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I read  with concern and great  interest  the news of the assurance that Senate President David Mark  gave to a delegation of the EU that Nigeria will come out of the present Boko  Haram insurgency stronger  and that our 2015 elections will be fairer  because our institutions are better and Nigerians have become used to the processes of democracy.  That really is how leaders  should talk to strangers who can be of help on various issues in and outside the nation especially on the simple matter that we can still not find the over 200 missing Chibok girlseven as the ruling party, the  PDP gave a blank cheque to the president to be its sole candidate in the 2015  elections. Just as it also endorsed its first time governors with automatic tickets for the governorship elections of 2015. Obviously to our distinguished Senate President,  the ruling party,  and the President of the Republic,  insurgency and elections are mutually  exclusive issues. Which means that they are  independent of each other.  Or that one can do without the other That really  is where  I beg to disagree – and saying  how and why I do this, is the kernel of discussion today. I have no doubt in my mind that the Senate President, the ruling party  and especially President Goodluck Jonathan must have a robust  political strategy for containing the Boko Haram insurgency and  conducting ahitch free,  rigging free  elections through  INEC in 2015. I do not for now expect them or the PDP to divulge such a strategy so as not to give ammunition to the Opposition to attack or subvert it. But then I want to share  with them some knowledge and theories on the principle of Strategic Management, beginning with a basic definition of a strategy.  The definition says that a strategy is a plan, a pattern, a perspective, a position and a ploy and that a strategy is inseparable from its environment. It is to these five Ps of Strategy that I want the leadership of the ruling Party  to address  their great minds to see if they know what they are doing in steering our ship of state in the direction  that says clearly that globalsecurity, our  insurgency and the coming 2015  elections can exist in isolation of each other.  On my part I will show here,  with examples of events and global news, this last week, why I think they should not go in thisdirection as  it is very dangerous.  Given the state of our insurgency  and the fact that the Boko Haram has reportedly  seized Mubi where I served as a youth corp while the government was said to be negotiating the release  of the over 200 abducted Chibok girls with expectation rising over their release  this week, one could say that there  was nothing cheerful about this insurgency  and our management of it, at least on our own soil. But worse news came from abroad,  from France to be precise,  to show that global security is being threatened  and the threat  is really  not far from hitting our shores  very soon, if care  is not taken. The news is that drones  have been buzzing or circling the nuclear facilities,  at least five of them, that provide 75%  of the electricity that France uses. Drones are  unmanned aircraft and  the French government – owned EDF France at first thought that Greenpeace  the anti nuclear, pro  environment,  global institution was responsible but Greenpeace  has vehemently deniedthis claiming that it is transparent  in all its activities and accusing the French  authorities of negligence on the matter. The buzzing have been reported  between October 5 and 20 but EDF said that the drones  were  of little sizes available commercially  and have little security threat. The  French  government has nevertheless started inquiries on the sighting of thebuzzing.

Which really is commendable when  you realise that drones are the effective weapons being used  in Afghanistan and Pakistan against terrorist  groups such as Taliban  and Al  Qada and are an integral part  of the air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and Kobani. I find the way Greenpeace  has reacted  fascinating, proactive  and thoughtful. Greenpeace saw the security implications of the buzzing clearly and the possibility or potential of its being wrongly  given a bad namein order to hang it,  if something nasty happens later,  givenits well known stance against the use of nuclear power to generate electricity anywhere  in the world because of its harmful effect  on the environment.  In blaming EDF so clearly and pointedly, Greenpeace  was also salvaging its imagethat it is not a terrorist  organisation  in its quest to preserve the environment globally. Anyway  the French  government has launched an inquiry into EDF negligence on the drone buzzing of the French  nuclear facilities.

The implications of a blow up of French  nuclear facilities which supply almost all its electricity and power is better imagined than stated here but  are  nevertheless of concern to us today. This  enables us to look far and beyond the nuclear facility buzzing in France itself and to see role  of France especially in the war against terrorism  in Francophone Africa and the Sahel which the North East of Nigeria belongs andwhich is where  the Boko Haram is creating caliphates with impunity.  In a world in which a Malaysian aircraft  carrying over 200 people can literally disappear from  the skies and not be found till now, in spite all the modern technology  available, the drone buzzing  of the nuclear facilities in France should not be casually dismissed like the French power authorities did. Similarly the fact that the over 200 Chibok girls are still missing  should make us ponder on any strangehappenings in our global environment.

This is especially pertinent and relevant,  given France’s role  in saving Mali from the  Tuaregs  and Islamist militants who invaded that nation and providing stability while ECOWAS leaders were not sure  of what to do to save Mali at the time. It is also significant that France still maintains close ties with its former colonies of which three  of them Niger, Chad and Cameroon  share  borders  with our troubled North  East. Indeed the news that the Chibok girls were to be freed this week centred  on negotiations going on reportedly  brokered by the President of Niger Republic  in the capital, Niamey. It therefore  goes without saying that France is a legitimateand potential target  from the perspective of Boko  Haram and their foreign partners and sponsors for an  attack, indeed anyattack, especially one that can cripple its electricity supply and wipe its people off the face of the earth with  nuclear bombast from hostile  drones. When  and if that happens to France,there  is no doubt that it will put its extra territorial concern for Islamist terrorists  at bay and put its house in order first as no one goes to sleep while its house is on fire.  Which definitely will give Boko Haram a free  rein  to establish more caliphates in our North East to strengthen the saying  that when the cat is not at home mice will play.

We have looked so far to France so that we can see our position on the ground at  home very clearly over the management of the Boko Haram horror  and the peaceful conduct of our coming elections. So far I have illustrated strategy as a plan, a pattern, a perspective and a position using France’sEDF, Greenpeace  and France’s role  on terrorism  in Africa as convenient signposts. Now I want to use our leadership role in managing both Boko Haram and the 2015 elections as a ploy to give Nigerians peace of mind in making a success of both. To  me the recipe  is clear and that is to carry the fight toBoko Haram and finish it off  before the elections. Aggression is needed in this regard  both on the political terrain and the military front. All  hands need to be on board  including theopposition looking to wrest  power from the ruling Party as  a conducive environment is  needed if the competition for power is to be on a level playing field. Definitely the government cannot do it alone.

I recommend  therefore, the strategy of the Israelis in the 1967 Six Days War  with the Arabs.  According to Moshe Dayan the famous Israeli war strategist, attack was the best form of defence. According to  Moshe Dayan – ‘We  had aggression flowing in our veins and blood. The Israeli air force pre emptively attacked the Egyptian air planes on the ground and crippled them successfully to win the war in just six days.Why can we not do the same in Six days to Boko Haram? This is really  what we need to do to really  believe what the Senate President  told the visiting EU delegation on our insurgency and elections. This is no wishful thinking . This is whatthe President and Commander  in Chief should order his troops to  do, to justify his not paying a kobo to get the form to contest for his party, while giving all of us a run for our money in terms of patience and security over the insurgency and the coming elections.

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Indications emerged yesterday that two judges had declined hearing a fresh application to sack the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.

The judges were said to have turned down the matter to avoid the hammer of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The judges were said to have claimed that it would amount to abuse of court process if the application was entertained since a similar suit on defection was already before a Federal High Court judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

Besides the legal option, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Muazu, has summoned the Deputy Speaker of the House, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, and 205 PDP members in the House to a meeting scheduled to hold on Monday.

It was gathered that the party would give a directive to the Deputy Speaker and others to reconvene the House plenary.

Tambuwal’s ADC, others redeployed

While the PDP was neck-deep in its plot, the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, has redeployed the Aide-de-Camp to the Speaker and his other police aides to different police formations.

They got their letters of posting on Friday, putting paid to any hope of restoring Tambuwal’s security apparatchik.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that anti-Tambuwal forces in the Presidency had been pushing for a fresh suit to get a declaratory judgment against the Speaker to vacate his office.

A highly-placed source, who spoke in confidence, said: “There is a plot to file a fresh application at the court to declare Tambuwal’s seat vacant in the light of Section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution.

“But two judges have declined pressure to entertain the new application because it would amount to abuse of court process since Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court is already handling a similar matter.

“The judges claimed that if they go ahead to consider the application, the NJC might sanction them.

“I can tell you that the anti-Tambuwal forces have run into a roadblock. The only option they have is to consolidate any fresh suit with the existing one in line with Order 11 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009.

The order says: “Where two or more matters are pending in the court and it appears to the Court that (a) same question of law or fact arises in both or all of them; or (b) the rights to relief claimed therein are in respect of or arise out of the same or similar transaction or series of transactions; or (c) the interest of justice of the trial so demands, the Court may order that the causes or matters be consolidated on such terms as it thinks just and the Court shall give such directions as may be necessary with respect to the hearing of the causes or matters so consolidated.”

Muazu champions move to reconvene house

But the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Adamu Muazu, has summoned the Deputy Speaker of the House, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, and 205 PDP members in the House to a meeting on Monday.

A notice of the session was served to all the lawmakers on Friday.

A principal officer in the House said: “Some of us have got a hint of the agenda. The party leadership wants to direct us to cut short our recess and reconvene at all cost to elect a new Speaker.

“They said we should either move against Tambuwal or forget our second term ticket. I think they have forgotten that not all the PDP members in the House will back the party’s position.

“The House has adjourned sitting till December 3 and only the Speaker can reconvene the House.

“They are trying to put Ihedioha in a tight corner by tying his governorship aspiration to his loyalty to the party at this crucial moment.

“The Deputy Speaker is a man of principle. He will rather stand by the members than being used as a pawn by anybody. This is the same man they have not been too disposed to as the PDP governorship candidate in Imo State.

“We will go there on Monday to listen to their ‘advice’ or directive as the case may be.”

Another source who responded to the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba’s redeployment of the Aide-de-Camp to the Speaker and other police aides to different police formations yesterday said: “Despite public outcry, the IGP has reposted the Speaker’s ADC, driver and other police aides.

“They were all served their reposting signals on Friday with a directive to resume at their formations with immediate effect.”

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Public outrage over the withdrawal the security detail of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, continued yesterday with presidential aspirant and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) cautioning President Goodluck Jonathan against abuse of the Principle of Separation of Powers.

A statement issued by the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) said intruding in the affairs of a legislative house which on its own accord adjourned its sitting, would amount to rigging the 2015 general elections.

The statement, signed by BCO’s spokesman, Comrade Osita Okechukwu, said: “The Buhari Campaign Organisation pleads with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, to use his good offices as the C-in-C to protect and guarantee the security of Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, the Speaker of House of Representatives.

“We are making this passionate appeal following the less than elegant manner his security details were withdrawn by the Inspector General of Police, and exposing him to danger.

” It is our candid view that Hon. Tambuwal as of today remains the valid Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. If this is the case, he should enjoy all the privileges and perquisites of the office.

” We opine that the greatest disservice to our fledgling democracy will be when we deliberately expose our public officers to harm’s way and when the executive fragrantly invades other arms of government in utter violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.”

The statement reminded the President of the promise he has made at different times to Nigerians and friends of the nation to oversee free and fair 2015 general elections.

“If this promise is genuine, then The Buhari Campaign Organisation is compelled to remind you that election is a process,” the statement said..

It added: “If you agree with us that election is a process, then intruding in the affairs of a legislative house which has on its own accord adjourned its sitting, will amount to rigging the 2015 general elections via the back door.

” From all indications it seems Hon. Tambuwal is being hunted for defecting to our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Assuming this is the case, then we appeal that due process and rule of law should be strictly adhered to in the collective interest of our dear nation.

“The Buhari Campaign Organisation would be very sad to witness the ugly and sordid tale of our recent past when Harry Marshal, Rt. Hon. Chuba Okadigbo, Chief Bola Ige and a host of others died in controversial circumstances, and up till date, their killers have not been found.”

Plot to

eliminate Speaker

In his own reaction, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, described the action of the IG as a plot by the Federal Government to kill Tambuwal.

This was as the first Executive Governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa said the Police was acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s script.

El-Rufai accused President Jonathan of masterminding the removal of Tambuwal’s security aides, alleging that the Speaker was one of the targets of snipers being purportedly groomed by the President.

According to him, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo had in his open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan last year alleged that the President was grooming snipers that would target some prominent Nigerians.

Warning that no harm must befall the Speaker, the former minister noted that it was irresponsible of the Inspector-General of Police and the Federal Government to have withdrawn the security details of the Speaker.

He argued that the withdrawal was done to pave way for the “killer squad” to exterminate the Speaker for defecting to the All Progressives Congress.

He described the removal of the Speaker’s security details as part of the continuation of the Jonathan government’s penchant for impunity.

The former Minister, however, reminded the government that impunity has limitations, saying that the Nigerian government should learn from what happened in ‘Burkina Faso’ when the people were fed up with the government.

He said: “The withdrawal of Tambuwal’s security aides is on the orders of President Goodluck Jonathan. The IG doesn’t act that way. The President ordered the IG to order the removal. It is just the continuation of ‘Jonathanian impunity’.

“This people have no respect for the law. They have no respect for rules. They think they are in power to abuse their control of coercive instruments of power, and we should warn them that impunity has limits. If anything happens to Tambuwal(Speaker), the whole world will hold them responsible.

“He (Speaker) was on the list of those to be wiped out by snipers. So, if anything happens to him, we know that it was done intentionally so that this will succeed.

“They should look across Burkina Faso and see what is happening when a government overstays its welcome or engages in wanton impunity. They should learn from history. I think it is very irresponsible on the part of IG and the government to do that.”

Balarabe Musa said the Police were acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s script, arguing that the Speaker is still entitled to all his aides, including security until members of the House remove him as their leader.

Balarabe Musa also faulted the police for interpreting the law, which he said was not their constitutional duty.

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The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Razak Atunwa, has described the withdrawal of the security details of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as an act of gross rascality.

Hon. Atunwa told reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital yesterday that the IGP’s action was “improper, unfortunate and unconstitutional.”

Atunwa, a lawyer, said: “The issue whether or not he is entitled to defect to another party with or without consequence is a matter to be interpreted solely by the court. The rules are clear, and that is once he is a speaker, he should remain the speaker and should have all the necessary security details.

“He has not been impeached. He has not been removed. No court has declared his seat vacant. Nothing of that nature has occurred. For me, it is an act of gross rascality by the federal government and particularly the Inspector General of Police.

“The reaction we learnt was that as of yesterday his security has been withdrawal from him. For me, it is most unfortunate. It is improper and unconstitutional. He, as we speak now, remains the Speaker of the House of Representatives and therefore, he is entitled to all the appurtenances of that office, regardless of party affiliation.”

He congratulated Tambuwal over his decision to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC). “I think, he is the man who put his money where his mouth is. He is a man who stands for righteousness and what is right. He believes in it and he has taken the necessary and right action,” he said.

On the criticisms launched against the state government by the Minister of National Planning, Dr Abubakar Suleiman, Atunwa said: “The Minister for National Planning has an obsession for attacking Senator Bukola Saraki. I read in a lengthy interview in one of the dailies recently what he had to say. He is a minister for the entire nation. I do not think it is proper. It is rather not decorous for him to be attacking personalities.

“I cannot fathom a developed system in a developed world where a national minister will be discussing and attacking personalities. I do not think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the United Kingdom (UK) or Secretary of State in United States discusses personalities whatever party affiliations they may have.

“I ask myself the question: doesn’t this minister have any work to do? He does not have files on his table to treat? Doesn’t he have the ministry to run?

“This country has issues too deal with. We are sixth in the world in terms of oil export. We are 10th in terms of export of natural gas, yet this country is economically regressed.

“Eighty per cent of government revenue comes from oil and gas. “Yet we have neither adequate infrastructure nor progress to boast of. Our economic growth is stunted and this is largely due to corruption lack of corruption and lack of transparency.

“The Transparency International Corruption perception Index of 2013/14 rated Nigeria as top 25 in the world most corrupt countries. It says that the country’s budgetary provisions and processes are zero in terms of openness and transparency.”

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday stormed the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja to personally depose to an affidavit in support of a suit he filed, seeking, among others, to restrain the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and six others from taking steps to remove him from office.

Dressed in white agbada and white cap, Tambuwal, who was accompanied to court by a large crowd comprising aides and supporters, arrived the court around 12 noon and left some few minutes after his lawyers completed the necessary documentations in respect of the case.

Joined with the PDP  in the suit, with his new party, the All Progressive Congress  (APC) as co-plaintiff, include PDP’s National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, the House of Representatives, the Deputy Speaker of the House, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney general of the Federation (AGF).

Why he defected

Tambuwal argued that he still remains a member of the House of Representatives and the House’s Speaker. He added that he was elected the House’ Speaker on June 6, 2011 by members of the House, not because he was a member of the PDP, but by virtue of his being a member of the House.

He stated that he had been a member of the New PDP faction of the party when it became factionalised late last year. He added that his faction of the PDP merged with the APC on November 26, 2013  and that by virtue of the merger he became a member of the APC.

The Speaker stated that the PDP still remains factionalsied in his home state of Sokoto, which informed why he informed members of the House of Representatives that his defection was also informed by the situation of things in his state.

“I know as a fact that all efforts to harmonise the factions of the PDP in my home state in Sokoto has failed as there are still factions in the state. I informed the members of the 3rd defendant (House of Reps) whilst announcing my decision to join the New PDP faction, who merged with the 2nd plaintiff (APC) that my membership of the 2nd plaintiff was based on the circumstances in my home state.”

Tambuwal further stated that since he announced his defection,  the PDP and its Chairman have consistently threatened to declare his seat vacant and withdraw all rights and benefits including security details attached to him.

He stated that he is aware that the court had in two deferent cases held that the seats of other former members of the New PDP, who are now members of the APC cannot be declared vacant.  He cited the case to include that of the PDP and 1 other vs. Honourable Rasak Atunwa and 20 others, suit No: FHC/IL/CS/6/2014 delivered on June 26, 2014 and the case of Ibrahim Magaji Gusau and 2 others vs Honourable Lawal Mohammed Zyyana and 20 others, suit No: FHC/S/CS/4/2014 delivered on July 3, 2014.

He further stated that when he became a member of APC, all the defendants, except the INEC, “began to intimidate, harass  and use self-help against me, and they purported to declare my seat vacant.

“In further demonstration of the unconstitutional conduct, the 5th defendant (IGP) withdrew all my security details and thereafter issued a press statement justifying the said withdrawal by citing provisions of the Constitution.

“I know that I received threats that the 1st – 5th defendants will cause the 3rd defendant to remove me from the office of Speaker because of my membership of the 2nd plaintiff and the 5th defendant issued a statement  in that direction after he withdrew my security details.”

He said he has become apprehensive that all the defendants, except INEC, “will use unlawful means to make good their threat if this court does not intervene to stop them.”


ambuwal is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from taking any steps or further steps to abrogate or diminish or take away or interfere with or infringe his rights and privileges as Speaker and a member of the House before the expiration of his term of office on June 5, 2015.

He also wants an order of injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from taking any steps to remove him from office as Speaker and member of the House or in any manner taking steps or further steps to abrogate or diminish his rights and privileges as Speaker and member of the House before the expiration of his current tenure of office on June 5, 2015.

Tambuwal seeks an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from accepting any nomination of candidates or otherwise organising or conducting a by-election for the purpose of replacing him or taking over his seat as Speaker and member of the House before the expiration of his current tenure of office on June 5, 2015.

He wants the court to grant an order of mandatory injunction compelling the IGP and AGF to restore to him, his security details and all other rights, benefits and opportunities appurtenant to members of and office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Speaker also seeks a declaration that the decisions or threatened decisions of all the defendants, except INEC,  purporting or planning and or attempting to declare the seat of the 1st plaintiff in the 3rd defendant vacant as a member and Speaker thereof, is unlawful, unconstitutional and ultra vires the powers of the defendants

Tambuwal wants a declaration that he remains a member and the Speaker of the 3rd defendant until the expiration of his current term of office on June 5, 2015 notwithstanding his membership of APC unless he  is removed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

He also seeks a declaration that by virtue of the decisions of the court in the case of PDP and 1 other vs. Honourable Rasak Atunwa and 20 others, suit No: FHC/IL/CS/6/2014 delivered on June 26, 2014 and the case of Ibrahim Magaji Gusau and 2 others vs Honourable Lawal Mohammed Zyyana and 20 others, suit No: FHC/S/CS/4/2014 delivered on July 3, 2014, and the fact of the 1st plaintiff’s membership of the New PDP that merged with the 2nd plaintiff, his membership of the APC is legal and constitutional within the purview of the Constitution.

He urged the court to further declare that since his membership of the APC is legal, he remains a member and Speaker of the House of Representatives until the expiration of his current tenure of office on June 5, 2015, unless he is removed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Tambuwal further seeks a declaration that the withdrawal or purported withdrawal of his security details at the prompting of the defendants, when he has not been removed from office as the Speaker and member of the House of Representatives is unlawful and unconstitutional.

He wants the court to hold that the withdrawal of his security details amounts to an act of self-help and a fragrant violation of his constitutional rights to life and security, and constitutes a denial of the rights and privileges, perquisites associated with and appertaining to his office as Speaker and member of the House.

In a separate suit filed by Dr. Tunji Abayomi on behalf of Tambuwal, Abayomi prays for a temporary order of court directing the return of the security aides of the speaker pending the determination of the suit.

Abayomi also prays the court for an order restraining the defendants from interfering with the rights and privileges whatsoever attached to the office of the Speaker pending the determination of the suit.

The two cases are yet to be assigned to a judge.

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The Minority Whip of the House, Barrister Samson Osagie, has warned that President Goodluck Jonathan and principal actors in his government would be held responsible if anything unpleasant happens to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal.

Osagie gave the warning against the backdrop of the withdrawal of the security details of the Speaker after his recent defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress.

He said that it was barbaric and smacked of gross intolerance for Jonathan and his government to interfere in the internal affairs of the House of Representatives instead of allowing the House to decide the fate of its leader who he said legally sought a platform for his political future.

The Minority Whip opined that security agencies must tread cautiously whenever the powers that be seek to use them illegally to achieve selfish political ends.

The Edo South senator said it amounts to an affront on the legislature for the police to determine when a person ceases to be Speaker.

He said: “I wonder whether the police is an arm of the PDP. Given the circumstances under which Tambuwal became Speaker, no one should be in doubt as to the fact that he is a child of destiny whose political future or ascendancy cannot be truncated by anybody or authority.”

While urging Jonathan to remember that there is God in everything we do, Osagie called on the security agencies to immediately return the full complement of security personnel to Speaker Tambuwal, adding that he remains the undisputed Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has said that the withdrawal of the security details of the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, amounts to setting a bad precedent for the country’s democracy.

He, however, implored Tambuwal to explore judicial interpretation of his defection to counter the withdrawal of his security aides by the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Abba Suleiman.

According to him, the section of the 1999 Constitution which the Acting IGP premised his action of withdrawing the security details of the Speaker on has a window of exemption for such action taken by the Speaker.

He told The Nation yesterday in Abuja that the Speaker can prove his defection right if certain events were taken into perspective.

Section 68 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution as altered, merely prohibits carpet crossing or defection from the original sponsoring political party to another. Where that happens, a member of the Senate or House of Representatives is to vacate his seat.

“Though the Speaker, Tambuwal, has defected from PDP to APC, he has not yet been pronounced upon as having lost his seat in the House.

“For now, it is presumptuous. Even at that, we should rise above the level of petty politics and do the right thing by not desecrating our institutions and the quintessence of our democratic culture through actions that call to question the institutions of the Nigeria Police and the National Assembly.

“Tambuwal remains the speaker of the House, at least till December 3, when the House resumes Plenary. He has not been impeached.

“He remains the number four person in Nigeria. He therefore deserves full complement of security, not because of his person as an ordinary Nigerian, but as the Speaker of the lower House, the 4th person in order of protocol.

“If the Speaker can show that his defection is as a result of a division in PDP, or that PDP has lost its identity because of its merger with another political party, he will be excused by the proviso to Section 68 (1) (g) of the Constitution.

“For now, the Police should immediately restore his security aids without much ado”.

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A renowned Niger Delta human rights lawyer and activist, Mr Oghenejabor Ikimi, has described Presidency’s withdrawal of the security aides of the Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, as an act of desperation.

He accused President Goodluck Jonathan of contravening the principle of separation of power as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and acting beyond his powers in the matter.

Ikimi, who is the National Coordinator of the Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, a non-governmental organisation, said: “We therefore call on the Presidency to restore all the security details of the incumbent Speaker, his name and picture on the National Assembly website as he remains the duly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“However, should the Peoples Democratic Party feel strongly about his defection, the party can set the law in motion against his seat in the House as the Acting Inspector General of Police do not have the constitutional power to either adjudicate on or interpret section 68 (1)(g) of the 1999 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) nor does the Presidency have the constitutional power to remove the name and picture of the incumbent Hon. Speaker from the National Assembly website while the latter is still in office,” he added.

Ikimi reminded the Presidency that based on the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, it is only the members of the House of Representatives that can remove the incumbent Speaker from office, adding that until that is done, “he remains the people’s Speaker on the floor of the green chambers and the Number Four citizen in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Therefore the incumbent Speaker is entitled to all the privileges ascribed by the Nigerian constitution to his present office.”

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned the Federal Government to desist from compounding illegality by inducing members of the House of Representatives to sign a paper seeking to reconvene the House ahead of the December 3 adjourned date.

‘’We have heard from the grapevine that the FG is inducing legislators with a view to reconvening the House, but this will amount to piling illegality upon illegality since only a resolution by all principal officers of the House can reconvene the house,’’ the party said in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

‘’We cannot put anything beyond a government that will unlawfully withdraw the security details of the country’s number four citizen, who has not been removed as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, simply because he defected from the ruling party to the opposition.

“For as long as he remains Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is entitled to all the statutory perks of his office,’’ it said.

APC accused the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan of ruling by vindictiveness, rather than in accordance with the rule of law.

The party said despotism, arbitrariness and impunity are the watch words of the Jonathan administration, hence it has desecrated most national institutions, including the judiciary, and has now put the legislature in its cross hair.

‘’The legislature is one of the last standing institutions after the onslaught of the ravaging Jonathan administration, which has nothing but contempt for the concept of the separation of powers, the rule of law and perception of the country by the international community.

‘’For this government, it is power for the sake of power, not for the achievement of anything ennobling. That is why the police and SSS details of a man who remains the country’s number four can be removed without consideration to what the law says.

“That is why public funds will be used to induce lawmakers to sign for the reconvening of the House when it is clear that only the principal officers, and not even the Speaker alone, can reconvene the House before the adjourned date,’’ it said.

APC said it would not be surprised if “the lawless, vindictive and predictable Jonathan administration” would even prevent the Speaker from accessing his residential quarters, offices and even the planes in the official fleet for carrying out his official assignments.

‘’This President has said publicly that he does not give a damn. This administration has shown clearly that it does not believe in the rule of law. Therefore, it does not matter to the President or his administration what the civilised world thinks of the country, as long as he can have his way, using all sorts of dirty tactics including unbridled corruption that is the hallmark of the administration.

‘’We are therefore calling on all concerned citizens to condemn what is happening in our country today before one desperate power monger brings the country crashing down on all of us.

“This is because even if the Jonathan administration is voted out of office next year, it will take a long time to reverse the harm that is being done to national institutions, which have become punitive tools in the hands of an increasingly despotic leader,’’ the party said

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Supporters of former Vice President and presidential aspirant of the All Progressive Congress, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, under the auspices of Turaki Vanguard said on Thursday that reverting to the modified direct primaries by the party will boost the democratic credentials of the party.

In a statement signed by the National President of the group, Oladimeji Fabiyi, the Atiku Support Group praised the national leaders of the party for endorsing modified direct primaries for producing the party’s presidential candidate.

The group said that the decision has shown that the APC has now fully democratised and boosted its democratic credentials and credibility and described the move as a victory for democracy.

They noted that by the amendment to the guidelines to make way for the modified direct primaries as against the modified indirect primaries earlier planned, the APC leaders have responded positively to the aspirations and wishes of the people.

They said further that internal democracy is essential to the entrenchment of democracy, pointing out that the APC has set a standard, which all political parties should emulate.

The group also said that the move would go a long way to reinforce people’s confidence in the APC as the alternative platform for better change in Nigeria, stressing that internal democracy is about respecting all diverse interests within a political party to ensure fairness and transparency, which are necessary conditions for unity, harmony and internal cohesion.

The group ask all Atiku supporters and other APC members to mobilise their support behind this democratic decision of the APC national leadership, adding that the measure would strengthen the opposition party and make it even stronger.

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Many people were  feared dead as multiple explosions rocked Gombe, the capital of Gombe State, yesterday.

The explosions occurred at a time that palpable tension was gradually giving way to some calm.

Checks carried out by our correspondent at some hospitals around the city revealed that eight people had died in the explosion, while about 30 others secured various degrees of injury.

 The explosion occurred at the Gombe State Transport Corporation (Gombe Line) at about 9:40 am, after the usual morning rush.

The Medical Director, Gombe Specialist Hospital, Dr. Reuben Ardo, said that eight people were brought into the hospital dead, while some others in critical conditions were being attended to.

He said a few others who sustained minor injuries had been treated and discharged.

At the Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), the Head of Department, Accident and Emergency, Dr. Saleh Adamu, confirmed that a victim was brought in dead, while eight others were injured, including one in the operation theatre.

A resident, who identified himself as Bello Sule, said a lot of the victims had been conveyed to various hospitals in the city at the time of visit.

He called on government to expedite action on ending the activities of the insurgents, even as he called on them to embrace dialogue and press their demands with human face.

A newspaper distributor in Gombe, who identified himself simply as Joshua, said he barely escaped the explosion as he had just left the motor park where he went to send unsold copies of a magazine when the explosions occurred.

Confirming the incident, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Kudu Abdullahi Nma, said the improvised explosive devices were transported into the motor park in a 10-seater mini bus with Yobe Line inscribed on it.

He said the vehicle was driven into the Gombe Line motor park unchecked and it offloaded the improvised explosive device (IED), which later exploded, killed and injured a lot of people in the process.

Three suspects were said to have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo appealed to the perpetrators of the blasts to consider the anguish the victims were going through and have a rethink over their actions.

The Governor spoke yesterday evening at the Federal Teaching Hospital after visiting the scene of the blasts and the State Specialist Hospital where survivors were receiving treatment.

It was learnt the governor immediately flew in from Abuja on receiving the news of the blasts.

He said: “It is important again to call on the perpetrators of this act to come to the hospital and see the conditions of these people; they are in pains while some have lost their loved ones.

“Violence is not the solution to solving any grievances. I am sure the President is ready to discuss any kind of issues and address them. We are ready to listen. We are ready to take the interest of everybody and we are ready to proffer solutions.”

He said the government would take care of the medical bills and support the families of the victims.

“We will provide some kind of support to their families while they are in hospital. For those that have died, we will take care of their burial expenses and take care of certain family responsibilities.

“I call on our people to continue to pray as no situation surpasses God. We will all one day go back to our father, the creator of heaven and earth. We pray for peace, stability and unity of our people and country”, he said.

The Governor also called on the people to always be vigilant, observant and be very patient while avoiding rumour and hearsay as these could complicate the problems.

“It is an unfortunate situation. It is so sad that this is happening. The only thing we can do is to pray to God Almighty to help us see the end of it,” said the Chief of Staff, Government House, Gombe, Alhaji Ahmed Yayari.

He described the incident as “very sad one designed to test our faith. We will take up the test.”

He added: “It is quite sad, and government is doing everything possible to see that it averts this kind of situation. The people of Gombe have also been prayerful all through to see that we don’t witness this kind of thing. But whatever we do is a test of our faith and we will take up this test.

“What we can only do is to pray for the soul of the departed. We that are surviving, we pray that this is the last of this kind of incident we will see.

“Gombe has been one of the most peaceful states, not only in the Northeast, but in the country at large, and government and the governor are trying as much as possible.”

The Chief of Staff, who spoke at the Specialist Hospital, said: “So far, I have seen eight dead bodies, and I have seen a lot of injured people. It is quite sad.”

The Deputy Governor, Mr. Jason Tha’anda Rubainu, was also at the hospitals with some top government functionaries on visits to the victims.

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As more jet fighters moved to liberate Mubi, Boko Haram yesterday killed Alhaji Dalailu Digil, the Acting District Head of Nasarau, who is also Barade Mubi.

The insurgents, who have  hoisted their flag at the Palace of the Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isa Ahmadu, were also said to be hunting for the emirate chiefs.

But the Coalition of Mubi Women in Abuja has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to step up efforts to stop the wanton killing of innocent residents of their hometown.

‘Situation still tense’

According to a reliable source, the situation in Mubi was still dicey and tense yesterday.

The source said: “The insurgents have held on to Mubi, but the troops were already advancing to liberate the town. More fighter jets were deployed by the military to pound the camps and cells of Boko Haram.

“But the sect members became daring when they waylaid  and killed Barade Mubi, who was also the Acting District Head of Nasarau, Alhaji Dalailu Digil. The district head was on his way to Degel.

“We do not know why the sect had been after all emirate chiefs and district heads.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Heavy fighting was in place in Mubi and there is assurance that the troops might recapture the town.”

Jonathan told to contain insurgency

The Coalition of Mubi Women in Abuja last night pleaded with  President Goodluck Jonathan to end the siege to the town.

The group made the plea in a statement in Abuja, which was signed by Hajiya Aji Bello.

The statement said: “We are constrained to draw Mr. President’s attention to the fluid security situation in Mubi and neighbouring towns and villages, after the security operatives in the area absconded giving room to Boko Haram elements to overrun the entire area.

“It is unfortunate that fellow citizens are daily being turned into ‘refugees’ as the terrorists move from one community to another, mounting their flags and branding all such ‘captured territories’, including  Mubi, a major commercial hub in the North-east, as extensions of their ‘caliphate’.

“For about two months now, Madagali, Michika and all their environs have been under the control of Boko Haram, and sadly the security forces are fully aware of this fact.

“It is really disheartening that at the moment, thousands of our aged parents as well as young brothers and sisters are missing due to the current state of anarchy and uncertainty that has enveloped Mubi, Madagali, Michika and environs.”

The coalition said there was no basis for Boko Haram to continue to undermine the nation’s security.

The statement added: “We believe this is a clear affront to in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and an expression of the terrorists’ contempt for our collective freedom as citizens to live in peace and harmony in our country.

“We, therefore, enjoin Mr. President to use his good offices to deploy adequate troops and provide them the enablement to contain this rising insurgency before it consumes the entire country”, the women coalition urged.

The women said that they were forced to join the few voices of reason, following the seeming cavalier handling of the imminent threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty by key stakeholders from Adamawa State, especially our representatives in the national and state assemblies.

“We pray and hope that Mr. President will heed our frantic calls as mothers and take the necessary steps that will nip in the bud, once and for all, the needless spate of killings and destruction by these misguided elements.

“We say: ‘Enough is enough’.”

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Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has said that passenger train service from Lagos to Abuja would come on stream by 2015.

According to the minister, the train journey from Lagos to Abuja and vice versa  would take only three hours, adding that the express train would stop over at only three stations before destination.

Umar, who stated this in Abuja yesterday while giving the account of stewardship by his ministry in the last three years, said the train service would be competing favourably with air transport service.

Stressing the importance of functional transportation system, the minister said: “The role of transportation in the socio-economic and political development of any nation cannot be over-emphasised as developments in all other sectors of the economy depend on the efficient performance of the transport system.

“Generally, the fundament goal of the transport sub-section under the transformation agenda is to develop an adequate, safe, environmentally sound, efficient and affordable, integrated transport system within the framework of a progressive and competitive national and international market economy”.

Umar further stated that rehabilitation of over 90 percent of existing narrow gauge lines throughout the country was ongoing, being the first segment of the 25-year railway strategic vision.

The minister said intra and inter city train services had since been restored in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Ofa, Minna, Ibadan and others, adding that rail system targeted about five million passengers in 2014.

He listed companies patronising train cargo system for their products to include Flour Mills, Lafarge Cement, Inland Container Limited, Eastern Line Contractors, NRC and Connectrail Limited.

The transport minister revealed that the ministry worked within the framework of N50 billion budget in the 2014 fiscal year for railways alone, stressing that government had thought it wise to involve the private sector in the project.

To smoothen participation by the private sector in the rail and water transport system, Umar said four bills aimed at necessary reforms were being processed, for onward transmission to the National Assembly.

According to him, the bills include The Nigerian Railway Authority Bill, The Nigerian Ports and Harbour Authority Bill, The National Inland Waterways Authority Bill and the National Transport Commission Bill.

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The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the recent Boko Haram overrun of Mubi and the hoisting of their flag in Adamawa State’s second largest town, as a tragic act and a worrisome affront to the corporate integrity of Nigeria.

The Turaki Adamawa, who was abroad when the sordid incident took place in his home state on Wednesday, October 29, told a group of journalists on arrival yesterday that: “With what I have gathered so far from online news reports and other sources from Mubi town,  the situation is very unfortunate and undermining for our country.”

The visibly angry statesman also said: “If the reports are true that the Armed Forces had abandoned their assigned duty posts a few days before the overrun, it was an indication that the attack was not sudden after all. If the soldiers also left behind their ammunition and armoured carriers at the mercy of predatory insurgents, it raises a question of complicity in the sordid episode.”

He described as most unfortunate a situation where unsuspecting civilians who had relied on security agencies for their protection and were expecting an improvement in their security status as a result of the announced ceasefire, were suddenly left defenceless  at the mercy of the marauders.

Atiku, who said he was not a conspiracy theory convert, did not hesitate to frown on the undercurrent of connivance that might have fuelled the sudden retreat of the military in the face of imminent invasion of a vital commercial town, less than three hours away from Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

“No Commander-in-Chief or  General that is worth his salt will surrender his territory with folded arms and running heels.

“On every occasion that leaders from the North East raised the alarm about the dangerous trend, we have either been ignored or called names.

“If there’s any iota of truth in the suspicion of the people that they were deliberately abandoned, then it becomes a dangerous trend and a bad omen for Nigeria and all Nigerians,” he said.

Meanwhile, the former Vice President said he was heading for Yola to meet with those managing the displaced people and see what assistance he could render to reduce the sufferings of the people.

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All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Lagos State chapter, has petitioned the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to avert a serious crisis in the state over the activities of some unscrupulous politicians parading themselves as APGA executives.

In the petition dated October 30 and copied INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) and APGA Vice National Chairman (South West), Alhaji Tayo Showunmi and jointly signed by Prince Adeshina Olayokun, APGA Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, and Barrister Sylvester Ezeani, state Legal Adviser, the party drew attention to  what it described as illegal and malicious activities of some people who continuously parade themselves as APGA executives in Lagos State.

The party stated that this action was detrimental, and “it flies in the face of the authentic APGA executives in Lagos State led by Prince Adeshina Olayokun and recognized by the national officers of the party in Abuja and  south west.

The authentic APGA urged the Lagos State CP to use the weight of his office to investigate the matter with a view to removing all insignia of APGA i.e signboard, indicating another Lagos Chapter of APGA.

In a statement, the party also alerted the general public to the deceitful and fraudulent activities of the self-styled executives.

While making reference to a publication in Sunday Newswatch of October 19, 2014 in which the National Vice Chairman of APGA, South West, Alhaji Tayo Showunmi disclaimed  these people, the party warned the general public not to transact any business with them on behalf of the party, and that any relationship with APGA should be done at its Lagos office located at 95/129, Okota Road, Isolo, Lagos.

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As part of efforts to provide free surgery to the less-privileged, founder of the Body Enhancement Foundation, Princess Modupe Ozolua, is seeking support to acquire a $800,000 mobile medical facility.

The mobile surgery unit that has two fully equipped theatre compartments is expected to provide medical supports to victims in rural areas.

Ozolua, while briefing media executives in Abuja during the week yesterday, noted that since inception, the foundation has restored lives of about 11, 000 people with various forms of deformity.

While she debunked insinuations that her kind gestures were motivated by political motives, Ozolua noted that her philanthropic activities became imperative considering the population of those who could not access expensive surgeries.

“The essence of acquiring this mobile surgical facility is because some of the hospitals are not well equipped to meet up with the need of the less-privileged people in the country.

“We fly in medical experts from abroad to treat these victims. We have done it in Edo, we are doing it in Bayelsa next month and by January we will visit Kano. So we need supports from all the relevant stakeholders,” Ozolua said.

On the possibility of future political ambition, Ozolua said politics was not in her nature.

“I am not a politician, and I am not interested in politics. I have been doing this for years now.

“I don’t have the intention of going into politics. Already I am serving my country in my own way and I am satisfied with that.

“It is not true to say politicians hijacked our event in Edo, but I want to say that we can not stop politicians who want to contribute to our cause, irrespective if their political affiliations.

“Everyone wants to identify with good causes, so we won’t stop those that want to help our cause and our activities are not limited to any geo-political zone”, she said.

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Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore has announced his resignation, following violent protests at his attempt to extend his 27-year rule.

Mr Compaore issued a statement saying the presidency was now vacant and urging elections within 90 days.

Military chief Gen Honore Traore said he had taken over as head of state “in line with constitutional measures”.

People jubilate

Crowds danced and cheered in the capital, Ouagadougou, after Mr Compaore’s resignation was broadcast.

On Thursday, protesters angry at his attempt to amend the constitution had set fire to parliament and government buildings.

Mr Compaore had earlier vowed to remain in power until a transitional government completed its work in 2015, although he had agreed not to seek another term.

However, the opposition continued to demand that he resign-a key leader, Zephirin Diabre, urged protesters to occupy public spaces.

After the resignation, Mr Diabre told an international news agency: “We are all relieved by what is happening – and this is our demand for so long, so we are very happy – and we need to work on the transition to take care of our country.”

But a BBC reporter in Ouagadougou, says that many demonstrators see Gen Traore as too close to the ousted president-he was Blaise Compaore’s aide de camp-and not enough of a rupture with the past.

Mr. Compaore’s statement, read on television, said: “In order to preserve the democratic gains, as well as social peace, I declare a power vacuum to allow the establishment of a transition leading to free and fair elections within a maximum of 90 days.”

He added: “For my part, I think I have fulfilled my duty.”

However,  agency report says a heavily armed convoy believed to be carrying Mr Compaore was travelling towards the southern town of Po.

One protester said: “Blaise Compaore has gone away; he’s running away and we are happy. The words are not coming so easy because I’m very happy, my children are going to know another president.”

France welcomed the resignation, saying it “allows a solution to be found to the crisis”.

Traore takes over

In a statement, Gen Traore said: “In line with constitutional measures, and given the power vacuum… I will assume as of today my responsibilities as head of state.”

He added: “I undertake a solemn engagement to proceed without delay with consultations with all parties in the country so as to start the process of returning to the constitutional order as soon as possible.”

An army spokesman, Lt Col Isaac Zida, later told reporters the constitution had been suspended, but it was unclear whether he was speaking on behalf of Gen Traore.

Blaise Compaore was a young army officer when he seized power in 1987, a taciturn man who became known as Beau Blaise – good looking Blaise. The nickname did not necessarily suggest he was popular. Many blamed him for the death of his predecessor, the charismatic revolutionary Thomas Sankara, who was killed by soldiers in mysterious circumstances.

Controversy would be a perpetual feature of Beau Blaise’s time in power. The president was accused of stoking rebellions around West Africa. Yet over time, Mr Compaore oversaw a transformation of his image, internationally at least. This inflammatory figure became a man relied upon to put out fire around the region.

Mr Compaore won a series of elections, though the opposition always complained the odds were stacked dramatically in his favour.

He largely followed the economic orthodoxy prescribed by international financial institutions. But Burkina Faso did not escape the poverty trap. It remains one of the least developed countries in the world.

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The Federal Government has officially protested  the stigmatization of the country over the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak.

The killer-virus was imported into the country by the late Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American in July, resulting in the death of seven people including the Liberian himself.

Nigeria was able to contain the spread of the virus, while at the same time treated over 12 others who had either primary or secondary contacts with the index (Sawyer).

On October 20, the World Health Organization (WHO)  gave Nigeria a clean bill of health.

But the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali,  noted that despite this, countries still discriminate against Nigerians, a situation he strongly frowned against warning that such profiling of the country will not be acceptable.

The minister listed China, Turkey, Ukraine, South Africa among the sixteen countries discriminating against Nigeria.

Others are Bahrain, Cameroun, Egypt, Hong-Kong, Cote d’voire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cuba, Kuwait, Qater, Sri Lanka, Zambia, United Arab Emirates, South Sudan, Seychelles, Mauritania and Sao Tome &Principe and Namibia.

The minister said: It is disappointing that inspite of the decisive measures taken by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the subsequent positive declaration by the WHO, some countries have regrettably chosen to flout the WHO rules on the virus by adopting deliberate policies of stigmatization and discrimination against Nigerians simply because we were unfortunately exposed to the virus.

“I will like to make it categorically clear that the continued discrimination and profiling of Nigeria is not acceptable to the government and people of Nigeria. Since the index case was brought to Nigeria, we have received unpleasant reports from a number of otherwise friendly countries targeting and discriminating against our nationals.”

He added: “Indeed, rather than institute discriminatory practices, the international community should increase assistance to countries afflicted with the deadly Ebola Virus, with practical solutions to the problem that is beginning to respect no boundary.”

He further assured the gathering that Nigeria would continue to assist the affected countries and also share experience on the successful control of the virus with the rest of the world.

The minister also warned the diplomatic corps against middling in the internal issues of the country, stressing “I avail myself of this medium to inform you that the Federal Government has also noted with deep concern that some heads  of mission are in the habit of making inflammatory and reckless statements against the government on matters of domestic policy.”

This, he said, “is an unacceptable interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs. Such envoys are advised to respect the sensitivity of Nigerians.”

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Dr. Abdul Jahlil, son of Nigeria’s late Prime Minister, Sir Tafawa Balewa, has threatened to sue the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for denying him the presidential nomination form of the party.

At a press briefing in Abuja yesterday, the younger Balewa said he would explore every existing channel of conflict resolution within the party to enable him obtain the form before resorting to the legal option.

Having paid the mandatory N22 million price tag for the nomination form, Balewa  arrived at the national secretariat of the PDP on Tuesday, only to be told that the forms were not available.

According to the National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, the only presidential nomination form available was meant for President Goodluck Jonathan.

Incidentally, Jonathan was at the party secretariat on Thursday afternoon to pick the form with fanfare.

Balewa said: “The PDP has decided to go so low as to deny a Nigerian and a party member the right to be voted for.

“When I got to the party secretariat on Tuesday, the party officials who were supposed to give me the form decided to be running in circles. At a point, the Financial Secretary barricaded his office, thereby preventing me to gain access to him.

“I went ahead to see the Treasurer who told me to take my case to the National Chairman, saying that the form had not been printed. I waited till Thursday only for them to give the from to President Jonathan, whereas I was the first to pay.

“I am going to do everything the Constitution allows me, including taking a legal action, to get the form. Already, I have started the process exploring available channels of communication available to the party to seek redress”.

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A prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a House of Representatives aspirant, Hon. Morufudeen Adeola Adefolabi, has submitted his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms.

Hon. Adefolabi, who represented the Ifako/Ijaiye/Ojokoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, was accompanied to submit the forms at the party secretariat in Ogba, Lagos by his supporters who all expressed confidence that the ex-lawmaker would be elected as a member of the House in 2015.

In an interview immediately after the submission, the APC chieftain said: “I am in the race to bring about a change in my constituency. And this change would manifest as the improvement in the living standards of my people, development of my constituency, robust representation, creation  of wealth and existence of other good things of life for all the residents of my constituency.

“I gave effective representation in many capacities before. I was a councillor, council executive secretary, local government chairman and the House of Representatives member. I performed with excellence in those offices. The records are there, and my constituents are aware of my great accomplishments. With modesty, I can say that I have a reputation for excellent representation.”

His supporters, namely, Mr. Ayo Alaba-Ogunsanwo, Hon. David Olaniyi, Hon. Musibau Adeniyi and Mrs Mojisola Lawal spoke of Hon. Adefolabi in glowing terms.

Mr. Alaba -Ogunsanwo said: “Hon. Adefolabi is our man. He represented us well before. And it is our belief that he is going again to the House to give us good representation. He brought many projects to his constituency,  and these are facilities we still enjoy till now. We believe in him. He will not disappoint us.”

Hon. Olaniyi said: “As I speak, I am expressing the minds of the people of the Ifako/Ijaiye/Ojokoro Federal Constituency. Hon. Adefolabi is a man of the people. He listens. He is accessible and God-fearing. He loves all, both the rich and the poor. This is the kind of person we want as a representative in our constituency. He is ready to sacrifice his comfort for people.”

Hon. Adeniyi said: “The elders are in support of Hon. Adefolabi. The youths are for him. All our women are solidly behind him. We all support him because of what he has done for his people before. He will do it again. We repose much confidence in him”.

Mrs Lawal said: “I am a widow. My husband died many years ago. Hon. Adefolabi has been taking care of my children financially since then. As he helps me, he treats others in my shoes similarly. All widows and widowers are in his support. All women will vote for him. He is a good-natured person.”

Earlier, Hon Adefolabi called on Nigerian leaders to be patriotic in all their activities because, according to him, “this is a catalyst for development.”

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