Saturday, November 1, 2014
Sheik Ahmad Gumi welcomed us into his modestly furnished, new apartment somewhere in a highbrow part of Kaduna town. He was there waiting for us, with broad sparkling grin that seemed to illuminate his gray beards.
As we exchanged pleasantries, the man who had sparked a national debate with two letters he had written to some Presidential aspirants, appeared much younger that pictures portrayed of him. Our main mission was to find out why he wrote President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) not to contest the 2015 Presidential elections and to have his take on the insurgency ravaging the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
Vanguard got more that it asked for. Gumi, in a calm, comported manner spewed out shocking and disturbing reasons for his letter. He further gave a grim dimension to the Boko Haram debacle, claiming that the Jonathan government was deliberately abetting the war to pave way for his continued stay in power.
The son of late Shiek Abubakar Gumi, in this no-holds-bared interview with our Kaduna State Correspondent, Luka Binniyat, and Mayen Etim, went on to claim that he was a marked man over his recent letters, and gave reasons. It is a must-read.
Sir, could you assess the state of the Nigeria Nation today?
First, I welcome you all to my house. The state of Nigeria actually is not seriously different from what is happening in other countries in Africa. Nigeria being a mixed society has different tribes, religions and cultures, and this has made the country significantly peculiar; because we share some of black Africa’s problems and also share the contemporary Muslim problems. Every culture, every religion goes through stages like childhood, adolescence, middle age then old age.
This is how civilization and religion grow, so we’re not different particularly now that our country is going through a very difficult stage. So, what may be good for other countries may not necessarily be good for Nigeria looking at our condition, developmental stage and peculiarity. So, Nigeria’s problems need a very special, careful approach, because the end result is if you don’t have peace and stability then nothing works.
If you look at Nigeria’s problems it is a microcosm of what is happening in the whole world. The underdevelopment, the whole of black Africa, the whole of Africa is compounded with the problems Muslims are facing now. These problems are both intrinsic and extrinsic and are caused by the Muslims themselves and external factors. So, if you put all these together and reflect on Nigeria the situation is pathetic but it is not hopeless at all.
. You wrote to Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) and President Goodluck Jonathan asking them not to contest the 2015 presidential election. What motivated that?
I wish to write more and more! There’s no question of regret writing those letters and so far, I think the letters, to me, have achieved part of what I intended to achieve. First, to at least put the issue in national discourse; let’s discuss issues not like the National Conference where we tended to tell people what they wanted to hear.
The supporters of The President and the retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari have reservations about your comments. And there are people who agreed with you. What more would you want to tell Nigerians about your fear for 2015 election?
”Buhari’s Supporters, irrational, fanatical, sentimental?
Yes, my fear about the 2015 election is that when I look at the parameters of 2011 election and what led to the crises, I didn’t see anything that have changed. In fact, the factors are more aggravated now. What’s coming now to explode is a big bomb. My letters addressed the factors. It’s about a Nigerian citizen telling Gen. Buhari, please step down for peace, unity and stability of Nigeria because your followers are fanatical, irrational, sentimental and they are many, not few.
So, please … and look at their reaction (intolerance). Just telling their man to step down, and they reacted this way; what more if they were hoping, dreaming – because I tell you they’re sentimental and irrational – hoping their man will be president and suddenly he’s announced the loser, how will their reaction be like? And who can control them? You see, the flames of war, when they start nobody can control them.
President Goodluck Jonathan displaying Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms at the People's Democratic Party's Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday (30/10/14).
President Goodluck Jonathan displaying Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms at the People’s Democratic Party’s Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday (30/10/14).
Jonathan/Buhari are false lights”
Look at Syria now, people fighting the government and vice versa. Then terrorists came in, fighting the liberalists, liberalists fighting the government and the dictators and now nobody, not even the United Nations has the honour and prestige to tell people. “please stop!”. That’s war. Look at Libya, there’s war. War in Nigeria, when it starts too, nobody can stop it and it may have no boundaries. Now, it’s confined to some part of the North but when it engulfs the whole country nobody will settle anywhere. The worse thing is that people don’t know how to behave in war.
It’s just like insects in the bush. If there’s light or flame they think it is good for them; they rush to it and fall into flame, killing themselves. So, there’s fake light. We’re creating fake light. In the North people think that General (Buhari) is light whereby they can get salvation, but it’s a false light, it will destroy them.
And in the South too, the government has false light. It is saying, “followers”, especially Christians, “this is your salvation, saviour” – it’s a false light. Why? Anything that will cause polarization of the society even if you have the upper hand, you really don’t have it because the other hand will try to undermine you. So, in a stable society, there is a correct light whereby every segment of the society is comfortable, relatively and reasonably comfortable.
There’s no agitation, no urge to fight back, this is the society we can all bring up ourselves. We live happily together without destroying any culture, religion and other differences. My dear sister came with attire with different colours (referring to the female reporter). I don’t want her to be all white.
We should accept our differences. God made it so. In fact in the Qur’an (he quotes a verse of the scripture) which literally means “do your religion and me my religion.” Is not by force, there’s no compulsion in religion. In fact, a verse in the Qur’an said you can never put faith into a person’s heart except God, so your own is to admonish people.
Sir, maybe that’s what you meant in the letter to the President when you said; “surely with the Christain votes and northern PDP followers, you can win another election but you will also set the nation into another turmoil because that segment of the nation that rejects you believe so wrongly or rightly that you are involved negatively in the Boko Haram saga”. Can you please elaborate on this?
“A big section of Nigeria will be uncomfortable with Jonathan continuing as President”
The question of Nigeria now is not about winning election; it’s a question of “I’m right, I won”. It’s not about that now; it’s about responsibility; it’s not enough to say I’ve won election. It’s only enough when every part of Nigeria feels truly that you’ve won. Secondly, when all sections say, “we’ll be comfortable with your leadership then that’s it.
If there is any section of Nigeria which is afraid and suspicious of your leadership when you’ve not won, then don’t contest in the first place. Because everything in this democracy was designed to have a peaceful and mutual understanding and consent of the people as put in the constitution.
But in this case, if President Jonathan wins, a huge part of the society will feel uncomfortable and frightened by his continuation. The natural thing to do is to give the chance to another person to contest; this is just natural everywhere in the world.
”And what about Boko Haram?
Why the Boko Haram issue has two perspectives – the perspective you, the press, have been bombarding Nigerians with and the true perspective seen by the victims. Let me tell you what the victims see in Boko Haram; We are almost one full year of a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. people gave the government benefit of doubt at the beginning. The National Assembly sanctioned the state of emergency and that means that soldiers can liquidate or kill anybody without trial. That automatically puts you out of the area if you are an outsider.
You cannot go and see for yourself what’s happening. Powers were given to them and also huge sums of money. With these huge sums, nobody would have taught that after this long period of fighting Boko Haram we will still be fighting them. Soldiers at the fronts were being eliminated, outnumbered, and many civilians incarcerated. The Army were just there arresting civilians and putting them in prison. There is no military strategy to fight Boko Haram.
On the contrary some of these soldiers cry to me personally. They come to us and tell us stories contrary to what you people hear. Helicopter droppings, tinted glassed vehicles, sometimes with foreigners in them. Army officers telling me that sometimes they’ll pursue them but would be given orders to stop, “don’t pursue”. You (the press) don’t know this but we know, and even recorded some. We know it’s a remote control war. This stalemate is a remote control war.
”There are Christians in Boko Haram”
Who can believe that with the kind of wealth that Nigeria has, our soldiers will be given few bullets to face Boko Haram. Nobody knows that this Boko Haram, from the few the army was able to kill, were mercenaries from Chad. There are even some none-Muslims among them. A soldiers came to us here from Bita, which is very close to the Zambisa forest. He said when they went freshly with ammunition they were able to repel the first attacks of Boko Haram. When the Boko Haram were withdrawing, he heard them say Victor, Amir, John, Mohammed e.t.c. Boko Haram are not only Muslims.
“Buhari and Jonathan are polarising figure”
So, that’s why people in the north are frantic they don’t want President Jonathan to come back because of their safety, lives and security. And this has made them to be too attached to Gen. Buhari because they think he’s the only credible person and he has large followers who feel that they can help defeat Jonathan.
I know like Jonathan, Buhari is also polarizing figure. Buhari is not only a polarizing figure in Nigeria, he is even so in the North. There are people who don’t want him at all for different reasons. My Islamic credentials make me see things in broader perspective.
BUHARI DECLARES: General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) declaring his intention to seek the All Progressives Congress, APC, nomination to contest next year’s presidential election yesterday.
BUHARI DECLARES: General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) declaring his intention to seek the All Progressives Congress, APC, nomination to contest next year’s presidential election yesterday.
And that’s why I am seriously telling him to consider that leadership is not only about honesty and accountability. It also has to do about conformity, flexibility, being nice to people and not just disciplinary strictness. No! All these people that are attached to him would be very surprised if he gets into power. He will not do what they want.
“My father was too soft, and a polarising agent to be president”
If my father told me he wanted to be President I would say ‘I know you’re honest, more honest than Buhari, but still you’re not suitable to rule Nigeria because, you’re a polarizing figure even among the Muslims just like Catholics and Protestants. Secondly, my father was a very lenient.
Let me tell you something, he was at home and the phone rang and his bank manager asked him; “did you send anybody to cash money from the Foundation account?” He said no and still didn’t want to know the person because he didn’t want anybody to look bad before him.
One day they brought a boy who presented a letter he purportedly signed and endorsed for the boy to be employed. They apprehended the boy and my father asked him why he did so. The boy said he did so because he wanted a job. My father said bring the letter let me sign the correct signature for you. In Hausa land they knew him to be soft. If he told me that he wanted to be president of Nigeria, I would have told him that he was to soft and would not be fit to be President. Nigeria needs somebody not too hard and not too soft. There are qualities that make a leader.
Still on this Boko Haram issue, you have been a target of the insurgents, Gen. Buhari too. President Jonathan, is also a target, but well protected. What would Jonathan benefit in sustaining Boko Haram?
There’s too much secrecy about handling of Boko Haram affairs. Many people were arrested, put in jail and we’ve never seen the reports. There should be open trials.
When there were bombings in Boston Marathon, the press, police and national guards were working hand-in-hand, step by step and when they discovered pictures everybody stepped up the search until the culprits were caught. Everything was open. But in Nigeria everything about Boko Haram is kept secret.
Why not exposed them so that they speak and we know who their sponsors are. There was a time Boko Haram targeted me. Explosives killed two of them when they were planting them. The military took their bodies away till today. They were not exposed for identification.
You are advocating for a president that will be widely acceptable that will not divide the country. Now there are so many people that have indicated interest to run for the Presidency. Have you spotted any among them that meets these standard?
Okay, this is another question that is very good. Nigerians are looking for an ideal President and there is nothing like ideal person when you talk of human terms. No one is ideal. What we’re looking for is someone palatable, someone that will cause less friction, problems and polarization. This is the man we’re looking for and Nigerians should decide.
Okay sir, we’ve taken much of your time I want to summarize this. I want you to give a very good advice to Nigerians
My advice would in fact be to all Nigerians. It’s very important we develop the culture of civility. We have to be civil. If you have a case take it to the court. The question of demonstrations, strive and killings should not even arise. If anybody feels he’s cheated in election let him go to court. .
What is the value you get in trying to assert your right by violence? In doing that you kill many people? That’s why I’d thought it was important to pass this advice to the president and to Buhari before the elections. After the 2011, many innocent people that even didn’t know about politics died; youth corps members were killed, and villagers were massacring each other. I thought that we have had enough of violence.
This is what I expected from Buhari and Jonathan. Groom people. You can imagine now if Jonathan w groomed another person that will sustain our democracy, he would be a very great leader not to contest again and hand over to a successor. If Buhari would have stepped down, people will say oh! he’s a great man.
THE Nigerian Army has retired 15 generals from the Nigerian Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (NASEME) Auchi, Edo State from active service.
Of the 15, 10 are Brigadier Generals, while the remaining five are Major Generals.
The Major Generals are Edem Ekwo, Thompson Oliomoghe, Richard Maduegbunam, Friday Airende and Abass Adekanye, while the Brigadier Generals included Idi Adamu, Patrick Oviaghase, Samuel Ayo, Peter Aremu, Jacob Amao, Joshua Ibilaye, Ibrahim Alawode, Samuel Adesogan, Chukwuka Ani and Abel Okpeki.
Speaking at a pulling out parade held in honour of the retirees yesterday, the Corps Commander of NASEME, Maj-Gen. S. Labaran said that the retired officers served the country meritoriously.
Labaran wished them well in their various endeavours.
One of the retired Generals, Thompson Oliomoghe, who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the Nigerian Army for the opportunity to serve the nation.
Friday, October 31, 2014
(CNN) -- The first sign there was a problem Friday with Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo came at about 45,000 feet, just two minutes after it separated from the jet-powered aircraft that carried it aloft, officials said.
It wasn't something overt with SpaceShipTwo. It was what didn't happen.
"I knew when things weren't happening," said Stuart Witt, the chief executive of Mojave Air & Space Port, where SpaceShipTwo was launched and monitored. He didn't offer details.
"...If there was a huge explosion, I didn't see it."
Nothing seemed abnormal during the takeoff or flight prior to the spaceplane's failure, he said.
This much is known, according to Witt and others: One pilot is dead and another has been hospitalized with serious injuries.
The injured pilot was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California, authorities said.
There have been reports that the pilots managed to bail out, using parachutes. But neither Virgin Galactic or its partner conducting the test flight, Scaled Composites, have confirmed the accounts.
The two pilots worked for Scaled Composites, according to that company's president, Kevin Mickey. He declined to publicly identify the pilots or detail their experience.
"Space is hard, and today was a tough day. We are going to be supporting the investigation as we figure out what happened today, and we are going to get through it," Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said.
"The future rests in may ways on hard, hard days like this."
News of the crash of SpaceShipTwo came just after 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET).
The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after SpaceShipTwo separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle designed to carry it aloft, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.
Television footage from CNN affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles showed SpaceShipTwo in pieces in the Mojave Desert.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a "go team" to investigate the test flight failure, the agency said.
Virgin's chief, Richard Branson, confirmed the loss on Twitter: "Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I'm flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team."
It's unclear what the failure of the spaceplane will mean for the program. Virgin Galactic planned to send paying customers on SpaceShipTwo as early as 2015.
With composite lightweight materials, "feathered" rudders capable of turning 90 degrees and a hybrid rocket engine, it is as safe as modern technology can make it. As designer and aviator Burt Rutan put it in 2008, "This vehicle is designed to go into the atmosphere in the worst case straight in or upside down and it'll correct."
Details of Friday's test flight plan were not immediately known. But in previous test flights, SpaceShipTwo has been loaded on the jet-powered WhiteKnightTwo, which can take the spaceplane to about 50,000 feet.
At that altitude, SpaceShipTwo would then fire its RocketMotorTwo -- a hybrid rocket engine powered by both solid and liquid fuel.
SpaceShipTwo would reach supersonic speeds on its way to its intended altitude of about 62 miles above the Earth. At that point, people onboard would get about five minutes of weightlessness before the bonds of earth retract with 6 G's of force.
The spaceplane would then glide back through the atmosphere to landing.
Friday's is the second incident in a week involving the commercial space industry.
On Tuesday, an unmanned Antares rocket exploded just after takeoff off the coast of Virginia. Controllers deliberately destroyed the craft after it became apparent there was a problem, a spokesman for Orbital Sciences Corporation said Thursday.
The idea of multi-level car parks in the Federal Capital Territory was meant to reduce the cases of indiscriminate parking on Abuja streets by motorists. DAVID ADUGE-ANI reports that this noble project has been abandoned by the territory’s administration
In line with the Abuja master plan, the FCT administration during the time of former FCT minister, Nasir el-Rufai, gave concessions to about six private contractors to commence work on the proposed multi-level car park projects in parts of the FCT. The contractors, LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered, quickly went into action in the construction of the projects, which were to be sited in about six different parts of the capital city.
For instance, one of the projects was to be located at Wuse while the other was at Garki Area 10, and yet another at Garki Area 3, among others. The project was given to the contractors on build, operate and transfer basis which did not involve any financial commitment from the FCT administration.
However, few years after the end of the el-Rufai administration, LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that the contractors have since abandoned the projects though the projects had attained some levels of construction while some of the plots allocated to the projects have been converted into other uses. “The FCT multi-level car park projects were assigned to the contractors in 2006 when Mallam Nasir el-Rufai was minister. Many of them who got the concessions rushed to acquire the projects only for them to abandon them shortly after the minister left office. It is unfortunate that most of the contractors who got the concessions for the project have not done the job to the level the FCT administration had expected,” a source who confided in LEADERSHIP Weekend stated.
Today, what is obtainable on most Abuja streets is unorganised parking arrangements. Motorists in the city park their cars indiscriminately on any available space whether appropriate or not. LEADERSHIP Weekend discovered that parking in the city has become a matter of wherever the car fits in as people now park their vehicles on lawns, flower beds, on top of bridges, pedestrian walkways and even at sharp bends, thereby inconveniencing other road users.
Worried by this situation, some observers have called for the termination of the concession agreement with the contractors.
The public relations officer, FCT transport secretariat, Mr Ifeanyi Ughammadu told our reporter that the administration is being cautious in handling the termination of the concession agreement. “Although some people are already calling for the termination of the concession agreement with the contractors, the FCT administration wants to follow due process before taking necessary actions on this.
“It is true that we inherited this project from the past administration but we are expecting that any moment from now, the project would be completed and put into use. We want to follow due process before revocation, so as to avoid legal cases against the administration,” he said.
On April 17, 2014 the administration equally suspended the activities of the on-street parking scheme on Abuja streets following an FCT High Court’s judgment. Justice Peter Afem of the FCT High Court had delivered judgment on the matter brought before him in a suit against the FCT minister, Integrated Parking Services and Najec Nigeria Ltd on the liability of the park and pay scheme.
In his judgment, Justice Afem held among other things that the park and pay policy was illegal, ultra vires, null and void and restrained the FCT Administration from collecting any taxes and fees from motorists, except when such is provided for by a valid legislation. In a letter signed by the secretary, FCT transport secretariat, Engr Jonathan Ivoke, the administration stated that it shall immediately set in motion machinery for the review of the FCT road transport regulation (2005) to address the lacuna and properly capture the park and pay scheme. However, seven months after the suspension, nothing has been done to that effect. This has therefore compounded the parking arrangement on Abuja streets.
Ughammadu noted that at the moment in the city, many motorists now take advantage of the absence of regulation to park on the pedestrian walkways and even on the lawns and at sharp bends.
“After the suspension of the park and pay scheme on Abuja streets, we have gone back to the drawing board to come up with an appropriate and comprehensive legal framework that will make the programme a success. You will recall that part of the reasons why the first experiment was suspended was due to the lapses or lacuna the court found in the law we were using which led to the suspension.
“So, very soon, the programme will come back. The reason why we have not started the programme is because we have other programmes that we are embarking upon which need similar laws. So, we don’t want to do a haphazard legal framework rather, we want to be more comprehensive to cover. So it takes time; it takes processes and stages. That is it why it is taking time,” he explained.
He reiterated that though the park and pay policy was suspended, “that does not mean that we have an uncoordinated regime in the FCT. You would recall that we have before now, an on-street parking on Abuja streets. Even before the introduction of park and pay scheme, we had what we called on-street parking. That was when we demarcated the roads using the white paints. Motorists are expected to park in those lines.”
He warned that any motorist who parks his car indiscriminately on the pedestrian walkways, too close to a sharp bend or outside the marked lines would be arrested and punished by the VIO in accordance with the law.
Anti-corruption investigators in China have confirmed the reported seizure of the equivalent of $33m in cash at an official's home in May - the biggest such haul to date.
More than 200m yuan (£20m) were found and four out of 16 counting machines broke whilst measuring the notes, a prosecutor said.
Senior energy official Wei Pengyuan is under investigation for corruption.
President Xi Jinping has promised to tackle corruption in China.
The massive haul, first reported in the Chinese press in May, was confirmed at a news conference by top anti-bribery prosecutor Xu Jinhui.
Mr Wei, who is the deputy chief of the National Energy Administration's coal department, was put under investigation in May for allegedly accepting bribes following the discovery of the hidden cash.
China has sentenced more than 13,000 officials found guilty of corruption and bribery in the first nine months of 2014 alone.
Graphic showing amount of cash found at Wei Pengyuan's home and average salary in China
President Xi warned that his campaign against corruption would target both "tigers" and "flies", indicating that no-one, even senior party members, was exempt from the crackdown.
Since he came to power, some of China's biggest political heavyweights, including the vice-chairman of China's parliament and the former security chief have been targeted by the anti-corruption campaign.
Experts have even suggested that the proportionately high number of suicides among party officials is down to the pressure from the battle against corruption.
Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking into computers and illegally downloading files.
He and a co-defendant were convicted of breaking into computers owned by technology services giant CSC by a Danish court.
They downloaded police and social security files from the computers.
Prosecutors said it was the "largest hacking case to date".
Soon after the sentence was announced, lawyers representing Mr Warg said they would launch an appeal.
Warg's accomplice was given a six-month jail sentence but walked free from the court, having served 17 months in pre-trial detention.
The initial hack attack took place in February 2012 and gave the pair access to the sensitive information, including social security numbers and police records, for about six months.
Defence lawyers said that, although the hack attacks were carried out using a computer owned by Warg, he was not the person that used it to steal the files.
Instead, they said, an unnamed hacker took over this machine and used it to carry out the attacks. Warg has declined to name this other hacker.
After considering evidence, the judge and jury in the case said it was "unlikely" that other people were responsible.
The court's decision is the third to go against Warg in the last five years.
He was deported from Cambodia in September 2013 to Sweden where he served a jail term for copyright theft because of his involvement with the Pirate Bay file-sharing site.
In a separate trial in 2013, Warg was sentenced to two years in a Swedish jail for hacking into a bank's computers. This sentence was reduced to one year on appeal.
In that trial, Warg and accomplice were found guilty of breaking into the computer systems of computer services firm Logica, which was doing work for Sweden's tax office and a bank. On that occasion his accomplice was put on probation.
In late November 2013 he was deported to Denmark to face charges in the CSC hacking cases.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his new party All Progressive Congress (APC) have filed a suit against the Federal Government and six others over attempt to declare his seat vacant and withdrawal of his security aides.
The suit was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday.
Tambuwal in the suit filed at the registry of the court through his counsel, Jubrin Okutepa asked the court to declare that the attempt to declare his seat vacant as a member and Honorable speaker is unlawful and unconstitutional.
Cited as defendants in the suit are Peoples Democratic Party, its National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Inspector General of Police, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation AGF as first to seventh.
He asked the court to declare “that he remains a member and the speaker of the House of Representatives until the expiration of his current term of office on June 5, 2015″.
Tambuwal asked the court to declare that withdrawal of his security details when he has not been removed from office as speaker and member of the House was illegal and unconstitutional.
He, however, prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from taking any steps to interfere or infringe on his rights and privileges as the speaker of the House of Representatives and as a member of the House before the expiration of his term.
He asked the court to give an order of perpetual injunction, restraining INEC from accepting any nomination of candidates or organising a bye-election for the purpose of replacing him.
Tambuwal asked for an order of mandatory injunction compelling the IGP and the AGF to restore his security details and all other rights, benefits and privileges appurtenant to members of/and the office of the Honorable Speaker.
In a separate suit filed by one Dr. Tunji Abayomi on behalf of Tambuwal, Abayomi prays for a temporary order of court directing the return of the security aides of the speaker pending the determination of the suit.
Abayomi prayed the court for an order restraining the defendants from interfering with the rights and privileges whatsoever attached to the office of the speaker, pending the determination of the suit.
A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday condemned the withdrawal of security details attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and described the action as the highest level of impunity by the Peoples Democratic Party led Federal Government against its perceived political enemies.
In an interview with Channels Television shortly after he picked the governorship nomination and expression of interest forms at the All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Kaduna, El-Rufai alleged that the withdrawal of Tambuwal’s security details on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abbah, was a plot by the Federal Government to expose the Speaker to great danger.
He recalled that the speaker was among the 1,000 prominent Nigerians pencilled down for elimination by snippers allegedly groomed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former minister accused President Jonathan of being the mastermind of the withdrawal of the Speaker’s security details and warned that no harm must befall the Speaker.
He further explained that the withdrawal of Tambuwal”s security details was deliberate because of the Speaker’s defection from Peoples Democratic Party to the APC, and however warned the police and other security agencies to desist from being partisan in the 2015 general elections.
“Nigerians are fed up with the current PDP government both in Kaduna State and at the federal level,” he said.
On what informed his decision to contest for the governorship seat in Kaduna State, El-rufai said he was in the race to salvage Kaduna from the maladministration of the present PDP government in the state, and explained that security, job creation and infrastructural development would form the main priority of his government if elected as governor in 2015. He also debunked the people’s fear that he would demolish illegal houses in the state when elected governor of Kaduna State in 2015.
Burkina Faso’s President, Blaise Compaore, has announced his resignation, following violent protests at his attempt to extend his 27-year rule, the BBC Reports.
Mr. Compaore issued a statement saying the presidency was now vacant and urging elections within 90 days.
Military chief, Gen. Honore Traore, said he had taken over as head of state “in line with constitutional measures.”
On Thursday, protesters angry at Mr. Compaore’s attempt to amend the constitution set fire to parliament.
Following the protests, Mr. Compaore said he had agreed not to seek another term, but that he would remain in power until a transitional government had completed its work in 2015.
However, the opposition continued to demand that he resign. Its leader, Zephirin Diabre, urged protesters to occupy public spaces.
There were cheers when an army spokesman told the crowd gathered in front of army headquarters on Friday that Mr. Compaore had left office, AFP news agency reports.
Mr. Compaore’s statement, read on television, said: “In order to preserve the democratic gains, as well as social peace, I declare a power vacuum to allow the establishment of a transition leading to free and fair elections within a maximum of 90 days.”
He added: “For my part, I think I have fulfilled my duty.”
The BBC reports that his whereabouts now remain unclear.
The Chief Armourer of Kaduna Police Command arrested for stealing firearms and attempting to sell same to criminals has committed suicide while in detention, police authorities said on Friday.
The Chief Amourer, Nanbol Audu, a Deputy Superintendent of police was reported to have shot himself on the chest while in detention at about 5am local time on Friday morning.
Confirming the incident, the State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu said preliminary investigation revealed that the late officer killed himself but however denied that the police officer may have been murdered while in detention.
He also stated that full investigation into the incident had commenced.
However, what is not clear is how the deceased officer got the gun with which he shot himself since he was in Police custody as at the time of the incident.
The late Audu and two others arrested on October 20 drove into the police armoury at night where they loaded firearms into a private vehicle.
Parading the suspects before journalists last Tuesday, the commissioner said police officers on guard suspected foul play and stopped the vehicle from leaving the premises.
And upon interrogation, he said the State Armament Officer could not give satisfactory account of his action which led to his arrest and the two other occupants of the vehicle one Zingkur Joseph of Trade Centre Jos and Samuel Adamu of Kuru Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State, respectively.
Mr Shehu further stated that investigations revealed that one of the two civilian suspects was a blacksmith who specialises in manufacturing locally-made firearms, and that the two civilian suspects came from Jos, Plateau State on arrangement to purchase the said firearms for an unnamed traditional ruler currently on the run at the cost of 400,000 Naira (about $2,500).