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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth Friday, May 17, 2013 Vol. 29, No. 12,559 N150 Rivers’ political crisis deepens From Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt) and Wole Shadare (Lagos) FRESH dimension in the A political crisis rocking Rivers State began yesterday as the police withdrew security aides of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Otelemaba Dan Amachree and the Chief of Staff (COS) to the Governor, Tony Okocha. The withdrawal came after the murder of an aide (Mr. Eric Ezenekwe) to the courtdeposed state chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Godspower Ake. The police have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the murder. Besides, Caverton Helicop- • Police orderly, escort withdrawn from Speaker, Amaechi’s COS • ‘Governor’s security aides may go soon’ • Minister, firm deny role in grounding of Rivers’ plane ters yesterday denied that it was pressured by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to disown the Rivers State government over the controversial Bombardier Global Express 5000 with registration number N565RS . It insisted that the clearance obtained with its name to operate the aircraft in the country was forged. Amachree who on Tuesday in an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan raised the alarm on a purported plot to withdraw security personnel attached to government officials and to pave the way for the assassination of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, himself and other legislators, accused the State   Commissioner of Police,  Mbu Joseph Mbu, of unceremoniously withdrawing  the orderly and escort attached to him. The speaker said the gradual withdrawal of security personnel attached to gov- ernment officials was aimed at making them susceptible to possible attacks from assailants. He had alleged that there was a  plan to release from detention, 18 notorious robbery and kidnap kingpins in custody to carry out the alleged planned attacks on the government officials ACN asks N’ Assembly to study proclamation - Page 3 and innocent residents of the state. Amachree said: “Sequel to my letter to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, Commander-in-Chief, Nigerian Armed Forces of plans by some persons to unleash mayhem in the state, the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, Mbu Joseph Mbu, has unceremoniously withdrawn the police orderly and escort attached to me. “Recall that I have earlier expressed my fears about plans to withdraw security CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Nigeria, others urged to invest in education, health By Bola Olajuwon (Just back from Cape Town, South Africa) IGERIA and other African N countries have been urged to learn from positive Malian First Lady, Mintou Traore (right); France’s First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler and some children during their visit to schools in Gao, one of several northern cities liberated by a French-led military operation against an Islamist occupation in Mali… yesterday. PHOTO: AFP transformation in rapidly developing nations in southern part of the world by investing in education, health, people, tackling gender issues and providing an enabling environment for sustained progress. A public dialogue on “human development report 2013” entitled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World,” underscored this message in Cape Town, South Africa. The dialogue was hosted by the United Nations (UN) Resident Co-ordinator and the UN Resident Representative in South Africa, Dr. Agostinho Zacarias. The programme was equally attended by diverse policy-makers and experts from within and outside Africa on the sideline of a two-day policy seminar on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) organised by Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) also in Cape Town. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt’s debt stands at N8.7 tr, inflation rises by 9.1 % From Mohammed Abubakar and Karls Tsokar, Abuja HIS is official: The country’s debt profile stood at N8.7 trillion as at December 2011. Out of the sum, N6.85 trillion is for domestic stock while N1.217 trillion represents the external stock, which is 21.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) ratio. T These facts were revealed yesterday at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja where decisions were taken to reinvigorate the economy. Indeed, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo who gave the figures while briefing State House journalists, noted that the country was still in a solvency state, noting that the 21.5 per cent was a very good rating as against the 40 per cent that was the standard practice. Yesterday too, it was disclosed that the inflation in the country rose to 9.1 per cent in April as against the 8.6 per cent rise in March, while the GDP expanded to 6.56 per cent in the first quarter of the year 2013. Nwankwo briefed the NEC where he highlighted the gains recorded by his office on public debt management, including the successful completion of Debt Data Reconstruction (DDR) in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) last December. Some of the decisions taken by NEC, which was chaired by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, included the establishment of a sub-committee to facilitate easier accessing of funding for critical infrastructural development by both federal and state governments. The committee is charged with the responsibility of harmonising the projects with a view to quickening the pace of draw down. The committee, which is chaired by Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, also has six other state governors representing the six geo-political zones, Finance Minister, National Planning Minister, Chief Economic AdCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Fri 17 May 2013 The Guardian Nigeria

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