Uyo APC Secretariat set on fire

Angry protesters have launched mass protest at the party secretariat of All Progressives Congress (APC), seeking the cancellation of the ward congress exercise, alleging that the National Caretaker Committee, had “fraudulently manipulated the lists”.

The protesters drawn from the faction allegedly loyal to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, stormed the Secretariat along Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, calling for the cancellation of the process, alleging that the Caretaker Committee Secretary, Senator John Udoedehe, purportedly included only his loyalists as candidates for the wards and chapter congresses.

Armed with placards of various inscriptions: “Udoedehe cannot decide for us in Akwa Ibom”, “The list cannot stand”, “We reject this shambolic manipulation by one man”, “This congresses cannot hold” and “Enough of one man dictatorship in Akwa Ibom APC,” the protesters set bonfire outside the party office and caused traffic chaos along the major access road outside the Uyo city centre.

“We want the whole world to know that this sham is happening in Akwa Ibom. The party in the state has come under the vice-grip of one man just because of his ambition to rule the state in 2023.”

“We don’t know how he wants to achieve this if the party is balkanized with elements of disharmony holding sway.”

“If we can no longer speak with one voice, how will he be able to realise his ambition which he has been nursing every election year?” Comrade Effiong Bassey, a youths’ activist and one of the protesters lamented.

However, the protesters, who called for the removal of the former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), insisted that “only his sacking will bring peace and force other members who left the party to return and rebuild the party for 2023.”

On Friday, stakeholders under the aegis of APC Elders Forum led by Board of Trustees (BoT) member, Group Captain Sam Ewang, had passed a vote of no confidence on the state care-taker Chairman, Dr. Ita Udosen, alleging he was playing the card of Senator Udoedehe by manipulating the exercise and doctoring the candidates’ lists in his favour.

Therefore, the elders drawn across the 10 federal constituencies, expressed lack of faith in the exercise and called for the anomalies to be addressed before the polls.

However, at the time of filing this report, ballot materials were yet to arrive the party office.

The caretaker Chairman, Dr. Udosen, explained that “the delay in the arrival of materials is due to the restriction of movements announced by the state government because of environmental sanitation.”

He added that the exercise would go on as planned despite the protests and urged party supporters and followers to disregard the factional distraction.

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The Nasarawa State Government has debunked the reports that N100 million meant for payment of casual workers of its ministry of finance was carted away by armed robbers.

A statement by Commissioner For Information , Culture and Tourism , Mr Dogo Shammah, on Friday in Lafia, however, confirmed that N 11. 7 million was carted away by robbers at the state’s Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning.

Shammah said the stolen money was meant to host a team from the Revenue, Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, which was due to visit the state .

He said part of the money was also meant for furnishing and refurbishing of some offices and vehicles.

Shammah said the N100 million which was erroneously reported to be carted away by robbers was meant for payment of salaries for casual workers in the state.

Narrating how the N11.7 million was stolen by the robbers, Shammah said the gunmen trailed the official who went to the bank to make the withdrawal.

” The gunmen trailed officials of the state Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning after making withdrawal at a second generation bank along Lafia-Jos road.

” They shot sporadically on getting to the ministry’s premises and took the money away,” he said.

Shammah, however, said that the incidence had been reported to security agencies and investigation had commenced.

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CONTINUE READINGNATIONSixteen Months Without Existing Party Structure: PDP Youths calls for a free, fair and transparent party congress in Niger state.Published 3 days ago on July 28, 2021By admin
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PDP Youths calls for a free, fair and transparent party congress in Niger state.

The PDP Youth Frontier has congratulated party faithfuls in Niger state on the recent decision of the National Working Committee of the party to endorse the commencement of congress in Niger state.

This timely decision will better the lot of the party in the state considering the fact we have had an APC led administration that has done more harm than good to the people of Niger state. We won’t he mincing words stating that Niger state has become one of the unsafest states in the country under the leadership of Gov Abubakar Sani Bello with banditary and kidnapping being the order of the day.
READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Ex-Governor, Tanko Almakuta For Alleged Money Laundering

The PDP Youths Frontier in a statement signed by Usman Okai Austin call on the party to avoid a situation in which imposition of candidates will be the order of the day. All contestants must be given a level playing field should they refused consensus or affirmation, so as to avoid unnecessary post congress litigations that may affect the fortunes of the party in the state in the run up to the 2023 general election.

The PDP must avoid the murky waters of internal dictatorship.The era of one godfather imposing candidates on the party and in the process destabilising the party must wither away. If the party is ready to take a new leaf, it must ensure that internal democracy is her watchword.

The PDP Youths Frontier therefore call on the party to ensure a seamless, free, credible and transparent congress that will be accepted by all the members of the party in the state.

READ ALSO: Human Rights Abuse: US Lawmakers Stop $875m Arms Sale To Nigeria

Niger state is too important a state for party stakeholders to fold their hands and watch vested interest destroy the party in the state. The state is strategically placed and is a battle ground state that must not be joked with in the context of 2023 general election.

At a time when maladministration has been the order of the day in Niger state, the party must play the opposition role of drawing the attention of the people of Niger state to the catastrophic leadership of the APC in the state and at the national level.

READ ALSO: ISWAP to start training Zamfara bandits in Borno — Sources

The PDP Youth Frontier calls on the leaders of the party in the state to shed their swords for the interest of the party and the people of Nigeria state- who have suffered and have had to endure six years of purposeless leadership under the current administration.

Niger state is too strategic a state to be left to its own devices. The interest of the party is above the interest of the actors hell bent on frustrating the growth of the party in Niger state. The youths group promise to be on the ground to monitor the conduct of the congress and our report will be made public for all to see.

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CONTINUE READINGNATIONHuman Rights Abuse: US Lawmakers Stop $875m Arms Sale To NigeriaPublished 3 days ago on July 28, 2021By admin
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United States lawmakers are holding down a proposed sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria amid mounting concerns about the Muhammadu Buhari regime’s human rights record as it grapples with multiple security crises.

US lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have reportedly delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military.

The deal is worth $875 million, according to US officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter.

In addition to the helicopters, the proposed sale included 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems—laser-guided rocket munitions, according to information sent by the State Department to Congress and reviewed by Foreign Policy magazine.

A report by Foreign Policy on Tuesday said the behind-the-scenes controversy over the proposed arms sale illustrates a broader debate among Washington policymakers over how to balance national security with human rights objectives.

The hold on the sale also showcases how powerful US lawmakers want to push the Biden administration to rethink US relations with Nigeria amid overarching concerns that Buhari is drifting toward authoritarianism as his government is besieged by multiple security challenges, including the Boko Haram insurgency

But Western governments and international human rights organisations have ramped up their criticisms of the Buhari regime, particularly in the wake of its ban on Twitter, systemic corruption issues, and the Nigerian military’s role in deadly crackdowns on #EndSARS protesters last October.

Chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, called for a “fundamental rethink of the framework of our overall engagement” with Nigeria during a Senate hearing with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in June.

Both Menendez and Sen. Jim Risch, a top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have placed a hold on the proposed arms sale, according to multiple US officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter, who spoke to Foreign Policy on condition of anonymity.

The details on the proposed sale were first sent by the US State Department to Congress in January before then-former Vice President Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Nigeria has just received six out of the 12 Tucano jet fighters purchased from the US government.

Some experts said the United States should hit the pause button on major defence sales until it makes a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military is doing enough to minimize civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists.

Administration officials say they are tired of regular efforts by Capitol Hill to review arms

“There doesn’t have to be a reason why we don’t provide weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military,” said Judd Devermont, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. “But it has to be done with an assessment of how it will actually, one, change the direction of conflict in Nigeria, and, two, that they will use it consistent with our laws. In both cases, it’s either a question mark or a fail.

“There is a culture of impunity that exists around abuses by the military,” said Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch, Anietie Ewang.

Ewang cited the Nigerian military’s killing of unarmed protesters during the massive #EndSARS demonstrations against police corruption and brutality last year as well as cases documented by human rights organisations of abuses in the military’s campaign against Boko Haram.

“I’m sure it’s a difficult situation. There are so many conflicts springing up across the country now,” Ewang said.

“The authorities, I presume, are trying to do the best they can to save lives and properties. But this must be done in accordance with human rights standards. You can’t throw one out just to be able to achieve the other.”

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