The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the Nigerian police of aiding thugs to cause chaos in the state, saying ‘I’m really ashamed of what happened between yesterday and today.’
He accused Edo State Government of sponsoring thugs to foment trouble by blocking major roads and burning tyre, adding that the plan was to apportion the blame on him should any casualty.
Oshiomhole who addressed newsmen at his house shortly after the rally at Ize-Iyamu’s house noted that taking this into cognisance and knowing well the interior motives of the state government, he decided not to attend the rally which held at Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s house.
“As national chairman, I have to pay the price by abstaining from going there so that I deny the Inspector General of Police and the Edo State Command any excuse to go and kill people and blame it on me. We will not go to their level; blood for blood is not our mantra.
“So, once our members are united, I am comfortable, but we will sustain the path of peace and that was the only reason I opted not to attend the mega rally today. They have already planted a story today from the government house that I am under house arrest.
“The shame, however, is that those who have responsibility to provide security decided to create security challenges.
“Look at what happened at Airport road yesterday. Just because I was coming to the state, the state government sponsored thugs to barricade the roads burn tyre? How do you want owner of that Audi car that was burnt feel? This is a voter that has power to vote against us tomorrow and not a politician, so why burning his car.”
“Thugs were burning tires on the road and security men were there looking at them. I personally wrote a letter, signed it and handover it to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), notifying him of this rally, only for me to hear that this same IGP has cancelled the rally. I didn’t use PA, I didn’t use SA just to avoid communication gap, so I will want to know from the IGP and the Edo State Command what went wrong”, he added.
The former governor of the state posited that if at all there are differences among party members, the best way to iron such out is to have a round table discussion and not the ways things are being done, stressing that such method have been applied but the state government has refused such ‘all-inclusive meetings.’
He said, “My position is that the way to iron differences is to sit down with various sides of opinion within the party; listen to those who have complaints and weigh the ones that are valid; share with them how you will address them; the ones that are not valid, then explain why they are not. This is what we have been working on but the governor has consistently refused to attend an all-inclusive meeting.”
The National Chairman of the APC however expressed satisfaction that the party held a peaceful rally despite the security challenges, stressing he concern is to make sure ‘the house of the APC is in order.’
“We are happy that in spite of everything APC had a successful rally that was peaceful and it achieved its purpose. As I stand here now, I am taller now than I was just yesterday because we have harvested to our party people who were part of the foundation of APC; those who participated in the negotiations for the merger, not only have they returned home, they have also used their connection in the other party they were in to move people to join us”, he said.
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In his part, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu declared that he was not in the APC to cause more division or chaos, rather he has come to the party to unit it the more and add value to it.
While thanking all that attended the rally, he expressed dismay that the state government could threaten to revoke his Certificate of Occupancy for organising a rally inside his compound.
Ex-CAN President Onaiyekan, Cleric Bag Honorary Degrees
A former national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Archbishop of Abuja catholic diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, will be honored with honorary doctorate degrees by an Abuja-based Catholic institution, Veritas University, on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Rev. Fr. Professor Hyacinth Ichoku, made this known in a briefing with selected journalists in Abuja.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of the convocation ceremony of the university, the don also noted that four countries had indicated interest to send their students to Nigeria to study pontifical degrees in the theology of philosophy.
The development follows approval by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Vertical City Rome, Italy, to Veritas University Abuja to establish Pontifical Faculty.
The countries are Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast and India.
Professor Ichoku said only two countries including Nigeria and Nairobi run the pontifical degree which necessitated the influx of foreign students to Nigeria.
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“For the first time, the university will be honoring prominent Nigerians such as the former CAN president, cardinal John Onaiyekan and the archbishop of Abuja diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama.
‘’Veritas University has been granted the faculty to run Pontification degrees in theology and philosophy by the Congregation of Catholic Education in the Vertical City, Rome. That is in addition to National Universities Commission-approved programmes in theology and philosophy. As a Catholic University to be granted the power of the faculty to run these programmes is the height of our development and in Africa; there are just two granted such faculty, which are, the Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi and Veritas University in Abuja. It is an exceptional privilege for us,’’ Professor Ichoku stated.
Professor Ichoku said the university would be awarding first-class degrees to 28 students who had distinguished themselves in character and learning.
He noted that the minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola would be delivering the convocation lecture.
NACCIMA, Nigeria’s Road To Prosperity – SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo
The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has said that the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through The Nigeria Association of Chambers and Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
Adebayo who spoke at the 4th quarterly meeting of NACCIMA in Enugu assured that the SDP, if elected into power, would not be a lawbreaker government but a law abiding.
He added that one of the difficulties facing the industry is that government does not respect contracts.
He posited that times have changed because in the past before government presents the country’s budget, captains of industries are always consulted, and the government doesn’t take decisions without considering the effects.
Adebayo driving his point and acknowledging the importance of NACCIMA said ‘In the past when you see presidential candidate, governorship candidate, senatorial candidate, you in NACCIMA will say he’s my boy, he use to work for me, he’s a good boy.
He added that Nigeria must return to such lifestyle, because the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through NACCIMA.
True Federalism: Expert Wants NULGE Join CSOs, Others For Constitutional Amendment
Professor Festus Imuetinyan, federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Abuja has called on the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to join hands with other unions and civil society organizations working for the amendment of the nation’s constitution to make the constitution truly federal.
Imuetinyan made the call on Wednesday in Benin City at the Edo State chapter of NULGE 2022 week celebration with the theme,”Sustaining an autonomous local government as a catalyst for national development: The role of NULGE”.
The university don opined that local governments will only become catalyst for national development when they are put in firm control over local affairs as well as encourage the emergency of local solutions to local problems.
He advocated that the local government matters must be removed from the national constitution and placed within the purview of the states to save them from the challenge of forced uniformity in the face of endemic diversity of local problems.
He added that NULGE, as the major trade union in the local government system in Nigeria, has a duty to ensure that the present unified local government system which is unwieldy is jettisoned.
“Unfortunately, many local government staff are beneficiaries of the present system and do not see any urgent need for changes.
“Your members are the ones that are made sole administrators when elected council heads are illegally sacked by state governments. Many enjoy posting to areas that they are not conversant with the custom and tradition of the people whose problems they are called upon to solve.
“Others are promoted in the face of inadequate utilization of available resources to manage waste and protect public utilities within their jurisdictions.
“It is often alleged that many of your members extort money from members of the public and that they enrich themselves at the expense of the development of the communities”, he said.
He further opined that the present local government system is not patterned to achieve any developmental goal rather than a smooth vehicle for the transfer of centrally collected funds to the pockets of States’ political elites.
Imuetinyan emphasized that the 1999 Constitution makes it possible for state governments to cripple Local Government Councils financially by routing the amount of money standing to the credit of Local governments in the Federation Account (FA) through a joint State Local Government Account rather than directly to local councils.
He asserted that the arrangement adversely affects the fiscal autonomy and viability of most local governments.
According to him, some state governors make inexplicable deductions or unduly delay the release of funds from the joint accounts to local government chief executives.
“Local government chairmen are bullied by state governors to surrender much of their statutory allocations under duress. When they fail; they find other ways to replace them with caretaker committees of selected loyalists.
“Expenditure and project discretion had become a thing of the past. Most states expect their Local governments to seek and obtain permission to embark on projects. Local government projects are inspected periodically by officials of state governments.
“More financial load has been placed on Local governments’ share of the Federation Account. For example, funds for primary school teachers’ salaries and pension charges are now charged centrally to the Local governments.
“The central deductions at source of these charges and several other unfunded mandates in environmental and social spending by the State Governments tend to leave many Local Governments with little funds.
“And unfortunately, many Local governments especially those in the rural areas have limited access to productive tax bases”, he added.
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