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IG Orders Probe Into Okrika Shootings …As Bipi Denies Involvement

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The Inspector General of
Police, Suleiman Abba, has ordered a full scale investigation into the Tuesday disruption of the governorship campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Okrika, Rivers State, by unknown gunmen.
The shooting incident which the APC has traced to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elements in the state, left a policeman dead, while about 50 others sustained various degrees of injuires.
The Tuesday campaign rally at Okrika was the fourth attempt by the APC after three aborted attempts to take the party’s campaign train to the town, which is the country home of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, and former  warlord, Chief Ateke Tom.
Following this incident, Abba, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, on Wednesday in Abuja, directed the Assistant Inspector General of  police in charge of zone 6, Calabar, Tunde Ogunshakin, to take over the investigation and promptly bring to book the perpetrators and sponsors of the shooting incident.
The IG further directed a speedy prosecution of suspects arrested in connection with violence across the country.
He regretted that despite several warnings, advice and interfaces with political actors to avoid violence and other acts capable of undermining the electoral process, such acts have continued.
Abba, however, restated the resolve and commitment of the Nigeria Police force, in line with its constitutional and statutory mandate, to continue to provide an impartial level-playing field for all political parties to sell their manifestoes and woo the electorate.
Meanwhile, a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, representing  Ogu/Bolo, Mr Evans Bipi, has denied involvement in the Okrika shootings.
Bipi was accused by the APC governorship candidate in the state, Dr Dakuku Peterside, of leading the shooting attacks.
But the lawmaker who is a member of the PDP in the state, said he was in Bayelsa State on the day of the incident, mourning the PDP women who perished in a motor accident last Saturday along Ahoada/Elele  section of the East-West Road in Rivers State on their return to Bayelsa State after seeing the first lady off  to Port Harcourt  International Airport, Omagwa.
Contrary to allegations that he was sighted leading the shortings on APC members at the APC campaign rally on Tuesday, Bipi in a statement on Wednesday said, “I was not in Okrika on Tuesday. Okrika is not even my constituency. I represent Ogu/Bolo in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
He insisted that “the statement credited to Peterside, with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, accusing me of leading gunmen to attack their rally in Okrika, is most unfortunate. Above all, it is the height of irresponsibility on their part and the APC”.

 

Boye Salau

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I’m Not Against Araraume’s Appointment – OBJ

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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned attempts by those he called “political busybodies” to drag him into issues bothering on the appointment of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
The former president who spoke through his lawyer, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, said stories on some social media platforms accusing him of being responsible for the “immediate suspension” of the inauguration of the new NNPC board of directors inauguration were false.
Some social media platforms had claimed that Obasanjo influenced the suspension of the board’s inauguration because he wanted Araraume to step down as chairman of the board.
But this was despite an explanation by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, that the inauguration would be held at a later date.
Reacting however, Oba-sanjo’s lawyer, Abayomi, in the statement, said the former president was preoccupied with efforts to better the lots of Nigerians locally, internationally and economically and as such had no time for frivolities.
Abayomi said whatever misunderstanding between Araraume and Obasanjo had in the past was over and that both had been in touch with each other and would continue to do so in the interest of the country.

Describing Araraume as an astute businessman and leader who would certainly handle the NNPC well, the statement warned against attempts by certain individuals to drag Obasanjo into the conflict in Imo State politics.

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I Have No Link With APC – Fayose

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Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has described as “campaigns of calumny” by some aspirants, linking him with the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, as “dead on arrival,” pointing out that it will not guarantee anyone the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket.
The former governor who reiterated his endorsement of the immediate past PDP chairman in the State, Otunba Bisi Kolawole, declared that he owed no one no apology as he was convinced that he (Bisi Kolawole) has what it takes to win the election and govern Ekiti better.
In a statement on Friday, by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said those moving from house to house in Abuja, calling him names would by now be celebrating him and calling him “Saint Fayose” if they were the ones he was supporting.
The statement issued on Friday, read; “Linking me with APC and Tinubu in the desperation of some aspirants to clinch our party ticket, is dead on arrival.
“In and out of office, Nigerians can attest to my commitment to the PDP and opposition to the APC government in defence of the ordinary Nigerians.”
“We have seen sitting governors defecting to APC, but in and out of office, I remained steadfast with the PDP even in the face of undeserved harassments.
“When did visits and interactions of our political leaders across party lines become evidence of anti-party?
“As for the race for the PDP governorship ticket, I want to make it expressly clear once again that I have no apologies for supporting Bisi Kolawole.

“Those going from house to house in Abuja, looking for shortcuts to the governorship ticket should rather go back to Ekiti and seek the support of the delegates who will decide the fate of our party’s aspirants.
“To our party stakeholders, whenever they come to you in Abuja with tales by moonlight about Fayose, let them be reminded that I am not an aspirant, but cannot be wished away. They should rather go back home and seek the necessary support as all politics is local. No shortcut!
“Eni ifa o to si lo npe ni haram (It is those who did not get the endorsement that are calling it haram).
“If they were the ones I endorsed, I will be ‘Saint Fayose.’
“I want to make it expressly clear once again that I stand with Otunba Bisi Kolawole, without apologies because he has what it takes to govern Ekiti and with the support of God and Ekiti people, he will surely win.”

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Accountability’ll Be PDP’s Watchword – Ayu

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The National Chairman-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Iyorchia Ayu, has said the party under his leadership would remain accountable.
He also expressed preparedness to review the reports of various committees set up by the outgoing Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and ensure that their recommendations were implemented.
Ayu said this while presenting the communique of the two- day national retreat held for newly elected NWC members and other party stakeholders, in Abuja, on Thursday.
In response to a question on the concerns raised by a former National Chairman of the party, Dr. Okwesilezie Nwodo, about the lack of transparency in the management of party funds by successive administrations, Ayu promised to be different.
Nwodo, who left office in 2011, had in a paper titled ‘Political Party Funding,’ which he presented during the retreat, said, “…today, we seem to have lost it. I handed over eleven billion in fixed deposits and eight hundred million in the current account when I left as National Chairman after seven months.
“I don’t see what was done with that money. Millions were raised to finish our National Headquarters; we don’t seem to have a trace of where all that money went. Our headquarters is yet to be completed. Today we don’t even have a party account.
“We have to get back to strict monitoring of our party accounts. Our internal audit department needs to be strengthened and supported by the party leadership.
“Very strict sanctions must be imposed on mismanagement of party funds; I suggest that we include inviting EFCC to probe erring officers and members and prosecution of those found culpable. This is the only way to create deterrent”.
Responding to a question on the subject, Ayu said, “by the time we come to office, accountability will remain our watchword and I want to assure all of you that we will run the PDP administration as transparently as possible.
“The outgoing NWC has set up different committees to look into different areas, we shall take up all the reports, review them, look at the facts and then attend to each issue according to the facts available to us.
“I want to assure you that we shall try to clean our house no matter who is going to be affected, we shall try to clean our house following due process and that due process also includes exhausting all internal conflict resolving mechanisms before we bring in any external intervention when we cannot resolve the issue”.
Earlier, while reading the communique, Ayu observed among other things that, “the terrible security situation in the country threatens Nigeria’s corporate existence, the collapse of national security has made Nigeria to begin sharing sovereignty with terrorist gangs and rogue elements.
“The lack of vision, capacity, ability and competence on the part of the ruling APC has driven Nigeria towards a failed state. Through incessant borrowings, the Muhammadu Buhari regime has returned Nigeria to the status of ‘a beggar and debtor-nation.”
In order to regain public confidence, the communique recommended that, “the incoming Ayu-led NWC of the PDP should hold periodic retreats and round-table dialogues to clarify its position on issues affecting the country, the NWC should commence sustained dialogue with the Nigerian Electorate before the next round of elections.

 

“The PDP should engage different segments of the voting population, especially to encourage youths and women demographics in the rescue.

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