There is confusion in the Presidency over the whereabouts of the registration certificate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Independent National Electoral Commission issues certificates of registration to all registered political parties.
But the Presidency, in the battle to secure its hold on the PDP, has sought, without success, for the certificate of registration of the party.
Sources in the Presidency told our correspondent that attempts to trace the certificate had been futile.
But sources said the Presidency has narrowed the search for the certificate to three political gladiators within the party.
They are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido.
However, the source said it was very unlikely that the certificate would be with Obasanjo as he was still in Yola Prison in Adamawa State when the party was registered.
It was gathered that the belief in the Presidency was that the faction of the PDP that broke away last Saturday owing to complaints about the handling of its Special National Convention, must be banking on possessing the certificate to win the battle for the ownership of the party.
A source said that the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to pacify the breakaway faction was because of the belief that with the certificate of registration in its possession, winning a court battle would be easy.
Abubakar and Lamido are part of the breakaway faction under the chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje.
Jonathan was said to have been humbled by the fact that without the certificate of registration in his kitty, he was fighting a lost battle against the breakaway faction that has headed to court to stop the recognition of the leadership of the party under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Abubakar, Lamido and some other governors had last Saturday formed the parallel PDP following their outcry of injustice during the Special National Convention.
They said over 50 candidates not favourably disposed to the leadership of Jonathan and Tukur were disqualified at the convention.
Some of the other governors who are with the new PDP include Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State.
The Presidency is said to have come to the conclusion that the certificate is with either Abubakar or Lamido.
However, majority of the members of the think-tank in the Presidency believe the certificate must be with Abubakar.
This was because he paid for the registration of the party and its national headquarters, Wadata Plaza, in Abuja.
He was reported to have spent about N98 million for the certificate and the acquisition of the national headquarters.
A source in the Presidency said, “the President and his team know that they are fighting a lost battle if they do not have the certificate of registration with them.
“It is very obvious that the ambition of the President to seek re-election in 2015 is dead once the party is handed over to the other faction by the court.
“The next thing the President can do is to abandon his ambition and return to his village.
“Or how do you rationalise the President joining another party to realize his ambition.”
One of the sources said that Jonathan was also scared by the possibility of the breakaway faction of the PDP teaming up with other parties to form an alliance against the PDP for the 2015 election, even if the court declares the Tukur-led leadership as the authentic PDP.
The fear is that the breakaway PDP could team up with the Peoples Democratic Movement, in which Abubakar is believed to have a lot of influence.
And the alliance could also be extended to the All Progressives Congress.
A source said, “It is scary thinking of what an alliance of the breakaway PDP with the PDM and the APC would produce.
“It is very unlikely that the PDP would be able to muster enough support to defeat such an alliance.
“That is why it is almost certain that the President would find an amicable resolution of the crisis, even if it involves his having to step down his own reelection ambition and look like a hero in all of the crisis.”
As at press time yesterday, Jonathan was still meeting with a caucus loyal to him in the PDP to consider the various options available to him.
Though he has not declared his interest in seeking re-election, the body languages of both Jonathan and his lieutenants point to the fact that he is interested in retaining his seat in 2015.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
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