By Jude Opara, Abuja
The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has said that their National Leader and Presidential candidate, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso was quoted out of context when he spoke in Gombe concerning the proposed merger of the party and the Labour Party (LP).
National Chairman of the NNPP, Prof. Rufai Alkali in a statement on Tuesday, said contrary to the reports circulating in the media, Kwankwaso did not say that Igbos are only good in business and know only little about politics.
“The attention of the National leadership of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has been drawn to the reactions of some Nigerians to a report falsely credited to the National leader and Presidential Candidate of the party, His Excellency, Senator Mohammed Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso on the South East geopolitical zone as regards the 2023 Presidential election.
“According to the report, Dr. Mohammed Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, while inaugurating the Party’s Gombe State Executive last week, was quoted to have said that the South East (Igbo People) are good in business but at the bottom of politics in Nigeria.
“The said attribution is said to have generated some ill feelings in some political circles in Nigeria, especially between the South East and the NNPP.
“However, as a party that is desirous to change the situation of the country, we believe that no Nigerian of any geopolitical zone, tribe, ethnic nationality, or religious persuasion is least on the rung of the ladder in the whole effort to bring the desired change in the country.
“The NNPP wishes to categorically state that the statement of its Presidential Candidate, Senator Kwankwaso at the occasion was situated out of contest, as the NNPP Presidential candidate has always emphasized that the Igbos were frontrunners in the fight for the nation’s struggle for independence, and had produced the first President of the country in the person of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of the Senate, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, former Vice President, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, four former Presidents of the Senate from 1999 to date and other top political office holders”.
Alkali also added that the NNPP as a political party believes that it has what it takes like some other political parties to rejuvenate the present situation of the country and will not in any way disparage any zone or people of any political party.
He further stated that the discussions with any political party or individual is an ongoing thing that would bring the desired change of a new Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“However, the party or its Presidential candidate would not in any way malign any zone or any individual as we believe that NNPP we desire the votes of all the zones and all electorate to govern Nigeria.
“We want to state that NNPP will canvass votes from all geo-political zones to win the 2023 Presidential election and would not in any way consider any zone less as we have supporters and candidates all over the country”.
Insecurity: Nasarawa Govt Set to Beef up Security
By Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad, Abuja
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has warned that his administration will take stringent actions against perpetrators of crime and criminality in the state, stressing that the government will beef up security around Nasarawa Eggon.
This is just as Engineer Sule urged political appointees and other top government functionaries, to be a little more cautious while going about their responsibilities.
The Governor made this known while chairing the quarterly meeting of the Nasarawa Enabling Business Environment Council, at the Government House, on Tuesday.
Reacting over the incident involving the state Commissioner of Information, Mallam Yakubu Lawal, who was kidnapped last night in Nasarawa Eggon by unknown gunmen, Governor Sule said efforts are on top gear to draft additional security to Nasarawa Eggon to safeguard the lives of citizens.
He further urged top government officials in the state to ensure they have adequate security protection, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Adesina Soyemi, has expressed readiness to provide protection to government officials.
The Governor decried the spate of kidnapping in Nasarawa Eggon saying three kidnappings within a short period, is unfortunate but that government is determined to handle the situation.
“I urge you, first and foremost, to be cautious and secondly, seek protection also from your own end.
“I have no idea that some of our commissioners don’t have police attached to them until today. While other commissioners are having three or four policemen because of the situation they find themselves in, other commissioners don’t even want it. This is a very wrong approach. We should seek police protection. The CP is more than happy to support you,” he stated.
The governor however, assured that his administration will address the spate of kidnappings in Nasarawa Eggon.
“In a week, we now have three incidents, for that reason, we can’t fold our arms. We have to be able to take a stronger position. I urge you as members of the executive, especially top government functionaries, to do the best you can, to be more cautious. It’s unfortunate that a commissioner will be driving alone in the middle of the night,” he said.
Speaking on the essence of the meeting, the Governor said, since Nasarawa State has continued to attract more and more investment, there’s need for the council to continue to take all seriousness as it affects efficiency of attracting business into the state.
Earlier, in opening remarks, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the Nasarawa Enabling Business Environment Council is the apex body for discussing the bottlenecks and barriers to bring business into the state.
Abdullahi emphasized that the council, has in the past years, ushered in new reforms in the state business environment which has put the state as a top destination for doing business in Nigeria.
The meeting had in attendance all relevant MDAs that had to do with ease of doing business in the state.
William Ruto Wins Kenya Presidential Poll as Senior Election Officials Disown Results
The head of Kenya’s electoral body on Monday declared Deputy President, William Ruto winner of the country’s closely-fought presidential election, despite several commissioners rejecting the results.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto garnered 7.18 million votes (50.49 percent) against 6.94 million (48.85 percent) by his rival Raila Odinga in the August 9 vote.
Meanwhile the planned announcement of the Kenyan presidential election results on Monday descended into chaotic scenes after the deputy chairperson of the election commission and three other commissioners disowned the presidential election results.
“We are not able to take ownership of the results that will be announced,’’ Juliana Cherera, the deputy chairperson of the electoral commission told a media briefing at a different venue from where the announcement was to be made.
Diplomats and international election observers were whisked out of the tallying hall where the chairman of the electoral commission was preparing to announce the presidential results.
Kenya has a history of post-poll violence and slow progress by the electoral commission in tallying Tuesday’s vote has fed fears that the election will be disputed, leading to bloody scenes like those that followed presidential polls in 2007 and 2017. (Reuters/NAN)
Buhari Overrides NNPC, Approves Seplat’s Acquisition of ExxonMobil Assets
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the acquisition of ExxonMobil Corporation assets by Seplat Energy Plc despite moves by the state-owned oil company to block the deal.
In February, Seplat had entered into an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of MPNU from Exxon Mobil.
But the deal was blocked by Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.
In a statement on Monday, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, said Buhari made the approval considering the ample benefits of the divestment to the country’s oil sector.
Considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian Energy sector and the larger economy, Buhari, Monday in Abuja, gave Ministerial Consent to the deal as the president cum Petroleum minister.
The President, in commitment to investment drive in light of the Petroleum Industry Act, granted consent to the Share Sales Agreement, as requested by the parties to the transaction, and directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.
Exxon Mobil/Seplat are expected to carry out operatorship of all the oil mining licenses in the related shallow water assets towards production optimization to support Nigeria’s OPEC quota in the short term as well as ensure accelerated development and monetization of the gas resources in the assets for the Nigerian economy.
Buhari also directed that all environmental and abandonment liabilities be adequately mitigated by Exxon Mobil and Seplat.
According to the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, “In his capacity as minister of petroleum resources, and in consonance with the country’s drive for foreign direct investment in the energy sector, President Muhammadu Buhari has consented to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares in the United States of America by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
“Exxon Mobil had entered into a landmark Sale and Purchase Agreement with Seplat Energy to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mobil Development Nigeria Inc, and Mobil Exploration Nigeria Inc, both registered in Delaware, USA.
“Considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian Energy sector and the larger economy, President Buhari has given Ministerial Consent to the deal.”
According to the statement, the president has directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.
“Exxon Mobil/Seplat are expected to carry out operatorship of all the oil mining licenses in the related shallow water assets towards production optimization to support Nigeria’s OPEC quota in the short term as well as ensure accelerated development and monetization of the gas resources in the assets for the Nigerian economy,” it added.
“President Buhari also directed that all environmental and abandonment liabilities be adequately mitigated by Exxon Mobil and Seplat.”
In July, Seplat Energy informed investors that NNPC blocked the deal through a court injunction restraining Exxon Mobil from selling its assets in the country.
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