The acrimonious relationship between the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, has been amicably resolved.
The conflict was resolved in Port Harcourt, yesterday, following the intervention of Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and his Adamawa State counterpart, Governor Ahmed Fintiri.
Briefing journalists at the meeting which held at Wike’s private residence at Rumuepirikom, Mohammed said the outburst between him and Ortom over herders/Fulani profiling was highly regrettable.
“We don’t mean to divide the country, to divide our people. We are still friends and brothers, and we will move forward because most of those issues are fully resolved.
“I want to seize this opportunity to tell Nigerians that whatever misconception that is there, that me and my brother, Ortom, are having problem or anybody in Nigeria, is not true. What happened was just an explanation that emanated from a larger Governors’ Forum that we spoke on the security of the nation, and we talked of the failure of security infrastructure, which everybody knows is under the purview of the Federal Government.”
Similarly, Ortom appreciated Wike and Fintiri for arranging the meeting, where it was agreed that the recent outburst between him and his Bauchi State counterpart was not needed.
“We have accepted that it was wrong for us to have that kind of outburst that went out, but as from today, we have learnt. We are all fallible human beings, and we are subject to mistakes. And so, when we make mistakes, it is a plus for us, if we correct them. I think moving forward, we shall live together. The Fulani and Tiv people have cohabitated for a long time, and there is no issue whatsoever.”
Ortom identified the failure of the security architecture of the country, which is anchored by the Federal Government for the recent outburst between him and Mohammed.
“We look forward that the Federal Government should stoop down to conquer by accepting that, yes, they have failed, so that together, the states and the local governments can come together to find lasting solution to this problem in the country.
“As at today, there is no equity, there is no fairness, there is no justice in our country, and that is why everywhere in Nigeria, there are issues. So, we look forward that the Federal Government will partner with us. This time, we need not to talk about partisan politics. We must come together. We need not to talk about ethnicity or religion. We must come together as brothers and sisters who have no other country than Nigeria, to work together towards a common cause that will solve the problem that we have”, Ortom said.
In his remarks, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike thanked the governors of Bauchi and Benue states for amicably resolving their dispute.
“We give God the glory today that those differences have been sorted out. We are members of one political party. Like what the governor of Bauchi and governor of Benue said, we don’t want the inefficiency; we don’t want the incapacity of the Federal Government in handling the issue of insecurity in the country to rub off on us.
“Everybody knows that the Federal Government has failed in providing security for this country. And of course, you will not blame them. They (Ortom and Mohammed) are under pressure from their various states. It is not as if they have any personal issue.”
Wike observed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was rejoicing that there was a disagreement between the governors of Benue and Bauchi states, but noted that the opposition party would be disillusioned now that the disagreement has been resolved.
“They will not be happy today that two of them have now made up to work together”, Wike said.
Wike urged the media to be a bit more circumspect in reporting issues that could further polarize the country.
“But you too, the Press, you should have a role to play in stabilizing the country. It is not everything you must report. You don’t try to escalate things. When you do that, you are not helping the country”, he said.
On his part, the Adamawa State Governor, Hon Ahmed Fintiri, said as national leaders, it was incumbent on him and Wike to intervene in the disagreement between their Benue and Bauchi counterparts.
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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