THE All Progressives Congress, APC, now has a Board of Trustees, BoT. The party in a statement on Wednesday, August 20, named 74 party members into the board which include prominent party chieftains such as retired General Muhammadu Buhari, former Head of State, former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor, and Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun State.
Other top party leaders in the BoT list are: Ogbonnaya Onu, former Abia State Governor, Audu Ogbeh, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Tom Ikimi, Gambo Magaji, Tony Momoh, Kawo Baraje, Timipre Silva, former governor of Bayelsa State, and Aminu Bello Masari, former speaker of House of Representatives.
In fact, all the state governors and former governors in the party are automatic members of the BoT. Also in the list are minority leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly, George Akume, a serving senator, and Femi Gbajamila, a member of the House of Representatives.
Under the APC constitution, the role of BoT is advisory and intervening over critical issues. The BoT is also expected to play key role in deciding the direction of things as far as the emergence of the party’s presidential flag-bearer in the 2015 election.
The national executive council of the party headed by John Odigie-Oyegun met on Thursday, August 21, to ratify the appointment.
No More Hooded Security Men for Elections
ATTAHIRU Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is not happy about the use of masked security men during the August 9, governorship election in Osun State.
Describing the trend as worrisome, Jega promised that masked men would not be allowed for next year’s general elections. “Any security personnel deployed for the election must be someone identifiable,” Jega said during a session with local and international Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, involved in monitoring elections in Abuja on Wednesday, August 20. He added: “In recent times, we have witnessed an increased presence of hooded security operatives during elections. This is an emerging trend which is highly worrisome and which needs to be addressed in good time. Security agents who are deployed on election duties should not be masked, the doctrine of transparency requires that they should be identifiable.
“We will not allow such persons during the 2015 elections. Any security personnel deployed for the election must be someone identifiable such that if anything happens we will be able to know who to hold responsible.”
The INEC also accused the security men deployed in Osun State of being “overzealous”. Speaking on the overzealousness of the security men deployed in the state, Jega said some ad-hoc employees of the commission and nine National Youth Service Corps members, who were engaged as ad-hoc officials, were erroneously arrested and kept in detention for over 12 hours.
He said that they were arrested around 9:00pm on the eve of the election while on their way to the Registration Area Centres, RACs, which was provided for them by the INEC. “They were not released until about 6am the next day, a situation that almost disrupted the distribution of electoral materials in some areas. It was sheer luck that we still managed to open the polling units early, otherwise, there would have been disaster. We took a serious view of that and reported the matter to all the appropriate authorities because at a point we became worried that some persons wanted to undermine our effort,” he said.
Marylyn Ogar, spokesperson of the Department of State Security, DSS, admitted that some of the DSS men deployed in the state for the election wore hoods. Many other hooded troops in military fatigue, whose identities were unknown, were also seen in action before and during the election.
No Boko Haram in South-East
CONTRARY to the rumour mill, Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah, chief of Army Staff, has assured Nigerians living in the South-East that members of the dread Boko Haram sect had not infiltrated the region. Minimah said that the few security threat recorded in the region could not be blamed on the insurgents.
Speaking during his visit to the 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze as part of the familiarisation of 82 Division Enugu on Thursday, August, 21, the COAS, said that the two incidents in Imo and Abia states which erroneously linked to the dreaded Islamic Sect must have been the handiwork of some elements who wanted to take advantage of the insurgency in the country to cause mischief in the zone.
“What happened at the Winners Chapel Church in Imo and the arrest made in Abia cannot be totally blamed on the insurgents because some mischievous elements can be making bombs to cause trouble and make it look like Boko Haram. Some elements within the states may want to cause problem, some mischief makers might want to take advantage of the insurgency in the country to ferment trouble but the Military is ready to check all forms of security threat,” Minimah said.
The Army boss who seized the opportunity to commission the modern officers mess at the barracks affirmed that his tour to all the army divisions in the country would help strengthen the morals of his men as well as provide ideas for the protection of the nation.
— Sep. 1, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT