PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, February 26, made a surprise visit to some territories recently recovered from members of notorious Boko Haram sect by the Nigerian troops in Adamawa and Borno states.
The Presidency in a statement by Reuben Abati, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, described Jonathan’s visit to Mubi in Adamawa State and Baga in Borno State among others, as an on-the-spot assessment of efforts of the military and morale booster for the troops. Abati said the president who was dressed in full military camouflage, commended the Nigerian troops for proving their mettle once again by the quick recapture of the territories seized by insurgents in the country’s north-eastern states.
Abati quoted Jonathan as telling the officers and men of the Nigerian Army in both towns that he and all Nigerians were very proud of the bravery, competence and patriotism with which they were now executing operations to expel the insurgents from all parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
He further quoted the President as saying that with the recent military successes, the tide had been turned against Boko Haram. The statement said in part: “President Jonathan, who was accompanied on the trip by the national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki and all the service chiefs, assured the troops that the federal government will ensure that they receive all the equipment and logistics they require to complete the ongoing mission to reassert the government’s effective control over all the areas formerly held by Boko Haram.
“The President promised the soldiers that all issues pertaining to their welfare will be properly and expeditiously addressed. He assured them that they will be duly rewarded for their bravery and patriotic service to the nation at the successful conclusion of ongoing operations against Boko Haram.
“Families of soldiers who have sadly lost their lives in battles against Boko Haram will also be well provided for, the President further assured the troops.”
Abati said the excited soldiers responded to the President’s address with chants of “Never Again” and assured their C-in-C that insurgents and terrorists would never again be allowed to take and hold any Nigerian territory.
I am Committed To Abuja Peace Accord – Buhari
GENERAL Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is not going to withdraw from Abuja peace accord signed in January this year. Barely 24 hours after he threatened to pull out of the peace accord, Buhari made a u-turn, saying he was irrevocably committed to the pact.
In a statement released in London, United Kingdom on Thursday, February 26, and signed by Garba Shehu, director of media and publicity of the All Progressives Congress Campaign Organisation, APCCO, the APC candidate was quoted to have said that Nigeria was bigger than any political party or any individual, and that the country’s greatness would outlive any election. The statement said in part: “Despite the series of provocations by the PDP, through hate speeches and adverts being broadcast in the media, we call on our supporters all around the country to remain calm but resolute.”
The former head of state also asked his supporters to ignore any distractions and remain focused on making the democratic process work, encouraging them to ensure that they collect their permanent voter cards, PVCs, before the March 8, deadline. “Your greatest weapon is your vote. That is the only way to bring about change not through violence,” Buhari said.
Buhari was said to have made threat to withdraw from the peace accord through the Buhari Support Organisation, BSO, his support group, if the political allies of President Goodluck Jonathan continued with their insults and verbal attacks on his person.
All the 14 presidential candidates in March 28 election signed an agreement in January this year as a means to forestall violence before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.
Why Jonathan Deserves Re-election – First Lady
PATIENCE Jonathan, Nigerian first lady, wants Nigerians to re-elect her husband. Speaking in Ikom, Cross River State, on Wednesday, February 26, the first lady said President Goodluck Jonathan, her husband, deserved to be re-elected for a second term because of his current performances. Patience, who was in Ikom, in continuation of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, nationwide Women Rally to solicit votes for President Jonathan, said the president had done very well, especially for women, to merit a second term in office.
Speaking shortly after inaugurating the 6,000 seating capacity ultra modern Ikom Township Stadium, the first lady said: “I came to thank you for keeping to your promise in 2011 to vote for my husband. And I want to use this opportunity to appeal to you to repeat the same thing in the March 28 presidential election.”
Patience Jonathan told the mammoth crowd of female politicians that in 2011, her husband promised to give women 35 percent appointment in line with the affirmative action which he did through political and elective offices, adding that “Now we are in 2015, and he will do more for the nation and women in particular.”
She listed the progress made by the PDP-led federal government to include improvement in health care delivery, where infant mortality rate has dropped drastically, establishment of federal universities in all the 36 states of the federation, instituted developmental programmes to empower women and youth and the construction of 125 Almajiri schools to take kids off the street and give them hope for the future.
Others, according to her, included improvement in transport system and energy sector. She told the women: “Those promising you change did not recognise nor regard women when they were in office and it is better you follow a man who has promised to do more for the nation and sworn to keep it. You have two options, either President Jonathan or nothing,” adding: “I am confident that the women, youth and all eligible voters in Cross River will vote for Jonathan and all PDP candidates in March 28 and April 11 elections.”
Court Stops Impeachment of Deputy Governor
A HIGH court in Niger State on Monday, February 23, restrained the attorney general of the state, chief judge, speaker and six others from initiating an impeachment proceeding aimed at removing Ahmed Musa Ibeto from office as deputy governor.
Justice Aliyu Mayaki, a high court judge, who gave the ruling, also restrained the state’s AG, the chief judge and seven others as well as their agents from tampering or obstructing Ibeto from performing his functions as the deputy governor.
The ruling was based on an ex-parte application filed by Ibeto, through Mohammed Magaji, SAN, his counsel, seeking interim injunctions against the nine defendants in a suit he filed, seeking among others, to void the letter of hand-over given the speaker by Governor Babngida Aliyu to act in his absence and the alleged plot by the governor to impeach him.
While granting Ibeto’s prayers, Justice Mayaki also restrained the defendants from “tampering, violating, withdrawing the rights and privileges of the plaintiff’s office.”
He specifically restrained the speaker, the House of Assembly and the clerk (the 4th, 7th and 8th defendants) from conducting any proceedings in the House’ s chambers with the aim of impeaching the deputy governor. The judge further restrained the three – the Speaker, the House of Assembly and the Clerk – and their agents “from accepting any nomination of any purported candidate from the Governor of Niger State, for the position of the Deputy Governor of Niger State.”
All the interim orders were to subsist pending the determination of the substantive suit initiated via originating summons.
Ibeto, in a supporting affidavit, stated that Governor Aliyu, having walked him out of the executive council meeting on February 11, had allegedly taken steps to prevent him from function in his capacity as deputy governor. He said the governor had equally threatened to influence his impeachment.
The deputy governor said his problem with the governor started when he defected to the All Progressives Party, APC, from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.