No fewer than 45 suspected criminals were yesterday, paraded by the Ondo State security outfit codenamed Amotekun.

They were arrested in different parts of the state in the last two weeks

Parading the suspects, eight of who are suspected kidnappers, the state commander of Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye said: “Today is another major harvest of criminals operating in the Ondo State.

“A couple of weeks ago, we deployed additional hands to all the 18 local government areas of the state to assist in beefing up security in the state and it has actually yielded a lot of results.

“In the last two weeks, we have been able to curtail the excesses of the criminals ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, and rape among others.

“We have 45 criminals that we have concluded their investigations and they are ready to be prosecuted in courts.

“We have a case of one Okoyie Chukwuma, who specialises in burgling cocoa stores; we also have one Philip Jacob, who specialises in vandalising vehicles parked in mechanical workshop overnight.

“In Ore, there was a family that was kidnapped. We moved there immediately and were able to arrest the kidnappers and released the victims.

“We also have those that are regular in housebreaking in the midnight, they have their ways of opening doors and silently entering to molest innocent people and disposing them of their valuables.

“We also have some people who specialise in using vehicles to steal goats across the state and some of the goats have been recovered from them.

“We have a gang of fraudsters that use spiritual means to defraud some people in the society.

“We have a case of some kidnappers who will fake that you have hit their bikes, and when you come out to sympathise with them, they will just enter your vehicle and drive the victims away. We have eight suspected kidnappers from the Central and Southern senatorial districts of Ondo State.

“I must let you know that factually, all the operations were done in collaboration with other sister security agencies in the state.”

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, says there are saboteurs within the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Describing them as “Judas”, he said the saboteurs are responsible for the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the federal government’s inability to meet its demands bordering on the funding of universities as well as salaries and allowances of lecturers.

Several meetings between ASUU and the federal government have ended in a deadlock.

Last week, the strike entered its eighth month – a development that has left students, parents and other stakeholders frustrated.

Speaking with Arise News TV on Wednesday, Bello expressed concern over “our children’s future that is being toyed with”.

He accused the “saboteurs within this administration” of instigating the strike, adding that the culprits will soon be revealed.

“I am deeply concerned about our children’s future that is being toyed with. I tackled the issue of education strikes in Kogi state and there is nothing such as strikes. Unfortunately, this is part of the saboteurs within this administration and outside. Let me admonish the NANS, do not take laws into your hands,” the governor said.

“Everyone including Bola Tinubu and the president is deeply concerned and what should have been done is to remove the political aspects from ASUU and at the appropriate time, we are going to point out to you those that are responsible.

“There are areas we need to work on but in every system, there are saboteurs. There are Judas and we have them abound in this APC administration of President Muhammadu Buhari — from the inner caucus to the outside.

“But that is not to say there are no areas to be improved upon in this government. But the fact is that there are saboteurs. Still, in the midst of all of that, the country is moving on. The president continues to improve our infrastructure.”

The Federal Government says it will continue to negotiate with ASUU in spite of Wednesday’s court ruling restraining the union from continuing with its seventh-month strike.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja ordered the striking lecturers to return to the classroom following a suit filed by the Federal Government.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, made the Federal Government’s position known when he hosted visiting members of the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics.

“The court ruling does not preclude us from going on with further negotiation and consultations,’’ he said.

ASUU began its strike to demand that the Federal Government revisits some agreements signed between them in 2009 and also to improve on varsity funding and payment of earned allowances.

The lecturers also want the Federal Government to shelve its Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in paying lecturers’ salaries.

The Federal Government uses the IPPIS platform to pay its employees.

They demanded that rather than its IPPIS, the government should adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, the payment platform designed by the universities themselves to pay lecturers.

The minister told his visitors that the Industrial Court’s ruling was in the best interest of Nigeria and its people.

According to him, the ruling is a win-win for the government, students, lecturers and for all Nigerians.

“It is a no victor, no vanquished.

“You doctors in academics are for now members of ASUU, but you are here; even though you have dissociated yourselves and you are working.

“We want to thank you for working and teaching your students,’’ the minister said.

He noted that pro-chancellors of universities had met with President Muhammadu Buhari and made some demands that included topping up the government’s offer and seeing whether there could be some bailout.

Ngige added that the president had assured that he would consult with stakeholders on the request.

The minister also commended the House of Representatives for intervening in the ASUU imbroglio.

Ngige said that he was happy that the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila also assured that principal officers of the House would meet with President Buhari over the strike.

He explained that whatever money would be approved to meet some of the demands would go into the 2023 budget.

“Since the House has shown interest now, it is good and wonderful. When they bring that proposal, the Executive will not have any problem.

“ASUU should also know that this is a step in the right direction. All these things have been promised to them by the Minister of Education at their last meeting.

“For me, they should do the needful and go back to the classroom,’’ the minister said.

Ngige said the government would soon direct vice-chancellors to reopen the universities in compliance with the order of the court.

Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:33

Court refuses Baba Ijesha‘s bail application

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has refused the bail application pending appeal filed by the convicted Nollywoord actor, James Olarewaju, AKA, Baba Ijesha.

Baba Ijesha’s bail was rejected because he did not meet exceptional circumstances and criteria to warrant the bail.

According to Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, the actor must show special and exceptional circumstances because the term given to him is five years which is to run concurrently.

Justice Taiwo also said there is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication before the court that it will not treat the case expeditiously.

“It is in the view of this court that the applicant has failed to show special circumstances to warrant him bail because he is facing a serious crime,” he added.

Recall that Baba Ijesha is seeking bail on an appeal for the five years conviction of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

He had through his counsel, Mr Gabriel Olabiran, on August 10, informed the court of a notice for bail pending appeal has been submitted pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Olabiran argued that the application admitted the applicant to bail, either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, adding the application was brought before the court due to difficulty in getting a date at the Court of Appeal.

However, the state prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule, in a counter affidavit on August 18, 2022, argued that the defence failed in its address to establish the special circumstances which might grant the convict bail.

Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:10

PDP crisis: I can’t force Ayu to resign - Atiku

The crisis ravaging the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, assumed an ominous dimension, yesterday, with the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, telling the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s camp that he cannot force Senator Iyorchia Ayu to resign as national chairman.

Atiku, who spoke in response to the withdrawal of the Wike camp from the PDP Presidential Campaign Council over Ayu’s retention, urged them to reconsider their stand. 

Wike has the backing of former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George; Professor Jerry Gana; Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; and former Gombe governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, among others.


They took the decision of pulling out of the party’s presidential campaign council at a meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday night, saying Ayu must quit because he allegedly compromised the party’s last presidential primary. 

This happened on a day immediate past National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, disowned a case against the party in an Abuja court, just as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, assured that the crisis would soon be over after meeting with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who said he was with Wike and cautioned the party against treating people as trash.

Meanwhile, former Aviation Minister and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has counselled Wike to leave the PDP and join forces with the Presidential Candidate of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the 2023 poll. 

I can’t force Ayu  to resign — Atiku

Urging Wike and others to reconsider their withdrawal from his campaign council for Nigeria’s sake, Atiku Abubakar, said he was shocked by their withdrawal.

In a statement he signed, the PDP presidential candidate said his surprise stemmed from the fact that except for Rivers State, all other states nominated persons who were included in the list of council members.

He noted that his attention was drawn to the press conference in which the aggrieved party leaders “declared that they are withdrawing, forthwith, from the Presidential Campaign Council set up by our party to judiciously plan and prosecute the general elections set to hold in February and March 2023, on the one hand; and reiterated their earlier calls for the resignation or removal from office of the national chairman of our party, Senator Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on the other hand.”

He continued: “The people that addressed the press must have their reasons for withdrawing from the Presidential Campaign Council, and I will not speculate as to what those reasons may be. Personally, I am quite surprised with this withdrawal because, as I have been informed by officials of our party, apart from the Rivers State chapter of the PDP, all the remaining states of the federation submitted names of people they wanted to be included in the Presidential Campaign Council.

“On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him.

“As to the calls for the removal of Dr. Ayu from office, however, I will state that, as a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organized and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that everything that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution.

“If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal. In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office has already passed a vote of confidence in him.“

Atiku noted that the issue at hand which should be of concern to all lovers of Nigeria is that “now, our nation is currently in the throes of a multi-dimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust and educational dislocations, to mention a few.”

He further said, “I have a plan to address these issues and I have, graciously, been given the ticket to lead our great party in next year’s presidential elections, with the singular mandate to come and lead the efforts to cure these ills.

“It is in this light that I have reached out to every single member of our great party to join me in the massive undertaking required to reset the ship of state and help rebuild our country.

“In this light, therefore, I will urge those members of our party that have stated their resolve to withdraw from the Presidential Campaign Council to have a rethink, retrace their steps, and join us in these efforts.”

Why Wike, others pulled out of Atiku’s campaign council

Rising from a meeting in Port Harcourt, late Tuesday night, Wike and some PDP leaders who are pushing for Ayu’s resignation vowed not to partake in Atiku’s campaign activities pending Ayu’s resignation.

The party stalwarts, who share in Wike’s vision, maintained that there will be no support for Atiku until Ayu vacated the number one office of the party to allow an acting chairman from the South to take over.

The aggrieved stalwarts including some founding members of the party, sitting and former governors, former ministers and federal lawmakers made their position known in a resolution read by Chief Olabode George.

George said: “We resolve that we are deeply concerned by the division in our party. We are aware that over the years our party has developed conflict resolution mechanisms that guarantee inclusiveness. The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cart before the horse. The pertinent issue remains the resolution of the leadership which is “Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the national chairman of the party for an acting Chairman of Southern Nigerian extraction to emerge and lead the party on the national campaign.

“Consequently, we resolved not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.”

Also, former Plateau State Governor, Senator Jonah Jang, claimed that Ayu was a bad referee, who assisted one side to score a goal during a football match and blew the final whistle.

He accused Ayu of compromising the May 28 and 29 presidential primaries of the party, saying: “For a National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to go and embrace Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, calling him the hero of the convention meant that there was a private arrangement that was done with Tambuwal to shortchange other contestants including Governor Wike.

“Here was a referee, who helped one of the sides to score a goal and then blew the whistle. This is not what we formed the PDP to do for Nigerians. Therefore, we unequivocally ask that Ayu must step down.”

Also, former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, said if the party intended to restructure Nigeria it should have the courage to restructure itself.

He said that their support for Wike was for the sake of equity and justice in the party, not because he lost the presidential primary or because he was not chosen as vice-presidential candidate.

Gana said: “You cannot build on a faulty foundation. This call for the chairman to step down or resign is not because any of us is aggrieved but because we believe it is important to ensure a just, fair, principled and constitutional structure for the party. If we want to restructure Nigeria, we should have the courage to restructure our party”.

The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde added: “We hope that the powers that be listen to the voice of reason and do the needful.”

Former governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo said,” we will work for the party to the extent that fairness, equity and justice are ensured.”

S-West Forum backs Wike, Makinde, others

Indeed, a group, South-West Forum of PDP Stakeholders for Justice, on Wednesday, reiterated its support for Governor Wike and others sympathetic to his cause that Senator Ayu should resign.

In a statement by former publicity secretaries of Ondo and Lagos states, Messrs Banji Okunomo and Taofik Gani, the forum said Ayu’s resignation will bring about confidence, inclusiveness and oneness in the party.

The statement read in part: “We, the above-named forum of the party, wish to affirm our support for the position being canvassed by Governor Seyi Makinde, corroborated by the doggedness of the ‘Wikes’ and the wisdom of the ‘Bode Georges’, as a lasting panacea for peace and eventual victory of our party at the 2023 Presidential election.

“Assuming Dr. Ayu, in his wisdom, genuinely chose and believed in the emergence of a Northern Presidential Candidate for the PDP and went further to acknowledge Governor Aminu Tambuwal as the hero of democracy following his withdrawal from the Presidential race to pave way for Atiku Abubakar at the Party’s national convention, it is our take, that Dr Ayu should indeed go further to logically and wisely conclude the process that would guarantee the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the next president of Nigeria by making other possible sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal.”

PDP crisis over soon — BoT chairman 

However, former Senate President and Chairman of the PDP, Board of Trustees, BoT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, said the crisis rocking the party would be resolved soon. 

Senator Wabara gave the assurance, yesterday, in Makurdi when he led members of the BoT on a conciliatory visit to Governor Ortom, who he described as a major voice and leading example in the party. 

Wabara, fielding questions from newsmen after commissioning the re-modelled Aper Aku Lodge within the Benue Government House, acknowledged that all is not well within the party. 

He, however, said: “There is no family without problems and that is exactly why we have come to the head, to encourage us with suggestions. As I said earlier, there is no problem without a solution. We should just watch our utterances because we will all come back to the same table in the interest of Nigerians. 

“So we will reach out to the groups. That is why we came here so that he will create the enabling environment for us to reach those aggrieved. Yes, they have very strong points; we will look at it as the conscience of the party and come out with a decision very soon.”

Governor Ortom, in his remark, commended the team for embarking on the reconciliation initiative saying it would have been done before now. 

The Governor, who acknowledged that he was also aggrieved said: “I have been with Governor Wike, we are friends and colleagues who share a common understanding on these issues. I commend the BoT for taking these steps because reconciliation is very key. 

“The party leadership would have deployed its internal conflict resolution mechanism long ago, maybe because somebody else was there before but I commend this effort. 

“Politics as I know in my over 40 years of practice is full of conflicts but you must discuss it and find solutions. People have diverse interests; you must look at it and see how there can be a win- win for all.   But treating people as if they are nothing or they have no value does not make sense to me. So I am pleased with what the BOT is trying to do. They have seen me, we have discussed, they are also going to see other governors and I believe that at the end of the day, we shall do something that will bring us together.”

“I am an aggrieved person too and that is why they came. We should be working together and they are here as fathers, mothers, leaders, and as the conscience of the party, to discuss with us.  We have made our positions known that we are not happy with the way the leadership of the party at the national level is managing the party. They need to do something.”

Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:33

ASUU to appeal court order on resumption

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it is set to appeal the order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) directing the suspension of its seven months old strike.

In a terse statement signed by the Chairman of Lagos Zone of the union, Adelaja Odukoya on Wednesday, the union urged its members to “remain calm.”

The union said its lawyer is already filing an appeal.

The statement by ASUU is titled; “NIC Back to Work Order on ASUU: Be Calm.” It urged members and Nigerians to remain united, even as it suggested that the order would be vacated.

The statement reads in part; “Our Comrade President, Comrade Victor Osodeke, has urged members of our Great Union to remain calm as there is no cause for alarm on the back to work order delivered earlier today.

“Our lawyer is filing an appeal and stay of execution of the judgment. Members should remain resolute and strong. A people united can never be defeated. Solidarity without compromise.”

Engineer Buba Galadima, a one-time president Buhari’s closest ally, has described Buhari’s government as the worst in Nigeria’s history.

Galadima dropped the bomb in a separate interview with vanguard shortly after a press briefing by the NNPP’s presidential candidate Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in Birnin Kebbi, he said he has pity for Buhari because bad things are happening before him but he can’t does anything to stop or change it.

He noted that, in the first tenure of Buhari, they thought Nigerians misunderstood him, so they dusted him, clean him and made excuses for him, unfortunately, he proved them wrong and proved the oppressors right “so my only prayer for him and asking Nigerians to pray for him to finish his government safely, for now, he is going out as the worst government ever in the history of Nigeria.

On the possibility of Kwankwaso winning the 2023 polls, the NNPP’s board of trustees secretary, stated that when they started six months ago, Nigerians thought they can’t make it, to their chagrin NNPP is now the greatest threat to oppressors in the country, massive crowds heralded all their visits in north, south, west and east, particularly in Alaba Rago in Lagos state the home of Tinubu, he challenged APC and Tinubu in Lagos to gather such crowds in Lagos.

He stressed that the people of Borno defied rain to welcome Kwankwaso, saying sealing off, of their secretariat in Borno nearly spark an unprecedented uprising, we were well received in Benue, Adamawa Atiku’s home, Delta, Edo, Sokoto, Zamfara and many states is the same story of massive turn out, in fact, our party will beat Atiku at Jada ward in Adamawa state.

He assured Nigerians that, NNPP is the party to beat in 2023 and will reclaim Nigeria from the hands of oppressors.

The leadership of the Students’ Union Government from various institutions in Kaduna, on Wednesday, said it has reversed its decision to block the Kaduna-Abuja road for peace and progress in the state.

It also said the union is suspending the protest because of earlier appeals by the security agents and the need to respect constituted authority.

The students’ union, through the Chairman, Taskforce on End ASUU Strike, Dominic Philip, said the union suspended the protest following the intervention of the Commissioner of Police in the state and other security agencies.

The Kaduna Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, had, on Tuesday evening warned the student body of the negative consequences of such an action.

The Goni-Gora, Kaduna-Abuja road, on Wednesday was engulfed with fierce-looking security agencies in strategic locations, watching from different directions.

Some of the security agents sat in their vehicles stationed at different locations around the Gonin Gora community along the highway.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has shared insight on how the aged people can live a longer life.

The 84-year-old former president urged aged Nigerians to embrace living in a communal society and shun a life of isolation.

Obasanjo made this assertion on Wednesday when he received the senior citizens under the aegis of Toyin Anini Varieties Centres of University College Hospital, Ibadan at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.

The former president revealed that communal society is one of the secrets that keep him fit and makes him have a befitting older age.

He reiterated that communal society has been one of the things that would help the aged people to live long and shape their social life.

Obasanjo advised aged people to adopt the habit of a balanced diet, have a good rest with regular exercise, continuous medical checks and social interaction.

He said, “We haven’t been taking proper care of our aged and there are reasons for that, our culture and tradition is that we should be with our children and take care of our grandchildren but where are our children today, they have all traveled abroad.

“When things changed we have to change with it, once our age is getting older they should have Social Clubs that they can relate with.

“There are five important things to have a good life as an aged person, which the acronym is (DREMS) Diet, Rest, Exercise, medical checkups, and Social Interaction.”

Honestly my sympathies, heart and pity go out to the Wike group.

They are being treated like filth by their own party.

They literally had no choice but to pull out of the Atiku campaign.

Yet I saw all this coming long ago.

Why do you think I left the PDP in the first place?

It is a party that is no longer national and does not even pretend to have respect for Southerners.

It is a party that is incapable of rewarding loyalty and keeping its word.

It is a party that begins and ends in the North and every Southerner and Middle Belter that is still there is nothing but a quisling and a stooge.

It is a party that does not believe in or understand the importance of building bridges of peace, love and understanding between the North and the South and ensuring fairness, justice and equity for all.

It is a party that does nothing but insult and seek to marginalise and destroy it's perceived detractors and enemies and putting Nigeria in its hands would mean the end of our country within a matter of months.

This is not the PDP of OBJ, UMYA or GEJ.

This is a dying and decaying fly and maggot infested carcass and a pitiful shadow and shell of its former self.

A party with no morals or decency that treats those that stood by it, helped it and fought for it over the years with contempt and disdain.

A party that uses and dumps.

A party that seeks to deride, misrepresent and humiliate all those that once stood in the trenches with them and fought fir their cause.

A party which has close and covert links with the terrorists that are killing, maiming and kidnapping our people.

A party which is powered and controlled by hidden forces that believe they own Nigeria and that have not only sought to destabilise our nation but have also unleashed murder, mayhem, hell and terror against our people.

A party that does not want peace but delights in conflict, rancour, division, hegemony and war.

A party some of whose leaders and members are behind much of the insurgency, bloodshed and mass murder in the North West and parts of the North Central and particularly in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Nassarawa and Katsina.

A party that has done nothing but humiliate it's former President and flagbearer for the 2015 presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan, over the last seven years and who did not even see fit to give him a place or a role in their Presidential Campaign Council.

A party whose National Chairman is little better than a haughty peacock and who is so vain, puffed up, conceited and deluded that he believes he is more important than all the Presidents on the African continent put together.

The only thing they know how to do is use religion and ethnicity to fight. They know nothing else.

They pit Nigerian against Nigerian and seek to divide us rather than bring us together.

They do not care about progesss and they do not even know the meaning of the word: they only care about their pockets.

The only way forward for the Wike group is to come out of the shadows and support Asiwaju for the presidential campaign and get their supporters to vote for his candidacy. It is a matter of honor.

They took everything from them including their self-respect and dignity. What more do they have left and what are they waiting for?

If Atiku wins the election he will come after them with all he has got and utterly crush and destroy them.

Even if Atiku or Okowa themselves are not interested in doing so the hawks around them like Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa and Adamu Waziri will ensure this is done.

For the Wike group the threat is now existential. Each and every one of them has been marked for destruction and humiliation by the new leaders of their party.

PDP is not only a menace to their own loyal members but a very real and present danger to Nigeria.

They should be treated with contempt and the shameless club of degenerates and clan of lepers that they are.