Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC have described the Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi as a political asset to its fold, saying he had been in the wrong party, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP since 2015.
Kebbi State Governor and Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu disclosed this in a statement issued Friday in Abuja.
According to him, the decision of Chief Umahi to join the APC is a testament to the ruling party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians, adding that the vision of the founding fathers of the legacy parties was for the APC to serve as a platform to unite all Nigerians under a progressive umbrella.
“With Chief Umahi now in APC, the vision is further reinforced and shall contribute to the process of membership and leadership recruitment at all levels”, the governors said.
They said it was heartwarming that notwithstanding all the fabricated campaigns against the APC and especially President Muhammadu Buhari, “the Ebonyi governor is able to make the bold decision to join our party, based on our performance”.
“This is a strong acknowledgement of Mr. President’s credentials as a fair leader with a balanced and equitable disposition to issues of justice and impartial politics. We specially congratulate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and reaffirm our commitment to support him to build our party, APC, as a strong and democratic political party in the country”.
The APC Governors said by coming into the fold of the progressives, Chief Umahi has opted for open, transparent and honest contestation in politics, which is the overarching commitment of President Buhari and all APC’s founding leaders.
“Our National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee is working to ensure the institution of a solid foundation for our democratic development as a party. We are confident that the National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee will soon release a detailed programme of activities leading to the National Convention.
Together with Chief Umahi, we shall forge stronger partnership to mobilise all patriotic and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join us in APC to enhance our capacity as a party to respond and resolve all our democratic challenges.
“We also congratulate our leaders in APC National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee under the able leadership of HE Mai Mala Buni for yet another historic accomplishment of winning an illustrious and experienced leader in the person of HE David Umahi. We especially welcome our fellow compatriots for taking the courageous and historic step of leaving the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the progressives’ fold.
The movement of our compatriot to the APC, despite all manners of intimidation, harassment and persecution by his former party is worthy of commendation and is indicative of his strong personal principles, commitment and conviction to the progress of Nigeria.
“Indeed, considering the nature of achievements recorded in Ebonyi State since 2015, Chief Umahi couldn’t have been in any other party but the APC. If anything, we are only welcoming Chief Umahi home where he belongs; to the party that will provide him and his people, and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations.
Together with Chief Umahi and all our leaders in the APC, we are confident that our party’s capacity to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened.
“Our message to all Nigerians is clear – politics is all about free, fair and transparent contestation. APC belongs to every member. Everyone, from every part of the country is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social and political development of Nigeria.
“The Progressive Reinforcement of our party has started. Guided by our Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee, we look forward to receiving more patriotic and progressive-minded Nigerians into our party, APC!”, The governors stated.
Umahi’s defection to APC has not brought anyone out of poverty — Obi
…Says, Umahi’s defection to APC is valueless
…2023 elections should not be the discussion now
…My life under threat —Anyim
Sequel to the defection of the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, reactions and counter-reactions have continued to trail the governor’s move.
The Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday, also reacted to the defection, saying such political dramas should not form the focus of Nigerians when the country is facing severe economic recession.
This is coming days after Umahi had claimed that the plan was for the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim and National Assembly members to join him in APC after two weeks. Umahi had alleged that Anyim and others stabbed him in the back by staying put in PDP.
But countering Umahi’s position, Anyim had cried out over alleged threat to his life , describing Umahi as pitiably delusional. Anyim dismissed Umahi as a prisoner of his greed and inordinate ambition and a drowning man looking for who to drag down with him.
However, Peter Obi, who was responding to a question during his appearance on Arise Television, said he had, for a long time, refrained from commenting on Umahi’s defection because the country had more pressing economic issues to solve. He said it would be unfair to Nigerians if their political leaders focused on such trivial issues as defection when a greater percentage of the population were increasingly finding it difficult to put food on their tables.
“As at today, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world. We have the highest number of out-of-school children. Our unemployment rate is skyrocketing every day, food stuffs prices are soaring higher and people are dying of hunger. Would it be fair for us to turn blind eyes to all these challenges facing our people and occupy ourselves with who leaves a particular political party or who does not?” Obi asked.
He advised every well meaning Nigerian and every leader who has the interest of the people at heart, to leave irrelevant political games and join forces to save Nigeria’s economy from collapsing completely. He insisted that 2023 elections should not be the discussion now, especially with the depressing economic situation prevalent in the country.
“How many people have been pulled out of poverty by Umahi’s defection? Will Nigeria exit recession because Umahi left PDP? What economic value does Umahi’s defection to APC have on the average Nigerian on the street who is struggling to put food on their table? We must not be distracted by political movements at this time. Anyone is free to belong to any political party. Our common focus should be saving our economy and making our governance fruitful and productive”, Obi said.
My life under threat —Anyim
Recall that on Monday night, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim had alerted that Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State was after his life for refusing to join him him to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In an open letter copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and all the heads of security agencies in Nigeria, Anyim had alleged that people had died mysteriously in Umahi’s administration and asked the federal government to protect him.
According to Anyim, he would not have bothered to respond to Umahi’s gibberishness because he was a sinking man with sinister plan.
Anyim said: “Governor Umahi is pitiably delusional. He is a prisoner of his greed and inordinate ambition. Here is a drowning man looking for who to drag down with him. Governor Umahi has made his worst mistake after his latest misadventure by taking on me and other noble and respectable sons of Ebonyi State who have served and continued to serve our dear state with resolute commitment, dedication and integrity.
“The discerning public knows that he has been on the plan for a long time and when he decided to consummate it, he suddenly concocted an accusation against PDP, that PDP was not willing to zone Presidency to the South East.
“People who know Gov. Umahi know that he normally starts this way whenever he is hatching a sinister plan. He raises dusts, makes wild allegations and accusations against people just to divert the attention of the public before he strikes. It is public knowledge that Gov. Umahi had been planning his defection to the All Progressive Congress, APC for a long time.
“Unable to contain and manage the unsavory reactions from the public, he ran to my home in the company of some high-profile people on the 20th of November2020 and pleaded with me to defect to APC, saying that if I do, others will follow suit. I pointed out to him that his approach has made it almost impossible for anybody to defect.
“He pleaded with me that if I cannot defect now, I should not attend any PDP meetings and I said no, I must attend PDP meetings as long as I am in PDP. He realized that he could not persuade anybody when he saw the crème of Ebonyi Elders and citizens that gathered for the inauguration of PDP Caretaker Committee. He could no longer sleep and declared war on every one who has refused to defect with him.”
“How can a man in his 6th year as Governor of a State suddenly realise that a former President of the Senate, a former Governor of the State and two-time serving Senator Dr. Sam Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba, two time serving Senator, are now cultists and IPOB members. Something is wrong somewhere. It is obvious that either something is pursuing Governor Umahi or that he is pursuing something.
“The purpose of this response is to alert the public and the security agencies in particular on the schemes of Gov. David Umahi so that they will read him upfront and be wary of him and his allegations.
“The only offence we committed is that we refused to follow Gov. Umahi in his political adventure. We do not know when belonging to parties of one’s choice has become an offence against a Governor or means fighting a Governor.
“Security agencies, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Judges should note that Gov. Umahi had boasted that one of the gains of his defection is that he has been promised absolute use of the security agencies for all that he desires to do.
“That the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation is his friend and will soon visit Abakaliki the second time and that he will use him to deal with those opposed to him using the EFCC.
“That he will extensively use the courts to not only make it impossible for PDP to function in the state but also to frustrate those opposed to him including sending them to prison.
“I fully understand that what Umahi meant by ‘this will be the last fight I will fight’, is that he will kill me so that I will not live to fight again.
“While I invite the security agencies to note this plan, I want to assure Gov. Umahi that my blood is not available for him in pursuit of his ambition.”
Ohanaeze, Afenifere, NCF Ask Buhari To Honour Reps’ Summons
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation; Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; National Consultative Front (NCF), and Prince Tony Momoh, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have thrown their weight behind the House of Representatives, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the House invitation following the killing of farmers in Borno on Saturday by Boko Haram Insurgents.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to invite President Buhari to appear before it to explain circumstances surrounding the current state of insecurity in the North-East and other places in the country.
The members of the House of Representatives are representing their various constituents and they have right to invite the president to appear before them over security situation. So, President Buhari must honour the invitation if he is representing the people of Nigeria.
This is a good development. Why won’t President Buhari appear before them? Is he President of Daura or President of Nigeria? In as much as he is still President of Nigeria, he must appear before the House because the President has failed the people by refusing to refurbish the security architecture of the country.
“Nigeria needs security forces that are proactive and intelligent gathering and not one sided security forces.
“It’s unfortunate that security operatives in Nigeria are one sided so the president needs to bring in experts irrespective of state or region they come from.
“President Buhari was elected to find solution to Nigeria’s problems especially the insecurity but unfortunately he has failed the people by refusing to find solution to the country’s problems,” Ibegbu said.
Afenifere also on Tuesday said it is mandatory for Buhari to brief the House of Representatives on the true state of the security situation in the country.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, said the president should appear before the lawmakers in order to give Nigerians the true picture of things and steps being taken to stop mindless killings in the country.
“Definitely, he should appear before the lawmakers. Except he is not the president of the country, that is why he should not honour the invitation. But if he is the President of Nigeria, he should honour it. The killings in the country is too much.
How can 110 people be killed in a day? And yet the spokesman of the president will be making useless statements, blaming the farmers for not obtaining military clearance before entering their farms. What respect do these people have for human blood? They don’t have respect for human lives anymore.
“If the president has scant regards for the lives of Nigerians, he must honour the invitation and explain to the lawmakers what is going on. He is our commander-in-chief not our lamenter-in-chief.
“After the killings, he will be saying ‘I am shocked’, ‘I condemn it’. No, we don’t need to condemn killings. What are you doing to prevent further killings? He needs to go and tell the lawmakers”.
Also speaking, Tanko Yunusa, a former presidential candidate and National Consultative Front’s (NCF) Head of Public Affairs Bureau, said the president must honour the invitation and speak to the lawmakers who are the representatives of the people.
Definitely, he should appear before the lawmakers. He needs to come and talk to Nigerians through their elected representatives on the steps he is taking to keep Nigeria secure. He should go and explain what is happening as Nigerians have a right to know. Nigerians are not happy”, he said.
On his part, Prince Tony Momoh, one of the national leaders of APC, said while the lawmakers have a right to invite the president, it may be difficult for him to divulge important security information in public.
“They can invite anybody to explain but I don’t know how the president can come to them and start to explain security issues to them in front of the camera. As the president, he gets briefing from service chiefs on the security situation. Will he now be revealing this in public glare?”
Also speaking, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), who is a human rights lawyer, said the president must honour the invitation of the lawmakers to explain what he was doing about the security situation in the country which, according to him, had collapsed.
“The president should honour the invitation of the House of Representatives in order to explain to the nation what he is doing about the collapsed security of Nigeria.
“The situation has gotten out of hand such that we can no longer leave the matter with the president again.
“Security is everybody’s business, so we must all get involved through our elected representatives.
“It will be unconstitutional for the president to ignore the invitation of the House as that will send a wrong signal of lack of empathy for the killings going on across the land,” he said.
On his part, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a former governorship aspirant and chieftain of the PDP, also threw his weight behind the call of the lawmakers, asking the president to honour the summons.
“Absolutely. It’s imperative. The president should, as a matter of urgency, in view of the sad security situation in the country appear physically to address the House on the correct situation of things in the country.
“If the president can address and present his budget annually physically before both chambers of the National Assembly, what stops him from not appearing before them when summoned?
“Besides, it is constitutional for him to do so and explain to the House, as they represent the entire country, on what he is doing on the safety of lives and property of Nigerians.”
Following the current state of insecurity in the North-East and other places in the country, the House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to invite President Muhammadu Buhari.
This was as the House found itself in a rowdy session following attempts by the leadership to block a prayer in a motion which called for the invitation of the president.
The House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had earlier disallowed debates on the motion moved by Hon. Ahmed Satomi calling attention to the wanton destruction of lives in the North Eastern state of Borno, which forced members to only suggest amendments to the prayers.
Satomi’s motion, moved on behalf of 10 others, was on the ‘Urgent Need to Condemn and Investigate the Insane Killing of Unarmed Farmers in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State’.
While calling on the House to condemn the dastardly act, the lawmaker, however, substituted the original prayer to invite the president for explanations with “urging the president to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the North-East and Nigeria”, whilst calling for a thorough investigation into the Saturday massacre of over 43 farmers on rice field.
First to move for amendment was the Deputy Minority Leader, Tobi Okechukwu, who called for an investigation into the activities of the Defence Industrial Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).
Okechukwu wanted the House to “mandate the Committee on Defence to investigate DICON on its preparedness to manufacture weapons in the face of alleged international gang up against Nigeria’s effort to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency”.
However, Hon. Ahmed Usman Jaha, who said he was elected to the House from an IDP camp in Borno, moved a point of order on matters of privilege, saying that the motion jointly moved by all Borno lawmakers in the House had been watered down as the prayer to invite the president for explanations on the state of security in Nigeria was no longer there.
He said: “Mr. Speaker, I rise to move on Order 6 Rule 1, Matter of Privilege, that I’m one of the core sponsors of this motion, as well as other members from Borno.
“And we all agreed that the prayers of this motion should remain. But when the member (Hon. Ahmed Satomi) read out the motion, I realised he left out one of the key prayers.
“There is a particular prayer where we said the president and heads of security agencies should come and explain to us why our people are still being killed despite trillions of budgetary allocations and legislative support we have given.”
At this point, the speaker intervened, urging Jaha to allow the prayer for the president to declare a state of emergency on insecurity to stand instead of inviting him.
“This is an appeal from the chair that in a motion of this nature, it’s not all the time we allow ourselves to go all out and say we should invite the head of the executive to tell us what the security situation is.
“I very much understand the pain and the emotion and I share in it, but the prayer to declare state of emergency on insecurity, for me, has far more reaching implications and significance.
“That will go a long way to address the root cause of the matter, and I think we should explore that avenue instead,” Gbajabiamila pleaded.
But Hon. Jaha stood his ground, saying that “the prayer is not mine as an individual”.
He added: “My colleagues from Borno are seated here; let them say that I’m lying, that we did not agree to leave the prayer as part of the resolutions.
“I don’t want my people who elected me from an IDP camp to think that we are here bench-warming.
“Let me say it for the world to hear that we want the president to come and explain to this House why his security chiefs are not doing their jobs, because each time issues are raised, they said they lack adequate funds and equipment, but the president said he has given them all necessary support to enable them carry out their duties, so we need explanations.
“I’ve said it, let the world know that it is the House that is rejecting the prayer.
“But my motion is that Mr. President should be invited to come and explain the security situation in the country, especially in the North-East.”
The point of order degenerated into a rowdy session, forcing the speaker to dissolve the House into an executive session.
However, before then, the speaker expressed disappointment at the attitude of members who were interrupting the House Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and Hon. Idris Koko, who all aligned with the motion as moved by Hon. Satomi.
“This must be said and I’m going to say it here on the floor. I’m a little bit disappointed to see that a lot of us are saying no, no, when some members were given the floor and were talking over a matter that borders on national security.
“This House, from the beginning, has never been divided and I’m not going to allow that now.
“So, I move that we dissolve into an executive session right now to resolve this issue,” Gbajabiamila ruled.
After about an hour, the House reverted to plenary where Hon. Jaha was asked to formally move an amendment to the motion inviting the president to appear before the House to brief it on the state of security in the country.
Similarly, the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Tuesday slammed President Muhammadu Buhari’s government over the killing of farmers in Borno State and other parts of the country.
Lamenting the high rate of killings in the country by Boko Haram, the lawmakers said that any government which failed to protect the lives of the people had lost its legitimacy and breach Section 14 (1) of the constitution.
The Senate also said that it would assess the performance of the military and probe its budget to know if the funds allocated to it to fight insecurity was judiciously utilised.
Lamenting the failure of government to guarantee safety of lives and the inability of the authorities to end the state of insecurity in the country, the lawmakers took turn to condemn the activities of criminals who unleash mayhem on defenceless citizens across the country, especially in the North-East.
The lawmakers, who expressed their minds while contributing to a motion sponsored by Senator Kashim Shettima (APC, Borno Central), added that if President Buhari insisted on retaining the service chiefs, the logical conclusion would be that Mr. President had failed in his assignment of securing the nation.
In their resolutions, the lawmakers urged President Buhari to immediately initiate a transitional process of phasing out the current over-stayed security chiefs and replacing them with new ones with new ideas and solutions.
The Senate urged the president to take immediate steps to restructure, remode, and revamp the country’s entire security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the belligerent power of the insurgents.
The upper chamber also urged the president to immediately initiate a probe into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure and put mechanisms in place to foster transparency and ensure all resources meant and deployed for security were actually spent on the needs on the ground.
They further impressed on the Federal Government the need to aggressively explore multilateral and bilateral options of partnership with the neighbouring nations of Chad, Niger, and Cameroons towards reviving and strengthening the Multinational Joint Task Force and finding a lasting solution to the scourge of insurgency in the Lake Chad region.
The Senate asked the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit at least 10,000 Civilian JTF, versatile with the local terrain in Borno, as agro-rangers under the aegis of the NCDSC to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces and, coming under order 42 and 45 of the Senate rules, Shettima lamented that 2,801 attacks had been carried out between January and November this year in the state.
In his motion titled, ‘Beheading of 67 Farmers in Borno by Boko Haram Insurgents: Need for Urgent Decisive Action’, the lawmaker disclosed that about 40,000 people, mostly unarmed civilians, had been brutally murdered.
He said 2.5 million people had been displaced from their homes and farms, property worth trillions of naira wantonly destroyed, and over 7 million people – mostly women and children – plunged into dire humanitarian needs.
He said: “Over the weekend, Boko Haram insurgent members beheaded 67 farmers who had gone to a rice plantation at Kwashabe village in Zabarmari District of Jere Local Government Area, 20 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to harvest ripe farm produce and destroyed the farm.
“This attack is one of the major attacks perpetrated by this devilish group in addition to the February attack in Auno that killed 40 people, the assault in Foduma Koloram village of Gubio that killed almost 100 civilians in last June, while another attack in Usman Lawanti left another 40 dead.
“Last month, Boko Haram fighters killed 22 farmers working on irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.
“More than 67 citizens were beheaded while they were working in their farmland without any form of resistance or challenge from the security agencies stationed a few kilometres away.
“The Nigerian military, in conjunction with other security agencies, up till today have not been able to quell the insurgency affecting the region despite the slogan by government officials that the insurgents had been technically defeated.”
He said that whatever it was that the present security chiefs were doing was not working or at least not enough.
He added: “If the president insists that the security chiefs are doing their work well, then the logical implication of such assumption is that the president himself, as the constitutional commander-in-chief of the country, has failed in his most rudimentary assignment of securing the nation. I hope the latter is not the case.”
In his contribution, Senator Ahmed Baba Keita lamented that the killing was one too many, adding that the time for truth had come.
“The situation in the North-East can’t be allowed to continue,” he said, describing the statement from President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, as irresponsible and insensitive.
Taking on the activities of the military in the fight against Boko Haram, the lawmaker said: “We have to sit down and reassess their (military) performance in the North-East. If we allow this to go, let us be ready for more mourning.
“Buhari is doing his best but his best is not enough. It is no longer about money because the money we have pumped in is enough for results to be seen.
“We should investigate the funding for the military and we should no more give them money until we are sure that they spent what we had given them.”
Senator Ali Ndume, on his part, also lamented that reports of insecurity had not been implemented, insisting that the Senate needed to move further to save the nation.
He further lamented that soldiers at the war front shared ammunition, noting that the soldiers were not well-kitted and without new weapons.
Ndume insisted that if the government was serious in the fight against insurgency, in six months or less, Boko Haram would be defeated.
He disclosed how about 1000 Chadian soldiers wanted to assist the Nigerian government in the fight against Boko Haram, but decided to leave because the government was not serious about the collaboration.
He quoted Section 14 (1a and b) of the constitution to explain the role government ought to play in the lives of the citizens.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the plenary, said: “This is supposed to be a turning point for insecurity in Nigeria.
“Enough of excuses. People who have nothing to offer should be shown the way out. Security should take centre stage.
“The Senate will do everything to ensure that these resolutions are respected and implemented.”
Insecurity: It’s Unconstitutional For PMB To Ignore Reps Summon – Adegboruwa
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), Lagos-based human rights lawyer has said President Muhammadu Buhari must honour the invitation of the House of Representatives to explain what he is doing about the security situation in the country, saying it will be unconstitutional for him to ignore it.
He said Nigerians can no longer leave the issue of insecurity which has collapsed in the hands of the President alone.
Angered by the worsening insecurity in the country, the House of Representatives on Tuedsay summoned the President over the cold-blooded murder of about 43 persons by suspected Boko Haram Islamists insurgency group in Zabarmari village, Jere council of Borno State.
Adopting a motion under urgent matters of national importance sponsored by Satomi Ahmed at the plenary presided by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the lawmakers insist that President Buhari be made to brief them on the true state of the security of the Nation.
According to Adegboruwa, it is time for Nigerians to get involved in the issue of security in the country through elected representatives.
“The President should Honour the invitation of the House of Representatives in order to explain to the nation what he is doing about the collapsed security of Nigeria.The situation has gotten out of hand such that we can no longer leave the matter with the President again”.
“Security is everybody’s business so we must all get involved through our elected representatives.
It will be unconstitutional for the President to ignore the invitation of the House as that will send a wrong signal of lack of empathy for the killings going on across the land”.
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