Mr Ibrahim Emokpaire, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Rivers ahead of the elections.
The Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections have been scheduled for March 9.
Emokpaire made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
The APC chieftain said the call had become necessary following the insecurity and killings that characterised the Feb. 23, Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
Emokpaire, a former APC National Chairmanship aspirant, particularly condemned the killing of soldiers in the state.
He noted that this was not the first time soldiers and other security agents would be killed in Rivers.
According to him, there wi no justifiable reason for soldiers and even ordinary citizens to be killed no matter the provocation.
“There is no country in the whole world where military personnel will be mowed down and the Commande-In-Chief will take it lightly with perpetrators of such heinous crime,’’ Emokpaire said.
He said that irrespective of the immunity of Rivers State Governor Nysome Wike, the Federal Government should declare a state of emergency in the state.
This, he said was critical to deter others who think they could kill soldiers and other citizens and get away with it or without consequences.
“The men in uniform that are protecting the country cannot just be mowed down without consequences. These are people that have committed their lives to protecting Nigerians.
“Nobody, however, highly placed either with immunity or no immunity from any part of the country has the right to kill soldiers without consequences,’’ he said.
He, therefore, tasked relevant agencies to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of such killings.
Emokpaire said that such action must have consequences, saying “we cannot take anything for granted, we cannot turn everything upside down in the name of democracy.’’
He noted that even in the United States of America, with the largest democratic process in the world, would not tolerate one of its soldiers being killed by anybody.
“Even when a soldier was attacked and killed by a terrorist on a street in London, the perpetrator was apprehended immediately.
“Everybody connected with the crime and the perpetrator was apprehended and locked up for interrogation, the house of the terrorist was shut down completely,’’ Emokpaire recalled.
NNN reports that Rivers had become the most volatile state in Nigeria since after the Feb. 23, Presidential and National Assembly elections as residents of some communities in the state are beginning to leave their original aboard to seek safety elsewhere.
Ekiti APC mourns ex-Governor Olumilua
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Ade Ajayi, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.
Ajayi noted that the advisory role played by the late former governor to the present administration was immense and purposeful.
He, therefore, commiserated with the state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Muyiwa Olumilua and the entire Olumilua family over the death of the former governor.
The state Assembly’s condolence message was contained in a statement by its Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Yemisi Ayokunle and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti.
Ayokunle commiserated with the family of the elder statesman for the loss of their Patriarch, whom she said served mankind selflessly.
The Assembly equally commiserated with the commissioner for information and civic orientation, son of the late politician.
Edo Assembly condoles with APC Youth Leader over father’s death
The Edo House of Assembly, on Thursday, condoled with the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Leader in the state, Valentine Asuen, over the death of his father, Chief Scotty Asuen.
The Speaker, Francis Okiye, who led members of the Assembly to the residence of the youth leader in Benin, described the late Asuen as a great leader.
“On behalf of members and staff of the Edo house of assembly, I wish to express my sincere condolence to you on the passage of your father.
“Our consolation is that your father lived a good life worthy of emulation. He was a father and beacon of hope to many people,” Okiye said.
He said that the deceased left legacies that would see his children through life.
In his response, the youth leader thanked the speaker and other members of the Assembly for the visit.
“On behalf of myself and my family, I thank you for your visit. I am honoured.
Mr Emma Asuen, an elder brother to the youth leader and APC chieftain, who spoke on behalf of the Asuen family, also thanked the lawmakers for their visit.
“My speaker, as a fellow party member, I am satisfied with your leadership style. You have shown yourself to be a man of integrity.
“We feel very proud of our father, because he lived a good life. He died in April at the age of 78,” Asuen said.
It’s up to states to choose type of guber primary to adopt, says Edo APC Chairman
The Chairman of the APC in Edo, Chief Anselem Ojezua, affirmed on Thursday that the State Executive Council (SEC) of the party has the responsibility to determine the option to follow in the primaries to choose a governorship candidate.
The two factions have been at odds on the type of process to be adopted on the Edo governorship primaries, coming up later this month.
Ojezua said it was up to various state chapters of the party to decide which option was acceptable to them, based on peculiarities in their states.
According to him, the Constitution of the APC, however, recognizes both the direct and indirect form of primaries.
He explained that it was based on this that the National Working Committee of the party came out with a time-table that made SEC to meet with critical stakeholders to take a decision to adopt indirect primaries, based on peculiarities in Edo.
Ojezua noted that this was so because of the measures, protocols and rules put in place by both the federal and state governments, regarding crowding, social distancing and other measures to deal with COVID-19.
“The need to protect the health and safety of our members as well as those who would be exposed as they travel back and forth the 192 wards and later converging in the state capital would make all the gains and restraints in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 a wasted effort if direct primaries was adopted.
“So we felt it would be better to go to one location that is large enough to accommodate the total number of delegates while preserving the requirements for social distancing.
“Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium was suggested because it has a sitting capacity of 15,000, whereas the total delegates are not more than 3,600. So social distancing is assured and transparency too.”
Ojezua recalled that that the last governorship primaries was held at the same venue, using the same indirect method.
“Why change it now? The event was peaceful and transparent that time. There was no issue.
“Now, there is hostility and suspicion.’’
Ojezua said that what was important was that the decision on what form of primary to adopt was best for the states to make and that what the SEC in Edo had done was in compliance with that decision.
He said that the governor had performed well to be rewarded with another term in office.
“Obaseki has brought civility, decency and development to the state in his administration.
Five aspirants have so far obtained the party’s expression of interest form, to contest the primaries, a check by NAN correspondent showed.
Edo: Court fixes June 17 for hearing of suit to bar Ize-Iyamu from APC screening
A Benin High Court has fixed June 17, to hear the suit seeking to disqualify a governorship aspirant, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from participating in the All Progressives Congress (APC) screening of aspirants for its primary election.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ruling party has scheduled the primaries for the governorship ticket in Edo for June 22.
The presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Ahamioje, announced the date on Thursday, while adjourning the case instituted by Mr Benjamin Oghumu, the Chairman of APC in Ohrionmwon Local Government Area of Edo.
Some journalists, who arrived late for coverage, were barred from going into the court, until the intervention of the Court Registrar, Mr Idemudia Aziegbemhin.
Edo Guber primaries: APC generates N135m from sale of forms
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has so far realised N135 million from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms to six Edo governorship aspirants participating in the party’s primaries slated for June 22.
The APC National Organising Secretary, Mr Emma Ibediro, had on May 20 issued the timetable for the party’s primaries in the two states.
According to him, this includes N2.5 million for Expression of Interest Form and N20 million for the Nomination Form.
The party’s national organising scribe also released the list of Edo governorship aspirants who have so far purchased and submitted the forms.
Ajimobi, APC hail Alao-Akala at 70
The immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, has described his predecessor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, as a quintessential politician, who has contributed immensely to the fortunes of the state and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a congratulatory message to Alao-Akala, who clocked 70, Ajimobi, the Deputy National Chairman of the APC (South), said that Alao-Akala was a pillar in the party and the state.
According to Ajimobi, Alao-Akala left indelible footprints as governor of the state.
“On behalf of my family, I felicitate with my dear brother, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former governor and a pillar of our great party, (APC) in Oyo State, on the joyous occasion of his 70th birthday celebration.
“As a former governor of our dear state, you have contributed immensely to the growth of the pacesetter state, and as a politician, your advice and contributions to the party have been invaluable.
“As an indigene of Oyo State, your actions have shown deep love for the people of the state in your words and deeds.
Also, the state chapter of the APC congratulated the former governor on attaining the age of 70.
It described the former governor as a rallying point for numerous party members.
“The All Progressives Congress, Oyo State Chapter, heartily congratulates Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, a pillar of support and Chairman of the Reconciliation Committee of the All Progressives Congress, Oyo State.
“As a former governor, you have contributed immensely to the progress of Oyo State. You have also been a rallying point for our numerous party faithful.
“As you celebrate this landmark birthday, we can only wish you more vigour in the service of our party, our state and the country,” it said.
Police Command in Niger “in talks” with top APC official over party funds
According to the Commissioner, Adamu Usman, the APC official is specifically accused of misusing party finances “since he assumed office in 2015”.
Usman told the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna that a petition against the APC official had accused him of misusing funds realised from the sale of Expression of Interest forms to members that contested elective positions.
He said that the petitioners accused the party chief of spending the funds “unilaterally and without due process”.
According to him, the petition was written by some members of the executive council of the party who also accused the official of abuse of office.
“We are investigating the matter and shall get to the root of it. We want to find out if there is any substance in the claims of the petitioners.
“The Nigerian Police has the responsibility to investigate any form of criminal complaint from any citizen of the state. That is what we are doing.
“We are handling the matter professionally to ensure that justice is done to all sides,” he said.
Efforts to speak with the affected party official did not yield fruits as he was said to be “in deep discussions” with personnel of the Criminal Investigation Division.
APC in Niger still united – Chairman
Alhaji Mohammed Imam, Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger, says the party is still united despite recent petition alleging misappropriation of funds by some members of the state executive.
Imam stated this on Tuesday in Minna after an extended meeting with members of the party at the state and local government levels.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the state Financial Secretary of the APC, Malam Idris Gbongon, had recently petitioned the police alleging that the chairman and other executive members misappropriated funds accruing to the party.
“The APC has set out mechanisms to re-strategise and ensure that the party remain united.
“We will not allow factions in the APC in Niger or to be subdued by anyone, no matter the position the person holds, as the party remains a supreme body,” he said.
Imam said that party had properly documented all the monies it had spent.
“No money is lost. We have been running the system in the most transparent manner, in fact, we run it as if it is a Ministry. We have been prudent in resource management.
“The party has three signatories and the financial secretary who wrote that petition is one of the signatories and he has been the one writing the cheques,” he said.
He added that the financial secretary had never been sidelined any anyway as he had always participated in all meetings and party activities.
He pointed out that the financial secretary was being mischievous, saying that a five-man committee has been set up by the party to give fair hearing to all parties involved and submit their report in one week.
“This is an internal issue and we have internal mechanisms for conflict resolution which have been employed.
“A committee has been set up to give everyone fair hearing and they will submit their report in a week time,” he said.
On the party’s relationship with the executive in the state, Imam said that it was cordial, “but the party should be consulted on some issues that affect it.”
Kwara Assembly swears-in new APC member
Ahmed Rufai, the newly elected member of the Kwara House of Assembly representing Patigi State Constituency, was on Tuesday sworn-in by the Speaker, Yakubu Danladi.
The Assembly, however, had yet to swear-in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Jimoh Raheem-Agboola, who was directed by the State Election Tribunal to take over the seat of the APC member for Ilorin South Constituency, AbdulAzeez Elewu- Oluwanilo.
Raheem-Agboola, in company with scores of PDP supporters in the state, had on three occasions stormed the House for the implementation of the court judgment without success.
But addressing journalists on Tuesday on why the PDP candidate was not sworn-in, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Olumide Awolola, said Raheem-Agboola as plaintiff did not join the present occupant of the seat, Abdulazeez Elewu-Oluwanilo, in the suit he filed.
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