Former governor of Kwara state and Senator representing Kwara Central, Senator Bukola Saraki described the suspension of four key members of the Peoples Democratic Party faction (New PDP) on Monday by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) as a serious setback capable of truncating all the reconciliatory moves on ground and will only harden the G7 governors of the party.
Senator Bukola Saraki expressed this feeling in a media chat with Senate Correspondents in Abuja yesterday.
Saraki, one of the strong supporters of the G7 governors expressed surprise over why the suspension of the former National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Kawu Baraje, among others, should come when the appeal court sitting in Abuja passed a judgment recognising Oyinlola as the authentic national secretary of the party.
He said that the court judgment was an opportunity for reconciliation, regretting that the recent suspension of the four aggrieved members of the party was an attempt to circumvent the court judgment.
His words: “We woke up to read in the papers today that some key members of a faction in the Peoples Democratic Party had been suspended. I believe its unfortunate. It is a means of circumventing the ruling of the court.
“We should not take the issue of the rule of law with levity. Since a court had ruled that Oyinlola should resume as Secretary of the party, PDP should comply with the judgment of the court. These are some of the issues that some of us are angry about. The PDP will be there, long after Oyinlola, long after everybody.
“Apart from the issue of reconciliation, there is other issue and this cannot help our democracy. The party is an institution that we are all holding in trust. We must all protect that institution not by being emotional or by expressing sentiments. The process sometimes could work in your favour, sometimes it may not.
“The executive there now will not be there forever. It is very, very sad because some of us have continued to fight on how we can bring peace to the party. All these things being done are behind the scene. We should give peace a chance.”
Senator Saraki said that the Party’s NEC decision was an ill wind that will blow nobody good and that if the leadership of the party should insist on suspending the aggrieved PDP members, every peace move already in motion and as intanced by the court pronouncement on Oyinlola would only be scuttled.
On the wranglings tailing the recent LG elections in his state, Kwara, Saraki pointed out that the National executive of the PDP participated in the local government election and that there are evidences to show that.
“Unfortunately 24 hours to the election, the national executive got lawyer to write a letter saying this is the new list of candidates. How did the list emerge? These are some of the actions that we are seeing in the party and before it is too late, this action must stop.”He concluded.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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