Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 28 March, 2018.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, gave Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) a red card, as he declared the tenure elongation handed him and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and other executive committees at all levels, illegal and unacceptable.

The party’s National Executice Council (NEC) at its meeting on February 27, extended the tenure of the party’s NWC led by Chief Odigie-Oyegun by one year.

But while Buhari may have dumped Odigie-Oyegun as he described his tenure elongation illegal and demanded a fresh election, the party members seemed to have overridden the president by insisting that the decision taken during the last NEC meeting still stands.

Buhari, in his opening remarks during the NEC meeting at the party’s national headquarters, yesterday in Abuja, had noted that after seeking legal advice from the Ministry of Justice, he concluded that the extension contravened both the party’s and Nigeria’s constitution.

He further noted that though he was part of the resolution to extend the tenure, he has, however, realised that the action might ruin the chances of the party in the 2019 general elections, insisting that the national officers must resign a month to the expiration of their tenure and fresh elections conducted into the positions.

“While the APC constitution in article 17(1) and 13.2 (b) limits the tenure of elected officers to four years, renewable once by another election, the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) in section 223 also prescribed periodic election for party executives at regular intervals which must not exceed four years.

“Further more, article 31 of our great party’s constitution provides that any principal officer wishing to recontest or contest for another post must resign from his current post at least one month before the election.

“In this circumstance, what is expected of us is to conduct fresh elections once the tenure of the current executives approaches its end. A caretaker committee cannot remedy this situation and cannot validly act in place of elected officers. Furthermore, I think if we deviate from the constitution and provisions, we might be endangering the fortunes of our party.

“If the tenure of our party executive can be legally faulted, then, it means any nomination and primary election that they will conduct can also be faulted….,” he noted.

However, addressing newsmen after the NEC meeting, the duo of the National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, announced that NEC agreed to set up committee to look into the issue.

Bello, who explicitly claimed that the party did not violate either the constitution of the party or the constitution of Nigeria, warned that the crisis that will trail the conduct of fresh election might be unimaginable.

“I think that we should not be misunderstood. First, the last decision was not to elongate the tenure of the NWC or any other executive committee at all levels. What we sought to cure was to ensure that in view of certain crisis within the rank and file of the party and considering the time limit between now and when we will be facing the general elections, it is expedient that we ask the current NWC and current executives committees at all levels to continue to act in that capacity for a period of 12 months.

“That decision did not negate any provision or provisions of our party or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Remember that when the tenure of a particular executive or organ comes to an end, nature abhors vacuum.

“That is why we are saying that in view of the crisis that would have been generated from the congresses and primaries before the election, we should allow them to continue to act in that capacity,” he noted.

The party’s spokesperson, who said the February 27 decision subsists, announced a decision to set up a committee to look into the tenure elongation crisis.

“Members of NEC thanked the president for his concerns, despite the fact that they have held a position. Of course, we had situations, remember that some people went to court after the decision was taken at the last NEC meeting, and you know that discussing any issue that is already in court will be sub-judicious. That also presented its own complications. So, NEC decided to set up a small team to advise the party on this matter.

“At the moment, there is no decision taken, so the position of NEC still stands. There is a technical committee that is looking at the issue, that position may change tomorrow,” Abdullahi noted.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  said the development in the APC was a reflection of the chaos and disorderliness in the Federal Government, which it controls.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the confusion in the ruling party explained why the country has been in shambles.

The opposition party accused the president of impunity and undue interference in the running of his party.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, yesterday intervened to resolve a deadlock at the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting following the rejection of a lean N74 billion revenue presented for sharing among the three tiers of government by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Consequently, the Minister who is also Chairman of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), has reconvened the meeting of the Committee for 9 am today.

The meeting, which will hold at the auditorium of the Federal Ministry of Finance, will have in attendance the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris; Commissioners of Finance and Accountants General of the 36 states and representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), among others.

A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde, said Minister has also called for an emergency meeting next week with the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, and key management over low revenue payment into the Federation Account.

The FAAC meeting was inconclusive yesterday, necessitating her intervention.

Earlier yesterday, Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had rejected the February revenue figure of N74,067,185,439 presented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), leading to inconclusive deliberations.

At the February FAAC meeting, the NNPC presented a total of N111,835,458,519 as its January revenue leaving the state Commissioners present at yestrday meeting wondering why the revenue crashed to N74 billion (with a differential of N37,769,273,081), despite a rise in global oil prices and zero record of pipeline vandalism within the period in March.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, said the FAAC allocation will be shared after another meeting is convened and reconciliation done.

This means that salaries for March will be delayed as states will only get their allocation after all grey areas are ironed out.

Idris said: “Let me be quick to tell you that the meeting was inconclusive because issues around reconciliation of figures are on the table. Obviously, you are all aware that anything that has to do with federation revenue is statutory and therefore constitutional. And we must always verify our figures to the last kobo, failing which we will be committing illegality and unconstitutionality.
“It is on that note that we observed some issues in the figures given by one of the major revenue generating agencies namely, the NNPC, and the committee is of the opinion that until and unless these figures are reconciled, corrected, verified and factual, we cannot distribute the revenue as the case is.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended 205 staff over various “unwholesome roles” in the 2015 general election.

Commission Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this in a keynote address at a national colloquium organised by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), in Abuja, yesterday.

Yakubu said the interdiction, recommended by INEC’s Appointments, Promotion and Discipline Committee (APDC), was the highest so far.

He said constructive criticisms from the public has helped the commission to get better in delivering its mandate, vis-a-vis conducting credible elections and also, reassured Nigerians that INEC will conduct free and fair elections in 2019 and that its officers are already in the field; working towards the success of next year’s polls.

“We will never, never fail this nation,” Yakub assured. For this purpose, he said “the competence level of the commission’s staff across the country is being scrutinized; to ensure that they are in a position to deliver on their assignments.”

Yakubu also assured that “votes will count;  that is the promise I can give to all Nigerians”.

The INEC chairman charged the citizens play their role by ensuring that are not used by unscrupulous elements to undermine the commission.

“INEC has done what it expected to do, the citizens must do their own.

“I can assure you that we are fully prepared for the 2019 elections and it is going to be better than the 2015 elections.

“I have been involved in the best profession—teaching. INEC job is a calling. It is not a job.

“Some of us have integrity and I will make myself available to answer questions to the best of my knowledge.”

On how the table looks like, as regards the ongoing voter’s registration, Yakubu disclosed that Rivers State is topping the list while Anambra and Borno are second and third, respectively.

He named Delta, Lagos, Cross River, Osun, Enugu, Kano and Plateau as fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively,

Aside that, Yakubu said the Commission is in talks with the Nigerian Communications Commission, to help liaise with telecommunications service providers to assist in sending bulk messages to millions of voters who are yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards which are still in the offices of the electoral body.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has formally declared  intent  to contest for the presidency in 2019. 

Atiku made his intention known in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday.

This was just as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom  Wike, declared that Nigerians must take up the solemn responsibility of sacking  the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government next year.

All these occurred at the Government House, Port Harcourt, during Atiku’s visit; to consult  with leaders of the People’s Democratic Party in the  state.

Atiku  said he is offering himself to set the country on the path of growth, after the serial  failure of the APC and that since 2015, the APC-led federal government has destroyed the education, health and infrastructural sectors through poor budgetary allocations  and releases. 

He said: “Since  2015, we have not seen a 100 kilometres constructed by the APC federal government anywhere in the country.”

The former vice president  said that the APC has destroyed the foundation of unity and cohesion of the country. 

“I have never seen Nigeria so divided along religious, ethnic and regional lines. This  division  is as a result of the mismanagement of the APC,” said Atiku.

The presidential hopeful called on Rivers PDP stakeholders  to support his ambition to emerge  as the party’s presidential candidate. 

On his part, Wike urged  PDP members, irrespective of their status, to ensure that the march to the Presidential Villa is not truncated by disunity. 

He urged  PDP presidential aspirants to contest  within acceptable limits, as the  race is not a do-or-die affair but a movement  to oust the APC. 

Said Wike: “Every presidential aspirant must see himself as a member  of the larger PDP family.  We must do everything  to ensure that PDP returns to the presidential villa in 2019.

“Only one aspirant will become a candidate. We will do everything  to ensure that the party comes out with a candidate  that has a track record to upstage the APC.”

The governor said  he has received former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, and now Atiku, and noted that other aspirants  would be offered the platform to consult with Rivers PDP members. 

“God will make sure that the right candidate emerges. When the right candidate emerges, we will team up and remove  this bad government. There is no benefit that Rivers state has gotten from this APC federal government.  All the APC federal government  is doing is plotting  to rig the 2019 elections,” Wike added. 

Speaking further, the governor said Atiku has the right qualification to fly the  PDP flag, but urged him to extend his  consultations. 

Also, former Enugu State governor, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, noted that “Atiku  is a detribalised Nigerian, with the capacity  the rescue the country.” 

Former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel,  affirmed that “Atiku is a true Nigerian , with business and political links across the country,” and that Nigeria needs the former vice president to  revive  the country.

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Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Aggrieved villagers threaten VC with juju, shrines over demolition of 100 buildings in EBSU campus Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki Until true respite comes, and quickly too, many residents of Okpufu village in Ntsurakpa autonomous community, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State would remain homeless. This followed the demolition of their homes sited in the...The post Squatters at war with Ebonyi varsity appeared first on The Sun News. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
George Onyejiuwa, Owerri Ordinarily, 425 volunteers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in Imo State who have been part of the organisation since 1996 ought to be happy with the 2003 enabling Act of the National Assembly which has conferred recognition on the Corp as a paramilitary organisation under the Ministry of...The post 425 unabsorbed NSCDC volunteers in Imo cry out appeared first on The Sun News. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha A Non-Governmental Organization, OCI Foundation, has given scholarship to 22 junior and senior students in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra state. The scholarship which was established in memory of the late Obi Ifediora Isaac Okafor, father of the founder of the foundation, Dr. Chris Ifediora, commenced last year with...The post Foundation gives 22 scholarship in Anambra appeared first on The Sun News. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Aloysius Attah, Onitsha Rev. Jerry Nwachukwu, General Overseer, Bible Base Miracle Assembly, Nkpor, Anambra State, speaks on a wide range of issues such as lack credible leadership in Igbo land, the Fulani herdsmen's killings, selfishness of the political class, among other. What is your take on the opinion that the Igbos lack credible leadership among...The post Igbo lost the civil war to Idolatry 'Rev Nwachukwu appeared first on The Sun News. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Magnus Eze and Okwe Obi Everything about the United African States (UAS) pointed to fraud- from its nomenclature to modus operandi. Even complimentary cards of the key promoters depicted phoniness. One of such cards belonging to the organisation's spokesman; Hon. Isaac Bala...The post How police bursted Abuja's biggest job scam appeared first on The Sun News. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Fred Ezeh Abiriba indigenes residing in Abuja had a great outing last week. They had a civic reception in honour of the newly elected executives, led by the President General, Dr. Eke Agbai. The event turned out to be more than a civic reception. It was cultural display. It was organized by the Abuja branch...The post When Abiriba honoured its new town union executives appeared first on The Sun News. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
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Wed, 28 Mar 2018
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