Open Grazing: Obaseki storms Abuja, meets Buhari

The governor made the call when he addressed State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Obaseki said that the people of Edo had resolved that ranching was a private business and should be treated as such.

He said: “Our people say that as far as they are concerned, ranching is a private business just like every other agricultural venture, therefore, those involved should provide the land. “As you already know, it is expensive to run and manage ranches.

“So I came to discuss with the President that since the people of Edo would rather invest privately.

“Then, the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which is now being implemented by the Federal Government, should acknowledge our model.

“It should also be able to help Edo people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and have made investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes,”.

According to Obaseki, the state government is yet to promulgate a law banning open grazing because it sees the venture as private business.

“As you know, most Southern States have passed laws relating to open grazing but Edo State has not. Because we want to ensure that whatever laws we pass are laws that we can enforce.

“We have had extensive consultations with our people to deal with the issue that yes, we do not want open grazing because it is out modelled and out dated; however, what are the options?

“If we are asking that we should now have ranches and these cows should be constrained to specific areas such as ranches, then who provides the land?,” he queried.

On politics, Obaseki commended the Senate for joining their House of Representatives counterparts in approving the transmission of election results electronically.

He said: “Definitely if not for God and the technology utilized by INEC, I may not be governor today.

“So, I am one of those people who believe that we should not …

Ohanaeze lambasts Dokpesi over 2023 presidency

Apex Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has berated the Chairman of Daar Communications Limited, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, for saying the South East cannot win the 2023 presidential election for the Peoples Democratic Party.

The position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was contained in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia.

It said it was disheartening that Dokpesi, one of the leaders of the South South Peoples Assembly, would profile the entire South as electoral liability to the PDP and back the North for the presidency.

It said: “One can easily understand the psychological ambivalence in the Dokpesi persona. On the other hand, there is no reason for the condescension and disdain he handed over to the entire south. According to him, ‘even I dare say there is no candidate from the south that you put in the north today that will be able to win.’ In another development,  Dokpesi recalls his friendship with Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his support for Tinubu’s presidential ambition. For the avoidance of doubt, several educated refined patriotic northerners are allergic to the supremacist born to rule entrepreneurs which has created the current Nigerian dilemma. “All the 17 southern governors in their meetings have resolved on the need for a power shift to the south. The Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi committee on zoning has declared that the national chairmanship of the  PDP should go to the north, while the Presidency should go to the south.

“It is therefore curious, the kind of appraisal parameters or kind of epitaph that the business mogul, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, wishes to be remembered. In one sentence, Dokpesi proclaimed that “If we are the Nigerians, I want us to be, if we believe in the unity of Nigeria and we also believe in equity, justice, and fairness, there is no reason we should not give it to the South East if the slot is given to the south. In another breath, Dokpesi averred that ‘whoever emerges as the president of Nigeria would have to compensate the people of the South East …

Photo as Fayose visits Tinubu, responds to critics

A former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has paid a visit to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Fayose, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, visited the APC chieftain in his Ikoyi, Lagos State home.

Fayose said his visit was primarily to wish Tinubu, who had a surgery on his leg, a quick recovery.

He lambasted those reading meanings into his visit. He wrote on social media: “Today, I was at Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos  to wish Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu a quick recovery.

“Health issues know no political party and in this part of the world, we seldom celebrate people when they are alive.

“Rather, we like to sign condolence registers. To me, that is not the best way to live.

“Most importantly, politics should be about love for each other.

“Therefore, like other leaders in Nigeria, I wish Asiwaju sound and robust health.

“And to those negative political analysts, this visit notwithstanding, I remain an unrepentant PDP leader and key stakeholder.”…

Electoral Act: Saraki begs National Assembly on Direct Primaries

Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has sent a passionate appeal to members of the National Assembly who are in the process of reconciling the different versions of the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill passed by both chambers to save the country the crisis and trouble that will result from the proposal to make direct primaries compulsory for parties in sourcing candidates for elections.

Saraki spoke in a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, Head of his Media Office, and made available on Sunday.

He noted that the decision to include a provision in the proposed Electoral Act, which makes it compulsory for parties to adopt direct primaries, will only create a fresh problem while trying to solve another.

He added that many of the political parties lack the necessary infrastructure to successfully conduct direct primaries at all levels, while the attempt will lead to hundreds of litigations that may jeopardize the general election. He said: “I feel compelled to once again appeal to Distinguished Senators and Honorable Members of the House of Representatives on the proposed Electoral Act because I realize that while the focus of the general public has been on how to get the electronic transmission of results into the proposed law, another potential problem that may clog our electoral process is included in the Electoral Act is this provision on direct primaries.

“The two options on the table are to make direct primaries compulsory for all the parties or to leave it open for parties to decide. We should take the latter option. Let us leave each party to decide how it wants to source its candidates. The experience we have in the past shows that direct primary will lead to a crisis if forced on the parties. We saw how people sent from the national headquarters to conduct primary elections stayed in hotel rooms and conjured up figures which were announced as the result of direct primary elections.

“Even if the big parties have the funds and facilities to organize direct primaries nationwide, how about the …

Ribadu speaks on report he blamed government officials for banditry

Nuhu Ribadu, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has blamed most of the country’s challenges on fake news peddled by the social media.

Ribadu spoke on the development in the nation’s capital, Abuja, on Sunday at a news conference he addressed.

He was reacting to reports in the social media that he accused some top government functionaries of sponsoring banditry in the country.

The former EFCC boss said it was time for him to clear the air on the issue, which he said had been on for some time. He said: “July 2019 was the first time I came out to know about it, and I came out with a very strong denial, saying that it was a fabrication and had no basis.

“It was a piece of rubbish with very bad grammar and factual destruction, but indeed very damaging.

“I reacted very strongly after that, it didn’t stop and I was forced again to issue a statement denying it.

“I thought that would have been the end of it, but not long afterwards, it started coming back again and I am worried and concerned.”

Ribadu said globally, people who were worried and concerned and wanted to fact-check had been getting in touch with him, adding that he had continued to respond to the issue every single day.

He said: “I want to again deny in the strongest term and send a message to everybody to disregard the statements, it is not fair, it is not just.

“It is very sinful for you to create something from no where and attribute it to an innocent person who doesn’t know anything about it, I have nothing to do with that message.

“This is my strongest denial, everybody should please disregard the statement: it is not from me, it is not true.”

Ribadu said he had been inundated by messages from friends and associates who wanted to find out if the tweets on the issue were actually from him.

He, however, said he had made a formal complaint …

Kogi alleges smear campaign against governor

Kogi State Government has raised the alarm over the alleged smear campaign against Governor Yahaya Bello ahead of the 2023 general elections.

There have been speculations that Governor Bello is interested in the Presidency, a move that has unsettled some major political actors.

Addressing journalists during its quarterly press briefing, yesterday, the Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, who highlighted some of the achievements of the governor, said the state government was aware of plans to paint the governor in bad light ahead of the 2023 general election.

According to him, plots by certain persons to impute embezzlement of the state’s funds on the governor have been unraveled.

His words: “With all of these achievements, it is unfortunate that some disgruntled political liabilities are still bent on launching a smear campaign on the person of Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the Government of Kogi.”

He revealed that several bloggers and media-guns-for-hire had been contracted on retainer to regularly sully the public space with claims of embezzlement by the governor and his administration.

Fanwo added that some of the figures planned to be thrown around in the days, weeks and months to come represented more money than the administration had even seen together at one time.

“We hope that the press will be vigilant and activate their investigative offices before running with such fabricated and unfounded allegations. Despite intense pressure and lobbying from across the country and even Nigerians in the Diaspora, Bello has not told anyone that he is running for President in 2023.

“His Excellency’s position is that he will give an appropriate answer to his supporters at the appropriate time. But Intelligence reports at our disposal show that a certain person is at the center of this conspiracy. We will respond to him with the applicable legal force. Our gentleness must not be mistaken for cowardice,” he warned.…

Buhari arrives Ethiopia, driven to dinner by Prime Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, on Sunday for the inauguration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for another five-year term in office.

The News Agency of Nigeria monitoring the President’s visit reports that the presidential aircraft carrying Buhari and some members of his entourage landed at the newly built VIP Terminal of Bole International Airport at 5:06pm (Nigerian time).

The Nigerian leader, who was accorded a full guard of honor by the Ethiopian National Defense Force on his arrival, was received by Prime Minister Ahmed.

NAN reports that after the inspection of the guard of honor, the Prime Minister gestured the President into a waiting SUV, took control of the wheels, chauffeuring him straight to the newly built expansive friendship park for a private dinner. The dinner was attended by the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

While in Addis Ababa, the Nigerian leader is expected to deliver a goodwill message at the inauguration event scheduled to hold at the historic Meskel Square.

President Buhari will join other African leaders, who will be attending the event in person, including the Presidents of Djibouti, Kenya, South Sudan, Senegal, Somalia, Uganda and the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A statement by Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, on Saturday said Buhari would also attend a State Dinner at the National Defense Headquarters, Addis Ababa.

On the significance of President Buhari’s visit to the country, the Ambassador of Nigeria to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Victor Adeleke, told reporters: “Nigeria and Ethiopia enjoy warm cordial relations, they are equally the two largest democracies in Africa, in this wise, the attendance of President Buhari at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Ahmed is an indication of the President’s commitment to strengthening democracy in Africa.”

The Ambassador, who holds concurrent accreditation to Djibouti and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, explained that the visit would also afford President Buhari the opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Ethiopia.…

We have enough laws backing electronic transmission of results — INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has disclosed that there are enough laws that capacitated the electoral umpire to transmit election results electronically.
It therefore said it will not go back on the electronic transmission of results from polling units in future elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ogun State, Olusegun Agbaje, stated this during a news conference at the state INEC headquarters in Abeokuta on Thursday.
According to Agbaje, who just resumed in the state as the REC, the INEC already had enough laws that capacitated it to transmit election results electronically.
Agbaje said: “We have enough laws that capacitated us to go ahead, but if the National Assembly says we cannot do it with the new committee that had been set up, we will stop and that will be a new law.
“If they are going to make a new law that will incapacitate us that will be too bad.
“With the shout of Nigerians, non-governmental bodies, the media and many other stakeholders, I believe the National Assembly will do the right thing so that INEC can go ahead.
“If the National Assembly sees that there is any way that NCC (Nigeria Communications Commission) can help, they should tell the NCC.
“They have enough time to do that.
“They have more than one and a half years to do necessary things before the general election.
“We have an understanding that if results cannot be transmitted at a particular polling unit or location, due to network problems, they can move from the unit level to ward level where there is network and do it.
“Even before the transmission, all the party agents would have the manual copies of the results.
“To the INEC, we are very much ready and we have the capacity to do it to the admiration of all Nigerians.
“Where we have governorship election this year, in Ekiti and Osun States next year, we are going to do that if the National Assembly does not stop us.
“It is not only in the southern part of the

El-Rufai to Southern Governors: You can’t implement anti-open grazing law

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasil el-Rufai, has told his counterparts in the South that the anti-open grazing law that their House of Assembly are passing and which they are signing into law are not implementable.

El-Rufai said this on Tuesday during his visit to the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.

The Governor, who spoke with newsmen, said since there are over 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna State he would want to convert into ranching, he would be glad if the Federal Government can support his state with N140 billion.

He said: “The Northern Governors Forum has already taken a position that open grazing is not a sustainable way of livestock production. “And we must move towards ranching.

“But moving towards ranching cannot be done overnight.

“We have to have a plan, we have to have resources and we have to implement it sensibly.

“It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying tomorrow this or that.

“It is not a solution.

“We have taken a position as northern state governors and we are implementing that.

“And in my state, for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralize the herders.

“And that is the solution, a long time.

“But can it be done overnight?

“No.

“This project we are doing will cost us about N10 billion.

“The CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) is supporting us with about N7.5 billion.

“And it will take about two years to do.

“We will be settling about 1,500 Fulani herders family.

“And I hope that they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle going to people’s farms to cause all kinds of problems. We want to solve the problem.”…

Umahi raises alarm as FG declares South East ‘red zone’

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has expressed the fear that the declaration of the South East as a red zone due to the spate of insecurity will deprive the area of federal projects.

Umahi made the remark on Tuesday in Abakaliki while inaugurating the new leadership of the South East Traditional Rulers Council, headed by Eze Charles Mkpuma, the Chairman of the council in Ebonyi State.

He said that Federal Government’s Ministries recently declared the South East as a red zone because of the high wave of insecurity in the area.

According to him, the insecurity in the zone, occasioned by agitations for self-determination, amounts to “self-inflicted injury” by the people. He said: “The declaration of the South East as a red zone by these Ministries means that what is due to us would be difficult to come.

“It is time for the zone’s leaders and people to collectively say no to the killings in the zone because we no longer see the real agenda of the agitations.

“The people should support governors from the zone and other leaders to permanently stop this bloodshed because we know the parents and communities of the perpetrators of the heinous acts.”

Umahi further said the agitation for secession had been hijacked by cultists, kidnappers and other criminal elements, hence the need for the acclaimed freedom fighters to critically review the situation.

He said: “It is presently difficult for trucks with goods from other parts of the country to come to the zone as we did not harmonise adequately to determine areas of comparative advantage.”

Umahi reiterated his stance that the Federal Government should continue to collect and distribute proceeds from the Value Added Tax.

He commended the immediate-past Chairman of the zonal council, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, for his quality leadership and urged his successor to build on his legacies.

In a speech, Achebe thanked the southeast traditional rulers for their support during his tenure and urged them to extend similar gesture to his successor.

“I am delighted over …

UNGA 76: Buhari gets date to present Nigeria’s statement

President Muhammadu Buhari, who arrived in New York on Sunday to participate in the ongoing 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, is to present Nigeria’s statement to the General Assembly on September 24.

Buhari would be the second speaker on the fourth day and would deliver his address at 9am, which is 2pm in Nigerian.

He had earlier attended the opening of the General Debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande; and Head of Chancery of the Permanent Mission, Muyiwa Onifade. No fewer than 100 heads of state attended the General Debate in person in New York, while others spoke through pre-recorded videos, the UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports.…

Rivers State not treated as part of Nigeria, says Gov. Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike has accused the Federal Government of treating Rivers State as if it was not part of Nigeria.

Wike said this on Monday when he received a delegation from The Sun, which visited to present to him a letter notifying him of his emergence as winner of the Man of the Year 2020 award in Port Harcourt.

He said it was an injustice to exclude the state from those to benefit from the proposed World Bank loan.

He described it as hatred against a major state servicing the national economy. He said: “Look at the hatred: that you collect money from World Bank and Rivers State is excluded.

“If fiscal federalism does not start today, it will start tomorrow.

“That is essence of governance.

“Give me what belongs to my state to develop my state.”

Wike said he was baffled by the way things are done in Nigeria, condemning politicisation of government’s good policies.

On the controversial collection of Valued Added Tax by states, Governor Wike said he had no objection being a “brother’s keeper” so long as things were done legally.

He said: “Let me say clearly: it is unfortunate what we have in this country today.

“Ordinarily, I shouldn’t have said this.

“Bu, what I don’t understand is how everything is being politicised to ethnicity and religion.

“I have not seen a country that will never come out to say this is the right thing we are doing and this is the wrong thing we are doing, we need to correct it.

“When you raise an issue everybody knows is wrong, instead of people to see it from that perspective that this is wrong, we see it from the perspective of ethnicity.

“We see it from the perspective of religion.

“I have never seen a country like this in my life where something that is black and white, we begin to look at it well…are you sure it does not look like dark, blue?

“You don’t even need to be a lawyer to know that VAT …

2023: Why PDP chairmanship won’t determine zoning of presidency – Obi

The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 elections, Peter Obi, has adduced reasons whey the zone from which the party’s National Chairman comes may not determine the zone that will produce its presidential candidate.

The Eagle Online recalls that the party has scheduled its National Convention to elect a National Chairman for October 30, 2021.

Obi, who spoke on Arise TV on Monday over speculations that if the chairmanship of the party goes to the South, the zone would not be given the opportunity to produce the presidential candidate in 2023, said things would be different.

He said: “I cannot speak on what the zoning committee is going to do, but let me assure you that even in the discussions that we have had in various meetings, I do not see the zoning of the chairmanship as a determinant that the other zone would produce the presidential candidate.

“Everybody today knows that things are not what they should be in Nigeria and we have to get it right in 2023.

“If we get it wrong in 2023, it would be very bad for the country.

“So, we have to get it right.

“We must look for competence and someone who has capacity in the knowledge of what it means to serve or lead this country.

“We are on the wrong road and we cannot continue this journey on this road.

“So, if the chairman comes from one zone, it would not stop people from the other zone from contesting.

“We are dealing with something that can be moved from one zone to the other.

“I can tell you that 2023 would be totally different because everybody is struggling to make sure that we do not get it wrong.

“I cannot determine where the zoning would go but we would wait and see, then we would look into it.

“In the event that the PDP zones to the North, I cannot speak for any state in the South East on how they would vote, but I …

NNPC top shot resigns, may join Kano governorship race

The Group General Manager in charge of Shipping at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Inuwa Waya, has announced his decision to voluntarily retire from the company in December this year.

However, the retirement of the top management staff is yet to be officially confirmed by the NNPC as at press time.

But it was gathered that he has already tendered his letter to proceed on voluntary retirement from the services of the corporation.

Following the submission of the letter of his voluntary retirement, Waya has already commenced his mandatory three months pre-retirement vacation, which began on September 10. Waya personally broke the news of his decision to voluntarily exit the national oil company at a surprise birthday party organized in his honor by the staff of the Shipping Division of the corporation to mark his 58th birthday on September 10.

In a commemorative speech during the party, Waya informed the staff that after serving the corporation for over 30 years, it was time for him to head towards the exit door, by voluntarily retiring to pave the way for the younger generation to take over.

Waya told the staff at the birthday party: “For over 30 years, I have worked and diligently served the NNPC in various capacities.

“Over the period, I believe I did my best to contribute my little quota towards helping the organisation realise the corporate goals and objectives.

“But I also believe every man and woman has his or her time and season for every of his or her activities.

“There is a time to work; a time to play, and a time to stop work and take a deserved rest to focus on other personal dreams.

“I believe my time to stop public work has come, to give way to my season of rest, find the space to focus on the private practice of my law profession as a qualified lawyer.

“That is what I have done.”

While many wondered why he chose to resign, considering that he still has two years in his career …

Borrowing for recurrent expenditure foolish — Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has opposed the continuous borrowing of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari for recurrent expenditure.

Obasanjo made his position known when he spoke with Channels Television on the sideline of an event in South Africa.

He told Channels TV: “If you want to build a commercial house and you go and borrow money, and you have 50 per cent of your own money and you borrow 50 per cent and in five years, you pay the 50 per cent that you borrowed, that is a wise thing to do.

“But if you have to go and borrow money for you to be able to feed yourself and your family, that is a stupid thing to do. “So, if we are borrowing for recurrent expenditure, it is the height of foolery.

“If we are borrowing for development that can pay itself, that is understandable.

“Then how long will it pay itself?

“But we are borrowing and accumulating debt for the next generation and the next generation after them.

“It is criminal, to put it mildly.

“What are we borrowing for?

“When I came into government and was elected President, we were spending $3.5 billion to service debt.

“And even with that, our quantum of debt was not going down.”…

2023: We’re waiting for Tinubu to take ‘important’ decisions – Akeredolu

The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has described the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the Capo di tutti of the South.

The Ondo State Governor maintained that the next president of the country must come from the Southern region.

Akeredolu spoke during an interview on Arise Television on Sunday, monitored by The Nation.

Speaking on his visit to Tinubu in the United Kingdom and the 2023 elections, Akeredolu said his visit has nothing to do with the polls. He said: “APC is a party.

“APC will decide who the candidate will be.

“I have made the point everywhere: I’m going nowhere.

“I’m not going to leave APC.

“If I leave APC, I am going back to my chamber where I am more comfortable.

“For me, whatever APC decides, I will follow.

“…We went to visit our National Leader and I was there because there were a lot of rumors here and there.

“It was important for us to go and see for ourselves.

“And I was there, I have seen for myself and there is nothing alarming about his health.

“We are praying that he returns back on time.

“He’s the capo for us here in the South West and South South.

“So we are waiting for him to come so that by the time he comes, we can make some important decisions and he’ll support us.”…

Guinea crisis: Osinbajo to represent Nigeria at ECOWAS meeting in Accra

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Thursday represent Nigeria at the Second Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea.

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

Osinbajo had on September 8 participated at a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali.

The Authority had decided that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings.

ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons, demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order.

They also decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The meeting on Thursday will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The vice president will be accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada.

He is expected back in Abuja later in the day.…

National Assembly caucus sets up committee on Nnamdi Kanu

The South East caucus in the National Assembly has set up a committee to work out modalities of setting the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, free from detention.

This was contained in the communique at the end of an extraordinary meeting of the caucus held on Wednesday.

The meeting took place at the residence of the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

The communique signed by all federal lawmakers from the region reads: “The South-East caucus of the National Assembly held an extraordinary session on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, to review developments in the South East, particularly (a) The security situation in the region vis-à-vis the sit-at-home orders and (b) The detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. “Expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalization of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth. The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo is able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actualize their enormous potentials in every part of the country, unmolested.

“Reviewed the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of our people. The Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon our region.

“Resolved to condemn in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, particularly the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organized by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was ruthlessly scuttled by armed men, who chased away the students, teachers, and examiners before setting ablaze motorcycles belonging to …

We will welcome Jonathan to APC – Spokesman

The All Progressives Congress has said it would welcome former President Goodluck Jonathan if he decides to join the party.

The Secretary of the APC, Senator James Akpanudoedehe, disclosed this on a Channels Television programme on Wednesday.

Akpanudoedehe, who was a guest on Politics Today on Wednesday, said if Jonathan defects to the APC, it will strengthen the party’s structure.

He said: “I am hearing that for the first time that we are expecting the former President. “That will be great news.

“We will welcome him; that will also strengthen the party.”

When asked if the APC would pick Jonathan as its presidential candidate should he join its fold, Akpanudoedehe neither confirmed nor opposed it.

Rather, he said the ruling party has a special waiver for new members, including the privilege of vying for any political office in the country.

He said: “The last National Executive Council of the party actually gave a blanket approval to any individual that if you join APC today, it is as if you are a founding member of the party.

“So, anyone who joins today has the same opportunity to run for any office in this party.

“It has always been so, so I am not speculating.”…

MURIC to FG: We join Falana in seeking pardon for jailed 54 Soldiers

Sequel to a letter written by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), to President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking presidential pardon for soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram, the Muslim Rights Concern has added its voice to the call for pardon for the soldiers.

MURIC’s call was made on Thursday in a statement through its Director and Founder, Prof. Ishaq Akintola.

MURIC said: “We endorse every sentence in the letter written by foremost human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), asking President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon soldiers jailed for refusing to fight Boko Haram with poor weapons. This case has unassailable merit and Mr. Falana’s letter has addressed all the necessary issues.

“We strongly believe that the punishment meted out to the soldiers were a miscarriage of justice. We also frown at the way the soldiers were discharged from prison after serving their term without any concern for their welfare. It is an invitation to anarchy. These are soldiers trained as members of the special forces. They were not ordinary soldiers. Releasing them into the society was therefore a most dangerous move. They may fall into wrong hands.

“However, we appeal to the released men to continue to be of good conduct, to remain law abiding and to always remember that Allah has a reason for everything. While they were in jail, many soldiers died fighting the insurgents. Some lost their limbs. But Allah has preserved them. It is also worthy of gratitude to Allah that none of them died in jail.

“Therefore our message to the 54 soldiers is this, ‘Have faith and thank God. It is possible that the Supreme Creator, in His divine wisdom, decided to keep you in jail in order to keep you alive or to keep you away from a worse fate.’ After all Prophet Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him) was imprisoned for no just cause and he came out victorious (Glorious Qur’an 12:35; Genesis 39:20).

“The Muslims among them should remember what Allah said in the Hadith Qudsy, ‘Whoever is not pleased …