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SOUTHERN TARABA PDP STAKEHOLDERS REPLY PETITIONERS IN A LETTER TO NWC

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Dear Leaders of our great party.

Our attention was rudely drawn to a letter making the rounds in the public domain purportedly demanding, among other fictitious things, the replacement of Distinguished Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (CON) as the Deputy Minority Leader of the 9th Senate on the grounds of anti party activities. The badly written letter, strewn with grammatical errors and purportedly signed by members of our party lacked sense, finesse and even bare faced facts available to be cross-checked. It is an embarrassing piece of writing hurriedly put together by charlatans working for their stomachs and ignoring the sanctity of facts. This retort has thus become necessary so as not to muddle up issues and hoodwink the unsuspecting minds. We shall therefore itemised their areas of concentration and shed a little light on them because the truth is very liberating.

ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES

The petitioners sponsor on whose behalf the jaded protesters are writing is actually the BIGGEST anti party governor in the history of our great party in Taraba state. And this can be fact checked. Everything about their paymaster has brought failure to the fortunes of the party. From his low performance on the job to alienating leading members of the Party , their puppeteer has practically killed PDP in the state today. In fact, Senator Bwacha is the only one sustaining the party, especially in Southern Taraba. For while Senator Bwacha is busy picking bills and supporting the welfare of PDP members, their payer has decimated members by flooding the party with APC adventurists whom he placed in strategic position. Here are a few examples of their paymaster’s anti party activities:

1. In the build up to 2019 polls, their paymaster promised the APC that he would return to their party apparently to guarantee him “safe landing” after his tenure. That’s how his romance with the party started. He was constantly meeting with APC national leaders thereafter but the party saw through his antics.

2. Still in 2019, their paymaster tried hard to upset the chances of Senator Bwacha by throwing all sorts of roadblocks along the senatorial race. He sent all sorts of people to upset the Senate race, including sponsoring one of his commissioners. If Senator Bwacha had lost that primaries, the PDP would have lost the Senate seat.

3. Sponsoring Joel Ikenya: these petitioners paymaster, having failed to deny Senator Bwacha the senatorial ticket in PDP, recruited Joel Ikenya, a minister in PDP then and supported him handsomely to run against Bwacha under APGA. The whole state was shocked at the level of the anti party development. Senator Bwacha won against all odds. Their paymaster then compensated Joel Ikenya with a chairmanship of a board in the state. This is the height of anti party.

4. A classical case of anti party is how their paymaster supported the current Senator representing the Central Zone against, Sen. Yusuf of the APC, as opposed to the PDPs candidate, Dahiru Bako. Bako of the PDP was going to win that race but their paymaster who was directed by an Adamawa based politician affiliated to the Presidency, to swing it in Yusufs favour. Today, Yusuf hardly opposes their paymaster as a show of gratitude. If all his anti party activities is unraveled, their master ought to resign or be sacked all together from the party.

5. Paying DSK to run. Their paymaster has allegedly paid a member of the APC, David Sabi Kente, huge sums of money to start campaigning for governorship. His ploy is to muddle the PDP project and inject confusion in southern Taraba that hopes to still produce the next governor. DSK is his joker in the entire plot. It is a gambit that would affect PDP chances at the polls. Nothing is more anti party than that.

POSITION OF THE DEPUTY MINORITY LEADER.

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha knows the law having trained as a lawyer. So he knows that the position he occupies is guaranteed by his membership of the party. Besides there are no legal grounds for him to evacuate the party. So what are those petitioners talking about? Their postulations is therefore anchored on dense ignorance.

CORRUPT CHARGES

The petitioners paymaster has become a poster child of corruption to the point volumes can be written on the subject. Suffice it to say he steals directly. There has been cases of he collecting money directly from Madrid sellers as he travels round the state. His state of art hotels everywhere are a testimony to his primitive stealing. One of his hotels in Abuja used to be a back water beer parlour but today it has been upgraded to a near 5 star hotel with Taraba s money. This is apart from other investments in hotels all over the country. His theft is petty as it is pathetic. It is amazing that the EFCC has turned a blind eye to may of the man’s financial indecency. Reports says a certain top PDP leader with great connection is stopping or slowing his probe by the anti graft body. Or how else can anyone explain that the tea plantations he fraudulently acquired has been returned to him. His corruption is a subject for another day. Taraba people are almost unanimous in their condemnation of the man and his thefts. And everyone is aghast as the state sink deeper into debt. Today the debt stands at 200 billion naira. If Lagos incurred a 49 billion debt in one year, why should Taraba- a rural state without enough IGR gross up to 40 billion also in one year??? All these has brought the Party to great disrepute in the state.

A FAILED PLAN TO JOIN APC

Unknown to many Taraba PDP and these petitioners, their paymaster had actually made many overtures to join the APC. The party rejected him and strongly repudiated him. He actually wanted to move into the party to shield himself from prosecutions after office. To his shockers, he was roundly rejected by APC because they saw him as a liability.

He has always romanced with the APC. Today, the PDP Leadership in the state is mostly peopled by elements of the APC having pushed everyone out. No authentic PDP politician is with him.

FRUSTRATING PDP POLICIES

Their master’s ultimate goal is to frustrate PDP attempts to bring dividends of democracy to the people of the state. He recently tried hard to frustrate the flagging off of the Mararaba/Donga road due to his envy of the success of Senator Bwacha. As petty as that sounds, it is obvious he is jealous of all the giant stride of the Senator. He has been rejected and taunted by all the people in southern Taraba including those from Takum his own town. He tells everyone that Sen Bwacha is using the proceeds of his office to oppress him. If that is the case, why then is he picking a fight with such a person. He should have made the senator an ally.

NOT ELECTABLE

Their paymaster is glaringly unelectable in Southern Taraba. He is a discredited individual that has lost the base. Even in his hometown, the disaffection is palpable as he has pauperized his own people. The entire state shares the same feeling. Even when he recently said guns should be owned by everyone, some people said that is a danger to him. The citizens might use it against him. He would easily lose the general election if given the senatorial ticket. PDP has very reputable members that can run for Senate in southern Taraba- someone that could continue in the gigantic footsteps of Senator Bwacha.

All their paymaster has been doing is boasting that he could bribe his way through to win the Senate race the borrowed money he stole but many citizens are asking this: “if he didn’t stay In the state as Governor, will he even spend a day in Taraba when he becomes Senator?”

CONCLUSION

The petitioners have nothing serious to say and their postulations is anchored on nothing. They are self serving and self seeking. They have no idea what they are even talking about other than trying hard to get their share of the food from their master’s table. They should therefore be ignored and treated with ignominy. If they want to talk about anti party, they start with the man who sent them on this wild goose chase.

SIGNED

LODIYA GAMBO

Anthony Bitrus

Danasabe Adi

Gabriel Sabi

Rachael Gambo

Bala Shishi

Moses Ada

Ibrahim Mohammed

Hon. Isa Stephen (JP)

Ramatu Shuaibu Umar

Julie Danladi

Tsoken Shagari

Illiya Peter

Luka Dananacha

Friday Barde

Adihinchu Agbu

Timothy Useni

Mrs. Asabe Fanya

Gabriel Usman

Adamu Sale Ibi

Mailama Adi

King James Ajiya

Sulieman Sale

Jerome Istifanus

Chief Micah Ada

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$1bn Arms Procurement: Clear Your Name Now, Coalition Charges Defence Minister

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The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has called on the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi, to clear his name from the controversial purchase of security equipment.

The group noted that Magashi must explain how his ministry expended the $1billion approved by the Federal Government in April 2018.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, national coordinator, Timothy Charles, described the minister’s silence as “unholy” and an “embarrassment” to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Charles said the group is alarmed that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim is carrying out acts to shield the minister.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice, therefore, advised the COAS to be bold enough to stand by the truth instead of being clever by half and attempting to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.

The group also urged all well-meaning Nigerians to demand that the minister comes out clear by providing facts and details on arms procurement under his watch.

While absorbing the former service chiefs of any involvement, the Coalition for Truth and Justice added that Magashi must come clean for Nigerians to take the FG more seriously in its quest to address the security challenges in the country.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition for Truth and Justice, a non-governmental organization in Nigeria dedicated to the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in governance in Nigeria, welcomes you all to this important press conference that is intended to address some of the pertinent issues that have surrounded the $1 billion released for the purchase of arms in the prosecution of the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities across the country.

We must agree that these issues are of great importance to the well-being of the country at large, given the country’s security challenges in recent times as well as the government’s efforts in addressing these challenges.

It is common knowledge that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had in April 2018 approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.

Thus, it is pertinent to state that since the coming of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, arms purchases have been domiciled with the Ministry of Defence and not individual services as erroneously projected in the public space.

It is also succinct to state that the Honorable Minister of Defence, who is in charge of the Ministry of Defence, should provide answers to questions surrounding arms purchase in the country. It is thus despicable that there has been some well-orchestrated attempt by some vested interest to divert attention from the Minister of Defence.

We are constrained to add that the statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, during his appearance before the House of Representatives is diversionary and an indication that he is carrying out the whims and caprices of the Honorable Minister of Defence.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice views the recent happenings as a sad development in the sense that as a high ranking officer of the Nigerian Army and one who is conversant with the operational procedures in the Nigerian Military would elect to feign ignorance to an issue as sensitive as arms purchase in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in the country.

We are aware that the Ministry of Defence is responsible for arms purchases and the unholy silence of the Honorable Minister of Defence in this regard leaves many questions unanswered. This is also an embarrassment of unimaginable proportion to the Muhammadu Buhari administration that the Honourable Minister of Defence cannot articulate a response to the questions surrounding the monies meant for arms purchase.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice uses this medium to call on the Honorable Minister to come out clear by providing the much-needed information surrounding the $1billion released to purchase arms.

If this is not the case, we then wonder why the Honorable Minister of Defence has elected to play to the gallery in a case as sensitive as this. More alarming is that the Chief of Army Staff has been carrying out acts that aim to shield the Honorable Minister of Defence.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice frowns at such display and wishes to advise the Chief of Army Staff to be bold enough to stand by the truth instead of being clever by half and attempting to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.

We are constrained to add that if the Chief of Army Staff who has barely spent months in office would not be bold enough to call a spade a spade, we are afraid that his ability to lead the prestigious Nigerian Army is indeed questionable.

It is also curious that the Chief of Army Staff could ask that the past service chief be invited to answer questions on arms procurement during their tenures. This is indeed an anomaly that all well-meaning Nigerians must resist.

This also goes to the Honorable Minister of Defence, who, by his actions, has displayed that he does not have a grasp of the operational strategies of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is our considered opinion that the Honorable Minister of Defence must, as a matter of necessity and urgency, provide the general public details on how the $1billion was expended under his watch in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to demand that the Honorable Minister of Defence come out clear by providing facts and details on arms procurement under his watch.

Therefore, it would be inexcusable for the Honorable Minister of Defence to continue to shy away from his responsibilities by pushing a distractive narrative in the public space. And not until this is done, the government’s seriousness in the prosecution of the war against terrorism would always be called to question.

The general public must also be aware that the former service chiefs were never involved in arms procurement and must do good to ignore the well-orchestrated campaign in this regard. Consequently, the Honorable Minister of Defence must come out to clear the air if we are indeed serious in addressing the security challenges in the country.

This is the position of the Coalition for Truth and Justice as critical stakeholders in the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in governance in Nigeria.

We thank you for your time and charge all present to take this message to their various constituencies.

God bless Nigeria.

God bless the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thank you.

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International Youth Day: Centre for Citizens with Disabilities Salute Nigeria Youths with Disabilities

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Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) heartily congratulate and salute Nigerian Youths with disabilities on this year’s International Youth Day.

This year’s theme: ”Youth Engagement for Global Action” intents to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

The day was first commemorated in the year 1999 after resolution 54/120 of Council of Ministers was adopted. The day which is annually commemorated on 12th August has its central objective to create awareness around issues of youth development, mainstreaming and participation of the youth in Political, economic and social activities.

CCD is concerned that Federal and States governments development programs and activities are conceptualized, planned and implemented at the exclusion of more than 12 million Nigeria youths with disabilities

We are worried that access to participation and inclusion in political, economic and social activities remains very limited due to institutional, environmental and attitudinal barriers that have held young people with disabilities hostage from maximizing their potentials.

We are more worried that access to education, healthcare and rehabilitation have been very slim because of non – consideration of the needs of young persons with disabilities in Federal and State governments budgets. Even the little that is budgeted no release of funds, misappropriation and corruption continue to hinder support to young people with disabilities.

Recognizing how the disability agenda is been handle by both State and non-State actors in Nigeria through application of charity based approach which is not sustainable, one wonder how the fate of the next generation of youth with disabilities in Nigeria will be.

CCD is concerned that the present scourge of unemployment, the growing level of poverty, the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the global health pandemic of Covid-19 which adversely effected the lives and livelihood of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

More worrisome is the continue delay for the implementation of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 and the National Youth Policy 2019. These documents have robust provisions for Youths with disabilities in the areas of employment, sport, entertainment, empowerment, and other social and political engagements.

CCD calls on President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Youth and Sport Development Mr. Sunday Dare to take appropriate measure to implement Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 and both the National Youth Policy 2019 for youth with disabilities to survive, live independently and contribute to the socio economic development of the country.

While we commend the resilient, doggedness and productive nature of Youths with disabilities despite glairing challenges hampering their success, we urge Youths with disabilities to take advantage of this day to create awareness, engage relevant authorities of the government and non-State actors for adequate representation and participation in all political, economic and societal activities.

On our part, CCD shall continue to offer a better and inclusive platform for youths with disabilities to showcase their potentials and realized their dreams. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to give the needed leadership and support to ensure that youths with disabilities are gainfully engaged in all strata of human endeavor.

Once again, we congratulate Nigeria Youths with Disabilities on the International Youth Day.

The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is the premier organization of, and for persons with disabilities that works to promote disability rights, independent living, inclusion, and participation of persons with disabilities in development agenda. CCD coordinated CSOs campaign for the passage of the National Disability Bill, now an Act. For more about CCD, please visit: www.ccdnigeria.org.

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Timi Frank Urges Buhari To Probe Osinbajo, AuGF Over Alleged N10bn Withdrawal From TSA

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A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Sunday, urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, to urgently constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate the illegal withdrawal of N10billion from the Treasury Single Account.

Frank in a statement in Abuja, said that such a panel must of necessity be given a clear mandate to unravel the involvement of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), Anthony Ayine, in the brazen illegality.

He noted that for Osinbajo, it appears to be a season of one month one corruption scandal.

The political activist said has become extremely worrisome that the nation is sinking deeper into corruption, with multiple fraud scandals, at a time Nigerians expected to see tangible dividends of the anti-corruption war, which is the foremost object of this regime.

He also called on Osinbajo to explain his role in the various corruption allegations that have been trailing him since 2017 rather than always running to court to divert attention.

He called on the National Assembly not only to probe the N10bn TSA heist, but to act on their report by initiating impeachment proceedings against Osinbajo, if found wanting.

“Since after the 2019 general elections, Osinbajo has been enmeshed in one corruption allegation or the other, and it is high time an official probe is ordered to unravel the truth.

Frank said: “First, Osinbajo was linked to N90bn said to have been funneled to him by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to prosecute the 2019 general elections in the Southwest.

“The Vice President was also said to have received the sum of N4bn from the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is still questionable.

“Besides, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness had indicted Osinbajo for approving the sum of N5.8 billion for emergency intervention of food security to the northeast in June 2017, when he was acting president.

“This is why the present allegation of illegal withdrawal of N10billion from the TSA made against the VP has become one scam too many.

“It is only a thorough and unbiased investigative panel that can either confirm or disprove these allegations and the time to order such a probe by Buhari is now.

“Osinbajo as an elected public official, and he owes Nigerians an inalienable obligation to explain his part in all these corruption allegations against him.

“Going to court and seeking to use legal gymnastics to intimidate and harass whistle blowers is at best diversionary.

“On his part, the AuGF should be suspended from office to allow for unhindered investigation of this illegality and gross abuse of office.

“The ongoing probe of the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC should serve as a template for the unraveling of this mind-boggling looting of the nation’s treasury.

“Nigerians expect the National Assembly to rise up and defend democracy and ensure that the nation’s resources are not being brazenly plundered in this sordid manner.

“It is high time the lawmakers jettison their rubber stamp attitude, conduct diligent investigation and ensure that those found to have abused their offices are booted out, through impeachment or otherwise, and equally prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.”

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