Ayodele Fayoser
While the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, champions the movement against Ali Sheriff as Peoples Democratic Party chairman, a senator from his state has declared full support for Mr. Sheriff.

Mr. Sheriff has been recognised as PDP chairman by the Court of Appeal. But Mr. Fayose, who heads the PDP Governors Forum, and other party leaders have restated their opposition to Mr. Sheriff ad vowed to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.

However, on Sunday, Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, who represents Ekiti Central Senatorial District said Mr. Sheriff was the authentic national chairman of the PDP.

She made the declaration on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti while speaking with journalists at the end of a three-day capacity building training on ICT she organised for 100 beneficiaries in her constituency.

Mrs. Raji-Rasaki’s declaration comes days after another senator from Bayelsa State, Ben Murray-Bruce also declared support for Mr. Sheriff saying there was no need for further litigations.

On Sunday, Mrs. Raji-Rasaki, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, said the era of impunity was dead in the PDP.
She said that the Court of Appeal judgment which affirmed Mr. Sheriff as the national chairman of PDP had afforded the party an opportunity to put its house in order.

The lawmaker, who belongs to a rival PDP faction in Ekiti different from the governor’s, said the recent developments in Ekiti and at the national level, would enable the PDP prepare ahead of the 2019 general elections.

She described the Court of Appeal judgment as a “new lease of life’’ for members of the party.
 Fatimat Raji-Rasaki

The senator, who distributed free laptops to participants who attended the training, stressed that anybody that wants to make impact in today’s world must be empowered technologically.

She urged the beneficiaries to put into practice what they learnt at the training.

Mrs. Raji-Rasaki expressed sadness that impunity, lawlessness, violation of the PDP constitution and abuse of power by people whose names she did not mention, had negatively affected the party’s fortunes before the judgment.

She expressed hope that the PDP would emerge stronger from its crises to be a party that would allow equity, justice, fair play, adherence to due process and the principles of democracy to thrive.

The senator expressed satisfaction that the judiciary intervened and resolved the protracted crises rocking the party.

She lauded the Ekiti chapter of the party for affirming Williams Ajayi as the authentic state chairman.

She alleged that some individuals in the PDP had turned the party into their personal property where party congresses and primaries elections to elect candidates were hijacked.

She added that members of the party were not allowed to choose candidates of their choice.

She said: “Crisis in any political party is part of democracy because we disagree to agree.

“We, the authentic PDP, are being led by Ali Modu Sheriff and we thank God that the court judgment has put an end to impunity in our party.

“Impunity is one thing that destroys any organisation or association where people decide and subscribe to rules and regulations guiding them.

“It is a pity that some people turned the PDP to a place where one person will corner everything and turn it to PLC.
“A party is supposed to be where everybody has a say because we are in a democracy

“In Ekiti, the authentic executive has won in court as well, so in the PDP, we have no option than to obey the rule of law.”

Buhari Osinbajo
The Federal Government will employ additional 350,000 unemployed graduates in 2017.

The graduates will be employed under the N-Power Volunteer Corps, a component of the government’s Social Investment Programmes.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday. 

Akande said President Muhammadu Buhari has requested appropriation of N157.75bn in the 2017 budget estimates for the N-Power scheme.

“350,000 unemployed graduates more would be hired and trained, alongside 50,000 non-graduates youths to be engaged as artisans and in other creative ventures,” Akande said. 

He explained further that under the N157.75bn also, a sum of N4.5bn has been earmarked for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programme to support young Nigerians in building skills in those disciplines.

Akande noted that the SIP budget proposals for 2017 are currently being discussed this week at the National Assembly and urged Nigerians to expect more this year especially in the area of implementation as virtually all of the SIPs are now undergoing different stages of implementation.

“While we were able to engage 200,000 unemployed graduates last year, we will do 350,000 more this year,” he said. 

He added that some of the teething problems are giving way to lessons that would smoothen implementation under the 2017 budget.

He also disclosed that about N75bn has been allocated for the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the 2017 Budget. 

He added that N112.2bn has been allocated to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme aimed at providing interest-free loans to up to 1.2million market men and women, traders, artisans, youths and farmers.

Tinubu Declares Presidential ambitionFormer Governor of Lagos State, and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said that he cannot rule out the possibility of running for the office of the president.

Tinubu said this while fielding questions from journalists on Friday.

The former Lagos Governor noted that running for any office in Nigeria was an opportunity to serve his country.

He said, “You see there is nothing wrong with such ambition.

“It depends on the timing and the environment and what political leadership dictates.

“I will not brush aside such an aspiration.

”It has been historical even that Buhari tried first, second, third, and fourth before he got it. Resilience, determination, and clarity of purpose.

“Maybe as a senator, maybe as a president, you cannot rule it out. How can I rule such a thing out, the opportunity to serve my country? But you only do that when there is a vacancy.”

Tinubu added that there was no rift whatsoever amongst APC leaders.

He said, “Everything has always been alright in APC camp. I credit the Nigerian creativity in journalism, they create stories, and if you have to respond to every one of it, you will be in trouble.”

Source: Daily Post

Again, PDP Wins Bloody Rivers Rerun
The Peoples Democratic Party has won the supplementary rerun election held in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The election, as usual, marred by bloody violent. An INEC Officer's hand was chopped off yesterday.

The party, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, won the Federal House of Representatives seat and the State House of Assembly seat that were in contention.

Returning Officer for the Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency election, Professor Shola Omotola, announced on Sunday that the All Progressives Congress got 6,220 votes while the PDP polled 15,221 votes.

With the declaration of the result, Jerome Eke of the PDP defeated his closed rival, Ogbonna Nwuke of the APC

However, the Returning Officer for the Etche State Constituency 2 election, Oluwatosin Odusanya announced that the PDP scored 4,162 votes to defeat the APC, which polled 1,618 votes.

Based on the result announced, Tony Ejiogu of the PDP won his challenger, Golden Chioma of the APC.

But the State Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, condemned the act of trying to subvert the will of the people through INEC result manipulation with the support of security agents.

The governor said Rivers people would continue to resist fraudulent attempts to manipulate election results.

He declared that elections could only be won at the polling units and not through the swapping of result sheets by security agencies and INEC.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced the release of its employee who was kidnapped by suspected political thugs during Saturday’s supplementary rerun election in Etche, Rivers State.

INEC in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer in Rivers State, Tonia Nwobi, denied that one of its staff lost a hand to the violence that erupted in some parts of Etche during the election.

The commission added that as of the time of issuing the statement, all 745 employees mobilised from Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States had returned to the collation centre.

Buhari and Obasanjo
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President of Nigeria has said President Muhammadu Buhari has not disappointed him since he assumed office  in 2015, despite the fact that he is a known poor manager of the economy

Obasanjo stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta.

While reflecting on the Buhari administration since 2015, Obasanjo said that the president had done his best to move the country forward.

“Whatever anybody says, President Buhari has not disappointed me from what I know of him,’’ he said.

He said the president had delivered on his core areas of strength and ability, particularly in the anti-corruption crusade and the war against the insurgency.

“In my book, I have said that Buhari is not strong on the economy and I did not write this to run him down.

“I also used to think that he is not strong in the area of foreign affairs, but I have realised that he has improved very well.

“He has actually done his best in the areas where we know him to be strong,” he said.

The elder statesman urged  Nigerians not to relent in their support for Buhari and not to give up on Nigeria.

“Whatever you might see as bad in Nigeria, other societies have gone through the same at some period in their history.

“It is not for us to begin to condemn but to begin to join hands together and consider how we can make the best out of our present.

”Our present situation is a passing phase and we need to be resilient to ensure that we are not consumed by it.

“I will be the first to admit that we have not been where we should have been, but note that we have also been far from where we could have been because it could have been worse.

“It is the height of ingratitude for people to say Nigeria has not achieved anything or much as a nation.

“The generation before mine fought for Nigeria’s independence,  that is great.

“My own generation,  which is the next,  fought to sustain the unity of Nigeria.

“Since 1999, Nigeria had  enjoyed 18 years of unbroken democracy.

“We witnessed in 2007 a transition of  power from one individual to another in the same party.

“We witnessed in 2015 a transition of power from an individual in the ruling party to another individual in the opposition party.

“All these should not be taken for granted,” he said.

Obasanjo also decried the call for national conferences or assemblies to negotiate the continued unity of Nigeria.

The former president who, described such conferences as distractions,  said he did not bother to read the report  of the last one organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

”  We Nigerians need ourselves and if anyone thinks he does not need another person, good luck to him.

“What I see in all those groups trying to break away is that they want more of the national cake.

“The fact that you want more of the cake means that it is good and you like it, else you will not be asking for more of it.

“I do understand the agitations of the youths in that the increased facilities that now exist as against our own time have not translated to adequate opportunities for them.

“But I think that rather than engage in violence, they should think of how to build on the sacrifices of the generations before them,” he said.

The elder statesman, who would turn 80 on March 5, said he had no regrets at such an  age.

He said that his hope that Nigeria would still be a great nation was still intact. 

Recent Boko Haram attacks, confirms AI's support for dissident elements - CSO
A Human rights advocacy group, the Africa Arise for Change Network has said the recent report by Amnesty International which claimed that Nigerian security operatives are engaged in extra judicial killings has emboldened the Boko Haram terrorists

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Executive Director of the group, Okoli Stella Esq, said Amnesty International should be held responsible for any further unrest in the country.

She said the organisation's attempt to blackmail the Nigerian security agencies has further incite citizens against the state

She said it is not surprising that an already defeated Boko Haram terrorists have resurfaced and escalated its attack coinciding with the release of the amnesty report.

She said, "The recent attacks being launched on military positions by Boko Haram vindicate our position as a civil society that Amnesty International is out to embolden terrorists to attack the Nigerian state and its citizenry.

"what Nigeria requires at the moment is a permanent solution to the humanitarian crisis fueled by the likes of Amnesty International in the north east of the country. Nigerians will not hesitate to adopt home grown solutions to salvage the situation if the world chooses to believe a compromised entity like Amnesty International over brave people that toil and sacrifice daily to correct the mess created from abroad."

According to Stella, Amnesty reports attempts to protect violent groups like IMN, IPOB, MASSOB, Armed robbers as well as Boko Haram terrorists.
She said the reports by AI are meant to incite the citizens against themselves in the hope that Nigeria can through this process become a failed state or a nation in intractable crisis.

She said, "The world's most deadly terrorist group that has displaced millions of people, killed several thousands and destroyed an entire region. These terrorists abduct and rape children who they then sell off as child-brides while converting the males into child-fighters. Since the fall of their last camp in Sambisa Forest they have turned ten year olds into suicide bombers and also force women with babies strapped on their backs to carry out suicide bombings. The group's original goal was to deny all other Nigerians the right to freedom of religion through the forced implementation of Sharia across board. Amnesty International is campaigning for the killers in this group to be invited for talks over sumptuous lunch as pre-condition to issue a certificate that they have been treated humanely.

"The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), a fanatical militarized Islamic group that the Kaduna state government had to outlaw after its violent confrontation with the military left several persons dead, also enjoys the patronage of Amnesty International."

She described officers and soldiers of the Nigerian military as true heroes, assuring that no amount of blackmail should deter them from saving the country from separatist and insurgents who thought Nigeria is a conquered territory.
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