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Nasarawa Governorship: Group Cautions Judiciary Against Manipulation of Legal Process

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 The Ombugadu Campaign Organisation has called on the judiciary and other relevant authorities to ensure that the legal process concerning Nasarawa State governorship election is not manipulated or delayed for political purposes.

This is contained in a statement signed by the group’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Mike Omeri, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Omeri said the group ws deeply concerned by the recent actions of Gov.

Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, “who at 10 p.m on a Sunday night filed his appeal challenging the verdict of the Election Tribunal that sacked him from office”.

He stated that: “This untimely and unusual filing appears to be a deliberate attempt to frustrate our candidate, Hon.

David Ombugadu, who was declared the winner of the March 2023 governorship election in Nasarawa State by the Tribunal.

“Clearly, the hidden motive was to prevent him from filing a notice of cross-appeal in a timely manner prescribed by law. The timing of Governor Sule’s appeal filing raises questions about transparency, fair play, search for justice, and respect for due process.

“This further underscores the uncanny way through which they want to win at all cost, not minding the attendant chaos such might cause.

“We call on all relevant authorities, including the judiciary, to ensure that the legal process is not manipulated or delayed for political purposes.”

He urged that fairness and justice should prevail, adding that the people’s mandate must be upheld.

Omeri explained that Ombugadu has stated in several fora that his ambition is not worth the flow of blood of any common man, woman or child as well as the destruction of properties.

He emphasised that the late night weekend timing also suggested a lack of willingness to engage in a fair and open legal determination of the matter in issue.

According to him, witches, wizards and robbers will only operate mostly in the cover of darkness when people are asleep.

Omeri alleged that the election results of Gayam and Ciroma Wards in Lafia were changed between 2 a.m and 3 a.m on March 20, and announced the results in similar manner and now appealing at 10 p.m on Sunday night.

“Despite these underhand tactics, vigilant lawyers of Ombugadu’s could not be outmaneuvered as they outsmarted their counterparts.

“They promptly responded within minutes by filing a firm notice of cross appeal within time, challenging some of the rulings of the tribunal, which seem beneficial to the appellant and for which Sule was relying upon to sustain his appeal.

“Interestingly, even the Independent National Electoral Commission is also filling an appeal against the judgment in the case they failed to defend at the tribunal.

“We re-emphasised that our candidate, Hon. David Ombugadu, is fully committed to upholding the rule of law and due process,” Omeri said.

He maintained that the Ombugadu Campaign Organisation remained steadfast in its commitment to the democratic process and the pursuit of justice.

“We urge all stakeholders, including Gov. Sule, to respect the principles of fairness, transparency and the rule of law in this electoral matter,” the group said. (NAN)

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Govs must Allow LGs to Function to Tackle Insecurity – Maj.-Gen Wahab

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By Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja

Director-General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab (rtd.) has said that state governors must give local governments free hand to function in the efforts to tackle insecurity across the country.

Wahab said that to get everyone involved in the security challenges facing the nation, there is need to go towards the grassroots – the local governments, where majority of the people reside and know themselves in order to get it right.

The director-general of the Army Resource Centre gave the suggestion at the weekend while delivering a paper on “Security is a Collective Responsibility” at the 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI), National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Jos.

Wahab, who  was the guest speak at the event said, “The governors should and must allow local governments to function and perform effectively. If that is done, it becomes easier for us to get to the root of the problem (insecurity). And you cannot do that without the traditional institutions because they command so much respect within their localities.”

He noted that the traditional rulers were not assigned function in the 1999 Constitution as amended “based on the fact that they had been used by the colonial masters”, adding “even now there are allegations that they are being used by politicians but we cannot continue to live like that”.

Wahab said the natural rulers should be part of the security architecture but called for “structure” to be put in place “to monitor and punish those who do not perform”, adding that with such measure, things would take shape “because you can’t ask somebody to be part of the security architecture and is not secured.

“If he (traditional ruler) does not have the believe that if something goes wrong, the person responsible will be punished. Nobody  will be interested, so, we must take steps that will make sure that everybody is involved in security which is a collective responsibility.”

On the role of good governance in addressing insecurity, Wahab said, “Yes, everybody talked about good governance, but what do I mean, let everybody be given equal opportunity. And those who are there should use their offices to provide infrastructure.

“If there are  infrastructure then it becomes easier to ask people to remain where they are, rather than everybody flocking to the city centers. Because if they do, there is believe that by 2050,  more than 60% of Nigerians will be living in the urban centres and that will create more criminal activities in those areas.

“Of course the remote areas will be deserted, so we must prevent a situation where remote rural areas are deserted and the centres becomes criminal havens.”

Earlier, while declaring the AGM open, Amb. Emmanuel Okafor, the President of AANI, said that the association believe that change of attitude and efforts required to rescue Nigeria from the current security challenges was a collective responsibility that require broad-based commitment and consistent implementation of comprehensive national development plans.

Okafor noted that Nigeria is facing “a very difficult time” with the twin challenges of insecurity and economic difficulties which has slowed down activities in all sectors of the economy.

The AANI president said the difficulties had created social tension including street protests and looting of food items, saying that to restore normalcy, AANI was partnering with various stakeholders to promote good governance and sustainable development in line with its overall objective of working towards a better society.

“In this regard, AANI partnered with the Center for Transparency and Integrity Watch to host an ‘International Symposium on Countering Organised Crime in Africa: Building Resilient Institutions to counter Emerging Threats.

“We are also currently working with the Ministry of Defense to hold security sensitization seminars in all the geo-political zones of the federation. We have already developed a concept note and on the verge of signing an MOU with the Defense Headquarters for the Implementation of the project,” the AANI president said.

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I Won’t Fail FCT Residents, Wike Assures

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja 

The Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, at the weekend, assured Abuja residents that with the support of President Bola Tinubu, he can’t afford to fail in his duty as FCT Minister.

Wike stated this shortly after inspecting some ongoing road projects within Abuja.

 He added that he has no reason to criticise his predecessors in office or give excuses.


The projects are, the provision of Wuye District infrastructure, the FCT Highway 105 (11km six lane dual carriageway) linking the Airport Expressway to Kuje and the official residence of the Vice President.

 

 On his impression about the projects, Barr Wike said he was very happy with the speed and quality of work and commended the contractors.

He said the contractors have also assured that the Wuye/Wuse flyover, which is 85 percent complete and the Vice President’s official residence will be ready by May this year.


  The Minister further stated that the FCT Highway 105 (11km six lane dual carriageway) linking the Airport Expressway to Kuje when completed, would open up the area and bring a lot of changes to the FCT.

keeping to faith with their commitment to handover the project by May.

 According to the Minister, “I have to commend the various contractors, the Arab Contractors and Julius Berger. The first site we went to is almost 85 percent complete, one of those interchanges in Wuye District. The contractors are keeping to faith with their commitment to handover the project by May.

  “And then we also went to the Kuje road which is the six lane road. It’s about 11 kilometers. That road from the airport road down to Kuje will open up that area of the Area Council. The last time when I went to flag off one of the rural roads, 

road. It’s about 11 kilometers. That road from the airport road down to Kuje will open up that area of the Area Council. The last time when I went to flag off one of the rural roads, we didn’t see much about the contractors and I did say that the contractors are not serious. But going back there today, one is very impressed with the level of work and the quality of work. I’m quite impressed with what I saw”.

Speaking further on the official residence of the Vice President, the Minister said the contractors were at the stage of electrical installations, which might not be quite visible but assured that a lot of changes would be seen in the next few weeks while, assuring that the project would be ready by May.


He said, “We were at the VP’s residence which is being handled by Julius Berger and like I said, they have made further commitment that by May, they are going to hand over. Why we may not be seeing enough of what we think should be improvements is because they are concentrating on electrical cables. By the next two, three weeks, you will see a lot of changes. They are known for quality and we are really financing them well”.

Barrister Wike also reiterated that no ongoing project in the FCT would be abandoned. He said the projects that are considered as priority have been included in the FCT’s 2024 statutory budget for adequate funding.


According to the Minister, “We have always said that we are not going to allow any project to be abandoned. We have taken our priorities and most of these projects are also being included in our 2024 statutory budget, which will soon be presented to the National Assembly by Mr. President when he returns from Qatar”.

 The Minister also addressed the concern of residents over the seeming delay in the road resurfacing exercise, particularly in the Asokoro District. He assured that the project would also be ready by May.

 He said, “What we have said is that these things will be completed before or handed over by May. If you look at the AYA road, it’s being handled by Julius Berger and you know their own style of work, they like to scrape and then take all together when they want to asphalt. So, it is not as if it has been abandoned. When they want to asphalt, they take all at the same time. So, there is nothing like abandonment. What is important to us is if they are going to meet up to the date that they have committed themselves.

 “Frankly speaking, I’m very happy with the quality and the speed. By May, a lot of Nigerians will see the changes as far as the FCT is concerned”.

14.The Minister was accompanied on the road inspection tour by the Executive Secretary FCDA, Engr. Hadi Shehu Ahmed, the Director Engineering, Engr. Obiora Ezeoha, former Senator representing the FCT, Sen. Phillip Aduda, senior officials of the FCT Administration, among others. 

Earlier, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority FCDA, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad said the Administration is currently constructing 11 kilometres of the 76-kilometre Kuje-Gwargwada-Rubochi-Abaji-Nasarawa six-lane highway.

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Christian Gospel Musicians set for music festival in Jos to support IDPs 

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From Jude Dangwam, Jos

Christian Gospel Musicians across Nigeria are set for a gospel music festival in Plateau State aimed at helping the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of the recent unrest in the state.

Mr King Benny Bello speaking to Newsmen at weekend for NuGroove Multimedia the organizers of the festival said the event which is billed for Sunday March 24th, 2024, at Ten Commandments, Dwei Du in Jos South LGA of Plateau State is expected to have about 5000 people in attendance.

He assured that adequate security will be provided for the safety of people before and during the event which is going to be hate free to all intending guests.

“As we celebrate 20 years of divine grace manifested through music in light of recent events, particularly the tragic Christmas Eve killings in parts of Bokkos and Barkin Ladi, and the unrest in Mangu resulting in loss of lives and faith, coupled with the prevailing economic challenges in the nation.

“We recognize the urgent need for divine intervention. Therefore, the theme for this milestone edition is “PEACE IN THE STORM.” He stated 

Drawing inspiration from 1Thessalonians 5:18, which admonishes believers to give thanks in all circumstances, he noted that the RHYTHM OF PRAISE FESTIVAL provide a platform for collective worship and supplication, seeking peace amidst turbulent times.

Bello recalled that in 2004, Pastor Jerry Ogbeba and King Benny Bello initiated one of the largest gospel music concerts across the Middle Belt and Northern Nigeria, which was named RHYTHM OF PRAISE; hosted by Fountain Music in Bauchi with NuGroove Multimedia Jos, powered by Panam Music World, an initiative he said continue to grow steadily in scale and significance over the years winning souls and attending to those deprived or victims of various circumstances.

The leadership of Performing Musician Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) in Plateau State, Comrade Humphrey Color (PMAN Plateau Governor) said the professional body is committed to supporting any initiative within the music industry that will help in the promotion of peaceful coexistence among citizens of Plateau State.

“We are in support of this initiative and we will continue to support any ideas that are aimed at promoting peace and unity in Plateau State.”

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