Foremost Igbo group in the country, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has denounced the notion that they approved the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking on behalf of the group at a conference in Enugu state, Chuks Ibegbu, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary said the organisation as a body has not endorsed any particular candidate or party because, “our children are in all the political parties”.
Ibegbu continued: “It is erroneous to say that we endorsed Atiku. Ohanaeze Ndigbo did not endorse anybody. That meeting at Nike Lake Resort was organised by friends of Atiku.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been canvassing for our people to identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.”
Meanwhile, on November 14, 2018, some Igbo leaders met, to endorse Atiku Abubakar. Then, an elder statesman Ben Nwabueze called on the Igbos to honour him by ensuring the emergence of the Atiku/Obi presidential ambition.
“We must ensure the survival of the Igbo race in Nigeria and it is only through the success of that ticket that we can get it,” he said at the meeting.
The Igbo leaders present at the meeting agreed to “identify with the Atiku/Peter Obi ticket on the restructuring agenda as has been reiterated by four zones of the country”.
However, the spokesperson to the organisation said the resolution at the meeting was their position
“We still stand on that and in the next few days, we shall meet to take a holistic position on the elections. However, due to our peculiar circumstance in the country, we will identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.”
Enugu Decides: 70 political parties endorses Governor Ifeanyi as consensus canddate
Seventy political parties in Enugu State have unanimously adopted Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as their consensus candidate for the March 9 governorship election in the state.
The parties, under the auspices of Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), endorsed the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This was disclosed by the leaders of the political parties during a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu.
They stated that “our mission here tonight is to reaffirm our total, unalloyed, unequivocal and unconditional support for your re-election as governor come March 9, 2019, which is barely 5 days away”.
The group’s coordinator, Barr. John Nwobodo, recalled that the body had in March 2018, “then consisting of 34 of the existing 40 registered political parties endorsed you for a second term in office”, disclosing that “today, the number of political parties that have joined in the crusade has increased to 70”.
The representatives of the parties, who expressed delight that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s ideology and programmes were “in tune and in line with theirs”, told the governor that “you now not only fly the flag of the PDP but you also the flags of the other political parties”.
They added that “the various political parties at party level voted unanimously for your adoption”, saying: “With this development, the individual political parties have collapsed their campaign structures to team up with you as their sole candidate”.
Describing the March 9 governorship election in Enugu State as “a referendum” on the governor’s achievements, the coalition declared that “we will speak again with our PVCs and ballot papers as we did in 2015”, revealing that they have directed their members and followers across the state “to cast their votes for you”.
Appreciating Gov. Ugwuanyi for always offering them a hand of fellowship, the group stated that “we are very happy with your good works and uncommon style of leadership”.
According to them, “Your Excellency, in an occasion like this, we cannot fail to acknowledge your giant imprints in the administration of Enugu State. Your have touched lives more than all the previous governments put together.
“From building durable roads to providing affordable housing and qualitative healthcare, Your Excellency, you have created amazing opportunities for our young ones, providing them with employment in education, health, judiciary, agriculture and in other critical sectors.
“You have provided interventions in small businesses and seed capital for young entrepreneurs. Your achievements have placed you as the darling of Nigerians giving rise to your many awards from the media, the Church, the civil society, including the political parties that recently recognized you as the Commander of Good Governance and Democracy Dividends in Enugu State”.
While presenting the adoption roll to Gov. Ugwuanyi, the chairmen of the parties wished him “successful campaigns in the remaining days and landslide victory at the polls on Saturday”.
Bayelsa: PDP calls for military replacement over alleged compromise
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa has called for the replacement and redeployment of a new set of military officers to the troubled Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas (LGAs).
It was alleged that military officers, who were on duty during the February 23 elections had already been compromised.
The party has however, lauded the leadership of the Nigerian Police for the “bold” decision to arrest the masterminds of the abduction of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal Special Anti- Robbery Squad (FSARS), Mr. Kola Okunola, during the last election.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Moses Cleopas, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, also raised the alarm that over 2,000 members of PDP loyalists who fled the violence in Nembe Bassambiri on the eve of the presidential election were being prevented from returning to their homes.
The PDP called on the federal government and the relevant security agencies to intervene in the tense security situation in Nembe Bassambiri where thugs allegedly backed by soldiers reportedly attacked their members to cart away election materials to Dairus Hotel for thumb-printing.
The state PDP chairman called on the Nigerian Army High Command to deploy a fresh set of soldiers to Nembe and Brass LGAs, insisting that the current set of soldiers had been compromised to tarnish the image of the establishment by aiding criminality and electoral violence in the state.
Cleopas expressed shock that the army had not been able to arrest any of the alleged APC thugs who had been shooting and harassing innocent people in the area.
He said it was rather shocking that the Nigerian Army had commenced a process of harassing innocent members of the PDP with a view to perpetrating low voters turnout to the detriment of the party in the area.
“Soldiers were sighted discussing with APC thugs who led people to break into the residence of a PDP stakeholder in the area, and former Commissioner for Special Duties, and later Water Resources, Chief Kuroghofa Walter Benwari.
“We call on the security agencies to ensure that the PDP members who fled Bassambiri during the attack by thugs aided by soldiers in Nembe Bassambiri are allowed to their residences without harassment,” he said.
However, the PDP chairman has lauded the leadership of the Nigerian Police for the “bold” decision to arrest the masterminds of the abduction of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Mr. Kola Okunola during the last election.
He called for immediate prosecution of the people that abducted Okunola and almost beheaded him before he was rescued for refusing to accept to manipulate the results in favour of an APC stalwart.
Oil-producing states to get more cash
There are plans to increase the 13 per cent derivation which oil-producing states enjoy in the coming months. A Committee has been set up to look into the agitation of the oil-producing states over alleged underpayment in the true value of their 13 per cent derivation fund has recommended that henceforth, “transfers into the Excess Crude Account (ECA) should be made net of the 13 per cent derivation, while the 13 per cent derivation component thereof is paid to the oil producing states.”
The Committee headed by the Commissioner of Finance for Delta State, David Edevbie, also recommended that “all future withdrawals from the ECA should be net of the 13per cent derivation share, which should be paid to the oil-producing states”.
The Committee also recommended that “the 13 per cent derivation share of previous withdrawals from the ECA should be calculated and credited to the oil-producing states in cases where it was not done”.
The Committee lamented that “while transfers were made a net of cost of collection to the relevant agencies, the 13 per cent derivation share accruable to oil-producing states as stipulated in the constitution were also jointly transferred into the ECA”.
Hence, “in addition to the normal share of Federation Account (FA) receipts, the oil-producing states were also forced to save the 13 per cent derivation component, thereby saving more than other beneficiaries of the FA, this was considered neither fair nor equitable”.
To arrive at its conclusion and recommendations, the Committee noted that “through the 13 per cent derivation principle is apparently taken into consideration when distributions are eventually made from the ECA, other past withdrawals have not necessarily taken into account, this derivation principle”.
In order to build the accruals into the ECA, which has been in the news lately because of the massive depletion it suffered, the David Edevbie Committee has presented a set of Criteria for transfers/withdrawals from ECA.
These criteria state that “if the monthly FA net distributable revenue is between N680 and N730 billion, up to N50 billion should be earmarked for transfer, provided that the distributable amount is not less than N680 billion;
“If the monthly FA net distributable revenue is between N730 and N830, up to N100 billion should be earmarked for transfer, provided that the distributable amount is not less than N730 billion;
“If the monthly FA net distributable revenue is above N830 billion, up to N150 billion should be earmarked for transfer, provided that the distributable amount is not less than N730 billion and;
“In the months when the FA net distributable revenues fall below N680billion, funds should be withdrawn from the ECA to augment the shortfall to at least N680 billion. These criteria should be reviewed periodically.”
These decisions, the Committee noted, were “a sequel to complaints by commissioners of finance of some states concerning recent transfers into and from the Excess Crude, PPT and Royalty Account (ECA), especially as it relates to the 13 per cent derivation share due to oil-producing states”.
We have threats from different quarters to stop us in 2023 – Igbos
The Leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the South East has raised the alarm over a plot by some high profile persons from a part of the country to frustrate the Igbos’ bid to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
The APC leadership in the region lamented that while the rest of Nigerians, who love fairness and justice were backing Igbo presidency, some persons, who, according to them, are opposed to equity, are working hard to thwart the aspiration for their selfish ends.
This claim was made by the National Vice Chairman (South East) of the APC, Emma Eneukwu, at its zonal stakeholders’ meeting held at the country home of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, in Uburu, Ohaozara council of Ebonyi State, on Sunday.
The meeting was held to restrategise for next year’s general election. Eneukwu said, “And then, we have threats from different quarters to make sure that they stop us in 2023 at all costs.
“They lose sight of the fact that power comes from God. If God says that you will not achieve a particular target, you will not achieve it; no matter what you do.
“But, I know that the God we serve will not watch our own share pass us by.
“He will not allow other people to take away what belongs to us. We understand that power is not given but taken.
“So, while everybody says that it is the turn of Ndigbo in 2023, we have to work for it because every other person is entitled to contest. But, the sentiment that is there is that people would say that these people (Igbo) have not ruled before,” he added.
Eneukwu further appealed to members of the party to continue working for the reelection bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, Buhari would pave way for Ndigbo in 2023.