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Reactions Trail Alleged Pressure On Jonathan To Resign

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Furious reactions have trailed the reported pressure on the Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to sign an undated resignation letter in the event of President Umaru Yar’Adua’s inability to continue in office as a result of his health condition.

Jonathan is reportedly under intense pressure from some hawks in the Presidency said to have the backing of some key Northern politicians.

The plot was said to have been hatched to forestall a situation where the Presidency would return to the South just two years after another Southerner, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, left the office.

The Presidency has, however, described the alleged plot reported in a national newspaper Saturday as not only false, but also meant to cause panic and tension in the country.

Our correspondent learnt Saturday that already tension is mounting in the Niger Delta, where Jonathan hails from, with the Ijaw nation warning that they would not “take lightly” any threat or pressure on Jonathan.

Coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), Comrade Joseph Evah, who spoke to newsmen Saturday, said the Ijaw nation is on the alert over the alleged plot.

Said Evah: “We (Ijaw nation) will not take lightly any threat to undermine Jonathan or his office. We have heard of the plot and we are watching the situation.

“We are particularly worried that the President’s aide presented the 2010 budget to the National Assembly while the Vice President is said to be in charge. We believe that is part of the plot and the Niger Delta is alert. There is a clique working against the Vice President and let us see how those plotting such evil will undermine the Constitution.

“We are not saying that Jonathan should take over, after all the President is not dead. Indeed, we are praying for Yar’Adua and the Ijaw nation and the whole of Niger Delta people do not wish him dead.

“But we are disturbed that this is happening again now that the President is ill. The other time the President traveled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, a group, Northern Liberation Front, vowed to resist any move for Jonathan to assume the presidency. It even threatened to give him the (MKO) Abiola treatment.

“Also, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain from the North, Godwin Daboh, had said the North would not accept Jonathan if anything happened to Yar’Adua. What did the SSS (State Security Service) do when these national security threats were issued? We believe they are agents of a clique trying to foment trouble in Nigeria, and this time around we will not take it lightly.

“Those around Jonathan, I mean his advisers and aides, must realize that he is not representing his family. He represents a region just like the President is representing the North. So his office is important to the Niger Delta and we will do everything to protect it otherwise our children in generations to come would ask us what we did when a Niger Deltan for the first time in the history of Nigeria occupied that office.”

Another group, United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), equally warned that the Niger Delta might secede over the plot against Jonathan.

UNDEDSS’ Secretary General, Mr Tony Uranta, in a terse statement issued Saturday via SMS, called on Nigerians to remain law abiding but warned against any action that would undermine the 1999 Constitution.

The statement read: “UNDEDSS is calling all Nigerians to remain law abiding as citizens under the 1999 Constitution. Should any section of the nation decide to overthrow due process, every other section should immediately withdraw from the nationhood space. God is just and rights must never be trifled with.”

The Presidency has however moved to douse the tension, saying there is no truth whatsoever in the report that Jonathan is under pressure to resign following the hospitalization of President Yar’Adua for acute pericarditis.

The Presidency described the report as not only false in its entirety, but also sheer mischief designed to create unnecessary panic and tension in the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications, Mr Ima Niboro, said in a statement made available to State House correspondents in Abuja Saturday that it was an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians, including the Vice President for anyone to come up with such a suggestion.

“The newspaper failed to state clearly who or what body was bringing this pressure to bear, but went ahead to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians, including the vice president himself by suggesting that Dr Jonathan is to be made to sign an undated letter of resignation… “which can become binding in the event that the president is unable to continue in office””, he further stated.

The vice president’s aide urged the public to discountenance the story, which, according to him, “dwells entirely in the imagination of its authors, their sponsors and co-travellers” and continue to support the Yar’Adua administration in its effort to reposition the country.

Niboro’s statement reads: “We have read with considerable dismay the story of The Punch published today, November 28, and wish to point out straightaway that it is false in its entirety, and designed to create unnecessary panic and tension in the country. This story, we must add, is sheer mischief, and dwells entirely in the imagination of its authors, their sponsors and co-travellers.

Author of the book, “Participation in Petroleum Development, Towards Sustainable Development In The Niger Delta”, Aseme-Alabo Edward T. Bristol-Alagbariya (left) being congratulated by the chairman, governing council, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) and Chief Launcher at the book presentation, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, shortly after the book presentation at the Congress Main Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, last Thursday.

Author of the book, “Participation in Petroleum Development, Towards Sustainable Development In The Niger Delta”, Aseme-Alabo Edward T. Bristol-Alagbariya (left) being congratulated by the chairman, governing council, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) and Chief Launcher at the book presentation, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, shortly after the book presentation at the Congress Main Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, last Thursday.

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Insecurity In Nigeria, Alarming, Wike Alerts …Suspends JAAC Accounts From Defaulting Banks

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says insecurity in Nigeria has reached an alarming proportion.
He has therefore called on security agencies to redouble their efforts in curbing it.
Governor Wike expressed the concern yesterday when the new General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Olu Irefin paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
He noted that the prevalence of insecurity in every State of the Federation seems to overwhelm the military.
Governor Wike stated that the situation is different in Rivers State because of the robust collaboration between his administration and the security agencies.
“Our determination is to keep the State safe but development also attracts criminality, so we can’t say we are totally free.
“There are still pockets of criminal elements. So, as a professional whose role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country, fight crime and do not involve in politics.
“We are willing to collaborate with you as a government because security is important for us. Just let us know what you require to succeed in the fight against criminality.
“That way, we will be partners in progress and make the State safe for all residents,” he stated.
Earlier, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General OluIrefin commended Governor Wike for his developmental strides.
He said on assumption of duties, his commanders told him that they have enjoyed tremendous support from the state government in the discharge of duties.
He pledged to sustain the existing collaboration in protecting lives and property in the State
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has directed the removal of Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) from banks that gave unauthorised loans to some Local Government Chairmen in the State.
Governor Wike gave the directive on Wednesday, while swearing in the substantive Chairman of the Asari-Toru Local Government Area at Government House, Port Harcourt .
He directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the defaulting Banks.
Governor Wike said both the Banks and the Councils that defaulted would suffer the consequences of the illegality.
He noted that the Banks cannot seek refund of the loans because they contravened extant Laws of the State.
“We have taken a decision that for all those loans taken without approval, the affected accounts must leave the defaulting banks.
“I have told the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take necessary steps. The Banks cannot go and seek for refund from the Local Governments. When you default the Law, you suffer for it.
“Council Chairmen who want to take loans from banks must get official approval. You cannot take loans that will mortgage the future of the people”, he stated.
Governor Wike charged Mrs. AlasoJohnbull Obi to use her new position to make a difference because the people are yet to feel the impact of the Council.
“Go and put your local government together. Do not allow busy body politicians to distract you. Use this opportunity you have to make a difference.
“We never thought that Chief Odiari Princewill will die but as God will have it, he is dead and we have to abide by the constitution.
“That is why you, as the deputy, has to step in as the substantive chairman of Asari-Toru local Government Area today.
“In choosing your Deputy, you must consult widely with all the stakeholders of the Party. As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself,” he added.
Until her swearing in, Mrs. AlasoJohnbul-Obi was the Vice Chairman of the Council but the death of the elected chairman, Chief Odiari Princewill on the 27th May, 2020 created a vacuum that needed to be filled.

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SSANU, NASU Threaten Strike Over Unresolved Issues

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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) said they would proceed on strike over unresolved issues with the Federal Government immediately the universities reopen.
Mr Samson Ugwoke, the Chairman, Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both unions said this while addressing newsmen on the resolutions reached by the unions yesterday in Abuja.
The resolutions were signed by the SSANU National President, Mr Samson Ugwoke, and the General Secretary of NASU, Mr Peters Adeyemi.
The unions’ grievances included the lingering Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) debacle, nonpayment of arrears of earned allowance and minimum wage. Others are the alleged lack of seriousness by the Babalakin Committee renegotiating the 2009 FG/NASU, SSANU agreements, neglect and poor funding of state universities, absence of visitation panels, among others.
According to Ugwoke, long after many other sectors had been paid the arrears of the national minimum wage and consequential adjustment, university workers are yet to be paid. “We find this development totally unwholesome and very unhealthy.
“Given the time lag of over a year since it was implemented in other sectors, members of the public would agree that we have been patient enough in the university system,” he said.
He pointed out that in spite of the series of letters by the unions to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) Office since February, their members were still confronted with many challenges, including salary payment. Ugwuoke also said that their members, whose monthly salaries were being paid in the second week of the following month in the past seven months, were suffering as a result of the difficulties posed by IPPIS.
He argued that as responsible unions, they had avoided the planned action, adding that the unhealthy situation had made it inevitable.
Ugwoke said: “We have again cried out to the general public with a view to inviting stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to correct the anomaly of IPPIS. “Pay us the arrears of both earned allowances and minimum wage, among others.”
He warned that the unions would have no option than to embark on strike effective from when universities would reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown.

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FG’S Reviewed Broadcast Code, Draconian – PDP …Says New Code Aimed At Muzzling Media, Concealing Corruption, Abacha Loot

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the reviewed broadcast code, describing it as another draconian measure to muzzle the media and suppress free speech in Nigeria.
The party said the All Progressives Congress, APC and its government adopted the reviewed code with its N5 million fine “to intimidate the media and gag whistle blowers from further exposing the humongous corruption, abuse of office, violation of human rights as well as officials’ betrayal of trust and abuse of office in the Buhari administration.”
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the reviewed code is a grand plot “to suppress and muzzle Nigerians and the media from publicly opposing plots by the APC to mortgage the sovereignty of our dear nation to foreign interests as being witnessed in the anti-Nigeria clauses in the loan agreements with China.”
The statement read: “The APC has been jittery over the stench of monumental corruption oozing out from its government as well as its anti-Nigeria activities, and now seeks to suppress public opinion and media reportage of their atrocities against our nation.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the APC administration rushed to review the broadcast codes and introduced draconian clauses at the height of public revelations and media reportage of its corruption and plots to mortgage our nation’s sovereignty to China. The reviewed broadcast code therefore validates the stance by Nigerians that covering of corruption and the scheme to mortgage the sovereignty of our nation are official policies of the APC which has not denied that it is the headquarters of corruption.
“Our party however, wishes to inform the APC and its administration that the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and other laws guiding media practice, which guarantees a free press and freedom of opinion by Nigerians are clear and that no matter how much the truth is suppressed, it must always come to light.
“Moreover, the APC must know that we are in a democracy and that Nigerians cannot be suppressed from exercising their rights of speaking out in the face of injustice, corruption, abuse of trust in the APC administration, which President Buhari had also admitted.

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