The All Progressives Congress (APC), has listed desperate plots by alleged agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Presidency, to force the postponement of the elections slated for February 14 and 28, 2015.
In a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that these plots include street protests, the procurement of illegal court judgements against the conduct of the elections on the excuse that many Nigerians have not collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), as well as desperate attempts to use corrupt judges loyal to the party to obtain judgement in against the eligibility of the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, Gen Muhammadu Buhari to contest the elections on the basis of the academic certificate furnished appropriate authorities and Nigerians.
Mohammed noted that, “During my last press conference on January 29th, I alerted the nation to the fact that the advocates of the postponement of this month’s general elections have resorted to using the courts to disqualify our presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and scuttle the polls.
“This followed the obvious failure of their clandestine campaign to have the elections postponed ostensibly because of the poor distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Despite sponsoring pseudo-experts and cash-and-carry analysts to make the television rounds to canvass for the postponement of the election, in addition to instigating protests against INEC, Nigerians have rejected the call for election shift, which is a big blow to those who want the elections postponed to give the Goodluck Jonathan Administration time to recover lost ground.
“The advocates of election shift may have retreated, but they have not given up their push to scuttle the elections. In fact, a conference organized on Monday to consider the effects of the National Conference on the 2015 elections was turned into a campaign for election postponement by the usual culprits.
“Despite their defeat in the court of public of opinion, the no-election proponents are now working hard on their back-up plan, which is to force a constitutional crisis that will ultimately lead to their goal: Interim Government!
“They have re-strategised to procure ‘pliant judges’ to give outrageous and unpopular judgement at election tribunals and courts, judgement that are capable of destabilising the polity
“Their hope is that such outrageous and unpopular judgement will help trigger massive violence across the country, which they will then leverage as an excuse to scuttle the elections and form an Interim Government.
“At the last count, six cases have been filed by the agents of those working to scuttle the elections, and we expect more. In one of the cases, Justice Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday gave the order for a substituted service in the case instituted by Max Uzoaka against our candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
“Make no mistake about it, the Jonathan Administration and the PDP do not want elections, this is why they have not been asking Nigerians to go and collect their PVCs, even when INEC has said the cards for all registered voters are now ready for collection.
“That is why they have refused hordes of foreign journalists visas to come to Nigeria. As we said earlier, the denial of visas to foreign journalists is systemic, aimed at preventing the international community from seeing or watching the desperate plots to scuttle the elections. An Administration that has nothing to hide will not embark on a deliberate move to shut foreign journalists out of what is definitely one of the most important elections in the world this year.
He called on local and international observers to take note of the scheming by the election-postponement campaigners, and urged them to note that since election is a process, and not restricted to election day alone, all the steps leading to the elections are as important as the actual voting. itself.
The APC also implored Nigerians and the international community to take note of the systemic shutout of foreign journalists from the forthcoming polls, which is a ploy to shut out the international community from the elections..
The party also urged “the Council of State not to allow itself to be used to scuttle the forthcoming elections, because it is in the interest of Nigeria and her people that the elections proceed as scheduled.
“We call on Nigerians to remain vigilant, especially in the days ahead, and to continue to reject all attempts by anti-democratic forces to cling to or get power through means that are not democratic. We urge our members and supporters in particular to eschew violence under any guise, even in the face of the most egregious provocations, so as not to play into the hands of those working to scuttle the elections.
The APC appealed to the judiciary to act as a bulwark against any attempt to truncate the nation’s hard-earned democracy by refusing to be used to scuttle the elections, pledging not to relent in speaking out against ongoing efforts to scuttle the elections.
Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding
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.
Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts
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.”
PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta
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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