Last week, which happened to be the last week of the year 2017 was dorminated by Church activities in Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt.
Events kicked off with Thanksgiving Service at Ecumenical Centre, Port Harcourt in honour of the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus who hails from the state.
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who hosted PDP Governors and major stakeholders in the service restated that PDP governors and well-meaning stakeholders testified that the election that brought Secondus was transparent.
He lauded the PDP chairman for not allowing himself to be swayed by money or other baits as a party leader who stands for the success of the party, inspite of challenges.
While Secondus promised to lead the party to victory in 2019 election, the governors and other heavy weights commended him and assured him of their support.
In a similar vein, Wike also attended the 50th birthday and election victory thanksgiving service of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani at Saint James Anglican Church, Ataba in Andoni Local Government. He described the Speaker as one who exhibits exemplary leadership qualities in the discharge of his responsibilities.
Wike commended Ibani for his worthy contributions to the development of Rivers State.
Last Monday which was the Christmas day, the Governor in his message to the people of the state urged Christians to use this year’s Christmas to promote love, friendship, peace and reconciliation.
He challenged Rivers people to use the Yuletide to erect platform of love for the greater development of the state.
Another crucial event in Brick House was the reception of hundreds of APC decampees from Opobo-Nkoro Local Government Area to PDP.
Chairman of APC Caucus in Opobo-Nkoro, Arthur Jaja said Wike’s sterling qualities gave impetus to their defection.
The governor who received the decampees in company of the party chairman in the state, Bro Felix Obuah and other stakeholders commended the decampees for coming to PDP, assuring them of equal opportunities with old PDP members.
Wike who noted that APC is deceiving Nigerians, challenged the party to show federal projects executed in the state, stressing that inspite of the harsh economy which made Federal Government and APC-controlled states not to deliver projects, Rivers State has been flourishing with projects.
Conferrment of awards on Wike remains ceaseless as Uzugbani Ekpeye, last Saturday, honoured him with an award of excellence, in appreciation of his good governance.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Ahoada, Wike said the honour would spur him to do more and advised politicians in the area to work in unity and in the interest of the area.
He announced the official flag off of the reconstruction of Western Ahoada County High School on January 4, 2018. He said the kingdom supported him in 2015 governorship election and that his administration will continue to execute projects in the area.
In a similar manner, Wakirike Ethnic Nationality endorsed Wike for a second term, saying that he has treated them fairly through projects execution and appointment.
Chairman of Okrika Divisional Council of Chiefs, Chief Sunday Kalaowolo who spoke on behalf of the nationality said, “As the political drum beat starts in 2018, we the Wakirike people under God, ask you to run for a second term in office.
“We will lay down our lives, not only to vote for you, but to defend our votes. All Okrikans are solidly behind you”.
Wike commended them and assured them of continued projects in the area. He elevated the Amayanabo of Ogoloma to first class status, while Amayanabo of Okrika Town elevated to second class. He also recognise Amayanabo of Okochiri King Ateke Michael Tom as second class traditional stool.
On Boxing Day, Wike inspected ongoing projects in the state and told traders at Mile 1 Market that his administration is in a haste to complete reconstruction of the market as soon as possible.
He noted that the step would check street trading which poses dangers to them and urged them to remain patient.
The governor also met Bolo people of Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area who also endorsed him for a second term. They tied their decision to Wike’s good governance.
Wike, at the function which held in Brick House and attended by Senator Thompson Sekibo, former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo and other traditional and political leaders from the area, commended them and upgraded Amayanabo of Bolo stool, to second class.
APC Chieftain Warns CAN Against Dogara, Lawal
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir Lawal and former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have been called upon not to drag the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) into their dispute as this will negate the principles of CAN in maintaining peace in Nigeria.
The call was made by the Plateau State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Mr. Yakubu Dati, in a statement to newsmen.
Dati said the duo were creating division among Christians with CAN, which seemed to support their antics since the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, chose former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima as his Vice Presidential Candidate.
“But it is now an open secret that the position of CAN, may have been influenced by the duo, purely out of vendetta against the APC presidential candidate, for not looking their way to pick his running mate,” Dati alleged.
The Commissioner emphasised that CAN was established to make peace reign in the country by settling ethnic and religious crisis in the country and it has efficiently carried out this responsibilities over the years.
He noted that since CAN has elected a new leadership to steer its affairs, it is pertinent to offer the body a word or two of advice to save it from being used by politicians to achieve their selfish aims, more so “as we are on the cusp of another political season.”
“It is no longer news that immediately after the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu picked former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima as his running mate, that CAN took a position on the matter siding with certain APC members, especially former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir Lawal and former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara who lost out in the quest to be appointed running mate to Tinubu, to reject the ticket.
“They forget that it was Asiwaju Tinubu who nominated David Babachir Lawal as Secretary to the Government of the Buhari administration as a mark of respect for the Adamawa born politician. Left for Tinubu who was then one of the national leaders of the APC, Babachir would have continued in office and probably even retained the position in the second tenure of the Buhari administration like his kinsman, Boss Mustapha has done, but for the notorious “grass cutting” controversy that eased him out of the government,” he said.
Dati also noted that notwithstanding this, “the Jagaba of Borgu, in an attempt to rehabilitate the sacked former SGF, gave him the responsibility of shortlisting possible vice presidential candidates for him.
“But even that simple task was twisted to favour certain parochial interests. Babachir recommended the Northeast and Northwest for the position to the detriment of the North Central geopolitical zone, which is the hub of Christianity in the Northern Nigeria.”
The Commissioner explained that this ostensibly, was to foreclose the consideration of Plateau State, which paraded the only Christian Governor of APC in Northern Nigeria.
“Interestingly, the Babachir committee recommended Senator Kashim Shetima as tops on their list and the APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, simply acted on it. When confronted with these facts on national television, Babachir confirmed it, stating however that it was a draft!
“As evidence that Babachir was not sincere in his recommendation, he immediately took advantage of the religious fault lines together with Dogara, the other aggrieved VP hopeful who lost out, ignited the Muslim- Muslim controversy and unwittingly recruited CAN into the fray,” Dati alleged.
He also said that there was no way Tinubu would have picked either Babachir Lawal who hails from Adamawa State or Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi State because of the implications to his electoral fortune, adding that Adamawa where Babachir hails from and Bauchi, Dogara’s home state are both PDP controlled States.
Both men, in spite of their positions and enormous resources at their disposal, have consistently failed to deliver their respective states to the APC. “This is unlike Tinubu who always delivers”, he said.
“Due to the hullabaloo generated by the duo of Babachir and Dogara, the Asiwaju has gone ahead to pick Simon Lalong, the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum to lead his campaign as the Director General.
“This choice is based on Gov Lalong’s enviable track record of fairness regardless of tribe, religion or creed. His excellent management of men and resources resulting in the restoration of relative peace in the once restive Plateau State has projected him to national limelight.
“As a Knight of the Catholic faith, Gov Simon Lalong also resonates with the northern Christians whose fears have been allayed. Those trying to rock the boat by insinuating that his appointment is an attempt to ridicule Christians were the same lot that campaign vigorously against Christians candidates, including an ordained pastor, at the APC primaries.
“The APC northern Christians are now energized, more than ever before, to pour themselves into the campaign,” the Commissioner said.
He also explained that religious bodies should be accommodating to all adherents without allowing themselves to be led by the nose by those who remember the association only when their selfish interests are at stake.
“Religious leaders should be wary of being reduced to lap dogs of politicians. This is the real challenge before the new leadership of CAN,” he advised.
Alleged Certificate Forgery: Court Fixes Sept 7 To Hear Suit Against Tinubu
A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed September 7 to hear a suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), from contesting in the 2023 elections.
The plaintiffs, four APC chieftains, are asking the court to rule that Tinubu is ineligible to run for president in the 2023 presidential election as the party’s candidate because he allegedly submitted false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Ibiang Miko Ibiang, the plaintiffs averred that Tinubu falsely swore to an affidavit in 1999 in which he claimed to have attended St Paul Aroloya Children Home School, Ibadan -1958-64, and Government College, Ibadan -1965-68 and presented the same to INEC.
According to the plaintiffs, the deposition is untrue. They claimed in his INEC form for the 2023 elections, Tinubu refused to include any information about his primary and secondary schools in order to hide the false information he had provided to INEC.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine “Whether having regard to the provision of sections 1 (3); 4(1)and 2; 14(1),(2)(a), and (c)and 42(1)(a)and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the provision of section 29(5)of the Electoral Act, 2022 as enacted by the 4th defendant which modified the provision section 31(5) of the Electoral Act,2010(as amended) is not ultra vires the 4th Defendant and therefore unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatever”.
“Whether having regard to the decision of the supreme court in the case Modibbo Vs Usman (2020) 3 NWLR(PT.1712)470 and the provision of section 137(1)(j) the 3rd defendant has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the 1st defendant and thereby disqualified from participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election,” they said.
Upon the favourable determination of the questions, the plaintiffs are asking for “a declaration that the 3rd defendant (Tinubu) has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
“A declaration that the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from participating in the 2023 presidential election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the purpose of seeking to be elected into the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“An order disqualifying the 3rd Defendant from contesting or participating in the forthcoming 2023 presidential general election as a candidate of the 2nd defendant.
Ruling on an ex parte application, Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, granted an order for substituted service on Tinubu after the plaintiffs’ counsel, Goddy Uche, told the court that substituted service has become necessary because all attempts to serve the presidential candidate proved abortive.
The court ordered that court processes should be served on the national secretariat of the APC and that such service shall be deemed as having been properly served on Tinubu.
He adjourned the case to September 7 for a hearing.
Be Wary Of ‘Obidients’ Antics, Nnamani Cautions Constituents
The Senator representing Enugu East in the National Assembly, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, has again cautioned his constituents against succumbing to antics of supporters of the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, otherwise called Obidients.
He charged his supporters not to bow to pressure to vote for Obi based on sentiments.
Nnamani enjoined his supporters to remain steadfast with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its candidate Atiku Abubakar and all other PDP candidates in order to restore hope and emancipate the people from deprivation.
The federal law maker said this in a statement he signed in Abuja, on Monday.
Nnamani cautioned against “Greek gifts” from the Obidients canvassers as that would negatively affect the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chances to produce state Governors, Senators, members of the House of Representatives and state House of Assembly.
The Senator likened the Obidients movement to the story of the Tortoise who borrowed feathers from other animals to enable him fly to attend a feast only to appropriate what belongs to everyone to himself alone, claiming to be everybody .
He said, “ That is exactly what they want. To borrow from every body and turn round to appropriate everything .
“Do not give them your feathers, let them Stay on the ground where they belong. Your feathers are the structures they need. Call their bluff.
“ Our party and platform is PDP. We must stand firm. We must not be swayed by the Obidient sentiments and vote Labour Party . If we blur the distinction , it will be difficult to reverse .
He further said, “ remember these Obidients advocates are noisy , loud , intolerant, proselytizers, condescending but less than 0.25 percent of over 200million Nigerian population. At least Osun state 2000 votes for Labour Party bears it out.
“ Why should we establish foundation and beech head for others . We cannot allow Obidients to inherit our labour in the PDP .
“In battle , do you give invaders your beech head to land and now seek to drive them away .
“We have to be on the alert because they are luring us into false sense of complacency using subterfuge.”
He explained that the boundaries are clear, so also the differences , “we are Ebeano and our political party is PDP, our symbol is umbrella not Labour Party
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