation, he stressed that it would have to come in the form of a formal motion “because we are serving the people and we would be more than willing to do that if that is what the people of Nigeria desire.

“We will be willing to discuss it provided that is exactly what Nigerians want. But for now, the matter was defeated in the Senate. If we are going to bring it up again, there must be another motion to resuscitate it.

“If there is a debate on it and Nigerians believe that is the way we are going, we need to think along those lines and be able to use it to resolve the existing political tensions in this country, just as we did during the ill health of our late president (Umaru Yar’Adua).

“We would be more than willing as a national service to have a look at it and be able to reach a level of understanding at the National Assembly.”

Addressing the issue of multi-level policing as the way out of the present security quagmire, Ekweremadu said: “As an individual, I believe we can never resolve our security challenges in Nigeria as long as we are doing what we are doing now. Never!

“If you like, continue to do what we are doing and the fact will repeat itself. We’ll be having what we are having and the reason is clear.

“No other country is doing what we are doing in terms of policing. Most countries have adopted what I call decentralised policing. If you like, call it multi-level policing. As for the issue of state police, nobody does state police any longer.

“What we now have is multi-level policing and if you like, call it decentralised policing. If the security challenges become complicated, you have to bring in complicated processes to address them. We cannot have a federal type of government that adopts a unitary system of policing and expects to succeed,” he warned.

culled from Thisday Newspaper

Buhari, APC Can't Stop PDP in Katsina- Shema

Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, Tuesday dismissed the possibility of the All Progressives Congress (APC) wresting power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state come 2015.
He told State House correspondents in Abuja that not even the involvement of one of the APC leaders, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), who hails from the state, will change the political equation in the state in the next general election.

The governor said the PDP administration under his leadership had touched the lives of the people and his stewardship would give the party an edge in 2015.

"I believe in service and I believe in God. You know my business is that of the PDP and that of the people and leaders of the PDP. That’s how it starts and that’s how it ends. I don’t take time discussing other parties or other individuals. My party is doing very well and we will even do more for Nigerians in Katsina and other parts of Nigeria.

"I am very confident because we have done a lot of work. Go there and see for yourself. Politics is about service; it is about fear of God, it is about managing resources, human and material.

"To the best of my ability, we are doing just that in Katsina and we are very confident that with the services we have delivered to our people, God will not let us down," Shema added.

The governor also allayed fears that the crisis in the PDP could negatively affect its electoral fortunes in 2015.

He said: "Any human organisation with the size of the PDP will have challenges anywhere in the world. Even in families, the large extended African families have challenges. So our size demands challenges and demands all hands to be on deck.

"But the challenges are not insurmountable because PDP remains the only platform that is owned by all Nigerians,; it doesn’t belong to any section of the country or individual, it belongs to all Nigerians. There is no section, no religion, no tribe that is not in PDP.

culled from Thisday Newspaper

Monday, December 2, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Boko Haram attack Borno airport as military declares 24 hour curfew

Scores of people are believed to have been killed

The outlawed Boko Haram sect on Monday morning attacked the international airport and various parts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The attack has forced the military to impose a 24 hour curfew on the Borno capital.

Unconfirmed reports say a plane was burnt down at the airport. Yakubu Datti, the aviation spokesperson, could not be reached to comment on the airport attack.

The attack is the first in recent months to be launched in Maiduguri by the sect, who have mainly attacked neighbouring communities to the Borno capital since the military increased its onslaught after the declaration of a state of emergency in Borno in May.

The military is yet to state the casualty figure from the early Monday attack although residents say scores of people including some of the terrorists were killed.

Telephone networks have been turned off in Borno since the emergency rule was declared in May, making communication with residents difficult.

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Transport Minister Reckless Spending- New PDP

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) splinter group, New PDP, whose bigwigs have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday challenged the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to account for how he got the billions of naira he has been spending recently to push a political agenda.

The erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of New PDP, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, in a statement yesterday accused the minister of embarking on a spending spree as part of a grand plot by the federal government to woo voters ahead of the 2015 general election.

The minister who hails from Gombe State, the statement said, had in the past one month distributed over 50 special cars and over 150 motorcycles to politicians in his home state, in addition to sharing over N50 million to them.

According to Eze, "He has also extended the largesse to the emirs in the state in his bid to make them partisan as opposed to maintaining political neutrality as demanded by their status as royal fathers.

"Besides, Umar has of late been using private jets during his visits to Gombe. Our rough calculations indicate that the transport minister has frittered away billions of naira in his spending spree.

"The big question is: from where is Umar getting all these funds that he is recklessly spending? We are not against him supporting the PDP in its desperate bid to rebuild its crumbling house and the 2015 political aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan, but must our common patrimony be looted to achieve this?

"We recall that Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State recently alerted Nigerians that some 400 northerners have been corrupted and handed a heavy financial war chest with which to promote Jonathan’s 2015 presidential aspiration. A similar allegation had also been made by the pan-Northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). One of the unnamed beneficiaries of the said bribe may have unwittingly exposed himself! Where is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)?"

He referred to comments by a former South African President Thabo Mbeki who recently described how corrupt the Nigerian leadership is, adding: "Are our leaders not ashamed of this shameful categorisation? This is very sad and unfortunate considering that the federal government could not honour the agreement it voluntarily reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since 2009, thus forcing the closure of the country’s universities for over five months now."


President GoodlucK Jonathan last night met state governors from his ruling Peoples Democratic Party in a continuing effort to end the crisis which has seen five governors defect to the opposition APC.

The party has been locked in a bitter feud with seven governors and other big shots, including former vice president Atiku Abubakar, accusing the leadership of dictatorial tendencies.

Repeated meetings with the President have failed to resolve the crisis which came to a head last week with the defection of five of the seven governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a last ditch effort to woo them back the President fixed another meeting for yesterday but sources said only Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Sule Lamido of Jigawa states attended.

Aides of the five other governors told Daily Trust last night their principals were in Abuja but they declined to comment on why they did not show up for the meeting with Jonathan.

Earlier in the day, PDP governors who supported Governor Jonah Jang to be chairman of the Nigeria Governors forum met at the Akwa Ibom governors lodge.

They reportedly agreed to take advantage of the exit of Governor Rotimi Amaechi from the party to make sure its members who have not left for the APC are prevailed upon to start identifying with the Jang led faction of the NGF. These are Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido of Niger and Jigawa states respectively.

The move, according to a source at the meeting, is to enable the Jang led faction have the majority number of governors in its fold in order to displace Amaechi and discredit his claim to the chairmanship of the forum.

To this end, the governors decided that the PDP should waste no time in welcoming them to the fold of the party while overlooking all previous statements they may have made against the party while with the new PDP.

Further to this, the governors suggested that a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party should be convened within the week to make a pronouncement on the two former nPDP governors as well as ratify the decision of the party’s disciplinary committee to sack members of the nPDP.

Culled from Daily Trust