Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Nigerian Tribune:


  • Written by  Taiwo Adisa, Jacob Segun Olatunji and Bolaji Ogundele
  • Thursday, 23 May 2013 01:47
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HUNDREDS of protesters made up of ex-militants led by former warlord and leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante Force (NDVF), Tom Ateke took over the major Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway demanding the resignation of the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
The protesters, all dressed in white T-shirts with the inscription; ‘EFCC, probe Amaechi’, later converged on the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, where they sang and danced.
Speaking to newsmen later, spokesman of the protesters, Comrade Martyns Mannah explained that since the governor had called on Rivers people to rise up, they decided to rise to the occasion.
Mannah, who is the Security Secretary of Orashi Youth Movement, said they were tired of Amaechi’s style of administration which had impoverished Rivers people.

“Rivers people can’t stay and watch Amaechi challenge President Goodluck Jonathan who comes from the South-South and desires to contest in 2015. We want Amaechi to tell us the whereabouts of the two jets Odili left behind and real owners of the Bombardier aircraft,” he said.
Embattled Amaechi, whose tenure as chairman, Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF) expires tomorrow, had to contend with perceived forces since rumours made the round that he had an ambition to become vice president in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State police command has banned unauthorised protest marches within the state even as the Assistant Inspector General of Police, in charge of zone 6, Jonathan Johnson, expressed support for police service in the state so far.
But while the police was issuing the ban on protest marches in the state, ex-militants, under the aegis of Rivers People’s Assembly (RPA), were marching through the state capital, calling for the probe of the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi administration.
Announcing the ban on protest marches in the state, Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, at a joint press briefing with AIG zone 12, Johnson, said the command would no longer tolerate protests without police approval in the state.
According to him, any person or group protesting in the state would be arrested and prosecuted for a breach of the peace.
“We are sounding a note of warning to all those who engage in protests for or against any of the parties involved in the on-going crisis in the state to desist forthwith. A ban has been placed on protests in the state, no matter the type. If you are arrested, you will be prosecuted for attempting to breach public peace,” Mbu warned.
Responding on police operations in the state since the ongoing political crisis in the state commenced, AIG Jonathan, said the state command had operated satisfactorily.
On the perpetual occupation of the Obio/Akpor council secretariat, Johnson said that the police had gone to the council to douse tension, and not to prevent council staff from carrying out their duties.
He said the caretaker committee chairman and the council staff were not prevented from sitting, and noted that there was need for police presence to uphold law and order.
“The CP did not say that they should not sit at the council… The council staff has not said that the police have prevented them from sitting. The police only went there to douse tension,” he said.
The AIG also backed the decision of the Commissioner to withdraw some policemen attached to political office holders, noting that what happened was a replacement of mobile police officers and that of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), who were formerly attached to politicians with Special Protection Unit (SPU), who he noted are the rightful attachment to political office holders.
“The CP’s action is in order. The Special Protection Unit is responsible for dignitaries who apply for protection. The mobile and CTU are for anti-terrorism and riotous situations. The CP has replaced those he withdrew with SPUs.”
Govs storm Abuja for NGF election
The Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF)  will on Friday hold a strategic meeting to determine the next leader of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum(NGF), which election comes up later in the day on Friday.
Sources close to the NSGF confirmed that the governors would hold their meeting at 11am on Friday, ahead of the main NGF meeting and election which starts at 4pm on Friday.
It was confirmed that the NSGF would dissect the situation within the NGF and take a final stand on the bid to install Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state as the next chairman of NGF.
Sources had told the Nigerian Tribune that some influential members of the NGF perceived to be loyal to President Jonathan had argued the need to zone the position of NGF Chairman to the North, ostensibly on the grounds that there is the need to spread the positions and not to concentrate all key posts in the South South.
Sources had also told the Nigerian Tribune that the argument was strongly canvassed at the last meeting of NGF and that a number of governors had bought into the plan.
The Nigerian Tribune was told that some key figures in the contest had arrived Abuja on Tuesday and that many of them will remain in town till Friday.
Said a source: “I can confirm to you that the Northern States Governors’ Forum will meet at 11 on Friday. The meeting will chart the way forward on the chairmanship of the NGF as it will hold shortly before the main NGF meeting.”
It was confirmed that some key campaigners among the NGF have reached out to the governors to make the Friday election rancour-free and that the option of consensus should be adopted.
With the way things are going, Governor Isa Yuguda could just emerge with a consensus after securing the full backing of the NSGF on Friday. We don’t envisage any rancour,” a source said adding that those  canvassing a Rotimi Amaechi/Isa Yuguda clash may be in for an anti-climax as the Rivers state governor may drop his ambition to avert cracks in the NGF.
Ahead of  the election some state governors have relocated to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja  to strategise.
As of the last count, the trio of Governors Rotimi Amechi, Rivers (incumbent Chairman) Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and Ibrahim Shema of Kastina are said to be in the race.
While the presidency was said to have deployed its arsenals to the field to ensure the defeat of Governor Amaechi because of his rumoured Presidential ambition in 2015 and to work for the victory of either Governor Yuguda or Shema, a good number of the governors from the opposition and few from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were said to have vowed to ensure the return of Amaechi to office.
It was also gathered that there were underground moves to prevail on most of the governors to settle for a consensus candidate among the three candidates but which had been reportedly turned down mostly by the opposition governors as they saw it as an attempt to further the Presidential  ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
Governor Amaechi who has been having running battles with the PDP and the Presidency on all fronts in the recent time had vowed to stand in for reelection as the Chairman of the the Forum and expressed optimism that he would be at the polls based on supports from his colleagues.

FG reads riot act to 100 private jet owners
Eleven years after the national civil aviation policy was last reviewed, the Federal Government on Wednesday came down hard on the over 100 private jet owners in the country, insisting that strict adherence to payment of appropriate levies would no longer be compromised.
Any private jet owner who uses it for commercial purposes would also be sanctioned.
Aviation Minister, Mrs. Stella Oduah, who spoke after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, said: “Are they (private jet owners) paying what they are supposed to pay? The response is no, they are not, but we want to make sure that they pay what they are supposed to pay. These are part of what the policy is addressing. We want to make sure that private jets are private jets and commercial jets are commercial jets and the owners will operate within the boxes they are meant to operate so we dont want to overcharge anyone, we don’t want to undercharge, we want to do what is global standards.
“We had to also revise the policy to ensure that safety is given optimum importance in the way we do things. Definitely, technology involved in using the airports has changed and so, you can see it is very important that we enhance the technology that we have within our airports and our airports facilities and so, several of these was the essence in which we had to quickly review our aviation policy.
“When we talk about general aviation, we are talking about the private jets. As of today, we have about a hundred of them and we also have to highlight passengers Bill of Right. What that means is that all passengers rights are being protected and at the same time, the rights of the airline operators should be protected as well so that there is no conflict between passengers and operators.

Court restrains Rivers CP from arresting Speaker, Chief of Staff
A Port Harcourt High Court has issued an interim order restraining the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, from arresting the Chief of Staff, Rivers state Government House, Tony Okocha and the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Otelemaba Dan-Amachree.
 Justice Adolphus Enebele gave the interim order following an exparte motion brought by the chief of staff and the Speaker.
 The commissioner of Police had invited the Chief of Staff and the Speaker for questioning over comments they made at different times, bordering on alleged assassination plot on political office holders in the state, including Governor Amaechi, and yet another plot by some politicians in the state to cause mayhem in the state.
 Justice Enebeli ordered the commissioner of police to stay further actions on the investigation of the Speaker and the chief of staff pending the determination of the application before the court.
 Counsel for the chief of staff, Vincent Uchendu, told the court that the invitation by the commissioner of police is an attempt to further violate the fundamental human right of the chief of staff and the speaker.
He said his client has become apprehensive and insecured following the withdrawal of his security details by the police.
 The counsel for the speaker Emenike Ebete expressed doubt on the ability of the commissioner of police to be fair in the investigation of the speaker and the chief of staff.
 He accused the commissioner of police of bias in the handling of security situation in the state.
 The case has been adjourned till June 3rd 2013 for motion on notice.

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