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Rigging: PDP Carpets AC

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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.”

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Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the reason why there were so many problems in the Nigerian society was because of a diminishing emphasis placed on the importance of family values.
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.

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Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued an alert over planned attacks by insurgents on Ogun border communities and other border communities in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”

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PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta

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Towards attaining sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to work together to tackle pipeline insecurity, unemployment and other challenges in the region.
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”

By: Akujobi Amadi

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