We’re prepared to defend democracy at all costs, Irabor vows
General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff, on Thursday, assured that elections will hold in every part of Nigeria and that the Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies were ready to defend democracy at all costs.
Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, quoted the CDS as urging Nigerians to discountenance any threat that elections would not hold in certain parts of the country “The Armed Forces of Nigeria is committed to strong and virile constitutional democracy. We are very loyal to the Nigerian state and are ready to defend democracy at all cost.
”During the election periods, all our normal operations and duties will continue simultaneously across the country,” General Irabor was quoted as saying.
Gusau spoke at a joint media briefing with the spokespersons of the Nigerian Police Force, Department of State Service, DSS, as well as those of the Nigerian Air force and the Nigerian Navy.
Disclosing that “Operation Safe Conduct” for the elections had been activated to provide guidance to Armed Forces of Nigeria during elections, Gusau said: “DHQ has established a monitoring team, in conjunction with other security agencies, that will oversee the process in FCT and the six geo-political zones in the country.
“Similarly, operations centres have been established in FCT and 36 state capitals of the federation to serve as quick response centres for all distress calls in the event of any breach of peace during the election period.
He re-echoed the warning of the CDS to undesirable elements that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies were ready to subvert any threats to peace and tranquillity.
“Strong force will be applied to those that want to cause a breach of public peace during the general elections. The Armed Forces of Nigeria, AFN, has adequately sensitized its personnel on their expected roles throughout the period.”
On its part, the DSS said that between Saturday, February 18 and Wednesday, February 22, 2023, its operatives uncovered and arrested many gunrunners with several quantities of arms and cache of ammunition meant for bandits and criminally-minded persons, obviously targeted at carrying out sinister actions against the peaceful conduct of the general elections.
Spokesman of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunnaya, who disclosed this at the briefing, said: “To achieve the desired environment for the elections, the Service engaged in pro-active and intelligence-led operations across the states.
”For instance, on February 22, 2023, the Service conducted a legally-backed search operation on a property along Airport Road, Nasarawa LGA, Kano State. During the operation, it recovered dangerous weapons, including a gun, daggers, swords, jack-knives from the said building.
“Therefore, the accusation that the Service intimidated a particular political party in that state is untrue; otherwise, how come those weapons were found there? Are those objects of violence campaign materials?
”Whether in Kano or elsewhere, the DSS has provided equal opportunities for all political parties to engage in their lawful activities. We can say this without any form of contradictions or equivocations.
“On the same February 22, 2023, the Service arrested a gunrunner, Aliyu Yahaya, an associate of Kachalla Damina, a suspected bandit who operates around Dansadau, Zamfara State. Items recovered from Yahaya include: one GPMG Rifle; one chain of ammunition, 190 rounds of GMPG Ammunition, 28 rounds of AK47 Ammunition and One (1) grenade. The suspect was going to deliver the armaments to Damina.
“In Kaduna State, two arms, couriers, namely Tukur Usman and Illiyasu Adamu, were arrested at Chikun LGA, on February 20, 2023. 372 rounds of 7.62 units of 39mm ammunition; 26 rounds of live ammunition for GPMG rifle were recovered from them. They have suspected arm suppliers to bandits in Zamfara State.
On his part, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, reiterated the warning of the Inspector General of Police to escorts and aides of VIPs and governors not to perform escort duties, blow siren or move in vehicles without plate numbers and those that are tinted, noting that the Police would send out monitoring teams to apprehend any violator of these directives.
He said governors were only allowed to move with their ADCs, orderlies and a few escort personnel.
While urging active electorate, those from 18 years and above with their PVC’s to come out and vote without fear, let or hindrance on Saturday, he advised inactive voters, those without PVCs, who had nothing to do with the election, to remain at home to avoid causing trouble.
For those whose polling units are far off or distant from their abodes, Adejobi advised them to move to locations near their polling units or wake early and move to their polling units before voting starts.
“To those who believe they have a monopoly of violence, that man who thinks he can pull the trigger may not be alive to see the end. So they should steer clear of the polling centres,” he said.
Bode George supported LP to help APC retain power in Lagos
Gbenga Ogunleye, Head, Media and Communications, Jandor4Governor Campaign Organization, has claimed that Bode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, backed Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivor, Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos with a view to helping the APC to retain power in the state.
Ogunleye who speaks for Dr. Olajide Adediran, popularly called Jandor, the PDP governorship candidate in the state, noted that George has never supported any Lagos PDP governorship candidate since 1999.
The Jandor campaign spokesperson made the remarks in apparent reaction to George’s statement while fielding questions on national television on Tuesday, explaining why he did not support Jandor’s governorship candidacy.
George, during the interview, said he has no regret not supporting Jandor in the March 18 governorship election in Lagos state.
He said he followed the decision of a group he belongs to which was to support the best among all the candidates irrespective of political affiliation.
George said, “If you say that I supported somebody from another party, it is not me as PDP. There is a group called Omo Eko Pataki and as a bonafide Lagosian we sat down, we took each of those candidates from (Governor Babajide) Sanwo-Olu to Jandor and others and we weighed them.
“And there was a new movement going on in the country and we said look, who has the capacity? Who has an educational background? Who has the moral background to handle my state? As a PDP, the fellow who got the ticket was on another planet.
“No regrets whatsoever (not supporting Jandor). And let me tell you something, I said it publicly to our presidential candidate that if they do not honour the South-West, I won’t vote for Atiku, I did not hide it.”l
Recall that George had backed Labour Party’s Rhodes-Vivour for the Lagos governorship election. But, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of APC eventually won the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s, state Returning Officer, Mrs. Adenike Oladiji, while declaring the results said Sanwo-Olu, polled a total of 762,134, votes to defeat his closest rival, Labour Party, LP Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and Dr. Olajide Adediran of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
LP polled 312, 329 votes while, PDP polled 62, 449 votes.
The PDP chieftain said the party must come together and resolve differences within it, adding that it must probe what made the G5 governors and other elders in the party to withdraw their support for the party.
But Ogunleye claimed that George’s support for Rhodes-Vivour, was not for LP to win, but to help APC remain in power.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement made by Chief Olabode George justifying his treacherous action during the recently held governorship election in Lagos State,” he said in a statement.
“Chief George while fielding questions on national television yesterday said he had no regret for supporting and voting for the Labour Party governorship candidate against the candidate of his supposed political party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
“It is not surprising that Chief Bode George as his usual practice worked against the interest of the PDP again but his attempt to blame the infighting in the party as an excuse and a justification for his action is a failed attempt to hide behind a finger.
“It is public knowledge that Chief Bode George’s modus operand in every election cycle is to deliberately wreak havoc within Lagos PDP and pick up a fight with the governorship candidate of the party to enable his paymaster in the ruling party remain in office.
“This, he has done consistently since 2003 when Funsho Williams contested. He did the same with Musiliu Obanikoro in 2007 and repeated it with Jimi Agbaje in 2015 and 2019 when he ordered PDP members to work for the candidate of another Party, just to divide Lagos PDP and allow the ruling party remain in office.
“This has become a pattern and unbecoming of a supposed Elder Statesman.
“It is on record that no gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Lagos State from the inception of this nascent democracy in 1999 to date enjoyed his support.
“There is a widespread perception among party-faithfuls and well-meaning Lagosians that Chief George always works against the PDP in every election year to serve the interest of the ruling APC.
“We are not to join issues with him, however, it is important to note that only a treacherous parent like Chief Bode George won’t be proud of JANDOR’s achievement in taking on Lagos slaves’ masters and matching his words with action, as against the likes of Chief Bode George who only come to National TV to speak ill of Lagos Status-quo and do otherwise with ‘a sprinkle of grains of corns’ when it’s time to match their words with actions.
“Chief Bode George has a penchant for referring to his own sons as older than JANDOR but what has any of his sons, as the case may be, have contributed to the upliftment of Lagos? No wonder he can’t see anything good in JANDOR (Eni tí kò ní irú eni, kò lè mo yì eni). You can’t value what you don’t have.
“It is quite disheartening that the hope of a breath of fresh air shared by the good people of Lagos State who are barely surviving the harassment and insensitivity of the ruling APC has suffered a momentary stagnation by the actions of the likes of Chief Bode George.
“We are convinced that the vision to rescue Lagos from the grip of the marauders across party lines, who have held the state by the jugular in the last 24 years will be realized.
“The victory of evil over good is only temporary, power will be returned to the people.”
PDP national chairman, Ayu steps aside, Damagum takes over
Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has stepped down from his position, amid crisis in the main opposition party.
Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum, vice chairman, north has assumed office as national chairman in acting capacity.
Ayu’s decision was announced in a statement on Tuesday by Debo Ologunagba, its national publicity secretary.
“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at an emergency meeting today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023 acknowledge the Order of the Benue State High Court, dated March 27, 2023 with regards to the Chairmanship position of our great Party,” the statement said.
“After a careful consideration of the Court Order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), the NWC resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North) His Excellency, Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum assumes the National Chairmanship of our Party in acting capacity with effect from today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders, teeming members and supporters of our great Party to remain calm and united at this critical time.”
Damagum will assume office as the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, pending the determination of the case in court.
Recall that a High Court in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, had restrained embattled Ayu from parading himself as chairman of the party pending the determination of the substantive suit which has been adjourned to April 17, 2023 for hearing.
A member of the PDP from Benue, Terhide Utaan, who is the plaintiff before Justice W. I Kpochi, obtained the order restraining Ayu from parading himself as national chairman of the party.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi after obtaining the court order, the plaintiff said following the suspension of Ayu by his Igyorov Ward Exco on Sunday, it is wrong for him to keep up with the office of national chairman and further disunite the party.
Ayu was suspended late last week for anti-party activities in the wake of the party’s loss in the presidential election.
But in a Monday statement by his media aide Simon Imobo-Tswam, the former lawmaker argued that only the ward lacked the powers to suspend him.
Ayu’s political rival in the PDP and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday, said he is elated that Benue State ward exco passed a vote of no confidence in him.
Woman in viral video poured soup on our officers, tore their uniforms [VIDEO]
The Delta State Police Command has given fresh details of the incident that happened in Agbarho area of the state, where four police personnel were caught on video assaulting a woman.
Spokesman of the Command, DSP Bright Edafe, who gave details of the incident, noted that the said woman poured attacked a policewoman and tore her clothes.
Edafe explained that the initial video did not tell the entire story of what happened and how it started.
He noted that the supposed dehumanised woman in the viral video smashed the windscreen of the vehicle of a complainant and then assaulted the policewoman.
According to him, it was after the attack that the policewoman called for backup.
When backup arrived, the woman doused them with a pot of soup.
Edafe said: “While the actions of the Policemen who assaulted the woman in Agbarho were excessive and have been outrightly condemned by the command and the force management, it is also important to give details of the incident as some media houses have been requesting.
“On 22nd March 2023, one Thankgod James reported that the said woman smashed his vehicle windscreen and assaulted him, on the strength of this report, a woman police was sent to invite her.
“The suspect became aggressive, and assaulted the woman police, tore her clothes, so the policewoman called for reinforcement, when the reinforcement arrived, the woman again poured a pot of soup on one of the Policemen even while he was on uniform.
“Visuals are attached (available). While condemning the actions of the Policemen, and as the command has assured members of the public that they will be duly sanctioned, it’s also important for members of the public to behave themselves, and exercise restrains when interfacing with the Police.”
Watch video of the incident below:
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