Residents of Bauchi metropolis said on Saturday that the planned return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to PDP might not be as rosy as his supporters thought.
Speaking to our correspondent Alhaji Shehu Ali, a political commentator, said that Abubakar might not find it easy in PDP because from all indications his reason for rejoining the party was not unconnected to his ambition to become the president of the country.
“Atiku will face a formidable task if he really wants to secure the PDP ticket for its presidential candidate in 2011.
“I say so because there are other prominent and strong personalities who also want to have the same opportunity as him.
“Because of his absence for a long time it will be difficult for him to have an automatic ticket to contest as president,” Ali said.
However, another resident, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim, a political chieftain and a member of PDP, said that Abubakar left the party because he felt he was frustrated and from the look of things the frustrating elements were gone that was why he wanted to return to it.
He said it was due to problems he was facing in PDP that he left and created another party in the name of Action Congress (AC).
The Minister of Defence, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, on Friday in Abuja said the Federal Government would redouble its commitment to the welfare of the armed forces.
Adetokunbo disclosed this while inspecting some projects, executed by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps, through direct labour.
“The Acting President has given the mandate to support every effort to improve the welfare of all those in uniform. What I have seen today shows the need for government to redouble its commitment in this direction.
“I believe first of all, that the welfare of our men and officers is being taken care of by this approach of the Chief of Army Staff, and I want to urge all services to emulate this approach,” he said.
The minister said he had been briefed on assumption of duty in the new ministry that the services, especially the Nigerian Army had embarked on projects by direct labour.
“It appears strange and from what I have seen today I am impressed”, he added.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, said for each project carried out through direct labour, the army had spent not more than 10 per cent of what would have been spent through the award of contracts.
Dambazau added that the project that would have taken five years to complete were completed within one year by the army personnel through direct labour.
Jigawa Police Command has arrested three people who allegedly tried to defraud the state government, police public relations officer of the command, Assistant Supritendant of Police Abdu Jinjiri, said.
Jinjiri told newsmen in Dutse on Saturday that the suspects were Haruna Mustapha, Saidu Mustapha from Abuja and Mohammed Ali of Nassarawa Quarters
in Kano Metropolis.
Jinjiri said the suspects sent a text message to one Abuja-based business man, Alhaji Malami Shehu, requesting money to facilitate the procurement of a N3 billioncontract for the supply of fertiliser to the state government.
The suspects claimed that the Chief of Staff, Government House, Dutse, Alhaji Aminu Ringim, was aware of the contract.
Luck ran out of the suspected criminals when Shehu called Ringim to verify the story.
The police were immediately alerted and the three suspects were arrested.
At the time of filing this report the Jinjiri said the criminals were in police custody for full and further investigation on the matter.
Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zazzau, on Friday urged religious and traditional leaders to redouble effort to promote religious tolerance, trust and understanding among their followers.
Speaking at a quarterly meeting with religious leaders and traditional rulers in his palace in Zaria, the emir described peace as a vital ingredient for socio-economic growth.He explained that no religion preached violence, hence the need for leaders to show the fear of God Almighty by promoting peace and unity among the people.
He called on traditional rulers and religious leaders to complement the efforts of the Kaduna State Government toward sustaining the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the state.
The emir urged the Ulama (religious leaders) to adopt a means of finding solution to the differences among various religious groups and advised youths against thuggery.
In their contributions, Sheik Abubakar Imam-Ikara, Sama’ila Dakace and Alhaji Garba Ra’is restated their commitment to a peaceful society.
They described the meeting as a way of strengthening peace and harmony among the people of Zazzau Emirate and the state as a whole.
The Campaign Organisation of Gov. Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi for the 2011 election, has announced the removal of its chairman, Alhaji Muhammed Kwasara.
A statement by the Assistant Public Relations Officer of the organisation, Nasiru Masama, in Birnin Kebbi on Friday, said the removal was because of Kwarasa’s crowded schedule, which had not allowed him to pay required attention to the project.
It noted that Kwasara was also a Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties to Dakingari.
The statement named Alhaji Kabiru Sani as the new chairman of the organisation.
Speaking on his appointment, Sani said he would promote the achievements of Dakingari toward a successful re-election in 2011.
He appealed to supporters of the party to remain committed to the effort to re-elect the governor.
The Chairman, Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Kunle Soname, said his administration would assist voluntary organisations to train youths in the area.
Soname told newsmen in Lagos on Saturday that the council would support the groups with funds and logistics in training their members.
“We have written to schools and landlords of places where these groups meet to allow them free assess and also to give them other forms of support,’’ he said.
According to him, letters have also been written to all private and public primary and secondary schools within the LCDA to encourage students to belong to any one of the voluntary associations.
He said that head teachers and principals of public schools had been directed to set aside a day in the week for students to participate in the activities of the voluntary associations.
“Our intention is in line with the aspirations of the state governor to integrate voluntary associations into the re-orientation programme for youths and children in the state,’’ he said.
Our correspondent reports that 65 under-10 pupils of Caleb International Schools, Magodo, were inducted into the Nigerian Red Cross Society in March.
Another 100 pupils from five public schools within the LCDA were inducted into the Boys Scout and Girls Guide associations as part of the re-orientation programme.
The Chief Imam of Umaru Majigi Central Mosque, Bida in Niger, Sheikh Adamu Liman-Yakatun, has urged Nigerian Muslims to give their children both western and Islamic education.
Liman-Yakatun spoke on Friday in Bida at the graduation ceremony of 20 students of Imam Aliyu Quranic School.
He said by acquiring western and Islamic education “ Muslims can contribute meaningfully to national development.
“We cannot endeavour to contribute our own quota to the socio-economic development of Nigeria if we neglect the pursuit of both western and religious education.”
Liman-Yakatun also called for the education of girls like their male counterparts to facilitate national development.
“Women are the mothers of the society just as they mould the character of our children and as such they should be adequately educated to face that challenges,” he said.
The proprietor of the school, Malam Usman Aliyu, emphasised the need for parents to complement the effort of the government in funding education.
Mr Sina Mohammed, Special Adviser to Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola on Project Monitoring, on Friday scored contractors handling projects in the state low.
Inspecting some projects on Friday, the special adviser said the contractors were now taking advantage of the ending phase of the present political dispensation to do shoddy jobs,
The tour followed a call on government by the affected communities to make the contractors to be committed to their jobs.
Mohammed expressed dissatisfaction with the shoddy jobs done by the contractors, in spite of the fact that they had been properly mobilised to enable them perform well.
The special adviser expressed disappointment with the renovation work being carried out at the Maternal and Child Health Wards of the Comprehensive Health Centre at Ikire.
Mohammed, who is also the Chairman of State and Local Government Capital Project Monitoring Committee, was at Iwo, Ede, Ejigbo and Osogbo to assess projects.
He described the quality of work done in Ikire as unacceptable and directed that the contracting firm should not be paid until the defects were rectified.
Lawmaker Charges Politicians On Electoral Promises
A Lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland, Federal House of Representatives, Mr Olanrewaju Oshun, on Saturday charged politicians to fulfil their electoral promises to the masses, to continually gain their trust.
Oshun said this in an interview with The Tide’s source after casting his vote at PU 03, Ward 008, Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, for the Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in Lagos.
According to him, Nigeria’s politics has changed to an era where electorate expect that only politicians who deliver on their mandate should be voted for.
“At this era, politicians must understand the fact that they need to fulfil their electoral promises and be close to the people.
“The masses are more conscious that it is only politicians who perform well that should earn their vote”, he said.
Oshun expressed optimism that the will of the people would prevail in the elections, having voted for their choices.
On his assessment of the election, he lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving on the conduct of the election, compared to the performance of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
According to him, the INEC officials arrived early at most polling units across the state, the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) functioned effectively, while the overall process of the election was seamless.
“There is a great improvement in the conduct of the election, compared to the hitches we had at the last election.
“People have voted and made their opinion known, so it should be counted and let the best candidate win”. he said.
The lawmaker noted that the turnout for the election was impressive.
Oshun said, “one cannot say there is voter apathy as such, as reported in some quarters because people cast their votes in few minutes and left almost immediately.
The source reports that Oshun was re-elected during the Feb. 25 National Assembly Election to represent his constituency.
ICPC Arrests Four Vote-Buyers In Sokoto, Katsina
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) arrested four vote-buyers in Sokoto and Katsina states during the just-concluded Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections last Saturday.
In its election monitoring operations across the states of the federation, officers of the anti-corruption agency encountered some vote-buyers at Kauran Miyo Primary School in Bodingo Town of Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
The Spokesperson, ICPC, Azuka Ogugua, revealed this on Saturday night in a statement obtained by The Tide source.
She noted that the Sokoto State monitoring team of the commission arrested three male vote-buyers; Mahe Bello, Musa Adamu and Mustapha Mohammed, all of Kauran Miyo Bodinga.
Ogugua said, “Mahe Bello was caught in possession of a cash sum of N38,000, two PVCs, one ATM card and an Infinix phone, while Musa Adamu had CFA228,000 in his possession which was being offered to voters. The third suspect, Mustapha Mohammed, was arrested with some PVCs in his possession”.
According to her, the ICPC monitoring team, however, came under attack while carrying out the arrest of the three vote-buyers.
This was as she noted that an officer of the commission, Rabiu Ibrahim, suffered a head injury from being hit by stones, and has been admitted into a hospital and he is in a stable condition.
She added that the three alleged vote-buyers were kept in the custody of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps before being conveyed to ICPC’s detention facility in Sokoto.
In a related development, the ICPC election monitoring team in Katsina State arrested one Tanimu Tabale for vote-buying at Tashar Yamma Polling Unit in Zango Local Government Area of the State.
Tabale, a 35-year-old man, claimed he was an observer in Makama Polling Unit but was arrested at Tashar Yamma Polling Unit with the sum of N20,000 in different denominations attempting to buy the votes and was apprehended.
Elections: LG Chairman Lauds Officials … Says No Security Breach In Keffi
Chairman of Keffi Local Government Area (LGA), Nasarawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Baba-Shehu, has lauded concerned officials for ensuring the absence of security breach during Saturday’s elections in the area.
Baba-Shehu gave the commendation while speaking with Newsmen shortly after the State’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Keffi.
Baba-shehu noted that the success recorded was as a result of the zeal and commitment of security agencies in the area.
According to him, officers of the concerned security agencies worked hard to ensure no one carried out any act that would destabilise the peace being enjoyed in the area.
“So far, as the Chief Security Officer of the area, I have not received any report of any breach in security and that is because our security personnel are up and doing.
“All the security agencies in Keffi LG did what they know best and what was expected of them. They were in every corner of the community”, he said.
Baba-Shehu who stated that the peaceful conduct of the elections in the area was commendable, and lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ensuring the process met Nigerians’ expectations.
“I also have to commend INEC officials because the electoral materials reached polling units in good time and the election process also started early. So, there was no complaint of delay of accreditation or voting in Keffi”, he said.
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