The rulling Peoples Democracatic Party (PDP) has condemned leaders of Action Congress (AC), including ex-vice President Atiku Abubakar for describing PDP as a ‘rigging machine’ in a recent event and instead accused the AC of ‘elevating the art of rigging to new heights’.
I n a statement issued Monday in Abuja and signed by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Ahmed –Alkali, the party described as ‘hypocritical’ the accusation that the PDP is a rigging machine and absolved itself of the accusation, wondering why some senior citizens would hide under the cloak of a political party to attempt to heat up the polity.
The statement , which copy was made available to The Tide Monday in Abuja, reads in part:
“The Peoples Democratic Party is once more constrained to bring to the notice of Nigerians the opportunistic antics devised by some politicians in their quest to remain relevant.
“The latest of such vain shouts in the wilderness came from a gathering in Lagos at the weekends called the “National Convention” of the Action Congress where speaker after speaker took turns to preach hypocritical sermons on the state of the nation.
“ It is a big irony to note that some of these later day democrats are persons with known track records of dictatorship and chronic intolerance to opposing views when they held sway in government.
“It is particularly curious for instance to hear former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who was in Government for 8 years limiting his assessment of Nigeria’s democracy to the last 2 to 1/2 years thus conveniently isolating himself and his tenure from scrutiny. This is yet another attempt at self-glorification and buck passing which Nigerians have come to know the opposition for.
“The unwarranted and foul mouthed condemnation of our Party by leaders of the AC especially the recurrent reference to the PDP as a “rigging machine” is hypocritical because available evidence have it that the AC has elevated the art of rigging to new heights.
“A ready example here is the blatant forgery of a Police report by the candidate of the AC in the last gubernatorial election in Osun State for which he is currently standing trial.
“It is also a known fact that most leading members of the AC are the architects and masterminds of the latest attempt to rig the call for the resignation of the president by falsely including names of credible Nigerians in their letter. It is disgraceful that virtually all those whose names were fraudulently included in this letter have publicly denounced the inclusion of their names for an unholy project without their knowledge or consent.
“Another glaring act of rigging and barefaced violation of the constitution is the insistence of the AC government in Lagos State on conducting sham elections in non-existent local government areas. This unconstitutional act makes nonsense of their lip service to adherence to the rule of law.
“Another issue that featured prominently at the rally is the agitation by the AC for a wholesale implementation of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Report. It is indeed an irony that the same people who vehemently opposed the setting up of the Electoral Reform Committee are those now attempting to privatise and claim ownership of the outcome as if they had an idea of how the decisions were arrived at.
“The Peoples Democratic Party wishes to state that the PDP-led Federal Government shall not be blackmailed or stampeded into short circuiting the process of electoral reforms. Like all other programmes of this Government, the electoral reform programme shall undergo due process and scale through all the legislative proceeding before it is finally adopted. We are in a democracy and therefore issues cannot be decreed into existence by fiat.
“At the risk of sounding repetitive and immodest, our democratic credentials are miles away from the AC and all the other parties in Nigeria. The mere fact that Nigerians from all walks of life actively contest in our primaries to fly our party’s flag in all elections go a long way in demonstrating again and again our acceptability. The same cannot be said of the AC where an arrogant cabal sits and anoint candidates for elections without recourse to due process. This was the case in the last sham and illegal local government elections in Lagos where bonafide members of the AC were shoved aside in preference for a hand picked few by the emperor of the party.
“Nigerians are getting tired of this baseless argument where a group of people constantly explain their failure to organise and attract people into their fold on the PDP.
“Nigerians are getting increasingly aware that the failure of the opposition is due to the lack of a principled and dedicated leadership who have no defined agenda for Nigeria.
“We are not opposed to individuals or groups coming together to form an alliance but we certainly do not accept blame for their impotence in making a mark in the Nigerian political space.”
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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