Hoodlums burn down police station in Abia

Hoodlums suspected to be armed robbers and drug dealers on Tuesday at about 8pm attacked and burnt down a police post at Ahiaukwu Olokoro, in the Umuahia South local Government Area.

The suspects also burnt one operational vehicle attached to the police station, as well as one tricycle parked at the station.

They broke the windscreen of a Volkswagen car parked on the premises of the station.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi, who confirmed the attack on Wednesday, said complaints from the residents about the activities of criminals made the state command to create two posts in the area.

He added that no life was lost and no arms were taken away from the station.

He said some policemen from, acting on a tip-off, had raided the Ahiaukwu Olokoro area and arrested four suspected drug dealers and armed robbers.

He added that while officers in the post were about to transfer the suspects to the police division at Ubakala, the hoodlums attacked them and aided two of the suspects to escape.

Ogbizi said, “We created two nipping points in the dustbin area and Ahiaukwu Olokoro because the areas serve as escape routes for kidnappers. Criminals that smoke hemp and deal in hard drugs also use the Ahiaukwu Olokoro area as a safe haven.

“On Tuesday, our operatives raided Ahiaukwu Olokoro and arrested four hoodlums following a tip-off that the drug dealers were in the area.

“But after the arrest, some suspected hoodlums mobilised and attacked the police post in the area. They were able to aid the escape of two of the criminals with handcuffs, while our officers were moving the suspects to the Ubakala division.

“They later went back and set the police post on fire. The fire burnt down the building with the operational vehicle attached to the post.”

He said the police were not deterred by the attack as they mobilised more men and arrested seven of the hoodlums who attacked the station.

“We are surprised because what happened is a challenge and we cannot give in. If we give in, it will encourage criminals to dominate the community.

“We will hunt down everyone involved and make sure that they face the law. We promise law abiding residents of the area that they will be adequately protected.” The CP said.

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Yoruba PDP caucus attacks Wike over anti-Obasanjo comment

The Congress of Yoruba Sons and Daughters within the Peoples Democratic Party say they are outraged by the insults allegedly hauled on the Yoruba by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

They said they took a strong exception to Wike’s comment that the Yoruba were inconsequential and had no practical political importance in the PDP.

According to them, Wike also described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a failure.

The group at a press conference addressed by its chairman, Dayo Ogunjebe, in Lagos on Wednesday lamented that Wike’s comment was a reflection of how much the Yoruba in the PDP had been “pushed to the edge of the cliff” and relegated in the opposition party’s scheme of things.

The group in a statement titled, “The Yoruba people: Time for reflection,” read by Ogunjebe said the Yoruba in the PDP had been cheated by the party’s failure to elect a Yoruba man as the national chairman of the PDP.

He said, “Our leaders are being mocked. Our symbols of truth and sincerity are now being derided, snubbed, treated with contempt and disowned.

“The irreverent, scandalous, arrogant and most myopic statement of the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, is the crowning of all insults upon our people.

“Wike, in his most arrogant and selfish swagger, openly derided our people as being inconsequential and of no practical political importance in the PDP.

“This is rather scandalous and very benighted. He even insulted our former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as a failure. This is an aberration.

“We, at the Congress of Yoruba Sons and Daughters within the PDP fold, are outraged, angry, disappointed, very sad and sickened about this very primitive utterance of Governor Wike.

“We demand an immediate and full apology from Mr. Wike for his gutter language against our people,” Ogunjebe said.

He said the Yoruba did not deserve to be unfairly treated in the PDP having “worked assiduously for the growth and development of the PDP.”

He said, “In both financial and moral terms, the Yoruba people have been selfless, making tremendous sacrifices. (They have been) consistent and devoted to the growth of our party.

“But we have been cheated. We have been maligned. The chairmanship position that rightly belongs to us has been taken away. It has been sold to the highest bidder.

“Let Wike and the Yoruba betrayers at home know that we will never play the role of a second fiddle to anyone. We are proud of our heritage. We are proud of our achievements across this nation. We do respect the feelings and the tradition of other people. Surely, we will never sit idle while anyone attacks the collective interest of the Yoruba race.”

The group insisted that Wike must apologise for “his indecent statement.”

It argued that with the failure to give the PDP national chairman’s position to a Yoruba man, the opposition party had “slowly dwindled into a regional party with Wike swaggering like an overlord.”

PDP Reconciliation: Dickson’s c’ttee relocates to S’West

The Governor Seriake Dickson-led committee on post-convention reconciliation in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is relocating to Lagos to meet with stakeholders in the region, we have learnt.

Meanwhile, the committee yesterday met with Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, one of the chairmanship candidates at the last convention during which the media mogul reasserted his commitment to the PDP, saying his major motif remains the sacking of the All Progressives Congress, APC from power in 2019.

The team, Vanguard gathered is expected to meet with the quartet of Chief Bode George, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and two former governors from the region, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Senator Rasheed Ladoja who were chairmanship candidates at the recent national convention of the party.

The move to the Southwest, Vanguard learnt yesterday follows preliminary consultations with some of the stakeholders in Abuja where the committee was constituted.

The brief of the committee is to soothe tensions following grievances by Southwest stakeholders that the PDP opened up the contest for national chairman to all parts of the South against expectations from the Southwest that the office of national chairman should have been micro-zoned to the region which is the only section of the country not to have held the office in substantive or acting capacity.

Meanwhile, Dickson in his meeting with Dokpesi urged party leaders and members to put priority on winning the 2019 elections above every other consideration.

IPOB blasts Nwodo for hosting crucial meeting in Lagos

INDIGENOUS People of Biafra, IPOB, has condemned the decision of Igbo leader, Chief John Nnia Nwodo to host a debate on restructuring at the practice pitch of National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

In a statement signed and issued to pressmen in Enugu by the Media and Publicity secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, the group asked, “why must Ohanaeze Ndigbo move their activities outside Igboland to Lagos? It shows they are not proud of their land or people.

“Having lost credibility all over Igboland for his serial betrayal and blood stained hands, Chief John Nnia Nwodo has ran to Lagos, the practice pitch of the National Stadium Surulere Lagos to relaunch his tattered image as Igbo leader. If he was indeed the leader of Igbos, what is he doing convening a crucial meeting about Ndigbo in Lagos? Lagos is Yoruba land not Igbo land.

“Afenifere never organised any serious gathering outside Yoruba land, so why must Chief Nwodo run to Yoruba territory to conduct his restructuring debate?

”Is it because Igbo people are firmly behind IPOB quest for total Biafra independence, not his failed restructuring agenda? Or is it because he knows nobody will attend his hypocritical sham gathering of traitors anywhere on Igbo soil? We are urging all Biafrans, especially those of Igbo extraction to boycott this Aso Rock-sponsored gathering in Lagos.”

The group advised that all issues concerning Igbo should be conducted in Igbo land, pointing out that Arewa Consultative Forum holds all their activities in Northern Nigeria and Afenifere conducts their activities in Yoruba land.

“We are aware that a lot of money have been spent to mobilize dance troops from Anambra and Enugu States to charter busses with the promise of 350,000 Naira pledge for any group that performs for Nnia Nwodo at Surulere tomorrow. Also some Journalists both electronic media houses have been mobilized with flight ticket to cover the event.

“The sole purpose of this gathering in Lagos is to create the impression that Nnia Nwodo is still in charge despite the obvious death of the restructuring debate in the absence of the momentum provided by IPOB. Lagos is not and can never be the home of Igbo people no matter how many millenia they may have lived there.

“Arewa Consultative Forum consign all their activities in Northern Nigeria, Afenifere always conduct their activities in Yoruba land”, he disclosed.

We need industrial peace to address economic challenges – FG

The FEDERAL Government through Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, has said its efforts at addressing the economic challenges facing the nation will require sustainable industrial peace and harmony to succeed.

The Government spoke through Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, while declaring open a one-day seminar organized by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Ministry of Labour and Employment with the theme “Effective Labour-Management Relations a Panacea for Industrial Peace and Harmony in the world of work.”

According to him: “The recession that we experienced recently was as a result of a number of economic challenges. The present administration in addressing these challenges will require adequate industrial harmony to thrive. It, therefore, behoves us as individuals and an organized labour union to imbibe social dialogue and collective bargaining principles as a strategy for resolving industrial disputes.

“The current administration has strived to reposition the nation’s industrial sector with minimal work disruption, and improved workers welfare as evident in the inauguration of the new National Minimum Wage Committee and payment of outstanding promotion arrears to the Federal Civil Servants amongst others.”

Earlier, Chairman, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Unit of ASCSN, Tommy Etim, expressed the Association’s resolve to engage management in social dialogue on issues that affect workers welfare.

In his goodwill message, Secretary General of ASCSN, Bashiru Lawal described the workshop as timely and apt, coming at a time when Unions were being confronted with a lot of unfair industrial relations practices in the world of works.

JOHESU, others give FG ultimatum over unpaid promotion arrears

The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU and Assembly of Health Care Professionals, AHPA, of the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, FNPH, Branch, Calabar, Cross River State, have given the Federal Government an ultimatum to pay the promotion arrears of their members from 2014 till date.

They gave the ultimatum which will expire on December 31, in a communiqué at the end of their joint congress held yesterday in Calabar.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Mr. Ken Bassey, Secretary of JOHESU/Chairman, Senior Staff Association, FNHP, Calabar, said that the attention of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation had been drawn to the unpaid promotion arrears of its member from 2014 till date.

The unions also called on the Federal Government to immediately and unconditionally pay their members to enable them celebrate this festive period with their kiths and kin.

His words: “Many workers are indebted, many have even mortgaged their salaries because they borrow money upfront to pay their children’s school fees, house rent and other utilities and this is why we are giving the Federal Government till December 31, to pay our arrears from 2014 till date.”

Olubadan Review: Court delivers judgment Jan. 19

An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday said judgment in the case instituted by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, against the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and others would be delivered on January 19, 2018.

In the suit numbered M/317/2017, Ladoja is praying the court to restrain the Justice Boade Commission set up by the governor to review the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959 from sitting, accepting any memorandum or in any way taking any step in furtherance of its assignment, pending the determination of a motion on notice in respect of the subject.

The Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, was a co-claimant in the case but later withdrew from it and became a crowned monarch according to the recommendation of the commission.

Ladoja is also praying the court to set aside the report of the commission on the review of the chieftaincy declaration.

After listening to the submission of Ladoja’s counsel, Michael Lana, that of Ajimobi, Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN), and Justice Boade’s counsel, Seun Abimbola, who is the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, the presiding judge, Justice Olajumoke Aiki, picked the date for judgment.