Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has spoken on the reason he and President Muhammadu Buhari have not visited Dapchi in Yobe state where 110 students were abducted two weeks ago.
Both men have been criticised for not paying condolence visits to places where abductions and avoidable deaths were recorded in recent times.
Among these states are Benue, Zamfara and Taraba.
Speaking with journalists over the weekend, Osinbajo said while the government has expressed sympathy with the people, condolence visits alone would not solve the problem.
He listed some of the measures which the government has embarked upon to reduce killings and widespread violence.
“There is no amount of condolence that can compensate for the loss of life. Benue killing is one set of killing far too much; there is no amount of condolence that can compensate for that. And I want to say that it’s a massive tragedy,” he said.
“But the question that you seem to ask I’ve been to Zamfara, I’ve been to Adamawa when this killing took place. There are those who said, ‘oh, why don’t you visit the Fulani settlement, why do visit only where Christians were?’
“I even visited Benue in September where there have been killing before; then I’ve visited them when the flooding took place and we looked at all the issues and tried to address many of these. There have been several of these issues in different places, recently Dapchi. We have expressed condolences, but no amount of condolence would do.
“The more important thing and our focus has been, is first of all ensuring security in these places.
“We have to address the security question in a much more robust way; that the police are able to do these effectively. We have deployed the military to Kaduna, two battalions to Kaduna. In Benue and Taraba axis, we have the 93 battalion, we have 72 Special Forces. We have full concentration in Taraba and all of that, and by the way, the military is fighting in most of the north-east. So, there is a situation where the military is overstretched. So I think the most important thing is, first of all, to ensure they actually address the security of the people.”
NO FAVOURTISM IN BUHARI’S GOVERNMENT
He also debunked the allegations that most appointments by president Buhari were skewed in favour of the north.
The vice-president said the cabinet is comprised of 20 Christians and 18 Muslims.
“In the north, seven northern states have no senior minister, including the president’s home state, Katsina. Now, there are those who will say, if you are nepotistic; surely seven northern states have no senior minister. It’s a narrative depending on how you want to run it,” he said.
“The south-west, for the first time in the history of this country, has one minister who is in charge of three ministries: Power, Works and Housing. The ministers of finance and communications are also from the south-east. These are critical ministries. You can run the narrative in whichever way that you choose.
“There are people who don’t know that the number of CEOs from Anambra state are more than the number of CEOs from Katsina state or anywhere else, except Ogun.”
Alhassan defects to UDP ‘with all Taraba APC excos’
Aisha Alhassan, immediate past minister of women affairs, has joined the United Democratic Party (UDP).
Alhassan left the All Progressives Congress (APC) after she was disqualified from contesting the party’s governorship primary election.
The former minister had earlier released her resignation letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the letter, Alhassan said she had always been a loyal party member and was at no time queried or admonished for any wrongdoing.
Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, had explained that the minister was not cleared for the primary over anti-party activities.
“She had issues that have to do with party loyalty. Our constitution is clear and it dictates that to contest elections or even hold office in the APC, you must be loyal to the party in every material concern,” he had said.
In a tweet announcing her defection to UDP, Alhassan said: “I have officially joined my next political party with 7 state assembly members, all @APCNigeria executives from 169 wards of Taraba State.
“All 16 local Government exco’s of APC. All states executives of APC, we are now in UDP.”
Adamawa governor sued over ‘certificate forgery’
Muhammad Jibrilla Bindow, Adamawa governor, has been sued over the alleged forgery of his West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate.
The governor was sued by the Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN), a rights group.
According to the originating summons, the group claims that the governor did not complete his secondary education at Government Secondary School, Mangu, Plateau state.
GICN asked the court to compel WAEC to produce the governor’s certificate.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), WAEC and the police are defendants in the suit filed at the federal high court, Abuja.
The group also asked the court to determine “whether by the true interpretation of Section 177 (d) of the 1999 constitution, the first defendant (Jibrilla) is not absolutely disqualified from seeking re-election to the office on the ground that he does not possess a school certificate or its equivalent issued to him by the second defendant either in 1983 or at any time whatsoever.
“Whether the fourth defendant should not decline to present the first defendant to the third defendant to purposes of screening ahead of the forthcoming election to the office of governor of Adamawa state on the ground that he does not possess a school certificate or Its equivalent issued to him by the second defendant either in I983 or at any time whatsoever”.
GICN also requested an order directing the police to “carry out its legal duty by arresting and prosecuting the first defendant for perjury if the fifth defendant investigates and finds that first defendant neither completed his secondary education at Government Secondary School, Mangu, Plateau state in 1983 nor was issued any school certificate or its equivalent by the second defendant”.
Hamzat steps down for Sanwo-Olu ahead of Lagos APC guber primary
Obafemi Hamzat has withdrawn from the Lagos state governorship race.
Hamzat was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While announcing his withdrawal during a press conference on Saturday, Hamzat directed his supporters to vote for Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the party’s primary on Sunday.
He said he is stepping down for Sanwo-Olu because he can vouch for his personal integrity and intelligence.
“I’ve resolved to step down and source resources together with my brother and friend, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. So, all my supporters are hereby directed to vote tomorrow for Mr. Sanwo-Olu to emerge as the governorship candidate of the APC in Lagos,” he said.
“Apart from the fact that I can vouch for his personal integrity and intelligence, Mr. Sanwo-Olu is someone I’ve had close interaction with over the years.
“We are both fortunate to have worked closely with the present vice-president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, getting the wise counsel of those I consider to be political fathers and mothers.”
Sanwo-Olu is seen as the major challenger of Akinwunmi Ambode, the incumbent governor of the state.
A former banker, he is believed to have the backing of Mandate Movement, a group loyal to Bola Tinubu, chieftain of the APC.