Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has denied reports that South East governors and Igbo leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are opposed to the nomination of Mr. Peter Obi as the running mate to the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 election.
Governor Ikpeazu who stated this in an interview with newsmen in Aba when Mr. Peter Obi visited the state over the pipeline explosion in Osisioma Ngwa council, described Obi as a worthy son of Igbo land and a gift from Ndigbo to Nigeria whom every Igbo man both at home and in the Diaspora will queue behind considering his pedigree.
He said: “It is a lie that South East governors and Igbo political leaders in PDP are opposed to Peter Obi as vice presidential candidate. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate our brother and a worthy son of Igbo land for his nomination.
He’s a gift from Ndigbo to this country. His works and pedigree bears eloquent testimony of the Igbo DNA. “It will be foolhardy for anybody not to queue behind a man like this to continue to serve this country to the best of his ability.
What the South East governors said was that we expect our candidate to come back from his trip and have a tete-a-tete with us and he has said he will come to speak with us.
“If we are banking on the eleven million Igbos in the diaspora to vote, it is only Mr. Peter Obi that can get them to do so.”
Speaking at the occasion, South East caucus of the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said that Obi’s nomination has lifted the spirit of every Igbo person and has no opposition from any angle.
“As the chairman of South East Senate caucus of the National Assembly , I can say that the whole National Assembly is behind Peter Obi and at no time was there any problem about his nomination as running mate to our presidential candidate. “We need people who will not see subsidy and call it under recovery
Responding Obi said: “We in the South East have never been divided and we have never acted against each other. We have always acted as a team. I’ve spoken with the three PDP governors.
The governors and the leaders are my own leaders. Since this wrong insinuation started, I’ve consulted governors Umahi, Ugwuanyi and of course today, I’m here with my brother, Ikpeazu.
“I’ve spoken to Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, one of our leaders. Of course, Senator Abaribe is here with me. I’ve spoken with all of them including Sam Egwu. For us, we are going to work like a team.
For us what is important is to rebuild Nigeria and rebuild the South East.” Obi commiserates with victims of Abia pipeline explosion Obi, who was in Abia State to commiserate with the government and people of the state over last weekend’s pipeline explosion which claimed scores of lives and left in its trail, several others with severe burns, visited Ikpeazu at the Government House Umuahia, before proceeding to the scene of the inferno in Osisioma.
He explained that he was directed by the Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to “come to Abia State to commiserate with Abia people on the fire incident in Osisioma. Ohanaeze laments ‘structural’ marginalisation of Ndigbo
“He asked me to see you, see the site of the incident and be able to contribute to your effort to ameliorate the suffering of the victims. What happened has happened.
That is one of the problems in Nigeria. “Nigeria is not the only country that produces oil, but here from time to time, we have this type of incidents and we lost lives.
I thank Abia people for the efforts to ameliorate the suffering of the victims, your efforts will not be in vain”, Obi told Ikpeazu and his cabinet members. Ikpeazu sets up c’ttee on pipeline explosion In his remarks, Ikpeazu said: “We have set a committee to find out what caused the problem.
The committee is headed by a retired director of DSS, the committee will locate what was wrong so we can forestall future occurrence. “We are trying to provide succour to the victims. Government is under pressure to provide accommodation and schools.
The burden is now less because we have a sympathetic leader in Atiku. We Abia indigenes say thank you.
We are proud that you work with him.” Atiku donates N10m to victims of Abia pipeline explosion Also yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar donated N10 million to the victims of the pipeline fire which killed over 150 persons at Umuaduru and Umuimo communities, Osisioma Ngwa council area, Abia State.
The presidential candidate who was represented by his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi, said he was saddened by the incident and consoled the families who lost their relations. I worked to reconcile, not endorse, says Bishop Kukah
“Our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is out of the country. He would have been here by himself; he insisted that we must come to sympathize with our people. We commiserate with the governor, the people of Abia State, Osisioma Ngwa council and the families who lost their loved ones in the incident
“When we were riding to the community, the governor said the government should check the quality of pipes being used and how to secure the pipeline to avoid a recurrence. We will join hands to fix our land so that we won’t record such incident.”
While expressing gratitude to Atiku for the donation, Ikpeazu pledged to offset the hospital bills of the victims and urged those who are yet to access medical attention to do so without further delay.
The governor also promised to help rehabilitate those who suffered losses in the incident to enable them restart their businesses and directed the Commissioner for Health to ensure that the victims are taken care of at the hospital.
Meanwhile, as political parties strategise for 2019 general elections, the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide has called on Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to prioritise his programme if he emerged president in 2019.
The President of the group, Aremo Oladotun Hassan, who made the call, yesterday, in Lagos, said Nigerians would not stop complaining until the economy, fiscal federation, security, education and infrastructure were repositioned.
Hassan, a lawyer, said that the PDP candidate must set out as an advocate for rule of law if he wins the 2019 Presidential Election.
The youth leader said that the restructuring agenda must be faced head on with setting up of a National Restructuring Affairs Commission with an Executive Bill.
“He (Atiku Abubakar) must be able to summon a greater patriotic will towards building and reviving our dying nation from economic stagnation and social insecurity.
“He must be able to implement the 26 per cent UN Budgetary standard allocation to the Education sector with a view to postulating and establishing a statutory principle of law by enacting the Education Right Bill into law.
“He must be able to have a master plan for transportation development from roads network development programmes,” he said.
According to him, the establishment of a National Transport Park and Fares Management Authority is expected to regulate the amount spent daily on transport fares by Nigerians.
He added that Abubakar also needed to quickly review the Land Use Act laws into Land Licensing and Allotment Law via an Executive Bill, wherein all lands right must revert back to the land owners and communities.
Hassan said that the government would only regulate its operations and management, while the Certificate of Occupancy and Consent should be replaced with Land Certificate of Ownership License.
“Also, the government must be ready to equip youths by granting 40 per cent youth affirmative action plan on appointment and involving the Nigerian youths in his government.
“There must be a robust vocational training programme in information technology, Agriculture and other ancillary training, which will place and rank Nigeria as first world nation via economic revolution plan.
“Security architecture needs a total overhaul and ensure absolute neutrality in the discharge of their statutory duties,” he said.
The youth leader said that more emphasis should be placed on rebuilding peace and national orientation on patriotism.
He said that Atiku must choose a South-West youth with intellectual acumen for economy and law as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation since the zone lost the position of running mate.
According to him, paying attention to above issues and adequate representation of youths will galvanise support for PDP come 2019.
IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms
Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”
30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.
FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.
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