The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, met at the party’s national secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Abuja to review the country’s security situation and rising threats to credible, free and fair 2019 elections from many quarters.
The Tide gathered that the party is disturbed by the level of preparedness by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 general elections even as it expressed dismay at the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Briefing members of the BoT, National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus said the alleged registration of minors by INEC in recent elections held in Kano and Katsina states has called into question the electoral umpire’s competence for the task ahead.
“We saw in the last local government election in Kano where children were issued voter cards to vote. It happened in 2015; we will not allow it to happen in 2019,” Secondus vowed.
Present at the meeting were BoT Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, former Senate Presidents David Mark, Anyim Pius Anyim, and Adolphus Wabara, former Jigawa State Governor and presidential hopeful, Sule Lamido, ex-aviation Minister, Kema Chikwe and former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema.
Others are former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, publisher of the Champion Newspaper, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mohammed Abba Gana, amongst others.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) will experience what he described as “defection tsunami” soon.
He spoke against the backdrop of defection of members of the PDP in some states like Kogi and Adamawa.
For example, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, had led 16 other chieftains and supporters of the PDP to the APC in Adamawa, last Saturday.
Those who left the PDP with him included Chief Felix Tangwami, Chief Medan Teneke, Alhaji Saidu Aliyu and Alhaji Yusuf Dan-Umana.
Gulak had claimed that he and his co-defectors left the main opposition party because of alleged impunity in the party.
“It is time for us to formally register as APC members. It is time to formally bury the PDP in Adamawa State,” Gulak said during the defection.
But Secondus rebuffed the defectors, saying that it was better to go into election with people who the party was sure would work for its success.
The national chairman of the PDP, who spoke with newsmen in an interview in Abuja, insisted that the national leadership and other stakeholders of the party were working hard to make sure that the party wins the 2019 elections, and replaces APC as the ruling party at the national level.
Nigeria To Observe Low Key Independence Day Anniversary -FG
Unlike those before it, Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day observance will not feature a ceremony at the Eagle Square, Abuja, but will be held “low-key,” the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, has disclosed.
Akume revealed this to State House Correspondents after he emerged from a closed-door meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said October 1 would be “a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people and the journey forward.”
The former Minister of Special Duties, who was reluctant to reveal details of the issues discussed, said it bordered on plans for the Independence Day.
“Independence is a historic event for any country and we Nigerians are no exemptions. c
“We are fully prepared for celebrations and for obvious reasons, it is going to be low-key and we are wishing Nigerians the best of luck and I want to assure them that better days are coming and pretty soon too,” he noted. c
On the modalities of this year’s edition, Akume said, “This is going to be low key; we are not going on fantastic jamboree at the Eagle Square and other locations.
“It’s a time for reflections…to think very deeply as a people. This journey is being charted by the captain of the ship.”
On what the government would do concerning the Labour Unions’ 21-day ultimatum that ended yesterday, he said, “Labour leaders are very patriotic Nigerians and we want to believe correctly that nobody will want to cause a strike.
“It’s not in the interest of the workers; it’s not in the interest of anybody because this government is very determined to ensure a good standard of living for Nigerians and to create prosperity for all.
“It’s not something that can be done overnight. This government came into being on May 29 and we have a tenure of four years. So, it will be inappropriate for us to begin to judge based on the few months we have spent in the office.”
The organised labour had on September 1 issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the delay in sharing palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.
It said all is set for a total shutdown of the economy, which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum on Friday.
Among other demands, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances for the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.
Though the Federal Government committed to restructuring the framework for engagement with organised labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action.
Work Begins On Eleme-Onne Road As FG Releases N33bn
Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has said that the Federal Government has committed N33billion to a giant construction company, RCC, to commence work on the Eleme-Onne section of the East-West Road in Rivers State.
Umahi, revealed this information during his inspection of the project and various other Federal Government initiatives within the state, yesterday.
Speaking from the Eleme-Onne road construction site, Umahi pointed out that President Bola Tinubu had tasked him with a working visit to evaluate the ongoing work.
He pointed out that this project gained significance after the president’s discussions with Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Nyesom Wike.
“This road from Eleme to Onne Port, the Rivers State people led by Governor Siminalayi Fubara and former governor Nyesom Wike led delegation to come and see the president.
“The president directed that I should immediately come here and ensure that work has started.
“The President has released N33billion for this project to RCC for them to start,” he said.
Justice Mary Odili Institute Trains Magistrates In Rivers
The Justice Mary Odili Institute has organised a training programme for the newly appointed magistrates in the Rivers State Judiciary for effective service delivery and enhanced performance.
The Institute was established by the State government in conjunction with the state Judiciary for the training and capacity-building of Judiciary workers across the state.
Speaking while declaring open the two-day capacity-building workshop /training with the theme “The Magistrates: Navigating The Path Of Justice,”the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi charged the newly appointed magistrates of Rivers State Judiciary to brace up to the challenges of their responsibilities and ensure that justice was served for all irrespective of their societal status .
He urged them to abide by the principles and doctrines of impartiality in law, stressing that respect for the law forms the bedrock on which the judicial system stands.
He stressed on the importance of training and capacity-building in job performance and urged them to take the two-day training seriously in order to deliver on their mandates.
Amadi described the roles performed by the magistrates in the administration of justice as pivotal and urged them to remain resolute in the discharge of their duties.
The CJ urged them to be committed to justice delivery and assured them that the newly built Magistrates Court would be put to use by next month.
The number one State Judicial officer further expressed optimism that the workshop would expose the newly appointed magistrates to divers perspectives and innovative approaches that would enhance their job delivery .
Earlier in her opening speech, the Administrator of Justice Mary Odili Judicial Institute, Justice Anwuri Ken-Chikwere emphasized the need to regularly train and empower the new magistrates on the rules of legal practice, even as she encouraged them to be committed to their job.
By: Akujobi Amadi
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