Gov Wike Alleges Soldiers & SARS Officials attached to Amaechi tried to Assassinate Him

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According to Vanguard News, Governor Nyesom Wike alleged that he escaped assassination attempt Saturday as soldiers and men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, allegedly on the convoy of the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Amaechi attacked Wike’s convoy in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

A statement by the governor’s media aide, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, said the ugly incident happened at Nwanja junction, Trans Amadi road when the governor was inspecting ongoing road construction job in the area. The statement said that the convoy allegedly hit the governor’s out rider and the Policemen in the Pilot car attacked. Governor Nyesom Wike according to the statement was not hurt, he continued with his inspection of the road project after the incident.

 

PDP chair: South-West group rejects George, others backs Secondus

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A former National Vice-Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, said on Sunday that he was in the race for the party national chairmanship to correct the immunity experienced in the past by the party.

George stated this when he met members and leadership of the party in continuation of his nationwide consultation at the North-West Secretariat of the party along Issa Kaita Road in Kaduna.

But a South-West group in the PDP, the Oodua PDP Alliance, has expressed its support for Uche Secondus, saying the geopolitical zone should ask for another position because the zone was not the base of the PDP.

 

In a statement signed by the leader of the group, Hakeem Ogunsola, who is one of the party leaders in Osun State, the group said it would back Secondus, who served as the chairman of the PDP National Working Committee between 2015 and 2016.

Ogunsola stated, “We want to note that rebuilding the PDP and winning power back in 2019 demand a chairman with solid home base, deep experience and capacity to face the power of incumbency, we need Secondus to lead these electoral and political battles to rescue Nigeria and change the fake change.

“How can you be going for chairmanship when there are better bargains to strike? How can you hope to lead the party when your zone is not a stronghold of the PDP? We don’t want party chairman in the South-West. Let Secondus have it,” the statement read in part.

The group said that it had commenced advocacy and mobilisation for Secondus’ emergence as the PDP chairman, urging the South-West aspirants to drop their ambition and bargain for better positions in government.

However, George insisted that by the experience that he had garnered over the years, he remained the best candidate for the position.

“We operate before with impunity without recourse to the constitution of the party. This time, God willing, we will respect the constitution. Our members should rest assured that the era of impunity is over.

“Anybody who intentionally disobeys the party’s constitution should be shown the yellow card. We have to be committed and loyal to the party’s constitution,” George said.

 

True Federalism: Southern governors must work together – Ambode

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says southern governors must come together to resolve issues of common interest. Ambode spoke while welcoming his colleagues from the southern part of the country who stormed Lagos on Monday for their meeting under the aegis of the Southern Governors Forum. Extracts from his address:
We will recall that the maiden gathering of this forum was held in 2001 at the Akodo Beach Resort, Ibeju Lekki, here in Lagos. The initiative to set up the SGF was received with mixed feelings at the time. There were those who read partisan political moves into the idea. Others saw it as essentially sectional and potentially divisive while some dismissed the SGF as another superfluous talk shop of doubtful utility. However, the convener of the inaugural edition of the forum and my illustrious predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, gave a robust articulation of the necessity for the forum in his address to participants, which remains relevant and pertinent even today. On that occasion he said, “We are of course aware that our northern brothers have met regularly and publicly articulated common positions of interest in the polity. While some have condemned such meetings, I believe very strongly that such fora should indeed be actively encouraged and supported. Our democracy and federal system can only be strengthened when various groups and component parts of the country are free to discuss and pursue their perceived common aspirations within the framework of the law. There are unquestionably issues of common interest to us as governors of states in the southern region of Nigeria. This does not mean that there are no matters which the South-West, the South-East, or the South-South, respectively, may feel constrained to pursue separately at other fora”. From its modest beginning in 2001, the SGF held at least nine meetings over the following four years with the last one taking place again in Lagos on Friday, 25th  February, 2005. During this period, the forum became a significant voice on matters of critical import both to the south and to Nigeria as a whole. Perhaps, we need to quickly remind ourselves some of the landmark achievements obtained through the pressure exerted by this forum in the past. The first was its collective advocacy for the special allocation to oil producing states in the federation account which resulted in the current formula of 13% accruing for Derivation in allocating revenues from the Federation Account. Another major victory won towards strengthening the country’s practice of true federalism was the declaration by the Supreme Court in 2002 that the then prevalent practice of the federal government deducting monies from the Federation Account as a first line charge for the funding of Joint Venture Contracts, NNPC priority projects, servicing of Federal Government’s external debt, the judiciary and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other federal obligations were illegal and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court in that case abolished the special funds created by the Federal Government to enable it draw funds from the Federation Account to pay for matters that fell within its exclusive responsibility before sharing whatever was left with the states and local governments. Despite these successes, there is still a lot to be done. There is certainly a lot to be done about true federalism; an issue that requires urgent, meticulous and proactive attention by this forum. o less disturbing is the failure to undertake the periodic review of the revenue allocation formula as provided for by the constitution to reflect evolving realities. This is another critical matter that ought to engage this forum in order to enhance the viability of the states and local governments as well as their capacity to fulfill their developmental roles in the polity. All too often, states are disparaged for always carrying begging bowls to Abuja in quest of hand-outs from the federal government. This is a function of our present national constitution that burdens the federal government with activities and responsibilities that rightly fall within the province of the states. The productivity and revenue-generating capacities of most of the states are thus stifled thus turning them into no better than street beggar states incapable of even meeting routine obligations of paying workers’ salaries and pensions without federal support. Lagos State has fought and won several legal battles since 1999 that has systematically strengthened her autonomy and enhanced her fiscal viability. Over the years, the state has won legal control over the management of its environment, control of urban and physical planning, regulation of overhead masts, registration and regulation of hotels and restaurants and control of her inland waterways. And these victories do not belong to Lagos alone, but to all other states in the federation and which they must explore significantly. I believe that If Lagos has been able to achieve so much fighting singly, the SGF can accomplish much more by thinking, planning, strategizing and acting together. This resuscitation of the SGF is coming at a most appropriate time. As we are aware, the Senate and House of Representatives are currently harmonizing their differences on the proposed amendments to the 1999 constitution before they are transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly for approval. It is important for this forum to comprehensively look at the proposed amendments with a view to working with our respective Houses of Assembly to ensure a coordinated response on our part that will strengthen the practice of democracy, federalism, constitutionalism and the rule of law. In our deliberations, particularly on the pressing need for greater devolution of powers, responsibilities and resources from the centre to the states, our preoccupation must not be with having a weak centre and strong states or vice versa. Rather, in the words of the Indian politician and statesman, Bhupesh Gupta, on the floor of the Indian parliament on May 9th, 1969, “Therefore, we want a centre which will function on the basis of democratic principles and safeguard the unity and integrity of the nation as a whole; whereas at the same time we must have the states enjoying a wide range of powers, economic, political and otherwise, in order that out of this arrangement there develops a symphony of centre-state relations to the common good of the people of the country. There is no contradiction between having a democratic and viable centre and having at the same time, strong, democratic states”.

S-East Govs, Igbo leaders task FG on deplorable roads, airport

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ENUGU- South east Governors together with Igbo leadership have charged the federal government to expedite action on all the federal roads in the south east region whose situations have further worsened. The Igbo leaders also approved for a regional economic summit with support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development, DFID, slated to take place between 11 to 13 November 2017. Arising from a meeting in Enugu, Sunday, the South East leaders frowned at the deplorable state ‎of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, particularly the runway, the terminal buildings and the cargo shelter. It equally approved the visit of Brenthurst foundation of South Africa to the south east for an economic mission scheduled between‎ 6- 11 November. Those who were in the meeting included Governors of Enugu State Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Ebonyi state David Umuahi and Abia state, Okezie Ikpeazu. Imo and Anambra states were represented by their Deputy governors, Eze Madumere and Nkem Okeke, respectively. Also in the meeting were the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, other members of the National Assembly from the zone, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Speakers of the five state Houses of Assembly in the zone. Former Minister for power, Professor Barth Nnaji and some other Igbo leaders equally attended the meeting. They said that “Further to o‎ur meeting with Mr. President earlier in the month on the deplorable state of infrastructure in the South east especially federal roads such as Enugu-9th mile- Onitsha road, Enugu- Port Harcourt road, Aba-Ikot Ekpene road, Okigwe-Owerri road and 9thmile-Makurdi Express road. “The meeting called on the federal government to take urgent steps in repairing the roads especially at this dry season. “Equally of importance is the the deplorable state of Akanu Ibiam International Airport especially the run‎way, terminal buildings and cargo shelter. We request that urgent steps be taken to address the problems at the airport.” The meeting expressed satisfaction at the willingness and readiness of Anambra people to come out en-mass and participate on the November 18 governorship election and urged the ‎Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that the election takes place as scheduled.

 

2019 Presidency: Nothing can stop me from contesting, not even PDP – Fayose boasts

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Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti State, has vowed that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, cannot stop him from contesting the 2019 Presidential election.

Speaking during a meeting of South West governors in Lagos, Fayose said the constitution of the country far outweighed that of the party.

According to Fayose, “I am not on my own, I have most Nigerians behind me. Rather, the PDP is on their own.

“I have been well groomed. I am mature and firebrand enough to face challenges of tomorrow. Things don’t happen by accident. When the party (PDP) almost fell apart, how many of them did we see at the time. How many of them spoke at the time.

“If they zoned it to the North, so because I am not a northerner, then I don’t have a right, the Constitution does not allow me to contest? Forget that.

“What are you saying? Have you not seen in this country where a zone has two key offices? We know where the Speaker is from. During Tambuwal Speakership, the post was zoned to the southwest but because we lost it, a zone got the two top appointments in the land.

“It is the Presidency that orders things. When I become President in 2019, I will reorder those things.

“Nothing can stop me from contesting. Even if they pick the party’s chairman from my family: even if they pick my son as party chairman, I will contest.”