Why electricity has remained stable – FG

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, on Monday said electricity has been stable in the country lately because there has not been any case of gas pipeline vandalism.

Igali spoke with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He recalled that vandalism was the bane of electricity supply during the last administration.

He said things improved with the decision of the current administration to double efforts at engaging communities where the pipelines passed through.

This, he said, led to increased gas supplies and improved power supply nationwide currently at 4,600MW.

He said, “The gas is now passing to the gas pipelines and I think that the government has been engaging the communities and the places where these gas infrastructures pass through.

“We hope it will be sustained because, like I said, there is a conscious engagement and it’s redouble.

“Redouble means that there was effort and when there was effort and you put additional effort and additional effort, then, it means that you have redoubled your work and that is what is going on.

“We saw tremendous vandalism especially before the handover. It has never been so bad.

“But for the past three months, not a single day has had that kind of vandalism. It is our prayer that this will continue.”

Igali explained that ‎apart from President Muhammadu Buhari building on efforts of past government and tasking stakeholders to double efforts, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been holding almost daily meetings with power distribution companies on ways of improving power supply to consumers.

He dismissed the insinuation that power supply improved because of increased rains.

Igali explained that the hydro power stations in Kainji and Shiroro contribute just about 20 per cent of the entire electricity and no substantial additions come from there.


Rivers Tribunal: APC didn’t connive with DSS, says senator

An All Progressives Congress senator, Magnus Abe, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of making a willful and malicious attempt to misinform President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services at the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.

Abe, in a letter addressed to the President, urged Buhari to ignore the allegation by the PDP that himself and other members of the APC in Rivers State were working in connivance with the army and DSS to compromise the election petitions tribunal or influence the tribunal in their favour.

He described the said petition by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, as baseless and one written in bad faith to as “a cheap attempt to misled your good self and the general public on what actually transpired at the tribunal and the circumstances surrounding it.

Metuh had recently raised the alarm that the APC was using the army and the DSS to compromise the Rivers State National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal.

But Abe described the petition by the PDP as a calculated attempt to ridicule and discredit not only the PDP but also the “highly revered institution of the Nigerian Army and the Director General of the DSS.

”According to him, contrary to the claim by the PDP that APC deployed the military to the tribunal, it was the tribunal which subpoenaed the Chief of Army Staff and the DG of DSS or any officer under them to appear before it to testify on what they witnessed during the March 28 National Assembly elections in Rivers State.

“It is therefore mischievous and unreasonable for anybody, especially the PDP, Rivers State, to cast baseless aspersions on these gallant officers of the Nigerian Army and the DSS.

One can only wonder whether it would not have been foolhardy for the Chief of Army Staff and the DG of the DSS to refuse to comply with the sacrosanct order of the tribunal.

“In fact, such an act would not only have been foolish, same is indeed a crime as refusal  to comply with the tenor of a subpoena  is punishable with a criminal contempt proceeding against the culprit,” Abe said.

Accusing the PDP of insincerity, Abe said the party deliberately refused to tell Buhari that the army and the DSS were not the only ones that the tribunal invited to give evidence.

He said the tribunal also invited the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mrs. Gesila Khan, who he accused of conniving with the PDP to frustrate the case of the APC.“No doubt, this willful concealment is a manifestation of the unholy alliance between the Rivers State PDP and Mrs. Gesila Khan.

It is on record that despite numerous applications and solicitations to the REC for release of electoral materials, purportedly used by INEC, she has consistently refused to release the said documents to us, in order to frustrate and jeopardise our chances in the proof of our respective cases before the election tribunal,” Abe told Buhari.

A’court reserves ruling on Wike’s suit against Peterside

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved judgment in three separate appeals filed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, with respect to the ongoing proceedings of the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, are challenging the victory of Wike in the poll.

The Justice Abubakar Yahaya-led Court of Appeal on Monday heard the three appeals by Wike and the PDP, all of which emanated from their disagreement with the two rulings of the tribunal and the constitution of its panel of judges.

One of the appeals challenged the June 11, 2015, ruling of the Justice Mu’azu Pindiga-led tribunal granting the petitioners permission to inspect the polling materials used for the conduct of the election.

Another one challenged the ruling of the tribunal affirming the propriety of sitting in Abuja instead of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Wike, in the third appeal, contended that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, did not properly constitute the three-man panel of the tribunal.

Arguing the appeals, Wike’s counsel, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), and that of the PDP, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), asked the appellate court to put aside the rulings of the tribunal.

They asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the permission granted the APC and Peterside to inspect the electoral materials used for the election.

Ukala argued that it was wrong in granting permission to inspect election materials without given them adequate notice.

He insisted that the tribunal had no power to relocate its sitting from Rivers State where the disputed election was conducted to Abuja.

But Dakuku’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), urged the appellate court to dismiss the appeals on the ground that they lacked merit.

Olujinmi insisted that the tribunal was right in sitting in Abuja for security reasons.

He also defended order of the tribunal granting permission to the petitioners to inspect all the materials used for the disputed election.

He also contended that the tribunal, headed by Muazu Pindiga, was properly constituted in line with the provisions of the law.

The Justice Yahaya-led appellate court, after hearing the appeals, reserved for ruling.

Only Nigerians know why they rejected us – PDP

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has said only Nigerians are in the position to say why the party was rejected at the poll during the last general elections.

It said the rejection of the party was still a surprise despite the achievements it claimed the party recorded in the last 16 years, during which it was in control of the Federal Government.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.

He was speaking on the 17th anniversary of the formation of the former ruling party.

Metuh said his party did well by not only promoting the spirit of democracy in the 16 years, but by also fighting corruption and promoting the image of the nation.

But when asked whether with such achievements, he was astonished that majority of Nigerians still rejected the party during the last general elections, he said only Nigerians could provide answer to the question.

He said, “Only the electorate can say why we were rejected. We must have made our mistakes and some of the issues that affected the election had to do with the people.

“We believe that we did our best for the Nigerian people and we got the largest number of people from the diaspora to start business here.

“In those 16 years, we did our best. We created a system where merits were recognised.

“We created a lot of super rich Nigerians like Dangote, Oando and other companies. Nigerian companies now compete with foreign companies in the oil and gas sector.”

He said it would be wrong to say that the party created corruption, adding that because of its believe that corruption should be stamped out of the country, the party, through the Presidents it had produced, fought the menace with vigour.

He said this was the reason why anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crime Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission were created.

He said, “Was corruption part of our achievements, no. In fact, anti-corruption was part of our achievements because we formed and created EFCC and the ICPC.

“These agencies were created with strict establishing and operation laws to ensure effectiveness and immunity from executive interferences.”

He added that down the years, SERVICOM desks were opened in ministries and agencies to further ensure ethical standards in government businesses.

Metuh added that as a result of this deliberate policies, human right and business friendly environment were created and it saw to the massive return of Nigerians in the Diaspora and the influx of direct foreign investments into the country.

IG promotes sergeant for sowing bullet-proof vest

A serving Sergeant with the Bauchi State Police Command, Godwin Hosea, has been promoted to the rank of an Inspector by the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, for sowing a bullet-proof jacket.

Decorating the newly promoted Inspector at the Police Headquarters in Bauchi on Monday, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mohammed Mohammed, commended him for displaying exceptional talent.

The police commissioner said, “On July 22, 2015, during a one day official working visit to the Bauchi State Police Command by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, one F/No 218346 Sgt Godwin Hosea presented a fabricated bullet-proof jacket he manufactured locally to the IGP during the lecture parade.

“As a result, a visibly happy IGP instantly promoted the Sgt to the rank of Inspector with effect from July 22, 2015.

Mohammed, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner  of Police, Sumonu Abdumalik, urged Hosea to rededicate himself to duty and reciprocate the gesture done to him by the IGP.

The CP also called on other officers to emulate Hosea and harness their God given talents in order to move the Force and the nation forward.

Hosea thanked the IGP for the honor done to him, promising to be diligent in the discharge of his duty.

Lagos inaugurates 20 mobile clinics, 26 ambulances

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has inaugurated 20 Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances and 26 transport ambulances.

Inaugurating the facilities in Lagos on Monday, Ambode explained that the move was in fulfillment of his administration’s commitment to bringing quality health care service closer to the people, particularly during emergency situations.

The governor, who spoke at the Lagos State House, Ikeja, said the inauguration of the ambulances, which will be deployed free of charge for Lagosians, was part of his pledge to run a government that would leave no one behind.

“In my inaugural address, I pledged my total commitment to run a government that will leave no one behind; a government that will implement programmes that make life simpler, easier and happier for our people. Today we are inaugurating the free ambulance service as a demonstration of that pledge,” he said.

Ambode added that the acquisition of the new ambulances was also in consonance with his administration’s mantra to run a government of continuity with improvement.

“I recall with much satisfaction the great strides we have witnessed in the health sector in the last 16 years; commencing from the foundational leaps of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to the significant landmarks of Babatunde Fashola (SAN),” the governor said.

He explained that the government was commencing with 26 transport ambulances that would be stationed at the 26 General Hospitals within the state for easy access, adding that his administration had restructured the State Emergency Ambulance Services and increased the fleet of new MICU by 20, bringing the total number to 33 units.

Ambode noted that the feat would widen the coverage of their services beyond the metropolis to the hinterland within the state.

“We have restructured the State Emergency Ambulance Services and increased the fleet of new Mobile Intensive Care Units by 20, bringing the total number to 33 MICUs. This will widen the coverage of our services beyond the metropolis to the hinterland within the state. In total, we are inaugurating 46 new ambulances today,” he said.

The governor stressed that he had given approval for the recruitment of more paramedic staff and special medical coordinators to ensure 24-hour services to the citizens.

He also restated his commitment to upgrade the General Hospitals within the state and embark on the construction of a Medical Park.

Fraudsters using my name to dupe applicants – El-Rufai

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday raised the alarm that fraudsters are using his names to defraud job seekers in the state.

The governor warned those applying for employment in the state civil service or contracts to be wary of such dubious characters.

El-Rufai said this through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, while addressing journalists at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, adding that security agencies were on the trail of the fraudsters.

According to him, the  fraudsters specialised in duping persons under the guise of securing government appointments and contracts in the state for them.

He cautioned unsuspecting members of the public, especially those applying for jobs or contracts in the state against the nefarious acts so as not to fall victim.

El-Rufai added, “Our attention has been drawn to criminal activities of fraudsters duping members of the public purportedly under the guise of securing government appointments, employment and contracts in the state and beyond.

“The fraudsters have been dropping a Diamond Bank account number, 0061680758, with the name Martin Anderson. There is also one Engr Bello, claiming to be a Manager in NNPC with telephone number 08133613031, which he circulates via a fake Facebook account.

“The fraudsters, who are cheating and collecting resumes and Curriculum Vitae of ambitious persons, have no mandate of the governor or Kaduna State Government but are  criminals and the general public should take note.

“The security agencies have been alerted and presently trailing them for appropriate action and prosecution. The members of the public are hereby reminded to cease patronising criminals but to report them to the nearest security agencies.”