Mr Charles Aniagwu, Spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, says sacking the party National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, would have deepened the party’s crisis.
Aniagwu stated this on Saturday in a Television programme monitored in Asaba, while giving reasons why the PDP was exploring other options toward resolving its current crisis.
He said that as a listening party, the PDP was taking a second look at the issues based on what was permissible by the laws of the party.
Aniagwu said that sacking Ayu would create constitutional crisis for the party which would snowball into greater problems than what the party was currently facing.
According to him, the suggestion that the National Chairman must step down has been overtaken by events following the vote of confidence by the National Executive Committee (NEC).
“People may misinterpret it to mean calling the bluff of certain stakeholders but that is far from it because the party leadership examined the issues vis-a-vis the provisions of the party’s constitution as amended in 2017.“When you look at that constitution, there are principal officers called the National Working Committee led by the National Chairman.
In the order of hierarchy, the Deputy National Chairman, who must also come from same zone with the National Chairman, is next in line.
“The third in line is the National Secretary; when you look at these positions, the National Chairman is from the North, the second in command is also from the North by virtue of the provision of the party’s constitution.
“In section 45 of the party’s constitution, in the event of removal or resignation of the National Chairman, the National Deputy Chairman takes over and acts in that position pending when the party is able to organise another election.
“Alternatively, the party will convene a NEC meeting where it will take a decision as to how to rearrange the hierarchy of the party,” he said.
Aniagwu added that because the offices were elective positions, even if Ayu were to step down so that the National Chairmanship seat is conceded to the South, the provisions of the constitution of the party would also be offended.
“A southerner can only become National Chairman if we also removed the Deputy National Chairman of the party who the lot immediately falls on, by provisions of the law.
“Even if the party is able to solve that puzzle by bringing both National Chairman and Deputy to South, the third person in the hierarchy of the National Working Committee of the party is the National Secretary – Sen. Samuel Anyanwu from Imo.“Now, if you decide to bring these two positions to the South, have you also made arrangements to take the National Secretary to the North?
“Because of these legal impediments, the party, after examining it, felt that given the time, which is just about six months to the general elections, that it may likely snowball into some form of crisis within the party.
“The party felt that if we proceeded to make these changes, that there is the tendency that we could dive into a crisis worse than the one we are seeing at the moment.
“The leadership of the party is intelligent enough and I am happy that Gov. Nyesom Wike and other leaders appreciate the need for the party to move as a whole into the 2023 general elections,” he said.
He said that the party adopted possible options which led to the resignation of Sen. Walid Jibrin and the emergence of Sen. Adolphus Wagbara as Chairman, Board of Trustees.
“The emergence of Wagbara in the south to join the Vice presidential candidate and National Secretary had created some form of balance in the interim.
“But what is most important is that there is a bigger elephant here which is winning the 2023 general elections because Nigerians are looking up to the PDP to rescue the nation from where we are at the moment.
“I am convinced that our leaders, who have been craving for these changes, will appreciate the fact that the party is listening.
” But, because of time, probably when the party may have won the elections in 2023, by the grace of God, we can then proceed to make some of these alterations that may not be injurious to our quest to win the general elections,” Aniagwu said.
The Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) on Saturday inaugurated staff quarters for NAOWA College and its Model Nursery and Primary School in Abuja and honoured some deserving members of staff.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while the staff quarter was named after Mrs Nnena Ihejirika, the 500-seat auditorium was named after Mrs Martha Bamaiyi, both former presidents of NAOWA.
While Mrs Bamaiyi established the NAOWA model school in 1999, Mrs Ihejirika established NAOWA college in 2013. The incumbent president of NAOWA, Mrs Salamatu Yahaya said the structures were in line with her vision of “sustaining legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service”.
Mrs Yahaya said that past leaders of NAOWA had carved a niche for themselves and secured ample space in the association’s hall of fame through their remarkable leadership styles and establishments of sustainable legacies.
She pledged to sustain the legacies through maintenance of existing structures, construction of additional ones, standardisation of facilities and capacity development for NAOWA members and staff.
“This commissioning ceremony is an avenue to celebrate and immortalize two great NAOWA past Presidents who have made noteworthy impacts in the growth structure of NAOWA.
“In this regard, we resolved that the newly constructed Staff Quarters here at the NAOWA College Abuja be named Mrs Nnenna Ihejirika Staff Quarters and the Multipurpose Hall at NAOWA Model Nursery and Primary School Asokoro be named Mrs Martha Bamaiyi Multipurpose Hall. “This is indeed, our way of showing respect and also engraving continuity as a mantra in the leadership structure of NAOWA at all levels.
“It is also a way of preserving history for the benefit of NAOWA members, prospective leaders.
staff and students of these institutions, as well as the public at large,” she said.
The NAOWA president said that the 19 members of staff honoured and rewarded with gifts, had put in an average of 15 years of meritorious services in the two schools.
Mrs Yahaya said the gesture was to show appreciation for their hard work, commitment, perseverance and determination in the development of the schools.
She appreciated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, commandants of army institutions, commanders and other senior military officers for their support towards the establishment of the structures.
In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, commended the efforts of past and present leadership of NAOWA for their foresight in supporting educational development in the Nigerian army.
He also commended the association for taking the lead in addressing the needs of their homes as well as supporting the educational needs of their children.
The COAS pledged continuous support to NAOWA in their quest to touch lives within and outside the barracks.
The President, Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association, Mrs Vickie Irabor, lauded the vision of past presidents of NAOWA who established the schools that had become flagship in the military community.
Irabor said the women had continued to hold the home front while their husbands were being deployed to the frontline to confront security challenges.
On her part, Mrs Bamaiyi thanked the NAOWA president for recognizing her contribution to the development of education in the Nigerian army.
She urged the association to sustain the vision of the founders and continue to build on the existing structures.
Mrs Ihejirika, on her part, commended the successive NAOWA leadership for sustaining and expanding the legacies of the past leaders.
She thanked Mrs Yahaya for honouring her by naming the college’s staff quarters after her.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of various gift items including plasma LED television set to 19 teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools for their meritorious service over the years.
The International Federation of Red Cross, West Africa, on Saturday warned Nigerians not to lose guard of the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Dr Johann Ojukwu, Red Cross Health and Care Officer, Abuja office, gave the warning in Lokoja while speaking at the end of a road show to sensitise residents on COVID-19 vaccines.
“The complacent attitude of Nigerians to COVID-19 vaccines is very dangerous and worrisome to the wellbeing of the nation.
“We have observed that Nigerians have stopped coming out to be vaccinated against the disease, thereby constituting serious threat to public health.
“Nigeria cannot afford to let down its guard as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
This is because the virus is still very much around and still ravaging all parts of the country,” she said.
Ojukwu said travellers from different parts of the world that were likely to be carriers of the virus were still visiting Nigeria, which “entails that nobody is totally free yet from the disease.
” Also speaking, Dr Khadijat Malik, Director, Primary Heath Care, Lokoja Local Government area, called on Kogi residents to come out to be vaccinated against COVID-19, considering the unique location of the state as the link between Southern and Northern Nigeria.
Mr Dan Usman, Chairman of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, Lokoja branch, explained that the road show was to scale up awareness and sensitise the people about COVID-19 vaccines.
Usman cautioned the residents on their reluctance to come out to be vaccinated against the disease, saying that government would never bring anything that had negative health implications for the people into the country.
The Federal Government has formally launched the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP 2.0) in Imo to assist the poor.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, inaugurated the national phase of the programme in Owerri on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the major highlight of the event was the minister’s presentation of cheques for interest-free loans to selected beneficiaries of the programme in Imo. They included some peasant farmers and petty business women.
In a speech, Farouq said that the initiative was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fight poverty and its devastating impact from all angles.
According to her, GEEP is a programme designed by the present administration to create further opportunities for the poor, vulnerable and low-income Nigerians.
She said that the targeted beneficiaries were mainly those involved in viable informal productive activities with limited financial requirements but never had access to loans from the formal financial sector.
“It is meant to give priority to the most vulnerable in our society, like widows, youth, persons with disabilities and the internally displaced persons, amongst others,” she said.
She said that at least 4,144 beneficiaries were selected from across the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo .
The minister also said that the process of their selection was transparent, adding that the beneficiaries were verifiable.
“These beneficiaries now have bank accounts.
“They have been given ATM cards and are currently being enumerated.
“All these are our deliberate efforts to enhance financial inclusivity of our poor in a sustainable manner,” Farouq said.
She further said that the GEEP roll-out, which heralded a launch and disbursement of loans in all the states, was a consolidation of the National Social Investment Programme.
“This programme is being implemented in close partnership with the State Government and this effort is a clear demonstration of our collective commitment to address poverty, which is the core developmental challenge confronting us as a people,” she further said.
NAN reports that GEEP 2.0 has three unique products, including Tradermoni loan of N50,000, meant to uplift the under-privileged and marginalised youths between the ages of 18 and 40 years.
The second is MarketMoni loan, also of N50,000 for the under-privileged and marginalised women, like widows, divorcees and other vulnerable groups.
The third is FarmerMoni loan of between N50,000 and N300,000 designed for small scale farmers in the communities to improve their productivity and inclusion into commercial farming.
In a remark, Gov. Hope Uzodimma pledged the Imo Government’s readiness to play a complimentary role toward the success of the programme.
“I have seen that Federal Government alone cannot get to you people without the support of the State and Local Governments.
“That is why I have pleaded that more Imo people should benefit from the programme.
“The minister has graciously approved that more Imo people would benefit,” Uzodimma said.
He further described the home-grown feeding programme as one of the best inititiatives of the Federal Government.
“That is why I want all our parents to pick interest knowing that your children will eat when they go to school.
“Pick interest in how the food is prepared and served,” he said.
The governor said that the Federal Government’s gesture had proved that promises could be made and fulfilled in politics.
He recalled that in 2021, his administration gave N250,000 each to 15,000 youths in the state.
He promised that the figure would be increased before the end of the year.
The governor, who commended Buhari for his interest in the masses, urged the beneficiaries to utilise the loans judiciously to meet the expected economic impacts.
The Kaduna State Government, says Troops of Nigerian Army have gunned down several bandits at Tollgate general area of Chikun Local Government in the state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the development in a statement on Saturday in Kaduna.
Aruwan also disclosed that notorious bandit Boderi Isiya has narrowly escaped being neutralized, while his deadly second in command and several other fighters were gunned down by the troops.
According to him, security agencies informed the Kaduna State Government of this development in an operational feedback.
He explained that a painstaking check with credible human intelligence sources further confirmed that Boderi and his terror group had a bad day at the hands of the combat-ready troops.
According to the reports, the troops engaged the bandits around the Tollgate general area of Chikun LGA.
“The bandits scrambled in retreat, only to run into another ambush laid by the troops in Sabon Gida general area.
“The troops engaged the bandits ferociously, and ultimately subdued them.
“Corpses and weapons were recovered at the scene, while some of the terrorists eventually died from bullet wounds.
“Boderi’s deadly second in command, one Musti, was among those identified to have been eliminated, alongside one Yellow Mai-Madrid and one Dan-Katsinawa, with others yet to be identified,” he said.
The commissioner said some of the terrorists are battling with life-threatening wounds.
Aruwan disclosed that Musti and Boderi were responsible for the security breach at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, and kidnappings of students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, the Emir of Bungudu and several other citizens in 2021.The commissioner said Gov. Nasir El-Rufai praised the troops for the commendable feat under the leadership of the General Officer Commanding, 1 Division, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja.
He noted that it was the latest of notable breakthrough recorded since the GOC took command of the Division.
“The Kaduna state government will keep the public updated on further developments.
“Citizens with useful information regarding the bandits reported to be seeking medical attention in the general area and elsewhere, are encouraged to bring such information forward via the following numbers: 09034000060, 08170189999,” Aruwan said.
The Federal Government have inaugurated a national committee against torture(NCAT).
Inaugurating the committee, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami ,SAN said members are expected to play a crucial role in stamping out torture and other related vices and to ensure justice to survivors and victims.
” I observed that poor funding is the bane of the previous committee.
The provision of adequate funding to ease the work of the Committee has become imperative.
” The committee has been given a broad mandate to deal with issues of torture in the country in accordance with the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) ” It is at liberty to seek more areas to dwell if the need arises, considering the critical nature of this national assignment” he said.
Malami said the committee is empowered to liaise with the NHRC in discharging its mandate, especially in the area of visits to Correctional Service facilities.
Also speaking, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Chairperson of the NCAT, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, assured of the federal government of the committee’s commitment to satisfactorily implement the terms of reference.
The committee’s secretariat is domiciled at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary , NHRC, Tony Ojukwu ,SAN who is the alternate Chair of the committee said the idea of NHRC hosting the Committee (Secretariat) is in line with international best practices, given that it brings credibility to the work of the Committee.
” I recall visits to Correctional Service facilities and other detention centres was one of the major challenges of the previous committee.
“Leveraging on the powers of the commission to visit such facilities will be highly beneficial to the Committee.
” There is the need for the Committee to collaborate with relevant MDAs, Nigerian Bar Associations and Civil Society Organizations ” he said.
The committee’s Terms of Reference are to engage and liaise with Committee Against Torture (CAT) and regional human rights mechanisms in the context of country reporting.
Also, interactive dialogue or facilitation of visits by special procedure mandate holders or the Subcommittees on the Prevention of Torture.
To organise and facilitate the preparation of reports to CAT and regional human rights mechanisms, and of responses to communication, follow up questions and recommendations or decisions received from such mechanisms.
Others are to coordinate data collection and information gathering from government agencies, National Assembly and the Judiciary for the reporting and follow up.
To foster and lead consultations for reporting and follow up with the National Human Rights Commission and Civil Society Organizations.
To receive and consider communications on torture from individuals, CSOs and government institutions, among others.
Members of the Committee are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Justice, National Human Right Commission, Nigeria Police Force, Legal Aids Council, Nigeria Correctional Service.
Others are the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Bar association among others.
The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Adebowale Williams has warned motorists to minimise their speed while on a journey to prevent accident and loss of human lives.
Williams gave the advice on Saturday when he visited the scene of the Friday accident, which claimed 14 lives at the Maya-Lanlate Junction in Ibarapa East Local Government area of Oyo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the accident, which happened on Friday at about 2.05 p.
m, involved a Sienna car and an 18-Seater bus.
The two vehicles were travelling in opposite direction when they had head on collusion, following which the vehicles caught fire immediately.
Fourteen passages were burnt beyond recognition in the incident, while two others suffered various degrees of injuries.
Williams also visited the Awojobi Clinic, Eruwa, where the surviving victims were receiving treatment, as well as the General Hospital, Eruwa Mortuary, where the burnt bodies were deposited.
The commissioner of police said that 16 people were involved in the accident, with 14 of them burnt beyond recognition and the remaining two were seriously injured.
He said the two surviving victims – the motor boy of the 18 seater bus and the driver of the Sienna car were under intensive care.
The police chief said that six of the burnt body had been identified by their family members, while the remaining eight burnt bodies were yet to be identified.
Williams, describing the incident as unfortunately, said that the accident would have been prevented, if the drivers were not speeding.
He said that the Sienna car had a busted tyre, while on speed and collided with the 18-Seater bus, resulting into flame.
Williams said the command was trying its best to get family of the deceased to come forward to claim the bodies.
He said that the command was also liasing with the state government to render assistant to those hospitalised.
Williams said that police, in conjunction with the Federal Road Safety Corps and Oyo State Road Traffic Management and other stakeholders, would synergise to ensure that motorists always obey traffic rules and regulations and regularly check their vehicles.
In her remarks, Dr Felicia Adetilewa, the Medical Doctor, Awojobi Clinic Eruwa, said Babatunde Adewale, a bus conductor, was still unconscious.
Adetilewa said that Adewale, whose two legs were burnt in the accident, was responding to treatment at the facility.
Nasarawa Amazon FC of Lafia on Saturday walloped the Braveheart Ladies of Benin 10-1 to seal a spot in the quarter finals of the ongoing 2nd Betsey Obaseki Women Football Tournament (BOWFT) in Benin.
The Amazons, a Nigeria Women Football League team, proved their might against the Benin amateurs in one of the day 3 matches at the University of Benin Sports Complex.
The Lafia girls had earlier secured a 2-0 victory over Robo Queens FC of Lagos, thereby amassing the six maximum points to lead Group A.
Meanwhile, in a Group B match, Royal Queens FC of Warri recorded a 2-0 victory over the RoyalToms International.
With the victory, the Royal Queens have similarly zoomed to the next stage of the women event, joining the Edo Queens in Group B to book a place among the last eight.
Similarly, Heartland Queens of Owerri had a walk-over on the Osun Babes FC of Osogbo, due to their failure to turn up for the game.
Pan-African and In-Diaspora United Royal Consultative Organisation (PADEFECO) has reiterated calls for unity and mutual bilateral relations among Africans in the Diaspora.
Founder of the association, Eze Soronnadi Ezebuiro, made the call at an event in Abuja on Saturday.
Ezebuiro said that Africans must wake up, safeguard and project the continent’s traditional and cultural norms as a way to maintain the black man’s identity.
He also lamented the continued exploitation of the continent by Western powers, insisting that it was time for a world free of racism.
The royal father said that PADEFECO was poised to promote a world culture where humanity had a single identity and a wider tolerance for religious and cultural diversity.
He also called on traditional rulers and opinion leaders across the world to cooperate with the association to give African descendants a sense of belonging in identifying their roots.
“PADEFECO hopes to create an Africa with comparative advantages in trade, economic resources and investments to be at par with developed economies.
“We are also using the opportunity of today’s event to tell the world that the continent’s cultures, traditions and norms are not extinct,” Ezebuiro added.
He enumerated the achievements of PADEFECO to include the adoption of Yoruba language into school curriculum in Brazil.
Ezebuiro further revealed that the organisation, covering Africa, the Caribbean, America, Asia and other continents, was collaborating with the international community to reduce poverty and crime on the continent.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the association has the likes of Prof. Pat Utomi, former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro as members.
Health experts have advised Nigerians to consume more of local foods to prevent diseases and untimely death.
They gave the advice on Saturday at a two-day medical outreach in memory of the late Mrs Phebian Obasoyin, who died on Sept. 9, 2021 at the age of 90 years.
It was held at the residence of the deceased in Ikere-Ekiti.
At the outreach, organised by the Deaconess Phenian Obasoyin Diabetes Patients Foundation, free medical tests were conducted for the participants, while drugs were dispensed freely to those in need.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the medical foundation conducted medical tests on the beneficiaries with diabetes, blood pressure, washing of teeth and hepatitis.
In his remarks, Dr Samuel Omotoso, the Medical Director of Oba Adejuyigbe General Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, said the events would create awareness on some diseases that could be prevented through control of eating habits.
Omotoso said that it would enable many people to check their health status in order not to be caught unaware by avoidable diseases.
He said: “Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the cardiovascular diseases that affects the heart.
“It is usually referred to as a silent killer, because it sometimes does not give any symptoms until it is late or in advanced stage, leading to stroke or heart failure or attack.
“Hypertension is not designated to create fear or stress in people, but to educate them on the importance of getting their blood pressure checked and educate them on their diet to prevent the risk of hypertension and diabetic-related diseases.
” Also, addressing the beneficiaries, Dr Seeke Abiodun, said it was unfortunate that children too were affected by the two diseases.
Abiodun urged Nigerians to cultivate the habit of eating local foods to prevent diabetes.
According to her, every local foods is healthy, unlike the westernised foods that are causing several damages to the health.
She attributed the rise in the ailment partly to the sedentary lifestyle of many Nigerians, saying that high blood pressure and diabetes were more prevalent in the urban areas than in the rural areas.
The medical expert urged Nigerians to watch their dietary pattern and reduce their intake of salt.
“Instead, eat more of balanced diet, vegetables and fruits, avoid alcohol and tobacco and engage in physical activities,” she advised.
On behalf of children of the deceased, Princess Adeola Ale, said that their mother successfully managed the treatment of both hypertension and diabetes for over 30 years before she died in 2021. Ale said that the diseases were not as fearful and deadly as most patient see it, but “only need careful management and strict adherance to medical experts advice”.
“Our mother was hypertensive and diabetic for over 30 years, but we, the children ensure that she adhere strictly to medical and dietary advises.
“She was able to live for 90 years without any negative impact on her,” Ale said.
The late Mrs Phebian Obasoyin (Eye Loge) was survived by six children namely: Bosede, Fatai, Adeola, Jide, Adetola and Johnson.