Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Next Adamawa Governor


The race to the Government House in Yola will be keenly contested, with unflinching interests from Adamawa bigwig politicians and Abuja. However, tongue, faith, geography and money will also play crucial roles.

The bigwig politicians that would try to pull the strings are former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, Senator Jibril Aminu, Minister Boni Haruna and Atiku Abubakar, while the presidency and some of its aides will also have inputs. indeed, the presidency’s interests may likely decide who gets the PDP ticket.

The battle will be between quite a few strong candidates within the two major political parties. The APC have Nuhu Ribadu, Salihu Bakari, Abdulazeez Nyako, while the PDP have former deputy governor Bala Ngilari, Awwal Tukur, Dr Ahmed Modibbo, Senator Bello Tukur, Buba Marwa, Marcus Gundiri, Dr Umar Ardo, Dr Idi Hong, Senator Abubakar Girei and probably Acting Gov. Umaru Ahmed Fintiri.

Considering the vast interests and the number of probable candidates each party has, internal party struggle is bound to play a major role on who emerges as each party’s flag bearer. This will cause certain permutations and cross-carpeting, it will also bring to the fore sensitive issues such as religion and ethnicity. For example, some people strongly feel the next Adamawa Gov should be a Christian, from the minority. Their argument is, Boni Haruna, a Christian, governed for 8 years and was succeeded by Murtala Nyako, a Fulani-Muslim who governed for about 7 years.

Without any written agreement of power rotation between Fulani/ Muslim and Christians/other tribes, Boni Haruna doggedly fought for a Fulani /Muslim- late Ibrahim Bapetal to succeed him. This set the trend and led to the emergence of Nyako as PDP candidate.

So, if the PDP do not properly manage the issues, the government house may be occupied by the ‘broom’ and not the ‘umbrella’.

On their own parts, the candidates will have to rely on their political pedigree and connections with both power brokers and the grassroots.

Nuhu Ribadu has vast connections across Nigeria. Interestingly, his actions and inactions during his reign as EFCC chairman had helped in the emergence of Nyako as governor. Nuhu is well-read and urbane, but lacks grassroots contacts. He is the best candidate the APC can present because he does not have ‘lot of baggage’. However, if the APC gives him the ticket; the party has to painstakingly work on his inadequacies in the area of grassroots connection.

If Nyako had not been impeached, his commissioner and in-law Salihu Bakari could have been a candidate to beat. Bakari has built for himself strong grassroots support. But the current situation has changed things- his political significance has reduced drastically.

Another possible candidate that was hit hard by Nyako’s impeachment is his son- Abdulazeez. Abdulazeez Nyako was the de-facto governor of Adamawa state when his father was in-charge. Abdulazeez could have used government machineries and resources to secure the APC governorship ticket, but sheer fate has robbed him that rare opportunity.

Apart from their political pedigrees, candidates for PDP ticket must be in the good books of the presidency and the PDP stakeholders. Former deputy governor Bala Ngilari had the best chance of clinching the PDP ticket before he was forced to resign, greatly reducing his chances.

However, we should remember that in Adamawa, apart from political bigwigs and Abuja interests, tongue, faith and mundane issues also sometimes determine who gets what. Among the strong contestants in the PDP, Ngilari is the only Christian and minority, if tongues and faith prevail in the PDP, Ngilari will easily win. Notwithstanding he is an unlucky man- the politics of impeachment has thrown a spanner in his work.
Senator Bello Tukur is one of the astute politicians among the Adamawa MPs in the National Assembly. Tukur is also one of the strongest candidates in the PDP governorship ticket.

Tukur is a ‘smart’ politician- by Nigerian standards; he has been in the corridors of power since 1999. The Senator was once deputy to former Governor Boni Haruna when Atiku group was in control, then he jumped to Jibril Aminu’s camp, later to Nyako’s. He has a formidable structure and war-chest to contest for the PDP ticket.

Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Modibbo is one of the new entrants into politics in the state. He is the only contestant coming without any political baggage; he is well-educated and looks serious in terms of manifesto and political war-chest, including his wife’s strong popularity among youths and women. However, his opponents say he is into the contest and the PDP just to have a soft landing to avoid any investigation into his tenure as Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education. 

Senator Abubakar Girei, - came to limelight when he was elected senator. He contested against Boni Haruna in the 2003 PDP primaries- and got only two votes, from then he lost ground. His chances of winning the PDP primaries are very slim.
Dr Aliyu Idi Hong, a former Minister, relied heavily on Senator Jibril Aminu. Dr. Hong’s politics always start and end with Senator Aminu. Hong will not pose a big threat to the well established contestants.

Dr. Umar Ardo, is the most vocal of all the contestants in the PDP- his opponents and some pundits see him as an armchair critic- because, since his venture into politics Dr Ardo has never filled any INEC form, nor contested let alone win any elective post.

For Gen Buba Marwa and Marcus Gundiri, their fate is in the hands of PDP national executives, because they have to get waiver for them to contest. However, Gen Marwa has been on ground for long, he is a strong candidate with past record of performance and experience and high-tech approach to winning electorates’ heart. During the 2011 PDP ward congresses, Marwa smartly beat Nyako, but his victory was later reversed.

Awwal Tukur, some people call him the man of the moment. He has been in politics for quite sometimes. Being the son of Bamanga Tukur and Bamanga’s life-long ambition is to see his son become the governor of Adamawa state. Awwal is seen as one of the candidate that will get strong support from the presidency and the Adamawa PDP executive.

For Acting Gov Umar Fintiri, if majority of the PDP bigwigs give him their nod- the game is over for the other candidates. This is because he has the incumbency advantage and currently enjoys strong support from Adamawa people.

On another hand, power brokers also have a dictate on who will occupy the government house. As things stand now, former vice president Atiku Abubakar would certainly exert huge power on the Adamawa APC. His huge war-chest will definitely give him the advantage to decide who gets the APC governorship ticket.

The PDP ticket will definitely be for the man that ‘Abuja’ chooses. And this is where the bubble will burst. Most of the PDP stakeholders that championed the impeachment of Nyako did so to achieve one cause or the other. 

As earlier said, all the candidates in both the APC and the PDP need support from the Adamawa bigwigs – those from the PDP will require support from Bamanga Tukur, Jibril Aminu, Boni Haruna, PDP executive and ‘Abuja’. While for the APC, current situation entails that, Atiku Abubakar and APC national executives will pull the strings.


Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, zaymohd@yahoo.com, 08036070980. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

ADAMAWA COUNCIL CHAIRMEN DEFECT TO PDP



All Local government Council Chairmen and development area administrators in Adamawa State are returning to the People Democratic Party (PDP), following impeachment of former governor, Murtala Nyako.

Daily Trust learnt that Adamawa State Acting governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has spent most part of the Thursday, holding discussion with 21 local government chairmen and 50 Development area administrators.

Speaking to Daily Trust in Yola, the Chief Press Secretary to the Acting Governor, Solomon Kumangar said the council chairmen are willing to defect from the All Progressives Congress to the PDP, adding that preparations are being made to receive them.

culled from http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ahmed Fintiri Sworn-in As Acting Gov Adamawa State




How Nyako Was Impeached



Embattled Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, has been impeached.

The governor was removed Tuesday afternoon as the state House of Assembly deliberated on the report of an investigative panel that probed allegations of financial misconducts against him.

Seventeen of the 25 members of the Assembly adopted the report of the panel after Speaker Umaru Fintiri read the report on the floor of the House.

The report found the governor guilty of all the 16 allegations of gross misconduct leveled against him by the House.

The report was endorsed by all members of the panel.

The motion for the governor’s impeachment was moved by Jerry Kumdisi, the member representing Gombi state constituency.

The motion was seconded by Kwamoti Laori, the Deputy speaker of the Assembly and member, representing Numan constituency.

All the 18 members present at the meeting signed the resolution removing the governor.

The House also passed a motion that Speaker Fintiri should be sworn in as the state’s acting governor.

Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, resigned from office to avoid being impeached.

Mr. Ngilari’s resignation letter was read at plenary by the speaker of the Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, after which the lawmakers approved it.

The House is sitting today to consider the report of the seven-member investigative panel, appointed to probe allegations of financial impropriety against the governor and his deputy.

The committee submitted its report to the House on Monday.

There is high security presence on the road leading to the Assembly and inside the complex.

A source, who works with the Assembly, told PREMIUM TIMES only staff and journalists are being allowed access into the Assembly.

The source requested not to be named because he had no permission to speak to journalists on the matter.

culled from http://www.premiumtimesng.com/

BREAKING: Adamawa Assembly sacks Governor Murtala Nyako



Embattled Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, has been impeached.


The governor was removed a while ago as the state House of Assembly deliberated on the report of an investigative panel that probed allegations of financial misconducts against him.

Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, resigned from office to avoid being impeached.

Mr. Ngilari’s resignation letter was read at plenary by the speaker of the Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, after which the lawmakers approved it.

The House is sitting today to consider the report of the seven-member investigative panel, appointed to probe allegations of financial impropriety against the governor and his deputy.

The committee submitted its report to the House on Monday.


There is high security presence on the road leading to the Assembly and inside the complex.

A source, who works with the Assembly, told PREMIUM TIMES only staff and journalists are being allowed access into the Assembly.

The source requested not to be named because he had no permission to speak to journalists on the matter.


Details later….

culled from premium times 

BREAKING: Adamawa Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, resigns



There is high security presence on the road leading to the Assembly and inside the complex.

The embattled Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari, who is facing impeachment charges alongside his principal, Murtala Nyako, has resigned from office.
Mr. Ngilari’s resignation letter was read at plenary by the speaker of the Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, after which the lawmakers approved it.

The House is sitting today to consider the report of the seven-member investigative panel, appointed to probe allegations of financial impropriety against the governor and his deputy.

The committee submitted its report to the House on Monday.

There is high security presence on the road leading to the Assembly and inside the complex.

A source, who works with the Assembly, told PREMIUM TIMES only staff and journalists are being allowed access into the Assembly. The source requested not to be named because he had no permission to speak to journalists on the matter.

Details later…

culled from www.premiumtimesng.com

Nyako May Escape Impeachment



After weeks of uncertainty hanging over him, the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, may have escaped the impeachment bid initiated by the legislators of the state House of Assembly following the decision by six of the anti-Nyako lawmakers to back out of the plot against the governor.

Making this known yesterday, sources in the Adamawa State Government House said the decision by the six lawmakers not to go ahead with the impeachment bid stemmed from the realisation that Nyako’s removal would have led to emergence of the Deputy Governor, Bala Ngillari, as the new governor of the state.

Though the impeachment notice served by 19 out of 25 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers last month was targeted at Nyako and his deputy, the investigative panel constituted by the former acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to probe them for gross misconduct, cleared Ngillari, while Nyako was indicted.

It was on this basis, THISDAY learnt, that stakeholders in the state, who bowed to ethnic and religious calculations, moved to save Nyako.

“If Nyako had been removed, it dawned on many people including some of the lawmakers who are all PDP members that the state would be headed by a Christian.

“Even the speaker, Hon. Umaru Fintiri, who thought that his job was safe would have been removed because both he and Ngillari are from the same town and local government area in Adamawa.

“With the decision by six of the 19 lawmakers to move back to Nyako’s camp, those against the governor no longer have the constitutionally required two-thirds majority to impeach him.

“Remember that the state assembly has 25 PDP lawmakers, of which 19 signed up to remove the governor. But with six going back to Nyako’s camp, the anti-Nyako legislators no longer have the number to impeach him,” the Government House said.

Meanwhile, the seven-man investigative panel constituted by Mammadi has submitted its report to the state House of Assembly.

Presenting its findings and recommendations to the speaker of the House in his office under tight security yesterday at exactly 2.30 pm, the chairman of the panel, Buba Kaigama revealed that during the sitting of the panel which lasted for two days, the respondents refused to appear before it.

The chairman explained that despite the ample opportunities given to the two respondents to appear before the panel, they refused to honour the invitation and failed to send their representatives.

“Unprecedented opportunities were given to the governor and his deputy to appear before the panel but the opportunities were not utilised, the panel listened to the only witness called by the House of Assembly”, said panel’s chairman.

Kaigama futher noted that the report was summarised into eight volumes, four each for Nyako and Ngillari, adding that a letter of their findings was equally attached to the volumes.

“We have summarised our reports into eight volumes, four for Governor Murtala Nyako and four for his deputy, Ngillari and a letter of our findings are included in the volumes submitted to the assembly,” he said

Shortly after the presentation of the panel’s reports, the chairman of the panel told journalists that the sitting of the panel was done publicly at the federal secretariat’s conference Hall in Yola, adding that the panel was fair and transparent and that the reports submitted were the true position of the investigative panel.

Receiving the report of the panel, Fintiri congratulated the chairman and members of the panel for a job well done and for their recognition and appointment to serve the state.

It was gathered that the assembly will reconvene today to adopt the panel’s report. รข€¨Specifically, a member of the panel told THISDAY that the report of the panel will be made public, during the assembly’s sitting.

But commenting on the impeachment bid, Nyako yesterday accused those he described as some irresponsible elements based in Abuja as the brains behind the plot to oust him and his deputy “through some state House of Assembly renegades”.

He said: “Despite the unwarranted state of emergency enforced on the people of the state, coupled with the dusk-to-down-curfew, some irresponsible elements based in Abuja are trying to create additional hardship for the people.”

Nyako who was addressing his supporters who paid him a solidarity visit at his residence in Yola at the weekend insisted that the impeachment saga was a deliberate plan to cause disaffection among the good people of the state, adding that his administration would continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people irrespective of area, tribe and religion.

“I will continue to keep faith with my people and nothing will deter me from identifying with them,” Nyako said.

The governor appealed to his supporters and all well-meaning citizens to remain calm and pray to God to protect them from falling along ethnic and religious lines, even as he described those behind his planned impeachment as the enemies of peace.

He said legitimate sons and daughters of the state would never cause hardship on their brothers and sisters.

In her remarks, the Adamawa Women’s Leader, Hajiya Hauwa Abba, said women and youths in the state were in the governor’s residence to register their support and solidarity with him.
In another development, however, the wind of impeachment seems to have been blown beyond Adamawa State, as 20 out of 24 lawmakers from the Nasarawa State House of Assembly have been accused of collecting N30 million each to impeach Governor Tanko Al-Makura.

The Special Adviser, Special Duties to Al-Makura, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, made the accusation yesterday while explaining the motive behind the impeachment moves against the governor who was indicted for 16 offences by the lawmakers.

The assembly, yesterday, directed its Clerk, Ego Maikeffi, to serve the governor with the notice alleging gross misconduct, following an endorsement by all 20 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the House during a sitting presided over by Speaker, Ahmed Mohammed.

Of the assembly’s 24 members, only four are in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. The impeachment notice followed a motion of public interest raised by the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Mr Yahaya Usman (PDP-Umaisha/Ugya) during plenary in Lafia, the state capital.

A document signed by the 20 members of the assembly which contained the allegations of gross misconduct against the governor was presented by Usman.

The notice accused the governor of violating the 1999 Constitution, stating: “Today being the 14th day of July, 2014, the 20 members of the 24 members of this House unanimously endorsed to serve Gov. Tanko Al-Makura notice of impeachment.”

The Chief Whip Mr. Mohammed Okpede, (PDP-Doma North) seconded the motion.
The speaker, who received the impeachment notice, said the House had complied with the provisions of the constitution to serve the governor with impeachment notice.

He directed the clerk to immediately serve the notice on Al-Makura on July 14. He said: “In the event His Excellency, Gov.Tanko Al-Makura cannot be reached for service, the clerk is directed to serve him with the impeachment notice through the media.

The impeachment notice confirmed earlier reports this week that the lawmakers met at a guest house in the high brow Asokoro District, Abuja, last week with a view to hatching plans to remove the governor.

Commenting on the notice, Al-Makura’s aide, accused some unseen hands in the presidency of being behind the impeachment notice, using proxies which include a Minister from Nasarawa State, some National Assembly members from the state and a point man from the South-south currently serving in the Constitutional Conference, Chief Asara Asara, among others.

Abdullahi accused the said individuals of selling the impeachment dummy to the presidency for the PDP to reclaim the governorship of the state.

It was alleged one of the point men disbursed the N30million monetary inducement to the 20 lawmakers.

The special assistant, who said information reaching the state indicated that the bribe was given to the lawmakers in US Dollars on Sunday, with the state’s deputy governor, Damishi Luka supporting the impeachment in order to actualise his longstanding ambition to become the state governor while the speaker would emerge the new deputy governor.

Al-Makura’s aide added that these were plans aimed at destabilizing the state and not in the interest of the state.

“If this is not coming from the presidency, why did the Inspector General of Police (IG) deploy 160 mobile policemen to guard the assembly and the members to hatch the plan. This is the single largest deployment in peacetime!

“When over 70 security personnel were killed at Alakyo, the IG did not deploy personnel to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators, but finds it convenient to deploy mobile men to perfect an impeachment plot!” he said.

The deputy governor less than a year ago decamped from the APC to PDP, a moved that was viewed by many as signaling the continuation of the frosty relationship between him and Al-Makura.


culled from thisdaylive.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ali Sheriff dumps APC, joins PDP



“APC has no solid foundation; a party cannot be built around an individual.”

A former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, on Monday in Maiduguri, the state capital, said he was in the state to initiate the process of defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mr. Sheriff arrived in Maiduguri alongside several members of the National Assembly and was received at the airport at about 2 p.m. by a mammoth crowd: supporters both of the PDP and the state’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

It took a convoy of hundreds of cars, residents said about 5, hours to accompany the ex-governor to his Giwa Barracks road home.

Mr. Sheriff has been blamed by locals and reports of being a major cause of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east. He has been accused of financing the sect for political gains while in office with a member of the sect even serving as commissioner in his administration. He, however, later fell out with the sect.

His arrest and prosecution has always been a major demand of the Boko Haram in earlier efforts at negotiation with the sect, who partly blame him for the killing of their founder, Mohammed Yusuf; while various government panels had without mentioning him also always sought the prosecution of former and serving public officials who financed the sect at inception.

On Monday, various posters of the PDP with the pictures of the former governor as well as some of his political cronies were hurriedly printed by supporters who brandished them along the highways.

Mr. Sheriff later confirmed his exit from the APC to journalists who interviewed him in his house. He said he also came to pull his “people” out of the APC.

“There is nothing to hide as you can see, I have come to consult with my people on our resolve to pull out of the APC and join the PDP. But this is just a private visit which turned out to be some kind of rally because our supporters wanted it that way”, said Mr. Sheriff.

“We are still consulting with the national officers of the PDP on how to go about it, because the pull out is going to be big, and we hope to organise it after fasting. Presently, as you can see, majority of our people are fasting and praying for peace to return to our dear state. But after the Ramadan we would come back and pull our people
out of the APC”.

Asked why he was dumping a party he helped build, Mr. Sheriff, who was involved in a ear-fisticuff with another APC leader, Bola Tinubu, at a party leadership meeting, said APC was not inclusive.

“The game has changed both in Borno and at the national level. APC has no solid foundation; a party cannot be built around an individual”, said Mr. Sheriff.

“I have taken time to study the package called APC and come to realise that it won’t work. And any serious politician, who knows his onions would not want to be in a ship that is bound to crash”.

“For now we are in high level consultation with our people and also with the PDP national officers. It is sad that our people here are in serious want; I came and saw many of them in serious difficulties, and we feel pained that we have to do something fast to assist them. We have no option now than to come and tell them that we are sorry, that we brought them a wrong party, but now we have come to correct our mistakes”.

Mr. Sheriff did not say if he would be exiting the APC alongside his erstwhile god-son, Governor Kashim Shettima; although it appears the latter would remain in the APC where he remains its leader.

“Kashim Shettima was my commissioner for four years before God gave us the opportunity of assisting him become the governor of Borno state in 2011. It cannot be doubted that I took him round the 27 local government councils of Borno and sold his candidature to the people before he was accepted and voted as governor,” the ex-governor said.

“But now the game has changed, and we have no choice than to do what the people of Borno State want; we know there was too much sufferings but we call on the people to be patient. We all pray that God should bring us peace so
that Borno state can regain its name once again as the home of peace”.

Mr. Sheriff’s visit to Maiduguri comes barely 24 hours after Governor Kashim Shettima left the state capital for Abuja by road, as the military the military said the airport was closed for security reasons.

The military had also barred intending pilgrims access to the airport for the lesser hajj. They had to travel to Kano to fly via the Kano airport.

Speaking for the Governor Kashim Shettima, his adviser on Media, Umar Gusau, said his boss was being politically witch hunted by the closure of the airport causing the governor and his family members to travel by road, even though they are at the highest risk of being attacked by Boko Haram.

Mr. Gusau said this in a statement emailed to journalist on Monday. Read excerpts of his statement below.

“Following the closure of the Maiduguri International airport by the Federal Government on June 27, 2014 for a period of three months, intending pilgrims for this year’s lesser hajj were forced to travel by road to Kano amidst fear over their safety.

“One of such intending pilgrims, Shettima Mohammed Shettima, the immediate elder brother of both parents, to Governor Kashim Shettima was on Friday involved in a ghastly motor accident resulting in the death of a policeman travelling with him while he had multiple fractures on both legs.

“A policeman was attached to him following threats to his life by Boko Haram elements in addition to being a high risk person due to his relationship with the Governor.

“The accident occurred 20 kilometres away from Damban in Bauchi State while the Governor’s brother was travelling to board a max airline to depart Kano for Saudi Arabia. The accident occurred at about 2pm.

“A max airline chartered flight had arrived Maiduguri airport on Friday, June 27, 2014 to airlift 276 intending pilgrims from Borno and Yobe States who had been screened and were awaiting airlift. Despite intervention by Governor Shettima, soldiers from the army however took over the airport and ordered the plane to take-off without a single pilgrim while the pilgrims were forced to travel by road, departing Maiduguri in the evening and arrived Kano at about midnight before they were airlifted to Saudi Arabia.

“Skynet International Limited which chartered the flight said it followed all processes and had gotten clearance from the army, air force and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria before it began preparations for the airlift. The airport was thereafter closed till September 29, 2014 by the time hajj airlift would have been concluded.

“As the airport closure was still in force, Governor Kashim Shettima yesterday embarked on a trip by road to Kano to see his immediate elder brother and most senior member of his family since the Governor has since lost both parents. The Governor’s convoy was without soldiers.

“While the Governor went about travelling by road, Ex-Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff was permitted by the Federal Government to fly into the closed Maiduguri International Airport. Sheriff arrived the airport at about 1:32 PM, on board his private jet with registration number 5NBMH to the waiting hands of dozens of soldiers led by the Garrison commander, seven division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Colonel D.R. Hassan who led troops to give cover to the Ex-Governor.

“The plane departed the airport at 2:22pm and is expected to return on Tuesday to airlift the former Governor. Sheriff is expected to defect to the PDP and lead the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in Borno State.

“Dismembered youth political groups called ECOMOG that was associated with rival violence during the Sheriff administration were re-mobilised by Sheriff’s men as they stormed the airport. Governor Shettima had in the last three years introduced a policy of suspending political thuggery to have youths provided with vocational skills to
become self employed. Some of ECOMOG thugs were last year trained on poultry agriculture.

“A campaign office belonging to Sheriff was painted in white while it is expected to wear PDP colours in coming days. Some key associates of Sheriff including a serving member of House of Representatives, Kangar, had in an interview published last week in some Newspapers said Sheriff had made up his mind to defect to the PDP”, Mr. Gusau said in the statement.

culled http://www.premiumtimesng.com/

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Adamawa Impeachment: Nyako begs lawmakers in Abuja as panel submits report Monday

The governor returned to the federal capital to fight off likely impending impeachment.

In a last minute effort to stave off impeachment moves against him and his deputy, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State for the second time in a week flew to Abuja weekend to plead with state lawmakers to back off from the plot to remove him.

The embattled governor arrived Abuja for the final push as the seven-man panel mandated to investigate him for “misconduct”, prepares to submit its findings Monday.

The committee rounded off its sitting on Saturday following the refusal of Mr. Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngilari, to attend the sittings of the panel which commenced on Friday.

Confirming the meeting with the lawmakers in Abuja, Senior Special Adviser to the governor, Phileas Elisha, said that in his bid to ensure that peace reigned in Adamawa, Mr. Nyako was not leaving any stone unturned as he had gone back to Abuja to renew negotiations with the lawmakers as he could never be “intimidated” by the antics of the PDP stakeholders.

He said efforts to resolve the crisis was being truncated by some PDP stakeholders allegedly hell bent on, ‘’ removing Nyako through illegal ways,’’ Mr. Elisha noted.

’’In their desperation to ensure that the impeachment plot scaled through, the PDP stakeholders issued a threat to sack any of its members that may retrace his step from the impeachment process despite the fact that the governor exonerated President Goodluck Jonathan who is the national leader of PDP from the exercise,” Mr. Elisha said.

“The whole impeachment move is being stage-managed by the so-called Adamawa PDP stakeholders who are trying to draw President Goodluck Jonathan into a thing he knew nothing of,” Mr. Elisha said.

“Not minding the antics of the so-called PDP stakeholders, Governor Nyako has moved to Abuja in order to continue consultations with the lawmakers as he was keen to see to the resolution of the impasse.”

The adviser said if Mr. Nyako is removed unconstitutionally, ‘’the government will challenge the process of removal’’.

The seven-man investigative panel set up by the former acting chief judge of Adamawa State, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against Governor Nyako and his deputy, Mr. Ngillari said that it will submit its report Monday.

The secretary of the committee, Esthon Binanu, in a telephone conversation on Sunday said that, “if we complete our work today Sunday, definitely we will submit our report tomorrow Monday.’’

He maintained that the panel would be fair to all parties, stressing that ‘’it is criminal for anyone to try to speculate on the outcome of the panel’s sitting until the panel makes its verdict known.’’

However, the position of the secretary was coming against the backdrop of speculations that both the governor and his deputy may be indicted by the panel as the duo refused to appear before it.

The committee rounded off its sitting on Saturday following the refusal of Mr. Nyako and his deputy to appear at the hearings of the panel which commenced on Friday.

Explaining the reason for the governor’s failure to appear before the panel, the director of press and public affairs to the governor, Ahmad Sajoh, said the process of the impeachment was premised on illegality and, as such, the governor and deputy could not attend.

He faulted the then acting Chief Judge for setting up the seven-member panel based on substituted service, after the same Chief Judge personally gave a verdict preventing the House of Assembly from serving the governor impeachment notice through that method.

Mr. Sajoh described the action as double standard.

culled from http://www.premiumtimesng.com/

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Behold The Women of Boko Haram



Recent events involving female Boko Haram members and their arrests are shooting down the widespread notion that terrorism is strictly an all-male affair. Weekly Trust reports.

In June this year, a woman, laced with explosive devices concealed inside her Hijab killed herself and a soldier close to the quarter-guard of the 301 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Gombe. The incident was undoubtedly the first of its kind in Gombe, which was before then seen as the “safest state capital” in the volatile North-East, a region in Nigeria that is plagued by members of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Jihad, also known as Boko Haram.

Sources told Weekly Trust that soldiers keeping guard at the main entrance of the barracks had asked the woman to turn back but she declined, prompting one of the soldiers to run after her not knowing that she had an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strapped on. She blew herself up and the soldier, causing pandemonium in the state. 

The incident brought to limelight the unpredictable nature of Boko Haram’s violence spree, which has been mutating since 2009 when the group launched armed struggle against the Nigerian state.

A week ago, the Nigerian Army released a statement stating that three women who specialized in espionage for Boko Haram had been arrested, as the aftermath of the failed suicide bombing attempt at the 301 Battalion in Gombe, pointing that the suspects had been secretly recruiting ladies into the female wing of the terror group. 

The army statement said the suspects, led by Hafsat Usman Bako, include Zainab Idris and Aisha Abubakar and they were nabbed while travelling to Madagali in Adamawa State on their way to now-infamous Sambisa Forest. Findings by Weekly Trust show that all the suspects are married to Boko Haram members.

The revelation by security authorities of the involvement of women in Boko Haram’s activities shocked many, even though they have been passive supporters of their male counterparts. 

In June, 2009, preparatory to the declaration of war by Mohammed Yusuf, the late leader of the sect, hundreds of women from Bauchi, Plateau, Adamawa, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Damaturu, Darazo, Zaria, Sokoto and many cities in Nigeria accompanied their husbands to Maiduguri for the final briefing that set the flames of the crisis raging. 

During the time under review, the sect was not proscribed and its members travelled at will. They also preached in the open, especially in Markas (headquarters of the sect) and Anguwan Doki, all in Maiduguri. 

Dozens of Islamiyya schoolgirls equally defied the odds, volunteered and followed their teachers to Maiduguri. Many married women who were not “disposed” to the resolve of their husbands to go for the “Jihad” were divorced and those that agreed to follow suit played the role of housekeepers. 

After the deadly 2009 encounter between Nigerian troops and members of Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Bauchi and Potiskum, hundreds of men were killed, automatically creating many widows. 

The group went underground for nearly one year. Within that quiet period, most Nigerians, as well as the Federal Government, thought that the sect was completely subdued, until they sprung a surprise in 2010. After the death of Mohammed Yusuf, Abubakar Shekau took over the leadership of the group, engaged in massive recruitment, coupled with carefully looking for the widows of their slain members and remarrying them to surviving members and new entrants. 

While the sect carried out violent campaigns, the women of the sect remained silent. It was in May, 2013 that the womenfolk of the sect began to play active role in the violence, necessitated by the emergence of youth vigilantes known as ‘Civilian JTF’. Boko Haram was stifled by the emergence of the vigilantes, so they switched to assigning women key roles. They would even use men who would disguise as women to move weapons. When the new threat became clearer, women volunteers in Maiduguri joined the civilian JTF in their stop-and-search operations. 

Towards the end of June, 2013 the Joint Task Force (JTF) shot dead three suspected Boko Haram members who disguised as women while attempting an attack on a police station. Witnesses said apart from the three killed, over 20 men, heavily armed and clad in Hijab were arrested there. Since then, many cases of suspected female Boko Haram members were recorded.

One of such cases was when a woman was killed by a bomb that was strapped to her back like a baby along Gamboru Road in Maiduguri before she got to her target. Days after, two women who also strapped IEDs, baby-style, were arrested at the Monday Market by youth vigilantes who observed that the suspects were making suspicious movements towards the market. Not long after, three women were arrested by military operatives close to Sanda Kyarimi Zoo Park, also in Maiduguri, when they sought to know what the women were carrying beneath their hijabs. 

A cleric, Mallam Muhtar Muhammad observed that terrorism does not have a place in Islam, stressing that the involvement of women in such acts exposes the sanctity of the religion and women to danger. He said women are exceedingly protected in Islam. “Sadly, their recent involvement in perfecting acts of criminality, especially suicide missions is unfortunate. Any woman that wears Hijab and attempted to go close to public utilities is looked at with suspicion…this is unfortunate,” he said.

Weekly Trust discovered that while some of the women of Boko Haram joined the group because they love their husbands, some observers suggest that some were forcefully indoctrinated, especially those who were kidnapped. It is believed that Boko Haram leaders are now using women as cover to carry out crimes because of the traditional and religious immunity given to women, which forbids men that are not their Muharrim (custodians) to go close to them.

In a study on the relationship between gender and violent behaviour, Afghan scholar Amy Caiazza observed that “Societies that condone and even promote violence against women have shown over and over again that they (women) tend to be violent in other ways as well.” 

The involvement of women in Boko Haram’s violence remains an alarming antecedent in a region where thousands have been lost and social and economic development truncated.

culled from http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/

Friday, July 11, 2014

Nyako Bows to Lawmakers, Appoints Council Heads



In what appears to be the first step towards a truce, the embattled Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, on Thursday, inaugurated administrators for 36 development areas, four permanent secretaries and a special adviser.

Nyako’s earlier refusal to endorse the list of development area administrators presented to him by the House, led to the breakdown of the relationship between him and the legislators.

It was learnt that the inauguration was part of an agreement reached between the feuding parties after a series of meetings with the Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Mr. Ahmadu Fintiri and some members of the House, in Abuja.

The former Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. P.P Elisha, whose nomination for appointment as a commissioner by the House of Assembly, was also inaugurated as the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Government Affairs.

However, a source privy to the happenings confided in our correspondent that the governor’s action was “just for peace to reign” because he was aware that hardliners were still looking for loopholes to nail Nyako.

Members of the panel set up to investigate allegations levelled against the governor and his deputy have not withdrawn the invitation sent to both men to appear before it on Friday (today).

Earlier, while addressing the newly inaugurated administrators, Nyako charged them to pay close attention to the provision of dividends of democracy especially for the people at the grassroots, who form the bulk of those deserving of government’s attention.

Nyako also urged them to also ensure “mass mobilization for sustained peace and peaceful co-existence among the diverse people of the state.”

In a related development, some of the lawmakers who have been linked with the impeachment move against Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngillari, have had their Ramadan gifts rejected by their constituents.

Some of those affected include the members representing, Mubi North, Abubakar Umar Jaringo, Girei constituency, Abubakar Umar, and the member representing Maiha Local Government, Hassan Kaigama.

It was gathered that the constituents took the unusual step to show their displeasure over the alleged involvement of the affected lawmakers in the impeachment plot.

A resident of Gerei, Malam Saidu Girei said, “We may be poor but we have not lost our sense of fairness. We cannot accept gifts from traitors.”

Mr. Yohanna David, who spoke to reporters on behalf of a group of Maiha indigenes under the aegis of the Maiha Concerned Citizens said, “We expected them to consult us before they blindly supported the move for the impeachment of Governor Nyako and his deputy. We call on our lawmaker to retrace his step with immediate effect before it is too late.”

culled from punchng.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Impeachment: I Didn’t Meet Nyako Over Successor – Ex-UBEC Boss



The former executive secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC), Dr Ahmed M. Modibbo, has debunked rumours making the rounds that he held a meeting with Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, to discuss who succeeds the embattled governor by the time he had been impeached.

Modibbo is one of the governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State.

The former UBEC boss, who insisted that he had never related with Nyako since the governor left PDP for the All Progressives Congress(APC) noted that, while he remained a bonafide member of the PDP, there was no way he would have met Nyako under any guise.

In a statement issued in Abuja by his counsel, Mr Sulaiman Usman, Modiboo maintained that the rumour that he allegedly met with Nyako was the handiwork of those trying to pull him down politically.

The statement made available to LEADERSHIP noted: “There was a baseless report that our client had a private meeting with Governor Murtala Nyako and struck a deal for Nyako to support our client in the race to succeed him. The said news item depicted our client as someone who is not a loyal member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but a mole in the party who is placed to work against the interest of the party he laboured to build for many years.
culled from leadershipng.com

Friday, July 4, 2014

If Nyako is Impeached...


If Gov. Murtla Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngilari, were finally impeached, federal apparatus will heavily descent on Nyako; his political disciples will en masse desert him, while his antagonists will jubilate.

There will be serious manoeuvres and horse–trading by those who championed the impeachment- to grab for themselves, allies or political sons and daughters any available political position.

Speaker, Umar Fintiri will be the greatest beneficiary- he will be the acting governor. However, government patronage and appeasement will be the order of the day- Fintiri, will, with every effort, try to be the good guy ( any one that finds him/herself in such situation will behave same)- because, the PDP governorship ticket will be few inches away from his grab. On the other hand, all the members of the Adamawa House of Assembly will be  ‘governors’ – one of their own is in control. 

Deputy gov. Ngilari, who has the best chance of getting the PDP governorship ticket before his name was included in the impeachment proceeding, will greatly lose ground- unlucky man; he found himself in a state where tongue, faith and mundane issues determine who gets what.

If Fintiri, at the end of the day becomes the acting gov, from that time till the next governorship elections, politics will replace policies and genuine good governance- and nothing can be done about it. 

Nyako, if impeached, he will make history- he became governor through confusion, led by confusion and kicked-out amidst confusion as well as a confused man.

Zayyad I. Muhammad, writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, zaymohd@yahoo.com, 08036070980

BREAKING: Nyako Impeachment: Adamawa Chief Judge constitutes 7-member investigation committee





The Acting Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Ambrose Mammadi, has constituted a seven-member committee to investigate allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Governor Murtala Nyako and his deputy, Bala Ngilari, by the State House of Assembly.

The acting chief judge, in a statement, Friday, signed on his behalf by the Chief Registrar of the Court, Abubakar Bayola, disclosed that the chief judge in line with his constitutional responsibility, has constituted the committee as demanded by the lawmakers.

“The Hon. Acting Chief Judge Hon. Justice Ambrose D. Mammadi by the powers vested in him under Section 185(5) of the 1999 constitution as (amended) has approved the appointment of seven (7) Man Panel to investigate allegations of Gross Misconduct of the Executive Governor of Adamawa State Admiral Murtala Nyako and the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State Mr. Bala Ngilari,” the registrar said.

The committee is chaired by Buba Kaimaga from Mubi Northern Zone.

The other members are Laraba Hassan, Michika Northern Zone; Njidda Kito, Song Central Zone; Joshua Abu, Hong Central Zone; Binanu Esthon, Guyuk Southern Zone; Sa’ad Lawan, Mayo-Belwa, Southern Zone; and Esthon Gapsiso, Genye Southern Zone.

The statement added that the committee members would be sworn in at a later, unannounced date.

Mr. Nyako has been having a running battle with the lawmakers who have accused him of corruption and mismanagement of state funds. The anti-graft agency, EFCC, has also accused the Adamawa government of corruption and frozen the state’s accounts.

The governor, one of the five Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors, who decamped to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, has, however, denied the allegations, and has sued the lawmakers.

Despite a court order asking them to suspend the impeachment process, the lawmakers proceeded and asked the Chief Judge to set up a seven-member committee to investigate the allegations.

culled from http://www.premiumtimesng.com/

Soldiers on the rampage on Ikorodu Road, burn BRT buses




A group of soldiers had gone on rampage and still occupied a section of the ever busy Lagos-Ikorodu Road within Lagos metropolis over alleged killing of their colleague by a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) bus.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that a BRT bus driver whose name could not be gotten as at the time of filing this report, strayed off its designated lane to knock- off and kill a military man who was riding on a motor-bike.

The death of the army man led to confusion resulting in setting five BRT buses ablaze at Palmgrove Area of the road.

The rampaging soldiers stormed Awoyokun Bus Stop, a stone throw to Palmgrove bus stop, beating everyone in sight before descending on the drivers of BRT buses seen on sight.

The residents and commuters in a bid to avert beating by the soldiers fled the BRT buses in droves as the soldiers went on a beating spree.
culled from punchng.com and http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/