Arrest Jonathan Now—Lagos APC
By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apprehend the immediate past President of Nigeria, Mr Goodluck Jonathan.
The Lagos APC, in a statement issued Thursday by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Joe Igbokwe, said it was wrong for the former President to defend the National Security Adviser (NSA) under his tenure, Mr Sambo Dasuki, and say could not have stolen $2.2 billion claimed by the EFCC.
The former NSA is currently being held in detention by the Nigerian government and would be re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency next month.
Mr Jonathan, addressing some youths at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom, said it was impossible for Mr Dasuki to have stolen the said money.
“I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2 billion. We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying $2.2 billion, so where did we get the money to buy all those things?” the former President had said.
But the Lagos APC, in the statement, condemned Mr Jonathan for defending Mr Dasuki.
“Even as we concede that Jonathan is on a desperate bid to rehabilitate himself, we wouldn’t believe that a former president should be so contemptuous of the intelligence of Nigerians as to give the kind of defence he gave to Sambo Dasuki.
“We wonder what Jonathan makes of the horrid details that are emanating from the Dasukigate issue with shocking evidences, confessions and even refunds made by those that participated in that monumental corruption,” the party said.
The Lagos APC further said, “To claim that Dasuki and his partners did not steal the arms purchase fund reveals the inner beliefs of Jonathan and explains that he is intrinsically webbed to corruption.
“Even while he is perceived as pathologically corrupt and his regime seen as the most corrupt in Nigeria’s chequered history, one would have expected Jonathan to be cautious in seeking to advance very childish and inadmissible exculpation of his subordinates for glaring acts of corruption.
“We had expected that Jonathan would have striven to water down the lowly impression held of him by Nigerians and the international community by not deciding to be so patronising to clear cases of corruption by his subordinates. But with each day, Jonathan continues to baffle by his chameleonic acts.
“By Jonathan’s cheap defence of Sambo Dasuki, we believe time has come for the security agencies to pick up Jonathan to tell the nation all that he knows of the many cases of corruption that happened under him.”
The party also disclosed that, “We don’t believe anything shields Jonathan from prosecution for corruption as we believe it is becoming indefensible for Jonathan to pretend he was innocent of the corrupt acts of his subordinates.
“While we condemn Jonathan’s cheeky defence of Dasuki, even in the face of monumental damning evidences, we want to state that the anti-corruption war is incomplete until Jonathan is prosecuted for he continually proves, by such defence of his corrupt subordinates, that he knew everything that transpired in his corruption-ridden regime.”
Ayu Steps Down as PDP Chairman, Damagum Takes Over
By Dipo Olowookere
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Iyorchia Ayu, has stepped down from the position and has been replaced by the Deputy National Chairman of the party for the northern region of the country, Mr Umar Iliya Damagum.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Hon. Debo Ologunagba, confirmed this development.
It was disclosed that Mr Damagum would be the acting chairman of the country’s main opposition party, pending the determination of a case in court.
Recall that on Sunday, the executive of the PDP in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State suspended Mr Ayu for alleged anti-party activities.
He was accused of working against the success of the party in Igyorov Council Ward, and failed to “pay his Annual Subscription Fees as provided under Section 8 (9) of the constitution of the PDP 2017 (As Amended).”
“Further investigation also revealed that he did not vote during the Governorship and State Assembly Elections held on March 18, 2023.
“It was also discovered that most of his closest allies worked for the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, and hence, the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby pass a Vote of No Confidence on Dr Iyorchia Ayu and suspend him as a member of our party with immediate effect. The suspension takes effect from March 24, 2023,” the Ward Chairman of the PDP, Mr Kachi Philip, and the secretary, Mr Vangeryina Dooyum, announced while addressing journalists.
Today, the national spokesman of the party said Mr Ayu stepped aside from the position during the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP on Tuesday in Abuja, after the NWC acknowledged “the order of the Benue State High Court dated March 27, 2023 with regards to the chairmanship position of our great party.”
“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), 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,” the statement said.
Rise of Skin Bleaching Creams in Nigeria Worries NAFDAC
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised the alarm over a proliferation of “dangerous” and “unregulated” skin bleaching creams in the market, which it likened to a pandemic.
The agency made this known on Tuesday during its Media Sensitization Workshop on the Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Controls event held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 77 per cent of women in Nigeria use skin-lightening products. This number is even higher in other countries like Togo (88 per cent), South Africa (80 per cent), and Senegal (59 per cent).
Although Nigeria does not have legislation against skin bleaching yet, other countries like Rwanda and Ghana have issued bans on skin-lightening products.
The Director General of the agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, further lamented the health threats accompanying long term use of dangerous agents and urged Nigerian women to be proud of their skin colour.
She declared that, “There’s no need to bleach.”
Mrs Adeyeye, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Chemical Evaluation and Research, Dr Patrick Leonard Omokpariola, stated that the products are now marketed under different names for sales purposes.
NAFDAC Deputy Director, Mr Ebele Anto, also canvassed the support of the media to sensitise Nigerians to the notion that there is nothing wrong with being dark-skinned.
The event was also attended by security agencies and other stakeholders in the cosmetic industry.
Lagos Laments Return of Commercial Motorcycles in Eti-Osa, Others
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State Government has maintained operations of commercial motorcycles in 10 local government areas (LGAs), and 15 local council development areas (LCDAs) across the state remained prohibited.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa, made this disclosure over the weekend when he toured some of the restricted areas.
He lamented the return of Okadas in these areas, noting that law enforcement agencies have been given the directive to ensure the ban is adhered to.
The state government in 2022 prohibited commercial motorcycles in Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa LGAs and Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba, Coker-Aguda. Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo LCDAs.
While urging both riders and passengers to desist from contravening the ban, the Special Adviser implored the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to three years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted.
He added that motorcycles impounded will be crushed in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.
Mr Giwa, therefore, solicited the support of residents towards ensuring full compliance with all government policies, noting that despite the available existing interventions and viable alternatives provided for okada operators, which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the recalcitrant riders have refused to take advantage of them.
He revealed that some of the viable alternatives had been made available for the operators by the State Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment, Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES), among others.
He also said the state government’s First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE), and other sustainable modes of transportation were also part of interventions provided to minimise the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.
The Governor’s aide averred that the position of the state government on okada is very clear, stressing that there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in the accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the state.
The Special Adviser averred that the security agencies who have been partnering with the state government, including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air Force, are still prepared to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors; this is in addition to the operations of the State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.
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