Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nnaji’s exit won’t affect power reform –FG CONTINUED FROM 5
A scene of an accident at Lugbe in Abuja on Tuesday.
Police get 44 light armoured vehicles for highway patrol O MEIZA A JAYI
he InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday gave out 40 light armoured patrol vans and four specially built crime scene management vehicles to the Police Highway Patrol Unit. This was even as Mr. Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the police to protecting Nigerians from all forms of crime wherever they may reside, warning officers and men of the force to exhibit the finest ideals of discipline
in their relationship with members of the public. The IGP said: “To the officers and men who will use these vehicles, you must be disciplined in the discharge of your duties. We will not tolerate any act of disrespect to Nigerians. Any act of bribery and corruption, however minute, will be effectively sanctioned.” Commissioning the vehicles at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Mr. Abubakar assured that more of such vehicles would soon be procured to boost the working condition of the patrol units. He, however, added
that the scheme would fill any gap that may have arisen as a result of the removal of roadblocks. “This is just the beginning. More vehicles will be procured to ensure safer highways. I am not unaware of the challenges faced by some of our men. I must commend their efforts in fighting crime in the past eight months. We can fight crimes effectively. All we need is the total support of Nigerians and the government, which, of course, we are already getting,” he added, praising President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the fund for
the purchase of the vehicles. Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations, DIG Philemon Leha, had earlier commended the IGP for his courage and patriotism in the face of the current security challenges in the country as well as the competing demands of the force, which tends to put a strain on its finances. Among the routes where the vehicles will be deployed are the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road with four vehicles, the Lagos-Ibadan-Ilesha Road with three vehicles and the Lagos-Ore-Benin Road with two vehicles.
Dasuki predicts violence in 2015 polls OMEIZA AJAYI
he National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has predicted that there would be violence in the 2015 general elections. Dasuki said as the country still grappling with the security challenges partly occasioned by the outcome of last year’s general elections in Nigeria. “There could possibly be violence, but with a different angle to it, not post-election but before and during, because of the prevailing security situation, unless the secu-
rity situation gets better before then,” Dasuki said yesterday at the opening of a two-day workshop on security challenges in elections management, organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert –Stiftung. He said although last year’s violence occurred after the elections, “there is likely to be crisis in the build-up to the 2015 elections as politicians would device more schemes to outdo one another.” According to him, “The competition among politicians may be intense
in 2015, so more tension should be expected.” INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, restated the commitment of the commission to conduct a more credible election in 2015, explaining that INEC has put in place mechanisms that will enable it deliver on its mandate in line with global best practices. Speaking on the theme of the workshop, “Challenges in Elections management: Matters arising from 2011 and anticipating 2015”, Jega said it was necessary to interface with all security agencies in the country in order to
ensure violent-free elections. On his part, Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar commended INEC for its early preparation ahead of the polls. “The timing of this workshop, approximately three years ahead of the general elections, compared to the previous workshop where he had only a year earlier, would definitely place all the state holders at vantage position, to prepare very well, despite the emerging and daunting security challenges presently faced by the country,” he said.
our nation.” Nnaji stated that not many Nigerians have had the privilege of serving the nation twice as minister and that he is grateful to have served this government in the capacity of an adviser and a ranking cabinet minister in a very challenging and complex sector. He said: “I am confident enough to allow history and the Nigerian people to judge my performance on the task that I accepted from the President.” Before his appointment as Minister of Power, Nnaji was the Special Adviser on Power to President Jonathan and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power. He had in 1993 served in the capacity of Minister of Science and Technology. He explained that he had to voluntarily resign the office of minister to retain his integrity which has in recent days come under scurrilous attacks by powerful vested interests that were hell-bent on besmirching the integrity and reputation that he has painstakingly built over the years. He said, “This resignation is also to ensure that there is no spillover of these attacks to the President who is working very hard to transform the nation.” Nnaji said: “I would like to reiterate that before I accepted to serve as minister, I resigned my directorship of all companies that I had interest in and put my shares in those companies in a blind trust; this means that I was not privy to the day-to-day business decisions of those who ran this trust. “In addition, I publicly declared the participation in the privatisation process of a foreign company that did business with a company that I had interest in. This fact came to my knowledge only during the course of evaluating the consortia that were bidding for PHCN successor companies. Consequently, I also voluntarily excused myself from participating in the selection process. These actions, I should think, are in line with the finest traditions of transparency and accountabil-
ity in governance.” Nnaji said that his resignation gives him the opportunity to go back to his integrated power projects which have been designed to accelerate the development of the nation. He enjoined the staff of the Ministry and its agencies to remain focused on the objective of delivering reliable, steady power to the nation and to accord his successor the same level of cooperation and commitment in order to achieve the goal. However, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has condemned the purported forced resignation of Nnaji as power minister, describing it “as shameful and disappointing” for the South-East Nigeria. The South-East chairman of CAN, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma said the minister’s resignation was an embarrassment to the entire people of SouthEast. The Bishop said the manner many South-East leaders and politicians were being disgraced out of office was becoming worrisome. “We feel and see the resignation of Nnaji as very disappointing; we consider it as a very shameful thing for the people of SouthEast. There is no doubt that it is about the disagreement he has been having with the PHCN workers. “In this circumstance, we are calling on Mr. President to make sure that the replacement comes from Enugu State because it is Enugu’s slot.” The cleric called on the South-East representatives and leaders in various positions to be responsible in their leadership, stating that the zone was tired of their behaviour. Meanwhile, workers of the PHCN Enugu zonal office, yesterday, took to jubilation, celebrating Nnaji’s resignation. The workers who turned the former minister’s enlarged portrait upside down, danced around it, saying they were thanking God for answering their prayers. Reports by Udeme Akpan, Rotimi Fadeyi (Abuja), Meshak Idehen, Olufemi Adeosun (Abuja) and Dennis Agbo (Enugu).
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