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Controversy trails Melaye’s ‘recall process’

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Controversy trails Melaye’s ‘recall process’
By John Akubo

 

The battle of wits between controversial Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West and those opposed to his kind of politics within the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lately, the governor of his state, Yahaya Bello, has taken a new dimension with allegations that a recall process of the Senator from the upper chamber has reached an advanced stage.

While the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the body saddled with all electoral matters including the recall process, denied having anything to do with the claim by Melaye’s critics that he is on the verge of recall, constituents from three local councils in the senatorial district also claimed to have nothing to do with it.

INEC’s spokesman, Rotimi Oyekanmi told The Guardian yesterday that, ‘we don’t have anything to do with whatever they claim to be doing on Melaye’s recall. As far as INEC is concerned, no process of recall involving Melaye is in the works. We have also not received any correspondence to that effect from any quarters. They are on their own.”

But the Senator’s critics claimed that not less than 188,588 constituents from the district, about 52.23 percent of the voters, have signed the register for Melaye’s recall, more than the 50.1 per cent required in Chapter 5 section 69 (a), (b) of the 1999 Constitution for the process to be successful.

Special Adviser to Bello on Political Matters, Pius Kolawole, while addressing the people in Lokoja on Monday, said as electorate there is a law that empowered them to recall their representative “if they are not satisfied with his activities.”

Kolawole who is also a chieftain of the APC, pointed out that the quest for the recall of Melaye cut across all political parties that registered and voted during the election in Kogi West.

According to him, “It was not only an APC affair. We have collated the wards registration, which was done in Kabba, headquarters of Kogi West.”

Kolawole further emphasised that the Constitution said 50.1 per cent of the registered voters is required to enforce the recalling process and already we have achieved 52.3 percent.

Dismissing the insinuation that the governor has input in Melaye’s predicament, Kolawole said, “Alhaji Yahaya Bello is our governor, our leader and our father, but let me tell you that he has no hand in the recall of Senator Dino Melaye.

“We asked the state government not to intervene in the matter because it is purely an electorate affair from the district. His people have decided to recall him based on cogent reasons.”

A Mallam Ademu Yusuff, who claimed to be the Returning Officer for the recall, announced that signatures of those against the continued representation of Melaye were collated from seven local councils in Kabba, last Saturday.

According to him, “In Yagba East, out of 35,331 registered voters 18,374 signed while in Yagba West out of 35,966 registered voters, 20,029 signed. In Mopa-Amuro out of 18,356 registered voters while 9,186 signed, in Kabba-Bunu out of 60,522 registered voters, 28,277 signed, in Kogi out of 46,810 registered voters 27,703 signed, Lokoja out of 116,296 registered voters 63,736 signed and Ijumu out of 46,819 registered voters 24,283 signed.”

But the Coalition of Enlightened Voters, a non-partisan group of electorates in Yagba Federal Constituency consisting of Yagba West, Yagba East and Mopamuro local governments, have dissociated themselves from the recall process describing it as “a comedy.”

The group, in a statement titled: ‘Yagba people not part of Senator Dino Melaiye’s recall farce’ signed by Kehinde Abayomi (Yagba East), Temitope Olajide (Yagba West) and Adebayo Michael (Mopamuro), leading 500 other signatories, who claimed to represent 85,000 registered voters across 34 electoral wards said that the process was a sham.

They said they have in recent days, observed some strange developments within their domain, supposedly called a ‘recall process’ and targeted at Melaye, adding that they wish to “dissociate Yagba people in the three local government areas of Yagba West, Yagba East and Mopamuro, and the 34 electoral wards in Yagba Federal Constituency, from the farce tagged recall process.”

The statement reads: “We note that the comedy falls short of the expectations of the drafters of the relevant law on the recall of a parliamentarian.

“It is not in our character as Yagba people to orchestrate the recall of elected representatives, especially when such a project is not founded on proven allegations of misrepresentation or non-performance.

“Our findings showed that the recall process did not emanate from the electorate, but is a sponsored enterprise based on political malice, initiated by interests outside Kogi West Senatorial District and anchored by state and local government appointees.”

They also alleged that through inducement involving cash and materials, gullible electorate were lured into the submission of their Permanent Voters’ Cards, after being deceived that the collection of the cards was for the purpose of population census.

“The Forum views the foregoing as farcical, ludicrous, absurd and criminal, capable of creating confusion and further divisions among Okun brothers.”

Culled from The Guardian

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When home coming is dangerous

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When homecoming is dangerous


Reviewing the Assassination of Ogacheko Atanu and a Warning to Nigerians in Diaspora on the State of Insecurity in Nigeria

By Frank Tietie

Ogacheko Atanu, an Idah born, world acclaimed and Saudi Arabia based drilling engineer was assassinated by unknown gunmen on Saturday, 9th of January, 2021 while holidaying in his country home in Idah, Kogi State of Nigeria. He was scheduled to travel back to Saudi on the morning of the next day before he was killed on that night in his hometown.

Ogacheko had such a brilliant career while he was at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Nigeria. It was his sheer brilliance and distinction while at Shell that got him headhunted by Saudi Aramco, the world largest oil company based in Saudi Arabia, where he worked until his assassination in his house in his hometown of Idah.

Homecoming for Ogacheko has had a bad history. Some years ago, after he started work at Saudi Aramco, he decided to visit his hometown and in course of the journey, on his way to Idah, he had a terribly fatal car accident which broke his limbs. Saudi Aramco did not take chances regarding the treatment of one of its best executives. So the company flew a special air ambulance (a chartered plane equipped with specialised medical equipment) into Nigeria and evacuated Ogacheko for treatment in Saudi Arabia. That’s how valuable he was to the company. And it didn’t matter whether he was a Nigerian and a non-national of Saudi Arabia.

So why would Ogacheko choose to come to his hometown under the present circumstances and be brutally murdered in his country home in such a wicked manner? Reports say he was asked by the gunmen to say his last prayers and despite offering them so much money, probably in dollars, they shot at him several times and he died instantly. Why?

Shouldn’t Ogacheko have taken the state of affairs in local security seriously enough to stay away from Nigeria at this time? With his status, he had enough money to arrange armed private guards or special police protection but why didn’t he do that? He also had the means to obtain a licence to own guns with which he could have repelled the assassins or defended himself. Why would uneducated, barbaric, unskilled hoodlums just kill an expatriate of that repute just like that without any resistance? Ogacheko was helpless even in his hometown; he was murdered mercilessly in his country home. Why?

Some Nigerians in diaspora get so accustomed to their host countries which have secure environments that they underestimate the Nigerian security situation. These members of the diaspora should seek proper travel advisory before coming home for holidays and other purposes. But they are usually overconfident in their belief that Nigeria is their original country where they started. So they don’t feel so threatened as if things are not as bad as when they were once here. No! Things are no longer as they were. The security situation in Nigeria seems to be deteriorating by the day. Those of us who live here know the daily risks we face and we trust in God in unusual terms, everyday for our security. Why do you think many Nigerians say crazy prayers using terms like ‘fire and die’ and ‘Holy Ghost fire’?

The Nigerian government needs to do more to assure Nigerians in diaspora and indeed all Nigerians that there is enough security before certain travels can be made in our country.

In the meantime, all Nigerians in diaspora, especially the successful ones who are popular for their generosity, should weigh carefully all their travel plans to Nigeria. A direct advice is for them to stay away completely until the security situation improves or they should be prepared to learn and adopt the needed skills together with resources required to survive in Nigeria, in these precarious times of insecurity, whenever they visit.

Frank Tietie
Human Rights Lawyer
& Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER),
Writes from Abuja

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2023: Okorocha expresses disdain for APC for putting Nigeria in dire straits

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2023: Okorocha expresses disdain for APC for putting Nigeria in dire straits

Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district, Rochas Anayo Okorocha on Monday expressed disdain for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for putting the country in dire straits

He therefore called for realignment ahead of the 2023 General election among only the good people in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


Speaking at the commissioning of the Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse Link Road in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Monday, the lawmaker, who did hide his disdain for APC government said, Nigeria is in a serious predicament.

The lawmaker and former Governor of Imo State said people of like minds must stop complaining and be interested in rescue operation

He said: “In this dispensation, there are many bad people in APC, many bad people in PDP.

“I think the good people of APC and good people of PDP must come together for the purpose of making Nigeria great.

Okorocha wished that he join forces with governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, pleading with the governor to assemble good people and make Nigeria great.

He continued: “What brought me here today is not a party. What brought me here today is love and friendship. I am not PDP, I am APC. But the time has come when we must break the jinx of party division and begin to embrace brotherhood and friendship and be able to state what is good and what is bad. A bad man is a bad man, even if he is PDP or APC.”


Responding, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike counselled all members of APC in Rivers to jettison politics of bitterness in the interest of Rivers people.

Wike berated Rivers State APC Chairman, Senator Andrew Uchenna for not attracting projects to his community in those years he represented them at the lower and upper Legislative Chambers.

Wike said, “I came here, I told you that I will do this road, I give God the glory that I have done it using one of the best construction firms in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, former Senate President, Pius Anyim is billed to commission the Rumuekini-Aluu Road traversing Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Areas on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

This was contained in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim on Monday.

Rochas Okorocha is a member of APC, Imo State.

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While APC is party of Tinubu and Buhari, PDP is party of the Nigerian people, says Lamido

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While APC is party of Tinubu and Buhari, PDP is party of the Nigerian people, says Lamido

The former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party built around Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari unlike the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that was built by the people and for the people of Nigeria.

Lamido who spoke yesterday in Dutse, Jigawa State after the successful conduct of the PDP state Congress said that is the reason for the collossal failure of the Buhari led administration in almost all facets.
The Jigawa State PDP Congress was enmeshed in crises when a faction led by the former Governorship candidate of the party in 2015 and 2019, Aminu Ibrahim Ringim went to court to challenge the Sule Lamido Led faction with a court injunction preventing his faction from continuing with the party’s local government congress.

However a high court sitting in Dutse presided over by Justice Musa Ubale had rescinded its earlier order restricting the Sule Lamido led faction from conducting the local government and state congress elections.
In a fresh court order, Justice Musa Ubale struck out the case and ordered the faction of the defendents (PDP and Lamido) to go ahead and conduct the party’s congresses.

The court’s judgement stated that,” the matter deals with the congress of the PDP to choose or elect it’s leadership in the ward, local government and state levels in Jigawa which is purely an intra-party dispute and thereafter not Justiciable”, it stated.

The PDP state congress which took place on Sunday may have put to an end the lingering crises between the Sule Lamido led faction and that of Aminu Ibrahim Ringim.
Lamido while speaking to the media said,
“PDP is the only party which has the kind of capacity to lead Nigeria and Jigawa State because it is a party that is owned by the people not a party that is built around one personality.
“In APC there are only two persons, It is only Buhari and Tinubu, then after Buhari and Tinubu, they have nothing, but in PDP wherever you go, you see PDP family, a party which is owned by the people, whoever leads the party will know he has to serve the people.
“It has produced so many leaders, Presidents, Governors, Parliamentarians, ministers, commissioners including contractors. “Remove the PDP’s virtue in Nigerian history there would be no Nigeria because PDP is Nigerian History.
“Today, Nigeria like America is going through some turbulence; insecurity, poverty, division, hate and what have you.
“We can not have a country where there is no mutual trust because in the absence of mutual trust there is no stability. “If there is no stability there would be no development. PDP has this advantage over every other party in Nigeria because we believe in one another, we love one another therefore trust is our watchword.
“Mutual respect, firm believe in one another. Only PDP can restore Nigeria. Jigawa chapter of the PDP is going to be one of the building blocks to restore Nigeria to what it was 8 years ago, when there was security, stability, fuel, power, there was infrastructure development, stability, love, mutual respect, there was everything.”
He asked the new executives to convey the party’s appreciation to the working committee and the NEC for taking the pain to go through the court processes which he said has been laid to rest.
The chairman of the congress lectoral Committee Dr Umar Ardo,said  “From what we have seen here from yesterday those who contested the elections of the state executives of Jigawa State PDP, were unopposed, that is to say there was consensus in the contests and that is the best for democracy. “But in conformity with the laws of the country we have allowed candidates to cast their votes and we inspected each and every ballot box to ensure that each office is contested for and we have ascertained that.
“In view of that we are going to declare the candidates who have emerged victorious in this election.
He declared Honorable Babandi Ibrahim, as the State chairman of the party, Deputy chairman, Honorable Ali Idris Diginsa, vice chairman 1 Honorable Isah Zakari, 2nd vice chairman honorable Idris Ilyasu Danlawan, third vice chairman Honorable Muhammed Zagin Kafin Hausa, State Secretary honorable Isah Bello Gwadayi, State Assistant Secretary Abba Soja Dutse, State assistant secretary, Muhammed Mujitaba Abdullahi, State Assistant secretary Abba Ana’s Adamu. State treasurer Saleh Yahaya KO, State assistant treasurer Awaisu Hudu Sakwaya, State assistant secretary 2 Alhaji Danyaro Maiwelder, State Assistant Secretary Alhaji Aminu Ahmad, State assistant treasurer Yakubu Adamu Danmaliki, State legal Adviser, Alhaji Ado Dunari, assistant legal adviser Honorable Ubale Kiri, State Assistatant financial Secretary Alhaji Alhassan Babandi, State Financial secretary, Isah Alhassan Koriyel.
Others are State publicity secretary, Honorable Ubale Kiri, State Assistant financial secretary, Garba Galau, State assistant publicity secretary Muhammed Nabakindogo, State auditor, Garba Liman, State assistant auditor, Babangida Muhammed State Organizing secretary, Basiru Usman Galadinma, state Assistant organizing secretary, Sumaila Sule, assistant Organizing secretary, Baba Tambale, State organizing secretary, Hajia Nadia Birninkudu, State women leader, Hajia Siham Aliyu, State assistant Woman leader, Hajia Tabal Wabichi, etc.
The new Chairman appreciated everyone and promise to carry everyone along. He assured of delivering Jigawa State to PDP in 2023.

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