The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has again defended its choice of former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo as its governorship candidate for the 2010 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, even as it berrated critics of both Prof Soludo and the Party over its decision to field Soludo.
The Party in defence of its action in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali condemned the reckless remarks made by Action Congress, AC, spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in the media about the selection process that led to the choice of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, saying that the party had consistently ignored comments by Alhaji Lai Mohammed who, like Emperor Nero seems to be fiddling while AC burns.
“Given the fact that Lai Mohammed spends most of his time talking and thinking less of Party organization and mobilization, we do not expect him to understand the dynamics of administering a Party as large as the PDP.
“In view of this therefore, we sympathize with him for finding himself in a small party whose influence in the nation’s political environment has been dwindling to a point of extinction.
“There is no way anybody can compare the democratic credentials of the PDP, where 47 candidates were contesting to fly the Party’s flag and the AC which has a lone anointed candidate ab initio. That 47 credible citizens of Anambra State sought to be candidates of the PDP bears ample testimony to the strength and acceptability of the Party in that state. We therefore do not owe Alhaji Mohammed any apology on how our candidates emerge.
“For the avoidance of doubts, we wish to once again state that the choice of Professor Chukwuma Soludo as the PDP candidate was arrived at after all options for choosing a candidate were exhausted.
“The NWC relied on Article 17.1 of the PDP Constitution which vests on the NWC, acting on behalf of the National Executive Committee the power as the final authority for resolving all disputes relating to the choice of candidates for the Party in any election and for confirming the names or list of names of candidates for the Party in any elective public office in the federation.
“The choice of Prof. Soludo cannot therefore be described as an imposition, neither is it a predetermined option but a product of wide consultation and the need to present a formidable candidate capable of uniting all political forces in Anambra State and ensuring our victory in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“We wish to advise Alhaji Lai Mohammed to concentrate on selling his candidate and desist from meddling into the internal affairs of the PDP. We also wish to ask which AC is Alhaji Mohammed speaking for? Nigerians are all aware that the Action Congress (AC) as presently constituted is an empty shell without a compressor. Leaders of the AC are known to be holding meeting for the formation of an illusionary mega Party because they have lost faith in the AC as a political platform. Alhaji Mohammed would therefore be wallowing in self delusion if he still thinks he has any one listening to his empty statements.
“On the threat by a nebulous organization called the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) to go to Court over the purported late submission of the names of the PDP flagbearers to INEC, we wish to state that the PDP adhered to the deadline given by INEC and will be ready to present its case before any court or panel that requires it.
”We once more appeal to our stakeholders in Anambra State to ignore the diversionary antics of discredited politicians and rally round our candidate Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and his running mate, Senator Emmanuel Anosike to ensure our victory at the forthcoming poll.”
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
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