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APC To Jonathan: Come Clean On $9.3m Controversy

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GEJ-Lai MohammedThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to come clean on the circumstances surrounding the $9.3 million that was impounded in South Africa, which it said has become the latest in a series of global ridicule to which the scandal-prone Jonathan Administration has subjected Nigeria and her people.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC also called on the National Assembly to commence an urgent probe into the issue, saying the silence of the peoples’ representatives on the issue is deafening, unfathomable and unacceptable.

It said there is no doubt that the president is at the centre of the whole issue, considering the presidential treatment given to the plane and its cargo, since the aircraft departed from the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, away from the reach of the Nigerian Customs Service, which could not therefore have cleared the plane and its passengers.

“It is absolutely urgent for President Jonathan to clear the air on this alleged off-the-shelf equipment or arms purchase, which runs against all known protocol for such purchases anywhere in the world. Military equipment and weapons are not bean cakes to be purchased by the road side. There are globally-acceptable protocols for such purchases by governments, otherwise what differentiates a government from an insurgent group that is shopping for arms?

“Is the Jonathan Administration not aware that the UN General Assembly on April 2nd 2013 adopted a landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) precisely to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons by avoiding the kind of road-side purchase that the Nigerian government is said to have been involved in? Though the ATT has not come into effect, the fact that Nigeria is among the few countries to have signed and ratified the treaty shows that the country is concerned by unregulated arms trade”, APC said.

The party said the resort to “procedural error” to explain away the whole issue cannot work, because Nigerian authorities cannot pretend not to be aware that currency brought into or taken from South Africa is monitored by law, and that anyone bringing into that country more than R25,000 in South African currency or U$10,000 or the equivalent thereof in foreign currency must declared such.

It said that in any case, those who are using “procedural error” as an alibi are being too clever by half. “This is because if entering or leaving a country with undeclared $9.3 million is mere ‘procedural error’, why was Sule Lamido’s son convicted for not declaring a mere $50,000 dollars at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport?”

APC said, however, that in the spirit of fairness, it has decided to give President Jonathan and the government he heads the opportunity to make urgently-needed clarifications by answering a number of questions relating to the $9.3 million scandal: “Is the money indeed meant to purchase a helicopter as has been reported? To which arm of the government or security force does the money belong? Who appropriated it and for what purpose? Why was the money being ferried in cash by the same government that has been spending huge time and money to promote a cashless policy? Is the resort to cash to avoid a paper trail for the transaction, in which case it is illegal?

“Mr. President, we are aware that each arm of security has an account with the CBN for the purpose of arms purchase and such transactions are properly documented, so why was this not the case in this instance?

“Mr. President, why did it take your government all of 10 days to admit its involvement in this scandal, considering that the embarrassing incident happened since Sept. 5th and was not known until Sept. 15th? Does this saga not give credence to the widely held view that you are indeed benefitting from the the Boko Haram insurgency and that you have deliberately allowed it to escalate to this level?

“Mr. President, has this saga not confirmed the suspicion that your 2015 reelection bid has been factored into your handling of the Boko Haram insurgency? Has this saga not given more credence to revelations that the sponsors of Boko Haram are those closest to the President? Has this saga not finally confirmed that the President knows more than he is telling the nation about the sudden escalation of the Boko Haram insurgency, especially in the run up to the 2015 elections?

“Mr. President, has this saga not confirmed that powerful forces in your administration are all working in concert to use the Boko Haram insurgency to secure tenure extension for President Jonathan? Is not clear now why the Senate President infamously declared two days ago that election is not on the table since the country is in a state of war? Have we not been proven right in our declaration at the panel discussion in the British House of Commons on Sept. 8th 2014 that the Jonathan administration will attempt to cash in on the Boko Haram insurgency to postpone elections?”

The party said the answers to the questions raised would go a long way in assuring Nigerians that their government is not clandestinely buying equipment and weapons to fuel the Boko Haram insurgency and then profit from its own act of perfidy.

It said while Jonathan is compiling his answers to the posers, he should ask his spokespersons to stop adding insult to injury by saying the CIA, FBI, Mossad etc also travel abroad with undeclared cash, in clear violation of the laws of their destination countries, to buy arms.

“Mr President only gangsters and terrorists conduct their businesses in this manner. Therefore, please call your spokespersons to order, while you are preparing to come clean to Nigerians on this latest scandal”, APC said.

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BREAKING: Senator Abbo Dumps PDP; Joins APC

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BREAKING: Senator Abbo Dumps PDP; Joins APC

Elisha Abbo

Senator Elisha Abbo has defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party.

Senator Abbo, who represents Adamawa North in the Nigerian Senate announced his defection from the PDP to the APC in a letter addressed to the Senate.

Senator Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Nigerian Senate, read the letter during Wednesday’s plenary session.

Also Read: 2023 Presidency: Bode George Cautions Buhari About Tinubu

In his letter, Senator Abbo explained that his decision to defect to the APC is because of the mismanagement of the PDP in Adamawa state by Governor Umaru Fintiri.

Senator Abbo who is a first-term lawmaker was elected in 2019 to the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Meanwhile, the name Senator Elisha Abbo became popular amongst Nigerians last year after he made headlines for slapping an attendant in a sex toy shop for ‘disrespecting’ him.

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2023 Presidency: Bode George Cautions Buhari About Tinubu

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2023 Presidency: Bode George Cautions Buhari About Tinubu

Bode George, Tinubu

Chief Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against supporting Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 Presidency.

Bode George made this remark in a statement titled, “The jamboree visit to the Villa: My Birthday Offering.”

The former National Port Authority boss warned Buhari against falling to the antics of those who would ignore the issues of Lagos State to engage in a needless scheming in partisan engagement.

Bode-George also condemned the recent visit of some APC chieftains, Chief Bisi Akande, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, Dr Yomi Finnih, and Chief Segun Osoba to the State House, Abuja.

Also Read: Fashola: If We Keep Our Promises, APC Will Retain Power In 2023

The PDP chieftain said: “The visit of Chief Bisi Akande, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, Dr Yomi Finnih, and Chief Segun Osoba to the seat of power in Abuja is needless, unnecessary, veiled in some poorly hidden agenda that is woven in apparently self-serving ulterior personalised desperation.

“It is easy to discern that the visit is stripped of any patriotic progression, lacking in balanced national leadership, voided of a spirit of sacrifice and developmental vision. The very absence of Bola Tinubu from the jamboree screams to high heavens that the meeting itself is a covert placatory softening of the ground for Tinubu himself. I am pretty certain that in his very absence, Tinubu occupies the centrality of the discussion.

“I will advise Baba Akande who governed Osun State with principled, incorruptible leadership to kindly help us drop off Bola Tinubu at Iragbiji as he makes his way back to Ila-Orangun, rather than engaging in fruitless pleading sessions for a man who is fixated on a warped pipe-dream about governing Nigeria. He should pay restitution for the egregious stripping of the Lagosian coffers.”

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Umahi Sacks Tertiary Institution’s Boards Headed By Ex-Minister, Ambassador

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Umahi Sacks Tertiary Institution’s Boards Headed By Ex-Minister, Ambassador

Dave Umahi

Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, on Tuesday sacked sixteen Technical Assistants.

The development was disclosed in a statement released by Umahi through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala.

He also announced the dissolution of governing boards of the state’s two tertiary education institutions.

Also Read: Gov. Umahi Sacks Political Appointees From Ohaukwu LGA

The boards dissolved are the Ebonyi State University Governing Council and the Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo Governing Boards.

The two boards are headed by Ambassador Franklin Ogbuewu and a former Minister of State for Health, Fidelis Nwankwo.

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