The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has blasted the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama for claiming that many leaders across the globe were in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid to re-contest the Presidency in 2019.
In a statement in Abuja, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said the minister and APC leaders were deluding themselves.
‘’It is delusion. They are just deluding themselves. How can they say the international community is supporting President Buhari’s second term bid, in spite of his poor performance and failure? Why are you bothered about what they are saying? They are just deluding themselves,’’ the party said.
It would be recalled that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, had deflated the story making the rounds that the international community was strongly against President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.
He also said that it was not true that Nigeria went into recession because international investors frightfully withdrew their funds because of President Buhari’s utterances and hard-line posture against corruption.
His statement, however, drew the ire of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed and the PDP, who agreed that the poor performance of the present government would not elicit the support of the international community.
Onyeama stated that to the contrary, Nigeria under President Buhari had been enjoying the goodwill of the international community, to the extent of being supportive of his second term bid.
He made the remarks yesterday at Awgu, Enugu State, when Enugu West Peoples Assembly donated vehicles in support of President Buhari’s 2019 presidential election campaign.
Onyeama said: “The international community is very supportive of President Buhari. As you can see President Buhari has transformed our relationship with foreign countries and also the perception of Nigeria by foreign leaders. An evidence of that is the rate and number of high level foreign leaders that are coming to Nigeria.
“Next week, for instance, which is very unusual for any country, we are having the UK Prime Minister and two days later will be the visit of the German Chancellor.
‘’This shows what they feel about President Buhari; that Nigeria is now a country they want to do business with.”
On the allegation that President Buhari’s posture and speeches were scaring away international investors, Onyeama said: “It’s on the contrary. Mr. President has taken the initiative to establish the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, chaired by the Vice President and the World Bank ranks countries according to ease of doing business.
“Within one year of Mr. President establishing this council, and taking measures to make doing business easier, Nigeria has jumped about 25 places in the World Bank ranking and has been promoting the most impressive jobs in Nigeria in the last one year. So, the whole world is seeing that Nigeria under President Buhari is more and more a place of doing business.”
Reacting to the minister’s claim, yesterday, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, challenged him to name the countries supporting Buhari’s second term bid.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said: “Well, he should be specific and name the countries in the international community that support him. The last time, we heard the United Kingdom talking about the killings in Nigeria. Also, the Americans talked about the killings in Nigeria. So, we want to know which of the international community is supporting Buhari’s second term.
‘’Is it Afghanistan, Iraq or Turkey? He should name the world powers so that we can ask those countries if they think what is going on in Nigeria now should continue, except those international community are the ones I mentioned now like Iraq, Afghanistan or Turkey.”
Also reacting in a similar vein, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed said: “If I were a member of the media, I would dismiss the claim by Onyeama.
He is lying, he knows he is lying. The international community he is purporting to be speaking for knows he is lying.
‘’The kind of characters, who have been brought into office speak volumes about the incompetence and irresponsibility of the Buhari administration.
‘’Because of his friend he was made the foreign minister when he knows nothing about this country. That is why he has nothing to offer to this country.
“That is why they will be claiming to speak on behalf of the international community. That is why nothing in this country moves and nothing is going to move. We have the wrong people in sensitive positions.
‘’It is not in the nature of international diplomacy and international community to say so. I don’t think they are going to dignify the claims by the Buhari administration. But those, who have a connection with the international community, know that it has nothing but contempt for the Buhari administration because of poor performance.
‘’I was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic and I have contacts in the international community. I know what I am talking about. If they are relying on that and nothing more on performance and competence, Buhari is going to be disappointed,” he added.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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