Governor Nyesom Wike has accused the Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the GOC of 6 Division, Nigeria Army of masterminding the mass arrest of innocent Nigerians and prominent PDP members in Rivers State.
According to the Governor, the essence of the arrests is to precipitate a crisis and cause the INEC to postpone the elections in the state.
Wike also noted that the Minister will seek to use the vacuum created by the absence of arrested leaders and rig the governorship election and force a candidate of his choice against the will of the people.
The governor made the accusation through the Commissioner for Information and Communications Emma Okah.
His claims come on the heels of the alleged arrest of the State Commissioner for Education Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja and his family by soldiers in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Read the full statement by the Wike-led Rivers State Government.
“RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT
RSG ACCUSES AMAECHI, GOC 6 DIV, NIGERIA ARMY OF ILLEGALLY ARRESTING PDP MEMBERS
Rivers State Government has accused the Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the GOC of 6 Division, Nigeria Army of masterminding the mass arrest of innocent Nigerians and prominent PDP members in the State.
The essence of the arrests is to precipitate a crisis and cause the INEC to postpone the elections in Rivers State. Failing this, the Minister will use the vacuum created by the absence of arrested leaders and rig the governorship election and force a candidate of his choice against the will of the people.
The State made this accusation through the Commissioner for Information and Communications Emma Okah following the arrest of the State Commissioner for Education Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja and his family by soldiers this evening in Port Harcourt.
We have been saying it repeatedly that the Minister of Transportation has been commanding the army in Port Harcourt to do unprofessional things and the crisis are spreading.
He has been boasting that he has brought soldiers from Sokoto and other states to carry out his political agenda of disrupting or rigging elections on Saturday.
According to the statement, any arrested person would be kept behind bars till after the governorship elections in the State.
A lot of Prominent persons have been penciled down for arrest. Some of them are His Excellency Sir Celestine Omehia, former Gov of Rivers State; Rt Hon Austin Opara, former Dep Speaker of House of Reps; State PDP Chairman Bro Felix Obuah; Elder statesman Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, former Chairman of UBA; Sen Okaka Nwogu; Chief Sergeant Awuse; Sen Lee Maeba; Dr Tammy Danagogo, former Sports Minister; Dr Abiye Sekibo, former Transport Minister; Amb Desmond Akawor, former Nig Ambassador to South Korea; Prince Emma Anyanwu; Sir Kenneth Kobani, SSG; Ejor N Ejor, Prof Blessing Didia, members of Rivers State House of Assembly; PDP candidates and National Assembly members elect; Alabo David Briggs, all commissioners and special advisers; Local Government Council Chairmen, Senator Thompson Sekibo, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, etc.
In light of this development, the government calls on all PDP members not to be cowed by this development but be vigilant and resist arrest by these people.
Commissioner of Information and Communications
Estonian ride-hailing company, Taxify, has announced the change of its company's name to 'Bolt'. The change comes just when the Company is in need of immediate funding. Taxify wanted the word Taxi removed from its name so as to remove the impression that it was only meant for car-only ride-hailing business.
Bolt is the name the business has been using for its electric scooter service, and it will now be used for all the company’s offerings.
The name change also moves away from the idea that the business is a car-only ride-hailing company, by removing the word “taxi”.
The company plans to add more vehicles like scooters to its service list, while it also plans on entering the public transport market in the future.
The name Bolt further reflects the company’s focus on both electric vehicles and speed, said CEO Markus Villig.
“We are bullish that the future is fully electric and so we wanted a name that moved us away from the combustion engine,” said Villig.
Bolt has 25 million users in 30 countries across Europe and Africa.
Police deployed Wednesday in the Algerian capital with water cannons, a day after thousands of students demonstrated against ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s re-election bid.
Although the city remained calm, security forces were bracing for further protests on Friday as demonstrators have vowed to take to the streets until the 82-year-old leader resigns.
Half a dozen police vans and a water cannon were deployed near Algiers’ iconic main post office, where on Tuesday thousands of students rallied against the president.
There was a similar deployment at the nearby Place Audin which has also drawn thousands of demonstrators since the protest movement first erupted on February 22.
On Tuesday students in the capital chanted “Hey Bouteflika, there won’t be a fifth term” and pledged to hold further protests.
Later army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who is known to be loyal to Bouteflika, delivered a speech slamming unnamed parties who he said want to return to the “painful years” of Algeria’s 1992-2002 civil war.
He vowed to guarantee the country’s “security and stability”.
El Watan newspaper on Wednesday noted that Gaid Salah did not use his usual “bellicose” tone while the Liberte daily said he chose a “peaceful discourse”.
The country’s medical association meanwhile piled pressure on the Constitutional Court, which validates presidential bids, concerning Bouteflika’s health.
The leader, who suffered a stroke in 2013 and is rarely been seen in public, has been in Switzerland since February 24 for what the president has described as “routine medical tests”.
Bouteflika’s bid to stand in the April 18 election was submitted on his behalf Sunday to the Constitutional Council by his campaign manager.
The medical association said health certificates submitted by presidential hopefuls — in line with the electoral law — must respect “medical ethics” and be drafted by doctors who are members of the association.
The bar association of Tizi Ouzou, east of Algiers, also put pressure on the council in a letter published by local newspapers.
It said that “physical and mental” wellbeing was a necessary condition for candidates who wish to accede to the “supreme office” of a state, in a clear reference to Bouteflika’s failing health.
Bouteflika promised Sunday that if he wins the April poll he will organize a “national conference” to set a date for further elections which he would not contest.
But Algerians wary of his two-decade rule angrily dismissed his promise as an insult.
President Muhammadu Buhari pledges to work harder in his second tenure by providing security, improving the economy, creating jobs, fighting corruption and upgrading infrastructure.
Speaking at the State House, Abuja on Wednesday when he received the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, on a courtesy visit, President Buhari said:
“This is my last lap. I will try and work even harder than I have done. I assure you that I will not let you down. I pray that my best will be good enough.”
The President, who thanked members of the ACF for their consistent and dogged support, said he remained appreciative of their goodwill.
Speaking on behalf of the ACF, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mallam Adamu Fika, said the organization had visited to congratulate President Buhari on his re-election.
Recalling some strategic projects important to the North and the country as a whole abandoned up until 2015 such as the Baro Dry Port and Mambilla Hydro Power station, Mallam Fika said:
“It is pleasing to note that since then, the Baro Dry Port has been commissioned, while some other projects have been reactivated and are now being implemented.”
“We pray that those organs of government charged with the responsibility for the implementation will double their efforts to ensure that these projects are executed fully to their logical conclusion within a reasonable time,” he added.Read More
A three-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja is hearing the ex-parte motion filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, seeking an order granting them access to inspect the electoral materials used for the Presidential election.
Atiku had earlier filed an ex-parte motion at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, asking for various orders of the court to allow him to access all documents used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the presidential election.
The ex-parte motion is praying for an order compelling INEC to allow them to inspect the register and other vital documents used in the conduct of the election unhindered.
In the ex-parte motion dated March 4 and filed March 5, Atiku and the PDP applied that the Appellate Court serving as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to compel the electoral body to allow their agents to scan and make photocopies of vital documents used in the last presidential election for the purpose of maintaining their petition against the election.
The ex-parte application filed by, Mister Chris Uche, has INEC, President Muhamadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as respondents.
The three-man panel, sitting today, is led by Justice Abdul Aboki, while Justices Peter Ige and Emmanuel Agim are members.Read More
The Lagos State Government has said that there will be no public holiday on Friday ahead of the governorship election that would hold across the country, unlike the Feb. Friday 22 public holiday.
In a statement by the State Commissioner for Information, Kehinde Bamigbetan, the government described as untrue some media reports that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode announced a work-free day.
“The Lagos State Government on Wednesday clarified reports making the rounds that it had declared Friday, March 8 as Public Holiday for Civil Servants, saying the information was untrue.
“A report currently circulating on social media platforms had suggested that the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had declared Friday as a public holiday to enable Lagosians to prepare for the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections,” he stated.
According to the Commissioner, civil servants are expected to be at their various duty posts on Friday and disregard any information to the contrary.
Although Friday is a working day in the state, as usual, Bamigbetan explained that all public and private schools in the State are expected to proceed on the second Mid-Term Break on Thursday and Friday respectively.
The schools are however expected to resume academic activities on Monday, March 11 based on the revised school calendar for 2018/2019 Academic Year.Read More
Less than 72 hours to the second half of the 2019 general elections and political activities are just getting hotter. Reports reaching us is that 70 political parties in Enugu State, under the auspices of Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), have unanimously adopted Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as their consensus candidate for the March 9 governorship election in the state.
The leaders of the political parties, who conveyed their stance to Gov. Ugwuanyi, when they paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Enugu, 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.”
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”.Read More
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is not fuelled by hatred.
This he said on Tuesday during an event to mark his 82nd birthday anniversary held at the Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
“Buhari; there is nothing personal between me and him … I am his boss, with all due respect,” the elder statesman said.
He added, “The point is that I have been in that position longer than any Nigerian will ever be there.”
The former president explained that he was only criticizing the programmes and policy of the present administration to ensure that things were done according to democratic norms.
He noted that while anybody could be in the President’s position, the purpose of criticism was to deepen democracy and ensure economic growth and development of the nation.
Obasanjo said, “You see that in a democracy, to criticize a policy of the government is not a family affair; even if it is my brother that is there and is not doing the things that I believe he should do, he must be criticized.
“That is what democracy is all about. So, if I say anybody in government in Nigeria or any government in Africa is not doing well, let that government prove that it is doing well; it is not taking things personally,” he reiterated.
The former president further called on African leaders to focus more on democracy, good governance and the growth of the economy for the good of the people.
According to him, those who keep quiet in an environment where there is not development are accomplices in the crime.
The elder statesman had criticized President Buhari at different occasions, one of which he accused the President of returning the country to the ‘Abacha era’.Read More
(Reuters) - Kenyan police have called up the finance minister, Henry Rotich for a second questioning over a multi-million dollar scandal involving advance payments for two dam projects, the head of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said.
The DCI said last week it was investigating what it described as fraudulent construction of the two dams valued at 63 billion shillings. Some payments had already been made despite the dams not being built, it said.
Rotich was not immediately available for comment, but in a statement published by local media on Sunday, he said that up to 19.8 billion shillings ($198 million) had been paid in advance to various firms for the Arror and Kimwarer dams.
He said the payments had been made in accordance with the law.
"He must answer several questions," George Kinoti, the head of the DCI, told Reuters in a text message late on Monday.
Rotich arrived at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nairobi at around 6 am on Tuesday, a police officer posted outside told Reuters.
- The legal directorate of the All Progressive Congress Presidential Campaign Council has said it is ready to defend President Muhammadu Buhari.
- The APC made this announcement in a statement by its presidential campaign council on Thursday.
- The statement was signed by the council's deputy director for legal, Mamman Yusufari.
According to the council, interested parties who are not satisfied with the results of the just concluded elections are free to challenge them, following the due process of the law.
The meeting came hours after the Peoples Democratic Party called a similar meeting of its legal officers for possible litigation arising from the announced results.
The PDP has rejected the results after President Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner, ahead of the PDP's candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The statement said the council took the decision after its meeting on Thursday.
"We congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for winning the 2019 presidential election and thanks Nigerians for their overwhelming support," the statement said.
"We commend the presidential candidates, political parties and their support groups for their general respect for the law in the campaign activities.
"The council also commends INEC for conducting the presidential and National Assembly elections in substantial compliance with the law.
"We on our part condemn few cases of violence in some parts of the country and calls on the appropriate authorities to deal with the perpetrators in accordance with the law.
"We hereby call on interested parties who are not satisfied with the results of the elections to challenge the same by following due process of the law.
"This affirms the council's readiness to defend the resounding victory of President Muhammadu Buhari with all the legal expertise at its disposal."Read More