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14082018 - POPULATION GROWTH : Danger looms for Nigeria

Vanguard Newspaper 14 April 2018

18—SATURDAY Vanguard,

18—SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 Purported Delta APGA crisis, storm in a teacup —Enemokwu, state chairman •Senator fingered in plot to destroy APGA, LP BY EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South-South CHAIRMAN of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Delta State, Hon Afamefune Enemokwu, has described the alleged crisis rocking the party as nonexistent, saying the whole thing was an evil machination of some few persons, who are now on the run, following a manhunt for them by the police for falsifying documents to destroy the party. Enemokwu, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard, said the claim by some persons that he had been suspended from office was a fallacy, revealing that a serving Senator was behind the crisis to destabilize APGA and Labour Party, LP, in the state. Last month (March), a factional group in the party caused a stir in the state when it claimed that members of the state executive met at Isoko North area and slammed a suspension on the state chairman. The factional group announced the Deputy Chairman, Emmanuel Ibordor, as acting chairman, saying that it had passed a vote of no confidence on the state chairman for failing to summon meeting for over 10 months. But Enemokwu, accompanied by the vice chairman and secretary of the party, Rev P. G Nwachukwu and Comrade Okproma Joseph respectively declared: “There is no crisis in APGA; the state executive is very much intact. All we are seeing is a group of people, about two members of the state executive, who have been bought over by some external forces to cause confusion in the party. The state executive has met several times and we are still meeting over the matter.” Impersonators On the allegation that a governorship aspirant on the party’s platform was behind the uproar in the party, Enemokwu asserted: “I am the state chairman of APGA; nobody has indicated interest as at now among APGA members that he or she is gunning for governorship. But somebody is using a leader inside the party to cause this problem. We read in the newspaper that they said they met in Isoko…to do what? We never called any meeting in Isoko and we saw fictitious names and signatures, impersonators signing documents against the state executive that was elected and have their names with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.” Police gun for impostors The people who signed documents are unknown to us and INEC. We are surprised, hence we have sent a •Afamefune petition to the Police and police Enemokwu are doing their investigations. Some people have been invited; they disappeared till now because it is a case of forgery. National leadership orders clampdown on impersonators We have contacted our national body, they are fully aware of what is happening, we met with national body and they told us exactly what to do and that is what we are doing. We want to go into this matter and unmask the impersonators and possibly suspend or expel those who have soiled their hands and want to destroy APGA in Delta state. Labour Party in the state is facing a similar threat like APGA, is this coming from the same direction? Obviously yes, I discussed with the Labour chairman in the state, Chief Ezeagu recently and we were comparing notes. We are fully aware that the same person that is causing problem in Labour is the one causing problem Okowa not t shortc tchanging oil communities, Chief Favour Izoukumor umor, , DESOPADEC Commissioner By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South THE Commissioner representing Ijaw ethnic nationality on the Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Chief Favour Izoukumor, has described as fallacious the pervasive contention that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was ripping off oil communities in the state on mandatory allocation to the development agency. Chief Izoukumor, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard, also cleared the air on the notion that the commission was on its last legs since Okowa came on board, saying that contrarily, DESOPADEC has been repositioned for greater efficiency. He, however, noted that “depletion in oil revenue and production output also slowed down the activities of the commission during the economic recession.” Referring to the fleecing charge, he said: “This is absolutely not true; the governor usually releases the 50 percent to the commission based on his receipt of the 13 per cent derivation fund, which was abysmally low in the recession regime, which also affected the revenue allocation to the commission.” “However, as oil production and price appreciated, more funds were also allocated to the commission which eventually resulted to the paying of DESOPADEC contractors on monthly basis which has drastically reduced DESOPADEC debt profile. “More so, the current board is doing everything possible to fulfill her mandate through transparency and accountability, so no issue of siphoning of funds associated with this current board,” he said. Not moribund Izoukumor asserted: “For your information and the interest of the public, DESOPADEC is not moribund nor is it •Chief Favour Izoukumor existing in name only, rather it is much more active in fulfilling its interventionist roles to the oil producing communities in Delta State. Some People may only feel so probably because less number of projects are now being sited to communities and awarded to few contractors compared to what it was in the past due to paucity of fund caused by the economic recession witnessed in the country.” “This is premised on the fact that the current DESOPADEC board is geared towards keying into the Governor Okowa’s Smart agenda by ensuring that all ongoing projects inherited by the current board should be completed rather than awarding new projects that might likely suffer completion as well. Why projects were not awarded for 2 years “As a result of this, the commission for over two years refused to award new projects but rather deployed all available resources for the completion of ongoing projects in the various oil producing communities and this has eventually led to the completion and commissioning of several projects appeared to have been uncompleted in the past,:” he added. On the claim that the commission was infested with financial malpractices, the commissioner said: “To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware that in the past, the commission’s financial transactions did not follow laid-down financial regulations.” He, however, stated: “Our amiable governor is very much concerned with the activities of DESOPADEC with a view to ensuring better performance in its interventionist role. Hence, immediately when he was sworn-in as governor, he proposed a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly to restructure the composition of the board to promote transparency, accountability and prudent financial management in the cause of delivering its statutory responsibilities to the mandate areas of the commission, which the DTHA passed into law that is operational till date.” Okowa’s interest in DESOPADEC “Consequently, before any dime is spent, the management team proposes cash budgeting to the board for deliberation and scrutiny before approval and then the management team will still forward it to the governor for further scrutiny before final approval. The governor also takes it as a point of responsibility to carefully and meticulously dissect the appropriation bill of the commission before assenting. Also, he takes special interest to see that the budgets of the commission are implemented accordingly,” he said. My report card Izoukumor, who gave himself a pass mark, told Saturday Vanguard: “No doubt, more value as been added to the oil producing communities in my mandate areas in terms of projects execution and completion as well as youths and women empowerment. For instance, apart from budgetary projects, projects such as renovation of primary schools at Kokodiagbene, Lagos Junction and Ijansa primary schools, donation of two 300 KVA in APGA. He is the sole financier of his purported crisis. Vice chairman, secretary corroborate Enemokwu Vice Chairman, APGA, Rev Nwachukwu and Secretary, Comrade Okproma, who also spoke to Saturday Vanguard on the issue, substantiated the claim of the chairman that the there was no crisis in the party, pointing out that some persons were being used to destabilize the party by outside forces. Party fights back Few days after the Isoko breach, the State Working Committee at an emergency meeting in Asaba, March 30, suspended seven leaders and members of the party, including the deputy state chairman, Emmanuel Ibordor and four party chairmen in Bomadi, Patani, Isoko South and Okpe local government areas of the state for anti-party activities. The party inaugurated a seven-man disciplinary committee headed by Comrade Okproma to investigate their actions of the suspended members and report back within two weeks. In a communiqué jointly signed by Hon Enemokwu and others, the party said: “Recalcitrant executive members who willfully and willingly continue in anti-party activities are hereby suspended.” “A Disciplinary Committee made up of seven-members is hereby set up to invite them, hear them and make appropriate recommendations to this House within two weeks,” it said. It added: “The purported suspension of our state chairman, Hon Afam Enemokwu on the pages of newspapers never took place because we, the members of the SWC, which is the highest ruling body of the party in the state, are not aware of the purported suspension.” Meanwhile, Oshimili North local government chairman of the party, Bishop Uba and six other SWC members have dissociated themselves from an allegedly contrived letter by the suspended officials given the state chairman a 21-day ultimatum to summon an emergency meeting. transformers to Ogbe-Ijoh town, construction of concrete walkway linking Ogbudugbudu and Ogbinbiri communities, construction of concrete walkway at Ogonoama Zion, Polobubor in Warri South West and Warri North Local Government Areas respectively were embarked upon and completed as part of community relations fund to my mandate area.” He added: “Also, three major projects such as sand-filling/reclamation at Ijansa, five units of four bedroom bungalows at Okerenkoko and construction of concrete footbridge and construction of concrete walkway at Tsekelewu were embarked upon and completed under the centralized budget of DESOPADEC, which have never been the case in time past. All these are not part of the various projects sited and awarded recently to Ijaw oil and gas producing communities and contractors that cut across Burutu, Patani, Bomadi, Warri South West and Warri North local government areas. The projects, according to him, include supply of speed boats to Ijaw communities, supply of medical equipment to Forcados and Torugbene towns , supply of school desk to Ijaw communities, construction of hostel at Kokodiagbene(ongoing), construction of hostel at Isaba Grammer School (ongoing),construction of Ajuju concrete jetty(completed), construction of Eniebogbene jetty (phase 1)completed, construction of Naifor jetty (phase 1)completed, construction of Ogbe-Ijoh slipway (ongoing), construction of shore-wall at salvation city (completed), construction of twins two bedrooms bungalow at Eweregbene (ongoing), construction of solar water at Buloama community (completed), Diebiri- Batan electrification(phase 1) completed, Renovation of Igade primary school, Batan (ongoing) and renovation of Ekpebide primary, Ogulagha (ongoing). C M Y K

Personality of The Year: The burden of making nominations IT happened again between October and December last year. With no no-go areas, you would expect the arguments and debates by members of Vanguard Board of Editors to be very straight forward. But, as in everything about life, nothing is ever straight forward. In fact, the ghost of the events of October 2016, which cast a pall of indecisiveness on the sessions to choose Vanguard’s PROLOGUE By Jide Ajani SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 — 19 Personality of the Year for that period, refused to be exorcised. Worse, in the light of a manifest drop in the value, content and context of leadership construct in Nigeria, the ghost loomed large, thereby, once again, bringing forth the relevance of the premonition of 1927 by Time editors, “whether sufficiently prominent people could be found in subsequent years to warrant the designation, MAN OF THE YEAR”. Therefore, the task to locate that ‘sufficiently prominent individual’ who touched the lives of Nigerians, whether for good or for ill, in ways that were so profound as to be voted PER- SONALITY OF THE YEAR, confronted the editors once again. Interestingly, this had become an annual ritual and, therefore, would have been expected to be more like a walk in the park. Perish the thought, as Dan Agbese of Newswatch had written. The sessions of the debate to choose the primus, the PER- SONALITY OF THE YEAR, is always enervating and comes with tantalising nominations, just as it also tolerates some names of personalities that cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered awe-inspiring. The editors have always been guided by a set of values that signposts predictors that engender success. And talking about predictors that correlate strongly with competence at the top, Harvard Business Review (November/ Continues on page 20 Aisha Buhari, President’s wife with commitment to lift people out of poverty By Ochereome Nnanna Chairman, Editorial Board LURKING in the shadow of every Nigerian leader (President or Head of State) has been a wife who was officially addressed as First Lady or Wife of the President (or Head of State). Before the coming of Military President Ibrahim Babangida, these ladies were mostly in the background, manning the “home front” and occasionally accompanying their husbands on official visits to important events at home and abroad. It was during Babangida’s regime (1985 to 1993) that our First Ladies assumed more visible, quasi-official roles. They became more dominant within the ruling circles. They started wielding enormous influences, not only through the gravitational pull they exerted on their husbands but also through the “pet projects” they initiated and prosecuted, mostly with public funds which were not accounted for. With our return to democracy in 1999, these women also became integrated into their husbands’ political structures and unabashedly engaged in the electioneering campaigns. Hajiya Turai Yar’ Adua and Dame Patience Jonathan, for instance, wielded very strong influences in their husbands’ governments. In fact, Turai even was reported to have coordinated the “cabal” of her husband’s government when President Umaru Yar’ Adua became too sick to rule Nigeria, to the point of allegedly sidelining the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, until her husband died. Hajiya Aisha Buhari, whose husband prefers the title of “Wife of the President” for her, had initially preferred to hold the home front while her husband as the presidential candidate of the APC worked the campaign trail and the soapbox with the rest of the political gang. It was not until January 13, 2015 that she joined her husband’s campaign during the Abeokuta rally after Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, one of the frontline leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), persuaded her to join the fray. Since she made that decision to come out, she has brought something fresh, unique and people-friendly to an office whose former occupants were contented with manipulating the elite, government machinery and political class for personal aggrandisement. Progressive ideals She has strongly established herself as the number one advocate for the people, pricking the conscience of the APC Federal Government and fighting almost a lone battle to ensure that the Party delivers its campaign promises to the people. Shortly after assuming power, some officials of the Party and the Buhari government had started distancing the President from some of the APC’s campaign promises. Indeed, some APC senators in November 2015, had disowned the N5,000 the Party promised to pay 25 million poor Nigerians, but Aisha Buhari would have none of that. She directed her media office to issue a public statement calling on the APC not to renege on its promises to the people, especially the payments to the most vulnerable. Eventually, the Federal Government put Mrs. Maryam Uwais, one of Buhari’s Special Advisers, in the charge of the Social Intervention Fund and voted N500 billion in the 2016 budget for the programme, though the exact level of its coverage and implementation •Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari remains something of a mystery. Aisha Buhari has stood firm as a purist of the APC’s touted progressive ideals. She is a strong advocate of the anti-graft war of the Buhari government. It is no longer news that Aisha has been locked in several battles with the inner core of the Buhari government, which is made up of very close, highlyplaced members of the Buhari family, friends and old associates. Widely referred to as “the cabal”, elements of this Continues on page 20