Jonathan, Buhari, Security, Probe panel, PDP crisis, Oil pipelines, Fr. Mbaka, Supreme Court . . .
Jonathan finally reveals the ‘real reasons’ why he conceded to Buhari; FG beefs up security for probe panel chairman, others; PDP Chairmanship Pits Gulak Against Juta; Explosion Rocks Agip Pipelines In Bayelsa; Mbaka – Those Who Plotted My Transfer Want Me to Suffer; Controversy Trails S’Court Ruling On Anambra Lawmakers . . .
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has spoken of the tensed moments he faced on March 28, 2015 ahead of his decision to concede victory to President Muhammadu Buhari after the 2015 presidential election.
“I was actually in that valley on March 28, 2015”, he said.
Jonathan also narrated why he relinquished power to Buhari, saying he did not want Nigeria to slide into a theatre of war, with his fellow county men and woman dying, and many more pouring into other nations in Africa and beyond, as refugees.
“I never knew that the human brain had the capacity for such enhanced rapid thinking. One hundred and one things were going through my mind every second. My country was at the verge of collapse. The tension in the land was abysmally high and palpable, in the months leading to the election. The country became more polarised more than ever before, such that the gap between the North and the South and between Christians and Muslims became quite pronounced”, the former President said.
“In fact, it became so disturbing that some interest groups in the United States began to predict indeed, many Nigerians did buy into this doomsday prophesy as they began to brace themselves for the worst.
The federal government is not taking chances in the probe of arms deals under the last administration. It has consequently beefed up security around the probe panel chairman, AVM J.O.N. Ode(rtd) and others members of the committee.
Sources said last night that the action was to check the desperation of some suspects being investigated in the arms deals to infiltrate the panel.
A highly-placed source said: “Some of these suspects were so desperate that they were ready to do anything to escape justice.
“You can imagine how daring they have become by offering $150,000 to an EFCC operative.
“The government has decided to build heavy security round the Chairman and members of the Special Investigative Committee and their families.”
Other members of the committee are R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.); R/Adm E. Ogbor (rtd.); Brig Gen L. Adekagun (rtd.); Brig Gen M. Aminu-Kano (rtd.); Brig Gen N. Rimtip (rtd.); Cdre T.D. Ikoli ; Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.); Air Cdre I. Shafi’i; Col A.A. Ariyibi; Gp Capt C.A. Oriaku (rtd.); Mr. Ibrahim Magu (EFCC) and Brig Gen Y.I. Shalangwa(Secretary).
Responding to a question, the source said: “The ongoing exercise comes with a lot of risks for the chairman and members of the committee.
Self-appointed national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmed Gulak, has threatened to resist fresh moves to appoint somebody from the North East to take over, just as the Adamawa chapter of the party has endorsed Ambassador Wilberforce Juta, for the position.
In a letter signed by its chairman, Chief Hamman Joda Madaki, the Adamawa State Working Committee of the party, urged all party leaders and members from the entire North East Zone to support the consensus move being built for Juta, a pioneer member of the party in the state.
Explosions hit oil installations on Thursday night, causing panic among indigenes of the coastal communities of Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Suspected militants reportedly used dynamites to blow up pipelines belonging to oil giant, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The attack, which occurred in Orukari, Golubokiri and Kpongbokiri communities, had many residents of the area scampering for safety. It also led to massive spillage of crude into the waters and fishing camps.
Confirming the development in a statement yesterday in Yenagoa, member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly (Brass Constituency I), Israel Sunny-Goli, condemned the attack.
He said: “Preliminary investigations show that the bombing of the pipeline was an act of sabotage carried out to hurt the economic interests of Bayelsa State and Nigeria.”
Sunny-Goli called on the government to beef up security around oil facilities.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday warned Nigerians about the new antics by Boko Haram in its killing spree.
It said suicide bombers of the terror sect now dress like mad men with a view to deceiving the people.
It therefore warned the public to be on the lookout for such suicide bombers.
The acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, in a statement, said: “It has come to the notice of the Defence Headquarters that Boko Haram, in their desperation to cause colossal havoc, have now devised a new method where they dress like mad persons to gain unsuspecting access to public areas to detonate bombs.”
He said that the two male suicide bombers who carried out Friday’s attack in Gombi, Adamawa State, dressed like mad men.
Abubakar said it has become imperative for Nigerians to be wary of mad persons approaching markets, public places or crowded areas so as to nip this ugly trend in the bud.
He added: “Nigerians are also enjoined to be security conscious at all times and should endeavour to report any suspicious person or object to security agencies for prompt action.”
The crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) may have assumed an irredeemable dimension with strong indications last week that some top leaders have been meeting to discuss plans to form a new political party.
The plans, Daily Trust on Sunday reliably gathered, are being spearheaded by the trio of former governor of Kano State and former Education minister Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Jigawa State Sule Lamido and former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu.
Others mentioned in the scheme include former minister of the Federal Capital Territory Senator Bala Muhammed, former deputy governor in the old Sokoto State Ahmed Muhammed Gusau, former governor of Bauchi State Isa Yuguda, former governor of Cross River State Donald Duke, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, Senator Ibrahim Ida, Adamu Maina Waziri, Ibrahim Idris, Aminu Wali, Abba Dabo, John Odey and Aniete Okon. A former Senate president, Ken Nnamani, is said to be the interim leader of the group.
Mallam Shekarau was understood to have last week hosted 23 members of the group in his house in Abuja while there had also been meetings in Nnamani’s office.
“Yes, we are trying to rebrand and weed out bad eggs in the party and it is the process that will lead to the formation of a new party,” said aide close to Shekarau. “Initially, we had two options, that is, whether to rebrand the PDP or form a new party.
“Arguments are in the favour of the formation of the party, hence resolution of our bigwigs. The direction now is the formation of a new party but we will definitely draw for the resources of the PDP to make headway,” he said.
Mbaka – Those Who Plotted My Transfer Want Me to Suffer
Catholic faithful wept freely yesterday, as its fiery priest and founder of the Enugu Adoration Ministry, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, moved to his new parish at Emene, a suburb of the state capital.
Thousands of the church members, who thronged the Christ the King Parish (CKP), GRA, Enugu shed tears as trucks, buses and cars lined up to convey the belongings of the priest and the Adoration Ministry out of the premises.
But Fr. Mbaka, who managed to control his emotions, as he looked through the wailing crowd had while describing his transfer as the will of God, said he was convinced the leadership of the church approved it to make him suffer
He said those who plotted his transfer want him to suffer, as they did not consider his security and where he would put his head.
He was recently transferred from Christ the King parish, GRA, Enugu where he had, over the years, built a cult like fellowship on the strength of precision of most of his prophecies and miracles recorded during prayer sessions at his Adoration Centre .
Decisions by the Supreme Court are supposed to be final and binding on all parties in any legal tussle, and yesterday’s ruling by the apex court shouldn’t be an exception. There are indications, however, that the dust may not have settled over the pronouncement that sacked three senators and 11 members of the House of Representatives representing Anambra State in the National Assembly.
The senators are: Andy Uba (Anambra South) Stella Oduah (Anambra North) and Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central). The House of Representatives members include Comrade Tony Nwoye (Anambra East/West); Anayo Nnebe (Awka); Obinna Chidoka (Idemili); Lynda Ikpeazu (Onitsha North/ South); Emeka Anohu (Ihiala); Eucharia Azodo (Aguata); Chris Azubogu(Nnewi); and Chukwuka Onyema (Ogbaru).
According to a letter written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the affected lawmakers said the judgment does not impair the validity of their elections.
Senators Andy Uba and Stella Oduah as well as seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives members from Anambra State have written a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), dismissing reports that they were sacked by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Mr. Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN), counsel to Uba (Anambra South); Oduah (Anambra North) and Reps Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Nnebe, Tony Nwoye, Chris Azubogu, Chukwuka Onyema, Obinna Chidoka and Eucharia Azodo, in the letter, asked the Commission not to be misled by reports to withdraw their Certificates of Return.
They said nowhere in its ruling did the apex court sack them and that the thrust of the verdict was that the national leadership, not the state executive of the PDP had authority over the submission of candidates’ names for National Assembly elections.
Many news outlets had interpreted the Supreme Court’s recognition of the Ejike Oguebego-led executive council of the party in the state as the authentic one.
The primaries it conducted produced candidates other than those now representing the state in the National Assembly.
The other faction, led by Augustine Akobundo and backed by the national leadership of the PDP, submitted its own list containing the names of the nine lawmakers and Uche Ekwunife to INEC.
The Coca-Cola Company is now a shareholder of the holding company of Chi Limited, Tropical General Investments Group.
Both companies, in a statement on Saturday, said a binding agreement had been concluded for the Coca-Cola Company to acquire an initial minority equity shareholding in Chi Ltd.
In the statement by Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, Dan Baxter, and Head of Performance Management Group, TGI Group of Companies, Dr. Johannes Flosbach, both companies said the agreement creates a strategic relationship within Africa’s largest economy that together serve Nigeria’s most popular sparkling soft drinks, juices, value-added dairy and water beverage brands.
The Coca-Cola Company was said to have made an initial 40 per cent equity investment in Chi Ltd and expressed the intention to increase ownership to 100 per cent within three years, subject to regulatory approvals, while working on other long-term commercial structures.
The statement further read, “The investment in Nigeria’s leading value-added dairy and juice beverage brands – which include Hollandia and Chivita — further expands The Coca-Cola Company’s West African portfolio of still beverages while establishing Coca-Cola’s presence in Africa’s high-growth value-added dairy category.