Nigeria’s Former President and Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF), Dr Goodluck Jonathan, says peace and development can only be achieved in Africa when democracy is given a humanitarian face.
Our correspondent reports that Jonathan, stated this in Yenagoa, last Thursday, when Dr Stephen Olali, the Chief Historian to the Bayelsa State Government, visited him at the Foundations headquarters to present his new book.
The book is entitled “16+34=50: The Life and Works of Stephen Temegha Olali (An Autobiographical Anthology)”.
The historian also officially unveiled his Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO): Youth Life and Productivity Outreach – A Christian Charity.
Jonathan applauded the efforts of the author by compiling his life experiences on earth and his commitment to mentoring the youth of the Niger Delta in the areas of productivity and non- violence.
The former President pointed out that a violent electoral process could not produce good governance.
He said: “If Nigeria will grow as a nation then there is the need to change the nature of politics.
“Until people are allowed to vote or elect their leaders without intimidation and interference we cannot have good governance.
“As a leader, if you think you can shoot yourself to power then the people are irrelevant to you.
“But if you know that you can only get power by the will of the people then you have no option than to work for the interest of the people, protect the people and love them irrespective of where they come from.
“Nobody needs violence to win any elections. violence undermines the credibility of election.
“Whoever is supported by majority of the people will win elections, but the minority should be allowed to have their say. That is the whole essence of politics.
According to the former President, as a nation, until we sincerely commit ourselves to peace building there won’t be any meaningful development.
“Society cannot be stable until there is peace and peace most times is as a result of justice in the society. There is a limit to which a society can develop in the absence of peace and democratic justice.
“It is good that you have birthed this idea of mentoring the youth toward productivity and peace building in the Niger Delta.
“And as a Foundation, we are committed to partnering such stakeholders with a view to building sustainable peace in Nigeria,” he said.
In his remarks, Olali explained that the NGO was established to mentor the Niger Delta youth toward entrepreneurship adding that self-sufficiency would greatly reduce restiveness in the region.
“The essence of the NGO is to reach out to the youth concerning productivity anywhere they can be found specifically from Nembe to the other parts of the Niger Delta.
“Your Excellency, we pray that the Foundation looks into the direction of smaller NGOs like ours to enable us to reach out to a greater percentage of the population,” Olali said.
In Olali’s delegation to see the former President were: Prof. C.M. Sorgwe, Prof. S.N Agoro, Chief Seiyefa Koroye, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo and other elders and academics from the Niger Delta region.
Edo Guber Poll: Crisis Of Confidence Tears APC Apart
A crisis of confidence is tearing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State apart as countdown to the governorship election in the state, slated for next year commences.
The Tide reports that bigwigs in the party are no longer seeing eye-to-eye, raising fears over the chances of the APC in the high-stakes governorship election, billed for August next year.
Speaking on the development in an interview with our correspondent in Benin yesterday, a chieftain of the APC, retired Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, raised the alarm over what he described as “heightened crisis and tension in the party’’.
He said that the APC in Edo had witnessed series of threats, brigandry and actions capable of destroying the fortunes of the party in the upcoming governorship election.
Airhiavbere cited situations, where according to him, APC leaders’ homes have been threatened by some interests in the state.
“We condemn these acts. They are unacceptable to genuine leaders of the APC in Edo State.
“We use this opportunity to also condemn the attack at the residence of our National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by thugs.’’
Airhiavbere, who contested the governorship primaries in 2016 with the incumbent Edo governor, described as sad, the current political turmoil in the state’s chapter of the APC.
“The crisis originated from the fact that the trio of Gov. Obaseki, his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie were sponsored into office by Oshiomhole.
“But today, the three men have vowed to dethrone Oshiomhole as the leader of the APC in Edo State.
“But let me state categorically that we will not allow them to embarrass Oshiomhole.
“He remains the leader of our party in Edo State just as Mr Lawrence Okah remains the authentic state secretary of the APC.
“Let me warn Obaseki that he met us in this game of politics and he should know that he has no monopoly of violence.
“We are only playing it cool because he has perfected plans to defect to the Action Alliance. So his intention is to destroy the APC in Edo State.
“But I don’t think we will fold our arms and allow him destroy this party.
“We will meet him fire for fire, energy for energy and word for word,” Airhiavbere said, alleging that the governor’s plan was “to cow everybody in his bid to get a second term ticket.’’
But reacting to Airhiavbere’s outburst on a looming crisis in the state, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Ohonbamu, described Obaseki as a humane, civilized and refined personality, who hates thuggery, lawlessness and impunity.
“Because of this, there has been a shift from the old order, where people constituted themselves into informal entrepreneurs of violence, intimidating people and extorting monies from them.
“So the governor stopped them, starting with the community development associations and all others.
“So, because of the innovative measures, people who are now losers both in the political market and economic space are now annoyed.
“As for Obaseki, you know he does not believe in thuggery or that violence should be employed as a primary weapon of interaction.
“There is nobody who is a thug around him. He does not want it. They are not comfortable with him because he has turned the thing around.
“That old system of diminutive accumulation of forcing people or of dominating people by force, he said no; that can no longer be and many of them have been dealt with on that ground.’’
Ohonbamu said that the governor’s policies were geared at liberating the Edo people from the stronghold of illiterate thugs and violence-inclined people.
PDP, Police Bicker Over Assassination Attempt On Dickson’s Aide
The Senator Douye Diri Governorship Campaign Organisation (SDDGCO) and the Bayelsa State Police Command have disagreed over an alleged assassination attempt on the Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson on Youth Matters, Mr Boboleyefa Owoupele.
The Director of Media and Publicity of SDDGCO, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite said there was an attempt on the life of Owoupele but the police maintained that investigation did not point to that conclusion.
Obuebite in a statement while condemning the “curious release” of three suspected thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were arrested in connection with the assassination attempt described the decision of the police to release three suspects as worrisome and shocking.
Obuebite said the Campaign Office commended the police for the prompt response to the crime noting however that the police commander in charge of the squad that arrested the three suspects released them only to promise that they would be produced on request.
He said that the police action was ominous, distressing and brazenly partisan and called on the Inspector General of Police and the Bayelsa State Commissioner to investigate the scandalous release of the three suspected assassins.
He urged the IGP and the commissioner to give priority to the defence of the police image and integrity as a foremost law enforcement agency in the society by ordering the re-arrest and prosecution of the suspects who have been released under most questionable circumstances.
The Campaign spokesman said that it was a sad commentary on security maintenance that the police had not prosecuted the killers of the Government House Photographer and a PDP Ward Leader in Oweikorogha, Mr. Taribi Seidougha.
He urged the Commissioner of Police to speak out on the curious release of attempted murder suspects barely 12 hours after their arrest.
Rivers PDP Denies Sponsoring Anti-Amaechi Protest
Rivers state chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed claims that it was supporting a planned protest against the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, saying it would benefit nothing from such exercise.
PDP State Publicity Secretary, Darlington Orji who made the denial while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday was reacting to accusations by a group, the Initiative for Transparent Strategy and Good Leadership, which alleged that N300million was released to three Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to carry out the said protest.
Recall that President General of the Initiative, Chizi Enyi, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who made the allegation in Port Harcourt, alleging that the protest would be staged in Abuja, the nation’s seat of power.
Enyi further alleged that the protest which will take place in the coming days was being sponsored by the Rivers State PDP in collaboration with the Senator Magnus Abe faction of the APC with the aim of expelling Amaechi from the APC.
But speaking to The Tide, Orji described the allegation as false and baseless, noting that the Wike led administration had no- plan to support a protest against the former Rivers State Governor.
The State PDP spokesman further said the PDP was desirous of a viable oppositions in Rivers, noting that the said group is being sponsored by Mr. Amaechi himself.
“That group is being sponsored by Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. PDP will lose nothing if APC comes together in Rivers State. We will even appreciate it more to put the government on check as a formidable opposition.
“Rivers State is PDP and PDP is Rivers State. PDP will have no interest or benefit nothing from putting people together, putting resources of about N300 million as being alleged together to go and sponsor protest against a man that has already lost touch with his political party and people of Rivers state.
“My advice to the public is for them to disregard such malicious rumour that is being sponsored by a group of individuals who are maybe seeking for relevance,” Orji stated.
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