Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has advised Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members not to make the mistake of making wrong choice of National Working Committee (NWC) members at the December convention.
Jonathan gave the advice when he received an aspirant for the party’s national chairmanship position, Chief Raymond Dokpesi in his residence in Abuja, yesterday.
He cautioned that the party could not afford to make mistake in choosing its next national chairman and publicity secretary, describing them as “very delicate positions’’. “This time around, we need a very courageous and vocal person to be the chairman.
“There are two positions that we must not make mistake on – the positions of the national chairman and that of the national publicity secretary, because I have worn the shoes before and I know where it pinches.
“If we make a mistake as a party and elect wrong chairman and publicity secretary, we are finished,” Jonathan said.
He said that PDP at this moment, needed courageous chairman, who in the face of persecution, would remain courageous to protect the party’s interest and defend democracy.
“We need very competent person and a team player, somebody who will not negotiate to get money from the aspirants to make them candidates.
“If you do that, you have destroyed the party because a party must come up with programmes and policies that will elect the best of the best. “If you present the best material, the chances of your wining election are stronger than when you present a wrong material.
“We need such kind of chairman that will galvanise the national committee and also link up with state committees and do the best for the party.
“This is key so that by 2019 when we go for the general elections, PDP will have majority in the states and national assemblies and of course, PDP must win the presidency,” he said. Jonathan, who said that the December convention would be keenly contested, urged chairmanship aspirants to see the exercise as a family affair.
“Whatever comes out, as faithful loyalists of the party, you should accept it. So, whoever is going to contest should have that in mind.
“Recently, I read that you met with one of the aspirants; that is a good spirit; no victor no vanquished. The winner must be PDP and not an individual.” He also corroborated the view of the former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (retd), on the need for the PDP to fully assume its role of opposition.
According to the former president, PDP must migrate from the ruling party to opposition for the purpose of stabilising the country’s democracy. “I am not saying that as an opposition party, you must be saying anything you like, no. PDP is a very mature party.
“We will not go to the public and criticise anyhow but all over the world, the opposition party checkmates the ruling party so that things are done properly, so that there will not be impunity.
“If the opposition party goes to sleep, the ruling party can do anything it likes,” he said. He, however, commended the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party, saying that they had done very well, especially during the period of crisis in the party.
Jonathan prayed for Dokpesi in his aspiration to become PDP chairman and described him as “a member who has done well for the party’’.
He said that Dokpesi had used his resources to support the party, and “has shown so much commitment to the affairs of the party.” Earlier, Dokpesi had urged Jonathan to ensure that the PDP came out of the December convention stronger and united.
He commended the former president’s resilience and efforts in ensuring that the party’s leadership crisis was resolved. “I am very positive that this party must come out of December elective national convention stronger and united to be able to give the needed opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As our leader, you have to look for means to ensure that we come out of the forthcoming convention stronger and united,” he said.
Dokpesi also visited Hajia Inna Ciroma, a former PDP National Women Leader and former Minister, who is also vying for the Deputy National Chairman (North) and her husband, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma. He was also at the home of Sen. Patricia Akwashiki, a former Minister.
Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate
Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.
Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members
President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”
Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.
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