PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, May 20, called on the global community and Nigerians to support the incoming administration General Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan, who made the call while receiving members of the African Ambassadors Group, who were on a farewell and solidarity visit to the State House, Abuja, said the Buhari government would need every necessary cooperation to succeed.
The president’s message, contained in a statement issued by Reuben Abati, his special adviser on media and publicity, said the cooperation and commitment of the global community and Nigerians were essential for the incoming administration to effectively deliver on its promises to the people.
The statement said in part: “The President-elect knows that our commitment is always to project Africa. I am urging you to extend the same warmth and solidarity you have shown to me to him.”
He also enjoined African leaders to encourage trade within the continent by building infrastructures and institutions that would promote trade and relationships.
The president recalled his extensive work for more than five years with other African presidents to forestall crisis in some African countries, especially in the West African sub-region, and also leading peace efforts to some of the countries like Cote ‘d’Ivoire, Mali and Guinea Bissau.
“I have been involved in solving many problems in African countries for more than five years and I know the enormity and cost of conflicts, especially on the citizenry. We cannot afford that in Nigeria.
“If we were to have a political conflict in Nigeria, I am not sure the sub-region will be able to accommodate our citizens. My commitment is to always put the country before my personal ambition and that is what I have demonstrated,” he said.
In his remarks, Oubi Bochir, the dean of Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria, commended President Jonathan’s high sense of patriotism, statesmanship and transparency in the last general elections, saying that he won the heart and minds of all Nigerians and Africans after the elections.
Bochir, who is the ambassador of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, SADR, to Nigeria, said President Jonathan’s single phone call had saved the country from political conflict and restored confidence in African democracy.
Three Persons Died in Ado-Ekiti Mayhem
THREE persons were killed and several other persons were injured in a clash between local drivers and Hausa traders in Ado-Ekiti, capita of Ekiti State, on Wednesday, May 20. The clash paralysed traffic, commercial and social activities in the town for about eight hours. Also during the conflict, 15 shops were set ablaze while many vehicles damaged.
Sources said the property destroyed belonged mainly to butchers and Hausa traders, who had launched counter-attacks against the drivers.
It took personal intervention of Etop John James, state commissioner of Police, who led a team of policemen in 15 patrol vehicles and two units of Mobile police force to restore law and order to the troubled spots.
The clash was said to be fierce in areas, such as Atikankan (which has the highest concentration of Hausa in Ado-Ekiti), Old Garage, Ijigbo, Isato, Igbehin and Erekesan Market. Businesses were also paralysed in places, such as Irona, Okesa, Okeyinmi and Ajilosun.
The commotion provided a window of opportunity for hoodlums in the area to loot shops and cart away money and goods from several business men and women. The hoodlums were armed with guns, bottles, charms, machetes, cudgels, knives, petrol and matches.
Sources said the mayhem was caused following an allegation by a commercial driver’s wife that she was robbed and disposed of N36,000 on Sunday night, May 17. Unconfirmed reports also claimed that the driver’s wife was raped.
The culprit allegedly escaped through Sabo, which has a high concentration of Hausa community. Cases of bag snatching and robbery are said to commonplace in the area. The incident was said to have enraged the drivers, who launched a manhunt for the culprit and thus, stormed the houses of the Hausa, who also launched counter-attacks.
509 Military Men On Trial
A TOTAL of 509 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army are currently facing separate court martial for offences relating to conspiracy, disobedience to lawful orders, neglect and mutiny.
The Nigerian Army which disclosed this on Wednesday, May 20, claimed that none of the officers or soldiers had in any way received dehumanising treatment or denied access to medical facilities.
Sani Usman, a colonel and acting director, Army Public Relations, who disclosed this in Abuja, noted that 473 officers and soldiers were standing trial at the General Court Martial sitting at the Army Headquarters Garrison Command in Abuja, while 106 officers and soldiers were facing another General Court Martial at 81 Division in Lagos.
Usman said that setting up of separate court martial was to ensure quick dispensation of justice, discipline and professionalism. Besides, he said the rights of every accused soldier or officer to fair hearing would be upheld.
APC Shuns Zoning of NAS Headship
THE All Progressives a Congress, APC, is not going to sacrifice quality for leadership of the National Assembly. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a national leader of the party, disclosed this on Thursday, May 21, while speaking with journalists at the Defence House, Abuja, after a closed-door meeting with General Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect. Tinubu insisted that the party would not use the principle of zoning to compromise the quality of leadership for the National Assembly.
According to the former Lagos State governor, the party has decided to allow all those interested in the leadership of the National Assembly to contest, dismissing insinuations about his interest in who leads the legislature. Tinubu said: “You have heard from the party, you have heard from leadership. I’m a disciplined party man and we will look at it critically… Merit will not be compromised. You have to be competent, you have to posses the kind of character required from leaders. You have to be a pan Nigerian and possess a very solid character to lead the National Assembly. That is what we are talking about. It’s not zoning to compromise quality of leadership and competency of an individual.
“I believe we have a very determined party leadership and we have resolved to follow our leadership and the criteria set by that leadership, including myself. We will not use zoning to determine and compromise the credibility and the qualification of an individual.”
— Jun 1, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT