National leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, has called on Nigerians not allow killings across the country to divide them.
He said this when he paid a condolence visit to the home of the leader of pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, over the killing of her daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunrin.
Tinubu, while speaking, urged the people not to allow the incident to divide Nigeria, but let it serve as a means to provide solution to security challenges confronting the country.
He said the security challenges like killing, raping and kidnapping should not be blamed on one particular ethnic group, saying “these challenges had been with us for a long time.”
The former governor of Lagos State said: “I am a nationalist and the security concerns and challenges right now must be faced squarely throughout Nigeria.”
While calling on Nigerians not to blame any ethnic group over the happenings in the country, Tinubu said: “I am extremely concerned about security. I don’t want a stigma; I can go through history of kidnapping in Nigeria; we know how and where it all started, there are a lot of copycats.
“For how long have we been battling insecurity in the country? There are cases of kidnapping. Is Evans, who was arrested and made disclosure also a herdsman? I don’t want to be political, but I will ask ‘where are the cows?’
He noted that the security challenges being faced by the country required more police personnel to be recruited, trained and deployed in various locations to fight insecurity across the country.
Speaking on the killing of Olakunrin, he said “this one that affected a member of our family, Mrs Olakunrin, is seriously sad and unacceptable, but nobody can return her alive; she has answered the call of her creator.
“Funke was very close to me and she died prematurely. Only four or five days ago, we chatted and I know what she discussed with me about Baba’s health condition. We just pray that this will not happen again.”
He, however, said: “We must not use this incident to divide us, but must use it as a cure to the security problems. Additional police, additional patrol and additional security reinforcement on the Ore Road and various flashpoints across the country are necessary and I have discussed this among the various authorities. The governor is eminently aware and being proactive about this.
“The security challenges are numerous across this country and to fight them, more police are being recruited and it takes time to train and deploy them in various areas.”
Also, a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who called at the residence of Pa Fasoranti, described the death pathetic and unfortunate.
He attributed the increase in the cases of kidnapping and killing across the country to the non-prosecution of the offenders, saying kidnapping had evolved into a lingering pervasive security threat and multifaceted criminal enterprise.
Daniel, who called on government at all levels to revisit and address the issue of security in the country, said “ I am particularly worried that our dear and once beautiful country is facing this challenges and the omen is not good at all.”
Speaking on the increase in kidnapping and other criminal activities, he said “it is all about body language, because not many of these criminals or kidnappers are prosecuted or punished and this is not sending the right signal.
“When criminal offences are committed, we expect the government to act swiftly and to be seen to punish the criminals concerned.”
Earlier on Sunday, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of the Federal Government, had paid a condolence visit to the home of Chief Fasoranti, with an assurance that the Federal Government will deploy all options to put an end to the security challenges in the country.
He described the death of the daughter of the Afenifere leader, Mrs Olakunrin, who was killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Friday, on Benin/Ore Road as a massive tragedy.
Osinbajo, who arrived at the Fasorantis residence at exactly 9.10 a.m., was accompanied by the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu. He said the Federal Government would explore all options, including deploying soldiers on the highways, towards addressing the growing cases of security challenges in Nigeria.”
According to him, the Federal Government is working towards a workable overhauling of the nation’s security architecture, disclosing that President Muhammadu Buhari had met with all the security chiefs toward restrategising to fight the war against security breaches.
He confirmed that the Inspector-General of Police had also laid out a new policy on community policing to enhance intelligence gathering, and assured Nigerians that the government was committed to providing all logistics to prosecute the fight against criminality.
He appealed to Nigerians to be calm, while assuring that the present administration remains committed to security of lives and property.
“As you know, I am here to commiserate with the families of Olakunrin and Pa Fasoranti.
“This is a massive tragedy as you can imagine. We have seen it replicated here and there, I mean kidnapping and killings.
“As you all know, the president has very recently met, not only the service chiefs, but also the IGP and he has laid out a new policy on the community policing.
“One of the most important things is intelligence gathering; that is why we have the community policing system where policemen would be trained in their own local government areas and would remain there. This is as close as we get to the community policing structure that we expect to have.
“The other thing of course is that we are also engaging the army so that there will be a bit of more military presence, especially on our roads. The Inspector-General of Police has already committed to ensuring that there is full coverage of the police and even helicopters.”
“To fastening the search for these killers and also to ensure that there is adequate presence to deter this kind of terrible situation from recurring. We are looking at the whole security architecture and trying to ensure that we are able to scale up and ensure that we are able to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians.
“Security in a big county like Nigeria as you can imagine has challenges that are dynamic and we also have to be consistently dynamic to ensure that we are able to beat the challenges as they appear.
“I think we can be very hopeful that we would see peace and calm as some of the steps we are taking come to fruition. You know also that we met with the governors in the South-West and in the different zones, and everybody is coming to ensure that security is adequate and everyone feels safe and secure,” he said.
Gov Obaseki Threatens To Expel Oshiomhole From APC
The faceoff between Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki and the APC National chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has taken a new twist with the state governor threatening to expel Oshiomhole from the party if he continues his “anti-party” activities.
Obaseki’s faction of the APC in December 2019, suspended Oshiomhole from its party.
Both men have been at loggerheads over who should control the affairs of the party in the state.
Obaseki handed down the threat when he spoke at a meeting of the 18 APC local government chairmen in the state.
Reacting to the political rally Oshiomhole organised last weekend in Auchi, Etsako West local government area where thousands of people from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defected to the APC, the governor said former governor would not have tolerated a fraction of the things he has put him through since he became governor.
He maintained that should Oshiomhole come to the state again to have a ”power tussle” with him, he would show him that he is the governor and controls the affairs of the state.
“All this nonsense they are doing, if anybody in the name of our party tries to do anything contrary to what we have agreed as a party, we will deal with that person ruthlessly no matter who he is.
“If you are elected a chairman, your attitude should show if you believe in the party. Party supremacy means the leadership of the party must respect the membership. It is the members that make the party supreme because the members subscribed to a constitution which governs the conduct of the party. One man cannot be the party.
“We are warning the suspended National Chairman. If he continues his activities in Edo State, I will show him that I am the Governor of Edo State. While he was Governor, he will not tolerate a fraction of the misdemeanor and misbehaviour he is undertaking today.
“I have declared that if Oshiomhole comes here to Edo to say he wants to disrupt the activities of the state and the party we will deal with him the way we know how best to do it. Comrade Oshiomhole stands suspended from the party. In due course, we will expel him if he does not behave. The party does not belong to him, it belongs to all of us.” Obaseki said
Oshiomhole is yet to react to Obaseki’s threat.
PDP Threatens To Boycott 2023 Polls
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened to boycott the 2023 general elections if electoral reform are not carried out.
National Chairman, Uche Secondus, stated this yesterday, when he received a team from the International Republican Institute (IRI), who visited him at the PDP headquarters, in Abuja.
He said the decision to shun the polls was borne out of the experience of the opposition party in recent elections, which he say had not been pleasant.
He claimed the government, security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were working together to deny the people the right to choose their leaders.
Secondus noted that the country needed a new electoral law that would legalise electronic voting as well as insulate the military and other security agencies from the electoral process. He said anything short of that would not be unacceptable.
“One of the areas we are looking forward to in our country is our electoral processes and laws. We believe they are antiquated, they need amendment. We need to improve on our voting patterns and the reporting of results from voting point and the transmission processes.
“They are all embodied in the electoral processes and amendment; without that, it will be difficult for us to think about contesting any election because previous experiences have been terrible and horrifying. The people in government with INEC and security agencies collaborate to deny the people their right. As we speak, both the legislature and judiciary have been caged and they are taking directive from the villa.
“So, these are areas that we need the collaboration of IRI and other international agencies. If people do not have the right to vote, what is the essence of election? People must come out of their houses to register and vote. They must have the right to go out there to vote and then be safe.”
He said the party has resolved to set up a committee to review the conduct of the 2023 polls, adding that the report will, to a great extent, determine if it would participate in future polls in the country.
“If there is no need, we will inform the leaders of our party, show them the facts and figures, people who have been killed, people who went to vote, if you can not be guaranteed that you can go and vote and come back safely, what will be the need in 2023 to come and vote?”
Speaking during the visit, the Resident Program Director, IRI, Angela Wambugu, said electoral reform was much needed in the country.*
BREAKING: PDP Wins Imo Supplementary Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Jerry Alagbaoso of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the supplementary election held on Saturday in Orlu/Orsu/ Oru East Federal Constituency in Imo State.
The Returning Officer of the election, Emma Anakwuba, announced the results and returned the PDP candidate under tight security at INEC’s office in Owerri on Tuesday.
This declaration is coming three days after political thugs invaded INEC’s collation centre in collation, tore the election results, accusing the electoral umpire of compromising the exercise.
INEC had already collated results of 14 out of 18 polling units before the hoodlums struck.
The results of the remaining four polling units were collated at the INEC’s headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday and thereafter a winner was announced.
The returning officer said that the PDP candidate polled 22,475 votes to emerge the winner.
According to Anakwuba, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Eddy Iheanacho got 20, 814 votes while All Progressives Grand Alliance got 5,099 votes.
He said, “That Jerry Alagbaoso of the PDP having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law is returned elected.”
The winner, who was first elected into the house of representatives 2011 was reelected in 2015, was declared winner again in 2019.
An appeal court in Owerri partially canceled his victory in 2019 and ordered a supplementary election in 18 polling units in the federal constituency.