Amaechi’s opponents arrested, Jobs for police widows & other important news you should know today

Widows of slain policemen beg for jobs

by Oge Okonkwo

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Some wives and children of policemen killed by Boko Haram insurgents, have appealed to the government and the Nigerian Police Force to provide them with vocational and training jobs.

Reports by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) says that the widows and other members of their families made the appeal in Kaduna during the distribution of food items by the  Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.

Margaret Ishaya, wife to one of the deceased officers, said the widows were ready to accept jobs as cleaners to eke out a living.

The Nation reports:

She said that it would go a long way to enable them fend for their families and appealed to the police authorities to consider members of their families during recruitment.

The wife of late Ins. Sunday Badeh, who died in the process of detonating a bomb, urged the police to fast track the payment of benefits to the affected families.

Mrs. Badeh, however commended the support from the police authorities following the demise of her husband.

Also speaking, the widow of Sgt. Yakubu Musa, who was killed on April 18, 2012 at Rigasa said some of them needed jobs to have a steady income.

Abubakar assured the widows and other families of deceased officers of the Police continuous support for them.

Defected PDP govs are not state leaders – APC

by Akintomiwa Agbaje

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Contrary to popular opinion, the stand of five defected governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into leadership positions is doubtful.

The APC leadership said categorically that it had not ceded the offices to them, that they are not automatically leaders of the opposition party in their states.

According to a Leadership report:

The clarification came as top leaders of the APC, who championed its emergence from the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Democratic People’s Party (DPP), have continued to reject the governors as their leaders, describing them as “strangers in the APC fold”.

The APC leadership has also hinted that the party will hold its first national convention to elect its national officers in March while the local government and state congresses will precede it in February.

In an interview with LEADERSHIP Sunday, APC interim national spokesman Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the party did not give the leadership mantle to any of the defected governors and urged APC chieftains in the affected states to sheathe their swords in the overall interest of the party.

“We have not asked the new PDP governors to take over the leadership of the party in their states. Nobody has said that. What we agreed on was that all the new PDP governors should be given the same privileges being enjoyed by the APC governors, which is just to be given the opportunity to appoint representatives for the interim committees of the party. Those who are claiming that do not get it right,” Mohammed said.

“The defection of the new PDP governors to the party should make us happy because they made us stronger in the states where they come from. Their coming has positive and negative sides: the positive is that we are stronger in their states while the negative side is that those who have been in charge of the party are feeling threatened with their ambition for one post or the other.”

He added: “There is a need to manage the ego and interest of those who are angry and feel threatened that their ambition might not being realised; but they should all forget about their ambition and work harmoniously with the former PDP governors. They should learn from our leaders who sacrificed their personal ambition for the merger to become a reality.”

The defection of governors Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) has caused disaffection among stakeholders in the states. The only exceptions are Kwara and Rivers states where there is no discord among the members.

In Adamawa State, retired Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa and Governor Nyako are fighting for the soul of the APC, while in Kano State Governor Kwankwaso is at loggerheads with his predecessor in office, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.

The same goes for Sokoto State where Governor Wamakko and former governor of the state Attahiru Bafarawa are into a supremacy contest.

At the centre of the dispute is the condition given to the defected governors that they would enjoy the same privileges and rights given to the APC governors in their states.

To the defected governors, this means that they are the leaders of the party in their states, but this has been rejected by the founding fathers of the APC in the affected states.

Although APC national leaders has set up machinery to address the logjam, the crisis is far from over, thereby making political analysts suggest that the party should learn from the PDP which zoned its offices to take care of various interest groups in the party.

“The zoning of positions and elective offices within the PDP was adopted purposely to take care of every interest group that made up the party in 1998 shortly before and after the Jos convention, and this was why the party still stays by the zoning arrangement; and it was the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and the assumption of office by then vice president Dr Goodluck Jonathan as president that led to the crisis rocking the party till date,” a serving senator said.

But Mohammed urged those who are unhappy with the pact APC struck with the defected governors to put the interest of the party and the country first in their grievances if they wanted an end to the poor governance of the PDP.

He stated that the former PDP governors came to the APC at the right time, adding: “Our registration would start in February and they with their supporters would be given the same opportunity to register and participate in the congresses coming up in the same month and in the national convention holding in March.”

Mohammed accused the PDP of orchestrating the crisis in the affected states, but expressed optimism that the commission set up by the party would resolve all the conflicts before the congresses.

He also allayed fears of domination in the convention and the primaries which would follow, declaring that there would be no zoning as every member would be free to contest in the open primaries for each office.

“By the grace of God, all the conflicts would be resolved before the congresses in February and the convention in March.  To achieve this, the party has set up a high-powered committee to smoothen all the rough edges and this would be done shortly before the registration scheduled for this month.  Our congresses would be in February and, by March, we would have the convention.

“There is no zoning in our constitution. We would be guided by our constitution. We have been hearing a lot of rumours and speculations that are not true.

All our officers and candidates for all election will emerge through a transparent process. Nigerians are interested in how our presidential candidate will emerge. We won’t disappoint them,” Mohammed said.

 

JTF arrests gov. Amaechi’s political opponents caught with arms and ammunition

by Oke Efagene

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The Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, with the code name Operation Pulo (Oil) Shield, has arrested 6 persons caught with arms and ammunition in Rivers State.

Some unnamed sources claim that the suspects are political opponents of the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

Spokesman of the JTF, Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the arrest last night, but insisted that the suspects were picked for illegal possessions of firearms and not for political reasons.

According to Nigerian Eye report:

Nwachukwu said: “As at 3rd January six suspects with arms were arrested during a routine patrol at Ogu community in Ogu/Bolo LGA (of Rivers State). Items recovered were: 7 x AK-47, 164 rounds of ammunition and six locally made canon launchers.

“Suspects were handed over to the Nigeria Police yesterday (Friday). They were arrested for illegal possession of firearms and not for any reason of political or social affiliation as being wrongly insinuated.”

The Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), when contacted at 8:12 pm yesterday, said of the suspects’ handover to the police by the JTF: “I have not been briefed of such handover, for now.”

A source in Port Harcourt stated that the suspects were associates of Senator George Sekibo, who represents Rivers East Senatorial District and the self-acclaimed Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly, Evans Bipi, the representative of Ogu/Bolo constituency, who are allies of the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience.

The source said: “On January 3rd, members of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) arrested six youths around Ekporo Road, on their way to Ogu in Ogu/Bolo LGA of Rivers State. They were in an off white Land Rover jeep, with registration number JJ 441 BZ. The youths were arrested based on their suspicious movement.

“Those arrested gave their names as Sunday Elisha, Uche Jenikachi, Ibinabo Lawson, Okechukwu Okoro, Jerry Tonye and Daniel Ibito-Anga, who parades himself and his known in Ogu/Bolo as Security Adviser/Personal Assiatant to both Senator George Sekibo and Evans Bipi.

“Both Senator Sekibo and Evans Bipi are from Ogu and are known and have confessed publicly to be extremely close associates of the Nigerian First Lady, Patience Jonathan, who hails from nearby Okrika and they all speak the same native Okrika dialect.

“As a matter of fact, Evans Bipi was a domestic aide of Mrs. Jonathan before he was elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly in 2011. Senator Sekibo, who nurses a governorship ambition in 2015, is hoping to ride into Rivers State Government House on the back of Mrs. Jonathan.

All of them are also known publicly to be fighting the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.”

While also corroborating that arms and ammunition recovery from the suspects by the JTF, the sources said: “Found in the possession of the boys and recovered from them were 7 AK-47 assorted riffles, 146 rounds of 7.62 mm special life ammunition and 10 life magazines, among others.

“After their arrest, they were taken by the JTF team to Bori Camp, the military base in Port Harcourt. The boys have been handed over to the police in Rivers State. The police in the state are headed by the Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, who is said to have been brought to head the State Police Command by Mrs. Jonathan. Mbu has been accused of taking directives from Mrs. Jonathan and her associates.

“Only recently, the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, raised the alarm that arms, ammunition and weapons are being brought into the state (Rivers) by those opposed to his administration, ahead of the next general elections.”

It will be recalled that Amaechi, President Jonathan, Dame Patience, and most leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers state had been at loggerheads over the scheming for 2015 and worsened with the NGF chairman’s defection to the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

PDP Crisis: Jonathan appeals to govs Aliyu, Lamido, to return to PDP

by Oke Efagene

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The Presidency is said to have been forced to suspend the meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Executive Committee (NEC), because of the alleged resolve by majority of the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to remove the embattled party chairman, Bamanga Tukur.

It has also been revealed that President Jonathan wanted the party to have more time to convince the disagreeing governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu and his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido, to return fully to PDP before the NEC meeting.

The NEC meeting which was earlier fixed for January 8, will now hold on January 16, while the BoT meeting is now slated for January 15 and the National Caucus meeting scheduled for January 14.

Nigerian Eye report:

It was gathered that the Presidency got strong evidence that the anti-Tukur forces, led by a South-south governor and a minister, who is also from the South-south, compelled the party hierarchy to postpone the meetings.

A party leader told NE last night, that the governor, who has the ears of many other PDP governors, was frontally opposed to the continued retention of Tukur and had successfully mobilised for the removal of the party chairman during the NEC meeting.

The governor was said to have met and agreed with the South-south minister, who is also close to Jonathan, to impress upon other governors to do all that was necessary to remove Tukur at the meeting.

However, Jonathan, who is opposed to disgracing the party boss out of office, reportedly asked for the postponement of the two meetings to allow for peace to reign.

The argument of the governor and the minister is that apart from being loyal to Jonathan, Tukur has allowed the party to be factionalised to a point that five governors left.

But the pro-Jonathan camp within the party allegedly argued for the retention of Tukur because of his exceptional loyalty to the president.

The meeting was also said to have been postponed at the instance of the president to give the party leadership more time to persuade Governors Aliyu and Lamido to forget the past and fully return to the party ahead of the 2015 elections.

Jonathan was alleged to have expressed worry that the true position of the two governors on the party remained unknown even though they did not defect along with their five colleagues in the G7 last December to the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC.

But the Secretary of the PDP BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, explained that the meetings were postponed for logistics reason and to enable members return from their Christmas and New Year break.

“We actually want to have a full house during the meetings so that all party issues could be effectively discussed,” Jibrin said.

It will be recalled that prior to the defection of Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara; Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto; Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano; Murtala Nyako of Adamawa and Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers to APC, there was pressure on Tukur to convene the NEC meeting where the problems of the PDP would be addressed against the backdrop that the last NEC was held before the August 31, 2013 Special National Convention.

The NEC meeting ought to have taken place in the third week of December last year, but was shelved for inexplicable reasons.

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