Banky W shares lovely pics of his family.
More photos bellow.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Mr. Oyegun, who spoke to newsmen in Benin shortly after casting his vote, advised those defecting to the winning party to rather form a formidable opposition to enrich the nation’s democracy.
“Many opposition party members have defected to APC just because they lost out, that is not good for political development. One would have advised that opposition members should stay where they are, and form a formidable opposition party.” Mr. Oyegun said.
He described the governorship and houses of assembly elections as “the most decent, orderly and peaceful” ever conducted in Edo. Meanwhile, the APC national chairman won the election in his polling unit. Oredo East: Ward 2, Unit 1 Polling Unit, the first time since 1991 when he was elected governor.
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said he is ready to congratulate whoever emerges the winner of the governorship election in the state, if he loses the poll.
He stated this in an interview with journalists minutes after casting his at Ogboko Ward 2 in Ideato South Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
“I will congratulate whoever wins the election. Why not? But, first, let us do things properly,” Okorocha said.
The governor, who said the card reader failed to capture his fingerprints during the accreditation process in his ward, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state for the smooth conduct of the election.
He said, “So far, the election is quite peaceful, especially in Ogboko Ward 2, where I voted. As we would expect, this is a violence-free area in the history of Imo State politics. There has never been any record of violence here. But this cannot be said about places that are notorious for election violence, such as Mbutu in Aboh-Mbaise LGA.
“I have heard about political thugs hired by some politicians to cause mayhem in some polling units. The same thing is going on at places like Ohaji-Egbema, Oguta, Ezinihite and Ngo-Okpala, to mention a few. We must condemn election violence in all ramifications.”
The governor called for a judicial panel to look into the causes of election crises in some parts of Imo State.
Also, commending the security agencies for their role in the governorship and state House of Assembly elections, he said, “I learnt that some people in fake military and police uniforms, as well as a man found with AK47 rifles, were arrested by security men.
“If such things had happened during last presidential and National Assembly elections, things would have been much better.”
Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has said the candidates of the party will win some seats in the Osun State House of Assembly.
Fani-Kayode said this in an interview with journalists in Ile Ife on Saturday after casting his vote at Unit 03, Ilare ward 10 in Ile Ife.
“This election is significant to democracy. The beauty of democracy is in the legislature that is made up of members of both the ruling and opposition parties. “PDP candidates will win some seats in the Osun State House of Assembly and this is obvious.”
Fani-Kayode lamented the low turnout of the electorate during the House of Assembly poll, adding that they ought not to have shunned the poll because the legislature was a very important aspect of any democracy.
“An end has not come to PDP in Nigeria. The party will restore its lost glory in due time and Nigerians will also appreciate the party. This is not the end of the party; the party will bounce back,” he stated.
Five persons have been feared killed in Akwa Ibom State during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections on Saturday.
A reporter with one of the local tabloids, Radar Newspaper, Mr. Aniedi Ukoenang’s whereabouts is unknown.
The killings occurred at Ward 5, Unit 14, Mbiabong Etoi and Shelter Afrique (Uyo); Ndiya in Nsit Ubium; Etim Ekpo, and Ini Local Government Areas of the state.
The reporter was said to have been abducted by the Peoples Democratic Party thugs at Ekpeyong Ufum village, Odoro Ikot clan in Essien Udim LGA.
The Publisher of the tabloid, Mr. Franklyn Isong, confirmed the kidnap of the reporter.
However, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Baba Adisa Bolanta, who was sent to monitor the elections in the state, when asked on the number of those killed, said he was unaware of the number but would contact the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gabriel Achong, for details.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State has announced the boycott of the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.
The decision by the party to call for the boycott and cancellation of the elections followed a reported widespread hijack of electoral materials by thugs and armed fake policemen, suspected to be sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party.
Our correspondents, who went round Uyo, Etinan, Onna, Eket, Nsit Ubium, the five local government areas of Oro, Uruan, Ibiono, Nsit Ibom, Oruknam, among others, report that ballot box diversion, thump printing of ballot papers, characterised the April 11 elections in Akwa Ibom State.
It was also learnt that many centres were denied electoral materials. And in the areas, where they were provided, the figures would not tally with the number of accredited voters.
At Uda Ward 2, Unit 2, Unyenge in Mbo LGA, an INEC ad-hoc worker allegedly hid in the bush when indigenes discovered that he tore the fake result sheets he gave to villagers as he tried to replace the thump printed with original ones.
An indigene, Mfoniso Ekpimah, who spoke with our correspondents, explained that the youths of the area seized the ballot box, tore all the electoral papers and seized the card readers while the INEC ad-hoc worker escaped to an unknown destination in the bush.
The APC governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Umana Umana, said out of 1,571 registered voters, only 450 ballot papers were sent to his polling unit.
He stated that for a long time, voting materials were not brought to his unit and in all the other units in Nsit Ubium LGA.
Umana stated that he received a report that materials had been diverted to the residence of Senator Effiong Bob.
He noted that the action was violently done by thugs, who assaulted agents and INEC officials on their way to deliver the election materials.
Mbu spoke on Saturday at the state’s Command Headquatres after monitoring the election in some parts of the state with some journalists.
In the convoy were also riot policemen from Zone 2.
The entourage covered the Ikeja, Agege, Alimosho, Somolu, Ogudu, Yaba, Lagos Island, Gbagada areas of Lagos State, among others.
There was no chaos or fight in all the areas as residents cheered the police team.
However, three people were arrested along the Ikeja GRA for moving around in their cars, while a passerby, who attempted recording the scene, was equally apprehended.
His smartphone was smashed on the ground by a policeman.
A vehicle, which number plate was also covered, was intercepted along the road and searched by the team, but no incriminating material was found.
The cover was later removed.
Also visited were police headquatres and collation centres.
At the end of the tour, Mbu lauded the courage of policemen in the state and the orderly conduct of the election.
Asked what was responsible for the peaceful conduct of the elections, Mbu said, “Generally, people are becoming more and more mature, sensitive and reasonable.
He said, “And anyway, the statement I made, which generated a lot of (controversy); people misconstrued it all over, but that also helped the police because people say, ‘this man has come o and whatever he says, he means it’, and that also instilled fear in them.
“Go and check all the places where I have served, how many people have died? We don’t kill that way. But you have to instill fear so that people will have more respect for the police.
“You know how police were perceived those days, but now police give orders and people say police cannot do anything. But with those few words (I said), people are now scared and say, ‘if you misbehave, police are going to react’.
“Now we have succeeded as far as I am concerned.”
It was gathered that voters had finished their accreditation as of 12.35pm when an agent of one of the political parties raised the alarm that the ballot papers and result sheets were fake.
The alarm caused some panic, with voters abandoning the three polling units that make up the wards.
Those who abstained from voting also stayed behind to convince others not to exercise their franchise.
As of 7.30pm, no one has cast his or her vote in any of the ward’s polling units.
Security operatives later escorted the materials and officials back to the local government secretariat.
The mobile telephone numbers of Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, were cloned by unknown persons hours before the governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday.
The cloned phone numbers were thereafter used to send fake text messages, discouraging people from coming out to vote the candidates of their choices.
In a brief statement sent to journalists in Rivers while the election lasted, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. David Iyofor, called on voters to disregard the fake text messages, pointing out that Amaechi’s position was for the people to come out in droves to exercise their civic responsibilities.
He said, “This is to inform members of the public that the telephone numbers of Governor Rotimi Amaechi has been cloned and the criminals, who did the cloning, are using it to send out fake text messages to people not to come out and vote.
“Please, that text message is not from Governor Amaechi. The Governor’s position remains that Rivers voters should come out to vote today (Saturday). People should disregard that fake text message.”
Meanwhile, the Governor, during his accreditation in Ubima, his hometown in Ikwerre Local Government Area earlier on Saturday, accused the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state, Mrs. Gecila Khan, of working tirelessly to ensure the Peoples Democratic Party won the election in Rivers.
Amaechi, who arrived in the community in company with his wife, Judith, around 11.20am, said the irregularities witnessed during the exercise in the state was as a result of the refusal of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to change Khan as REC in the state.
He said, “I am disappointed with the INEC for not redeploying the REC. She is the reason why we encountered problem of thugs hijacking electoral material.
“Some people and officials of INEC were ambushed with important electoral materials carted away. All these things are not supposed to be. I heard elections did not hold in several places like in Obio/Akpor, Asari-Toru and other places in the state.
“But if she had been change, things wouldn’t have been like this.”
Also on Saturday, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers and Rivers States, Thelma Iremiren, while debunking rumours that electoral materials distributed in Rivers were fake, said, “We received with dismay news that materials in the field were fake.
“Please we wish to inform the public, especially the people of Rivers State that no fake materials were ever released by INEC into the field and as such, voters should go out and vote their leaders.”
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in an interactive session with journalists spoke on diverse issues including the Boko Haram insurgency, abduction of Chibok schoolgirls and his future plans. KAYODE IDOWU was there
The last four years of your administration have been quite eventful especially in the area of security. How have you been coping?
Honestly how I am coping is a secondary issue; what is more important is how the over six million people of Borno State are coping. These are people, who even in the best of time were poor and now further pauperised by the Boko Haram insurgency. Parents were killed, their sons and daughters slaughtered by some demented monsters who were trying to impose their alien ideologies on the beleaguered people of Borno, now turned to beggars; rendered homeless; orphaned, and widowed. My heart goes out to them. I do not care about my feelings, security or comfort; I am more concerned about the welfare of the victims directly affected and how we can get them back on their feet. We have 1,000 years of recorded history – I believe that there is a silver lining in the horizon. I believe that we shall very soon get out of our problems especially with the successes recorded in the on-going counter insurgency operations. Yes, we have won the first phase of the war; but the battle is still on. The insurgents have melted into the hinterland. Two days ago, they killed 25 people in Kwajaffa. They have refocused their energy now towards the periphery of Sambisa, from there they have been launching attacks on the Askira Uba Local Government Area. They killed quite a number of people in Chul village; they have attacked several other communities along the corridors. But by the grace of God we shall get out of it.
What other efforts are being made to get your state and the North-East geo-political zone out of the clutches of insurgents?
We have always made support for security agencies our number one priority. We have inspired our sons to support the military. We trained, equipped and employed them and they are working. We have created a strong political will. We coordinate community involvement in fighting insurgency and we provide modest leadership. This was why when there were strong fears that Maiduguri was to be attacked in December last year, I flew into Maiduguri from the United Kingdom where I went officially in order to be with the people of Borno State who had nowhere to run to and this was against security advice. I was ready to go through whatever it was with them whether to die or survive. I had mentally bid farewell to my children when I decided to come into Maiduguri that day because the fears were so intense that Boko Haram insurgents were coming in through Konduga. I didn’t want to be remembered as a governor that abandoned his people to their fate. I do not want to be remembered as a governor that stayed in the UK while Maiduguri was taken by insurgents and people killed. It is better to die for something than to live for stupidity. Luckily, the military and the youth volunteers worked very hard, we gave them all the support, citizens prayed ceaselessly and with Allah’s help, the insurgents were repelled from entering Maiduguri which is the most populated place here. I am proud to be part of the success story and of being responsible for coordinating counter insurgency operations. But the most important thing now is that hope springs from our hearts. I am by nature an eternal optimist. My candid belief is that tough times do not last forever but tough people do. I believe that we have a people that have the resilience and the indomitable will to chart a peaceful course for our people. But I want to assure you that the government and the people of Borno will continue to partner with the security agencies in bringing everlasting peace to this part of the world. I cannot but commend security agencies, the army in particular for their unflinching commitment towards restoring peace in our fatherland. The Chinese have a word for danger, the word for crisis that means danger and opportunity. This means that despite the challenges we face it also provides us with an opportunity for social reengineering; to reposition our state to meet the challenges of the future.
It will soon be a year that over 200 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok. Are there other efforts being made other than what we have heard in the past towards rescuing them?
The Chibok girls’ issue is really very sad; no responsible parent would be happy with what happened to those poor girls. I am a father of two little girls. Any time I look into the eyes of any of my daughters, I fight to hold back tears because I remember that girls like them, born and so dearly loved by parents, are missing and worst of all, in the hands of people that love to kill. It is one issue that has caused so much heartache not only for the parents of the girls, or the people of Borno, but the people of Nigeria as a whole. It is so sad. Last year, when I read an account of one of the parents of the missing girls, I couldn’t sleep all night long because he said he would prefer to pick up the corpse of his daughter and bury her rather than have her in the hands of some misguided vandals who do not have limits to what they can do. Imagine a father preferring to see his daughter’s corpse? Look at how the leader of the insurgents said he wanted to sell the girls into slavery, that some were married off etc. It is disturbing because their capabilities for committing heinous crimes are beyond human comprehension. But like I said earlier, hope springs eternally from the heart of men. Only an insane parent will give up on a missing child. We believe quite passionately and realistically that these poor girls will be found. We have been working hard with some international agencies towards their rehabilitation, trauma management and how they can be made to pick up the pieces of their lives once we get them. We believe that at the risk of compromising their safety, the hopeful assessment of most security agencies, is that probably they may be in the Sambissa forest which is very large. Hitherto we heard they were being held around the Gwoza and Damboa axis. But for now Damboa, especially the township has been recovered and is relatively safe. Gwoza too has been recaptured. Thus, our hopeful assessment is that probably the girls are in the Sambisa forest and we hope that they would be found in good shape – the most important thing is to get them alive; and alive we shall get them.
How right is the assertion that the initial attitude of the government to the news of the girls’ kidnap may have been responsible for their long stay in captivity?
This is correct. Vital hours were lost soon after the attack. Hours that might have paid off if the search for the girls was vigorously done within that time frame. For about two or three days they were at the bank of a river and some of the commanders were said to have gone into the hinterlands of Sambisa to get directives from their masters. That could have been a golden opportunity for us to recover the girls. But scepticism and sheer indifference really compounded our problems. Some were even compounding theories that it was the Borno State government that abducted the girls and kept them in the Government House. I found it quite amusing; why should we abduct our daughters for whatever political gains and keep them in the Government House? But there is no need to cry over spilt milk. It took some time for the Federal Government to invite us over the issue. Even when I was invited, I was really delighted that at last some solutions would be proffered as to how to rescue these girls. But it was amazing that the whole crux of the meeting was geared towards scapegoating. The Commissioner of Education, the principal of the school and others were being railroaded to make phantom confessions which were alien to our knowledge. But what is important is what we can do to bring back these girls. We have succeeded in rehabilitating the 56 that escaped; the state government has committed N100 million for their education in some of the best schools in the country so that they can realise their full potential. These girls, like many of us here, are from the humblest of background; some are the first generation girls to be educated in their families. Therefore, we will do whatever it takes to see that they are rescued; and once they are recovered we will spend whatever resources to ensure that they are rehabilitated.
The Boko Haram insurgency has virtually brought the education sector to its kneel. Now that peace is returning, how do you intend to getting this sector back on its feet?
Yes, it is absolutely true we have challenges; but we have a robust framework. Once peace is established, we are going to pick up the pieces of our lives and restore education to its enviable status. It pains me so much because most of us are from the humblest of backgrounds; and it is because most of us have access to public schools that is why we are who we are. Posterity will judge us harshly if we allow the public schools to collapse. With all sense of modesty, what we spent on education in the last three and half years were not spent in the last three governments that came before ours. We have renovated public schools more than the ones renovated by the governments of Mala Kachalla and Ali Sheriff fused together. We have sent our teachers to India to learn the modern Kayan technology and using projectors to teach in secondary schools. We have increased funds in feeding of our students from N20 million to N100 million every month. Today, students get very nutritious meals. We have set up a quality assurance team to monitor standards in our public schools. We have invested about $3 million on the Kayan technology alone – all geared towards addressing the issue of education. But I want to assure you that with the re-emerging peace we are going to address our problems soon. ?
How far has the Federal Government Safe-School-Initiative gone in your state?
I am sorry to say that the project like most projects of the Federal Government here in Borno is more of hype than action. We have been attending several meetings to that effect but till now there is nothing on ground to show for it. We believe on our part that things are in the pipeline and will start yielding dividends very soon.
All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, attributed the low turnout of voters to an alleged threat by the Peoples Democratic Party to cause chaos in the state.
Meanwhile, state Governor Mukhtar Yero said shortly after accreditation in Zaria ob Saturday told his supporters and the entire people of state to accept the outcome of the elections.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after casting his vote, El-Rufai blamed the low turnout on the threat by the PDP-led government to unleash terror on the electorate.
El-Rufai said the electorate were afraid to turn up at their polling units as a result of the threat.
The former FCT minister, who was accredited at about 9.55am, also commended INEC’s improvement on Saturday’s election, noting that”accreditation commenced on time compared to that of the Presidential election.”
He expressed satisfaction with the use of the card reader, which he described as effective.
House of Representatives member-elect for Dass, Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa Constituency of Bauchi State, Yakubu Dogara, has declared that it will take a miracle for any other party to win the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections in the state.
He says the APC will floor all the contestants in the elections.
Dogara stated this on Saturday while answering questions from newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Gwarangah Primary School polling unit in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for introducing the card reader in the electoral process in Nigeria, pointing out that it had reduced incidences of rigging and malpractices to the minimum.
“So far as you can see, the exercise has been hitch free because there has been an improvement on the card-reader machine. The polling unit is not populated like the Presidential and National Assembly election, not because of low turnout, but because the entire electoral process is fast and smooth,” he said.
Dogara, who explained why the party would emerge victorious in the governorship election in the state, said, “Apart from the fact that APC is now the leading party right from the Presidency down to the state level, in Bauchi State, we have worked hard and the party is the centre of opposition in the North-East region.
“It will be extremely difficult for any other party to win in the governorship and state House of Assembly election in Bauchi,” the Re-elect said.
On his aspirations of being the speaker of the House of Representative, Dogara, who was elected in the March 28 National Assembly election, explained that it was not his decision to become the Speaker, but a collective agreement of the 360 of the House.
“It is not for me to decide whether to become the speaker or not, but a collective decision of the house as there are other more competent hands than me. We are now one family in the house and definitely will reach a consensus of who emerges as the Speaker,” he said.
Soyinka also urged President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to probe whoever needs to be probed and allow the law take its course.
The playwright stated this during an interview with CNBC Africa which was published on April 9, 2015.
“I believe very much in the rule of law – there are laws about corrupt people. All I want to hear and to see from Buhari is, ‘I’m going to allow the law to take its course’, I don’t want to hear promises like, ‘I’m not going to probe this’ – if it is necessary to probe, probe,” Soyinka said.
“If it’s necessary to make examples, make examples because this nation has been robbed, has been raped – there’s no other word for it – and this has been a continuing pattern.
It’s about time that drastic measures are taken to stop this culture of impunity that is transmitted from generation to generation,” he added.
Soyinka also stated that there must be a change in the mind-set of Nigerians before the country can make progress.
It was learnt that the soldiers, about 25 in number, were in a big truck, patrolling the area when the youth decided to take their pictures.
A brother of the victim, who identified himself only as Ade, said, “We were undergoing the accreditation exercise by the polling unit when about 25 soldiers in a truck drove by. My brother brought out his phone to take pictures but when the soldiers saw him, they alighted from their vehicles and descended on him.
“They beat him up and kicked him repeatedly. They then seized the phone and drove off.”