Arewa elders in the North have commenced plans to douse the tension building up due to political intrigues and speculations on the health of President Umar Yar’Adua.
Sources informed The Tide that beginning from this week, notable personalities from the Arewa Consultation Forum (ACF) will be making strategic visits to several influential personalities across the country.
The visit is aimed at ensuring that their avowed support for any necessary constitutional procedure is followed in case of any development in the presidency.
According to the sources, ACF leaders have firmly resolved not to oppose the vice President as the nation’s leader, if it becomes inevitable.
Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in the April 14, 2007 election in Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has described as illegal plans by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct the Osun East Senatorial District and Osogbo State Constituency e-run elections on Wednesday.
Citing a federal court ruling INEC had last Friday announced its plan to hold the elections.
But speaking with reporters at the weekend in Ilesa, Osun state, Aregbesola faulted the electoral commission, saying the election could not go on because a court order restraining, INEC from conducting the election subsisted. Aregbesola was in Ilesa, his hometown, for the Iwude festival, which attracted sons and daughters of Ijesa land, including the state deputy governor, Erelu Olusola Obada, who led government functionaries to the cultural event.
The Ondo State representative on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barr. Benson Enikuomehin, has advocated synergy between states in the Niger Delta and the interventionist agency.
The Federal Commissioner warned that it would not be in the interest of the people for representatives on the board to work across roads with their state governments.
Addressing Ilaje elders who paid him solidarity visit on Christmas day, Enikuomehin assured the people that he would join hands with the Governor Olusegun Miniko-led government to ensure visible development in the state.
The NDDC Chief, who emphasized his membership of the people democratic party, thanked the governor for his support while the “struggle lasted.”
He expressed dismay at opposition put up by some PDP chieftains in the state against his confirmation, adding that he had forgiven them.
He praised the leadership style of the governor and urged the people to shun politics of “bad belle” and key into the new vision of transformation in the state.
An auto accident has claimed eight lives in Bama Local Government of Borno State. The accident which occurred at Ngoresoye village along Bama-gwoza road also left two of the passengers with serious injuries who are now on admission at the Bama General Hospital, the headquarters of the Local Governemnt. An eye witness told The Tide that a Peugeot Wagon en-route the Gwoza had an head collision with a truck going to Bama which was driven that night without head light. The eye-witness who said he assisted in the evacuation of the accident victims, described the accident as fatal and blamed it on the driver of the truck who was driving without head light in such a busy road in the night. The Borno State Police Public Relation Officer (ASP), Adamu Azare when contacted, confirm the incident and urged drivers to put their vehicles in good order and obey all traffic rules.
Basking on the success of the N6 billion infrastructural bond recently secured by Niger State, government is set to float another N30 billion bond, just as it plans to increase the internally generated revenue (IGR) by over sixty per- cent.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Alhaji Mu’azu Bawa who disclosed this in Minna at the weekend at the post 2009 budget press conference, said that the bond to be floated is essentially for the infrastructural development, adding that the package was put in place in the line with the vision 3:2020 of the state government.
Giving a breakdown of the facility, the commissioner who spoke through Alhaji Ibrahim Matani, Permanent Secretary, Budget and Planning, said that out of the whole package, N20 billion will be devoted to the construction of urban and rural roads, provision of water, health and sport facilities.
He further said that the remaining N10 billion of the package will be use for the establishment of Matani maintaining that the lesson learnt and the success recorded in the just concluded N6 billion bond will greatly help in the drive for the proposed N330 billion bond. On the N17 billion deficit in the 2010 budget proposal, the commissioner who was not explicit as to him the shortfall will be financed, however said that adequate measures are in place to address the deficit.
The General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has called on the Federal Government to decongest prisoners across the nation, to ensure the welfare and physical well-being of inmates.
Pastor Adeboye made this call while commissioning the newly refurbished chapel in Agodi prisons, Ibadan by the RCCG, as part of the activities for this year’s annual evangelism programme, tagged “let’s go a fishing.”
The cleric, who urged the inmates to count their earthly punishment as a blessing, in view of the eternal condemnation that awaits sinners in heaven, lamented the congestion of prisons in the country, adding that government should do something about the situation.
The pastor, who was apparently reacting to the information provided by the Deputy Controller of Prisons, Oyo State, Mr Olumde Ayokanbi, that Agodi prison, which was build in 1894, to accommodate 390 inmates, as against the current 670, told the inmates, to be focused on God and forsake their evil ways when released.
“If you have been convicted for your crime and punished here on earth, you should rejoice, because people will be punished eternally for their evil deeds on earth; and eternal punishment it greater than the one on earth,” he added.
He therefore urged them to make up their minds to serve God, nothing that those who lived for the gratification of their evil desires would be confined to hell, the place, which he described as a venue of eternal pains and groaning, adding that hell was not fit for man.
Operative of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the early hours of Christmas day arrested a full truck-load of cannabis worth several millions of naira.
The MAK-truck with registration number XM 950 FK, allegedly owned by Road Network Transport Company was intercepted along Ring Road at the point of off-loading the consignment.
The trailer took off last Wednesday night from Ogbese in Ondo State.
The illicit drugs stuffed in sacks were concealed with saw dust in a bid to deceive the narcotic agents.
Nicholas Sahu-Walter, Area Commander of NDLEA in Kano also displayed two buses, one J-5 and gulf car arrested two weeks ago with large quantity of cannabis at entry point along Zaria-Kano road.
Monetary value of all the illicit drugs arrested by the agency in Kano within two weeks of the yuletide was put at over N100 million.
Seventeen suspects are cooling in the NDLEA cell in connection with the latest arrest described by Walter as the biggest haul made in the history of the common within such period of time.
Paul Keji (31) and Okebumi Yinka (23) are among those in the NDLEA net.
While Okebunmi claimed to be an employee of Road Network, Paul said he was trained by the company as a driver but was sacked in January 2007, after his involvement in an accident.
“My elder brother, Hezekiah is the driver of the truck. He took ill at Ife and asked me to help him convey goods to Nassarawa,” Paul narrated, adding that he was flagged down to carry the goods at Ogbese Ogun State, on is way back to Ife.
Governors Adams Oshimhole and Gbenga Daniel of Edo and Ogun State respectively as well as Christian leaders across the country have urged Nigerians, as they celebrate Christmas, to pray for the recovery of President Umaru Yar’Adua, just as they lamented that over 70 percent of Nigerians are living below poverty line.
They also enjoined Nigerians to use the occasion to reflect and pray about the numerous socio-political challenges currently facing Nigeria and stressed the need for all stakeholders to imbibe the values of tolerance and patience.
Daniel, in his message, urged Christians to remember that the season was not all about festivities and merriment but more about the goodness of God to humanity and the irth of the founder of the Christian faith whose life of humility, sacrifice, obedience, love and patriotism should be emulated by all.
“This is a time for us to reflect on the lowly birth of Christ, His immutable teaching, His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection which showed the supremacy of the power of the Almighty God and His willingness to intervene in the affairs of men. We should all imbibe and put to practice Jesus Christ teachings, share the joy of the season with the less priviledged and renew our commitment to the course of building an enduring and prosperous nation,” he stated.
While urging Nigerians to remember Yar’Adua in their prayers, he said only God has the power to heal and preserve the lives of all mortals.
Sokoto State High Court II granted bail to the former governor, Attahinu Bafarawa and eight others who are standing trial before it on a 47-court charge of alleged corruption involving over N15 billion, just as Bafarawa thanked God for the ruling. He added that the struggle to retain his integrity continued.
Bafarawa and fifteen others had been arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on December 16. The court had at its sitting of Monday, December 21 granted the application of the lead counsel to the commission, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, for the issuance of bench warrants for the arrest of the seven other accused persons who failed to appear before the court for no just cause.
In response to the bail application, the presiding judge, Justice Bellow Abbas, said that the applicants brought three applications for bail relying on section 341 (2a, b and c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.
According to Abbas, “the application is a constitutional matter and having carefully examined all the averments of the applicants and the respondents, the court is satisfied that the applications ought to be granted bail.”
He however ruled that the each of the nine applicants including Bafarawa were admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million and a surety in like sum each. Describing the applicants as men of integrity and urging their supporters to remain clam in the interest of peace, Justice Abbas warned the applicants not to take any step to jeopardize the case.