Muyiwa Bamidele with Agency Reports
A former National Chairman of ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmadu Ali, has said Nigeria would remain united and prosperous in spite of security challenges confronting the country.
Amodu Ali stated this at a national summit of more than 7,000 groups under the aegis of Goodluck Support Groups, GSG, organised by the National Coordinator, Rufai Ahmed.
He used the occasion extolled the leadership quality of President Goodluck Jonathan and highlighted the benefits the populace had enjoyed under the leadership.
“In spite of evil machinations, Nigeria has remained undivided; we shall remain one and `we dey kampe’ and the Jonathan administration has provided meaningful, feasible ideas to sustain democracy.
“He has invested in the youth and developed national consciousness among them. The nation’s GDP has risen from 169 billion dollars in 2013 to 283 billion dollars today.
“Food importation has reduced from trillions to the region of hundreds of thousands of dollars; Nigeria is the number one destination for foreign direct investment in Africa; our oil is witnessing a projection.
“Come rain, as it has fallen now or come sunshine, we stand behind Goodluck.’’
Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom while canvassing for re election bid of President Jonathan said “everyone keeps saying I’ve performed well and that there is uncommon transformation in my state. I didn’t do it in a tenure; I am in my second tenure.
“For Nigeria’s total transformation, one tenure is not enough. He has put measures in place to stop gas flaring, decided to address the problem of the north-east by building schools for almajiri.
“He has been the most distracted but the most focused president; has faced Ebola squarely and made Nigeria the biggest economy in Africa,’’ Mr. Akpabio said.
The convener, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, said the rally was a platform to “create synergy and an interface among all GSG to strengthen our bonds of unity.
“In spite of our challenges, our bond remains unshaken. I commend you all and your presence on the social media, print, airwaves and other platforms has not gone unnoticed’’.
Mr. Ahmed, who also read out the communique after the event, said the GSGs resolved that the president had performed well to the satisfaction of Nigerians and in the interest of citizens, should return in 2015.
“He should step forward and contest in 2015. The PDP should nominate him for the presidential elections and as leaders, we endorse him for the presidential elections.
“This is signed by the leaders of the more than 7,000 groups.’’
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has said that it will no longer a business as usual for street hawkers, beggars and those violating environmental laws within the FCT.
The Newly appointed Director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Mr. Shehu Baba said this while briefing Journalist in Abuja.
Shehu mentioned that the AEPB under him will not tolerate street hawking and begging warning traders in the markets to restrict their businesses to the market and stop using street hawkers to sell them.
Shehu said that the Board has identified 17 beats with not less than five flashpoint where hawkers are congregated for hiring by any group seeking their services especially the traders in various markets in the city.
On the issue of waste evacuation and management in the FCT, the director said That all residents and business owners must buy waste bin for clean waste collection and evacuation from their premises.
According to him, the FCTA will by October stop cleaning housing estates as a pop arrangement is underway to cede the cleaning of the estates to internal structure or mechanism.
Shehu pointed out that 10 out of the 86 estates in the territory have developed reliable structures on waste evacuation promising to penalize any estate that failed to evolve a self sustaining cleaning measures for its residence.
On the enforcement of the laws, Shehu hinted that the administration has already received an approval of 128 personnel from the FCT police command to support her security and enforcement drive in the city and cautioned residents and business premises to ensure they comply fully.
He said these are part of the measures taken to keep the city clean and restoring it to to it’s once glorious era of a clean city tasking the residents to support him.
By Festus Fifen
In order to tackle and reduce unemployment in the Federal Capital Territory, the FCT Administration has graduated 227 youths trained on different vocational skills to harness their potentials.
Presenting certificates to the graduating youths, the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed said that this is one of the cardinal programmes evolved to harness the gains of the Petroleum Subsidy.
The Minister who was represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu, remarked that it’s also a major milestone in the pursuit of the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration.
Bala Mohammed reiterated that one of the major challenges Nigeria faces today is unemployment resulting from the lack of requisite skills for the job market.
He emphasized that the SURE-P Capacity Building Programme has created opportunities to stimulate and engage FCT Youths, obtain knowledge and skills they need to positively improve their lives and the fortunes of their communities.
The Minister said that the 227 youths who were selected from the six Area Councils of the FCT benefitted from courses in eight different fields of entertainment which include acting, dance, fashion/costume design, make-up, modeling, music, photography and script writing.
The Minister revealed that the FCT SURE-P paid for the tuition, hostel accommodation and feeding of the students; apart from providing monthly stipends for participants who preferred to commute to the center from their homes.
His words: “The participants are today better positioned to contribute meaningfully to the development of the nation. I therefore like to exhort the graduands to justify the investment of the government in their lives by imbibing the virtues of hard work, diligence and creativity.”
Speaking earlier, the Coordinator, FCT SURE-P who is also the Director of Economic Planning, Research & Statistics, Mr. Mohammed Ari while welcoming guests to the occasion noted that the recent rebasing of the Nigerian economy indicates that the Nigeria Movie Industry including Arts, entertainment and Recreation contributed about 33 Percent to the overall GDP.
Mr. Ari stated that the industry, which currently ranks 2nd behind India and ahead of Hollywood has hugely been achieved with no government contribution and thereby placing Nigeria as the 26th largest economy in the World.
According to him, “the implication of this information is that there are a lot of untapped opportunities which have begun to attract a large number of our youths”.
The newly-crowned Miss Intercontinental Nigeria 2014, Judith Chioma Okafor, who contested as Miss Bayelsa has said that the richest black woman on earth, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija is her role model and she would love to work with her.
The Military Court Martial in Abuja the Nigeria Federal Capital city this morning sentenced 12 soldiers to death.
They were among the 18 soldiers charged for mutiny on the 13 and 14th of May 2014 at the Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri Borno State.
The soldiers were charged with six count of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, disobeying lawful orders and various acts said to be inimical to the military service.
The nine-member military Court Martial, also found the soldiers guilty of insubordinate behaviour, use of abusive language, leveling false accusation against their superior officers, among others.
They were similarly found guilty of attempting to kill their erstwhile General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Ahmed Mohammed by shooting at his official car, between May 13 and 14, 2014. The car was bullet proof.
The court also found them guilty of preventing the movement of some of their injured colleagues to hospital and obstructing evacuation of their dead ones who were killed in ambush on their way from an operation in Chibok, Borno State.
The incident took place at the Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri in the course of the ongoing counter insurgency campaign.
Those to die are: Cpl. Jasper Braidolor, David Musa, Friday Onu, Yusuf Shuaibu, Emmanuel Igomu, Andrew Ngbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukhagbe, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwudi, Alan Linus and Stephen Clement.
Jeremiah Ichocho, who was found guilty of Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL) was sentenced to two years without labour.
Five were discharged and acquitted, having been found not guilty by the court.
The legal team of the convicts pleaded with the court martial to temper justice with mercy.
The team reeled out pathetic stories about the family backgrounds of the convicted servicemen.
One was said to be the only son of his octogenarian widowed mother.
Another is the father of a five-month-old baby.
The defence team argued that giving them maximum sentence would do more harm than good, adding that it would increase the agony of their dependants.
The court said the sentences were subject to confirmation by higher authorities and acknowledged the right of the soldiers, who pleaded not guilty to most of the charges, to appeal the judgment.
The court was presided over by Brig. Gen. CC Okwonkwo.
Other members of the court are: Col. TS Nurseman, Col. TO Olowomeye, Col. IG Lassa, Lt.Col. JK Feboke, Lt. Col. CR Nnebeife, Major I Yusuf, Major TA Yakubu and Major AE Martins.
Lt. Col. AA Audu and Lt. Col. U Ukpe served as prosecutors
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