The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, called on the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Interpol to help track down the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is reported to have jetted out of Abuja after hours of investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged corruption charges.
The party said Oshiomhole’s swift flight out of the country, at the heat of the investigation, was suspect and goes to confirm allegations that the Presidency was shielding him from prosecution for fear that his investigation would implicate certain interests at the Presidency and the APC.
A statement issued by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbindiyan, yesterday, chided the ruling party for denying knowledge of Oshiomhole’s grilling by the DSS even as it added that the former Edo State governor cannot escape justice.
“Nigerians are already aware that Oshiomhole has not denied his investigation, including his reported confession that the Presidency was in the loop of all his actions.
“The PDP had always cautioned Oshiomhole of his unbridled arrogance, lust for power and alleged embezzlement of public funds for which he must surely have his day in the hands of the law.
“The PDP demands that APC and the Presidency must immediately produce Oshiomhole to face investigation and prosecution in our courts,” the statement read in part.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, met behind closed doors with Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This is as the governor has denied orchestrating the alleged grilling of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS0, in Abuja, last Sunday, in which he (Oshiomhole) was allegedly told to resign as the party’s chairman.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents on his involvement in Oshiomhole’s ordeal, Amosun said that he was being given an oversight role that did not concern him, stressing that there was no way he could have been involved as he is not a security operatives.
It was reported that the nation’s police undercover had quizzed the National APC chairman, last Sunday, over allegation of corrupt practices when he was governor of Edo State as well as allegedly collecting gratification from some aspirants during the party’s primaries to favour them.
Amosun and his colleague governor from Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha were accused as the behind the scene writers of petition to the DSS against the APC chairman.
The Ogun State governor, who tried to parry questions surrounding his relationship with Oshiomhole and his alleged involvement in the petition to the DSS against APC chairman, said he had no hands in any petition against Oshiomhole.
He said, “I think you are probably giving me an oversight role and I am not a security person, so clearly I think that question will not be for me. I don’t have to hide under a finger to fight. If there is need for me to put my views across, you know me by now that I will do it.”
Also asked to comment on the report that Oshiomhole may have fled the country after his encounter with the DSS, he said, “I have told you those things are beyond my pedigree and you are asking me questions that I am not well suited for. The one that I think I should talk about we have said it loud and clear that we don’t need to add any other thing.”
On his mission at the Villa, he said, “I always come like this and I know that you will want to ask me this and that and that is what you are doing, but clearly and talking seriously, I think that all that need to be said, I think all of you can attest to that, that has been said loud and clear and I think saying anything further would amount to probably I sounding like a broken gramophone. I think I have said all that we need to say and we did it loud and clear.”
Pressed further on how his matter with the national leadership of the APC could be resolved, the governor who rhetorically asked what matter, said the allegation of having issues with Oshiomhole was not correct.
Meanwhile, some senators have described the interrogation of the National Chairman of the ruling, All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole by men of the Department of State Services (DSS) as being in order against the backdrop that he remains a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not above the law.
Speaking with newsmen on the development, Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo South said, “Speaking frankly, I do not know the issues that are involved and I cannot even ascertain the authenticity of the story.
“If it is true and anything has to be considered, no one is above the law, Oshiomhole is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is not above the law. The law should be allowed to take its place and justice must be the order of the day. “
On his part, Chairman, South-East Senate Caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South said, “ the spokesperson of Mr. President, Adesina tweeted sometimes ago that “the harder they meet, the harder they fall”. We never knew he was referring to Oshiomhole!!”
Also contributing, Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said, “we await the outcome because we are conversant with the issues of fraud involved. We will also know when there is a seeming cover up.”
Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has charged his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to stop shifting blames and take responsibility for the problems facing Nigeria.
Okorocha said though APC inherited the challenges, it must ensure that they were fixed.
He stated that Nigerians voted APC into power to fix their challenges and not to complain.
Speaking with State House Correspondents in Abuja, the governor assured that the pains Nigerians are going through was only momentarily.
According to Okorocha, “As APC, we are responsible for everything happening in Nigeria. We are responsible for the good, the bad, the ugly but we are promising Nigerians that we shall fix it.
“We share the pains of Nigerians; every human being must feel it. We also feel what they are going through but we are asking for a little patience.
“Let us do things the right way and do it once and for all. I am sure that by next year, you will begin to see changes, the price of rice will drop, prices of dollars will begin to stabilise and we will see a lot of challenges.
“But at this painful moment, nobody likes it. It is like a woman in the labour room, when she is in the labour room there is no joy but she has to pass through that moment and that moment, she does not wear her high heel shoes, no makeup, no champagne, no party.
“She is going through a process but shortly after that process, joy cometh once she sees the child. So, Nigerians should bear with us as a government.”
Rivers’ll Ensure Safe, Secure Environment For Economic Growth -Wike .
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for the economic prosperity of citizens.
He said the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Operation Sting and the revitalised C4i security outfits were set up to help provide security to stimulate growth and prosperity of all in Rivers State.
The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the 2021 Conference/Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Rivers State chapter, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“This administration has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development and a very deliberate urban renewal efforts around the capital to attract local and foreign investors to stimulate our economy.
“We have also opened up local governments through quality road networks. Upgrade of various social and recreational facilities in various local government areas,” he said.
He commended the state chapter of the NIPR for the choice of the theme of the conference: “Nigeria’s Security Situation: A Factor in Reputation and National Development”, adding that stakeholders must begin to act in a very different, drastic and positive strategy to remedy the already battered reputation of Nigeria.
He urged the NIPR to use its expertise and experience to thrive to galvanise and stimulate the populace and government at various levels for the resuscitation of citizens sense of pride and responsibility of whatever was left of the nation’s image and reputation.
“All hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers to call on government at all levels to begin to act in ways and manner that will help to revive the battered image of this country,” he added.
Welcoming guests and participants to the conference, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who is also the state chairman of NIPR, commended the cordial relationship existing between the institute and the state government under the leadership of Governor Wike who is a honorary fellow of the institute.
“Governor Wike has been very supportive of all the activities of the Institute. That is what you also get from a visionary leader who has changed the landscape of Rivers State with infrastructure, with various developmental projects that touch the lives of the ordinary man,” he said.
Nsirim said the state chapter of NIPR was proud to associate with Governor Wike for the giant strides he has recorded and would continue to record until the end of his tenure in 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme for this year’s conference as our own way of contributing to the national discourse,” he said.
He said the conference would produce a blueprint that would guide national discourse and urged participants to contribute robustly to the conversation.
“It is expected that the fallout of the conference will re-engineer national security and national development with the aim to put our country on the path of rapid growth,” he said.
In his speech, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, emphasised on the need for all Nigerians to collaborate to fight insecurity currently confronting the country’s economic and political stability.
He welcomed the theme of the conference, saying that it was coming at the time the institute had gotten sufficient worry about national security, peace and economic development.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ike Neliaku, chronicled the increasing violent crimes that had claimed thousands of lives in the various parts of Nigeria, and submitted that the rising insecurity situation in the country had impacted and would continue to impact negatively on corporate and national reputation.
He said the worrisome development would have concomitant consequence on individual and national development.
Chairman of the conference, Chief Felix Otuwarikpo, said the conference was put together to dissect the current carnage affecting the Nigerian nation.
“As an institute, we will leverage on the conference to proffer solutions to the security challenges affecting the nation,” he said.
The conference also featured the presentation of awards for good public relations and community development to some distinguished members and organisations.
Church Of Nigeria Honours Wike, Sanwo-Olu, Akeredolu, Others
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has bestowed awards for exemplary leadership qualities in a challenging economy and dedication in the service of God and humanity on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun.
Also honoured is the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Abayomi, with an award for quality and equitable healthcare delivery.
The awardees were honoured at the standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, at the Diocese of Lagos, Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos State.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who conferred the awards on the recipients, said the political leaders were considered for the award for their outstanding role, courageous leadership, and standing firm in defense of Nigerians against insecurity, provision of basic infrastructure to the citizenry and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the congregation on the state of the nation and the role of the church, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, admonished the leadership of the church to encourage its members to be part of the governance process in the country.
The governor noted that a situation whereby Christians leave governance for politicians alone is no longer obtainable.
According to Wike, the effect of bad leadership will also affect the church if they remain passive to the issue of governance.
“You must be part of choosing leadership. Don’t say you have no role, you have a role. When you don’t participate, bad leaders will emerge and when bad leadership emerges, you are part of it.
“You must encourage your people to be part of leadership. I didn’t go to any school to study leadership.
“So, nobody should say that as a Christian you cannot be a governor, no. The head of SUBEB in my state is a priest and you can see the leadership he has given to that agency today. You will feel proud about it. That used to be the most corrupt agency, but today it is headed by a priest and you can see the difference.”
Wike decried the inherent injustice that has characterised the Nigerian State, and urged the church to speak against socio-political issues adversely affecting the progress of the country.
“We say we are all one Nigeria. We went to World Bank to borrow money to do specific projects. One of the states that make up Nigeria I hear is Rivers State. And I also know in paying this money back to World Bank, money that comes from the resources of my state will be used in paying back this money. But my state was denied to have projects from that loan.”
The Rivers State governor said a situation where states depend on the Federal Government to survive can no longer be tenable, and insisted that states must be allowed to collect revenues such as Value Added Tax (VAT) to enable them improve the welfare of their people.
“You have gone to take loan and I am one of those states that will pay back those loan and you deny me to benefit from the projects that that money will be used for. I have no problem with that.
“Allow me the one (VAT) the Constitution says I am entitled to, let me collect that one and develop my state.”
He regretted that some governors in Nigeria have refused to think out of the box on how to boost economic activities in their states.
“There is flood in my state, it requires N200millon, I will go to Abuja to beg. Even as a governor, I will knee down before a DG of an agency of government. You will knee down for a director just because of N300million. That is the status of some of the governors of some states.”
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the church for its support, and announced the waiver of N2billion for land acquired by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos State.
The governor stated that Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through difficult times amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the occasion to canvass for mass vaccination of the citizens.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, while speaking on the theme of the conference: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World”, lamented that Nigeria was fast becoming a land flowing with tears and blood because of the impact of terror, banditry, herdsman attacks on communities and kidnapping.
He said a situation in which communities that are predominantly Christians are targeted one after another in some parts of Kaduna State and North-Central of Nigeria was unacceptable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the bandits and herders attackers as terrorists and let them be treated as such.”
The Primate urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity 2023 general election offer to exercise their right to choose new leaders.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the free fall in the value of the country’s currency because of the attendant impact on the store of value and confidence of investors.
Rivers Begins Process To Check Flooding
The Rivers State Government has said that it was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process that would check perennial flooding in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Nsirim, therefore, called on those living and doing business in the state to play their part in line with the programme that would be executed by government to address the problem of flooding.
He frowned at the situation where residents of Port Harcourt had turned the drainage systems into refuse bins, and warned that “that is not what it should be.
“The present administration under Governor Nyesom Wike is desirous to make Rivers State a destination of choice and that is why the government has embarked on massive infrastructural development in line with its urban renewal programme.
“So, what is expected of those living and doing business in Rivers State now, is to co-operate with government to ensure that the urban renewal programme and the plan by government to make this state a destination of choice is realised,” he said.
He noted that the state government could not do it alone as it required the support of corporate organisations, civil society groups, religious organisations and the media to enlighten their publics on the need to behave as responsible citizens.
He called on the media to embark on massive enlightenment programmes along the line of the roles of citizens in checking flooding in the state.
“We believe that if the citizens cooperate with government, as government is out to ensure that everyone living and doing business in the state does so in a healthy environment, we believe that in the next few days or weeks we will find a solution to this (flooding),” he said.
Nsirim also announced the names of entrants selected for the essay competition on the title, “Our State Our Responsibility” introduced under the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign of the ministry launched at the beginning of this month.
He said those shortlisted were expected to be at the conference room of the ministry by 11am on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a physical test to ascertain their original ownership.
Those shortlisted are: Jessica Hart, Samuel William, Amarachi Chimezie, Jasper Dorcas, Jaja Tamunoimiegba Christian, Sophia Oyibo, Blessing Pepple, Anyiam kelechukwu, Deborah Adegbami, Gift Samuel, Okiche Golden, Okiche Miracle, Orovwigwo Deborah, Otuka Goodluck and Ziga Paago.
By: Beemene Taneh
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