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APC crises: Tinubu, Akande meet Buhari



* Abdusalami hold talks with President

By Chesa Chesa

National Leader if the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has just arrived the Aso Rock Villa for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Tinubu, who was accompanied by first chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, was last week appointed by Buhari to lead the ‘consultation, reconciliation and confidence building’ efforts in the fractured party ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Details of Tinubu’s assignment or terms of reference were not made public but this is his first meeting with Buhari since the appointment.

The President’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued last Tuesday, explained that “the assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the Federation”, he said.

Incidentally, Tinubu, had been severally reported to be displeased with the presidency owing to allegations of being marginalised; but he has equally strongly denied the reports and stated that he remained strongly loyal to Buhari.

The APC has lately witnessed some cracks within its ranks in some states and at the party top hierarchy as party leaders jostle for relevance.

The most recent upheaval has been in Kano State where the governor, Umar Ganduje and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, have been embroiled in a bitter political rivalry.

This has created a huge crack in the party in the state and it got to a head last week when the State government and the police barred Kwankwaso from coming to Kano to hold a rally.

Incidentally, Kano State is one of President Buhari’s strongholds in terms of garnering votes, so much so that he recently declared that he had the state in pocket.

It is believed that electoral fortunes of the APC could dip if Kwankwaso and his supporters desert the party before 2019 polls or work against it during the polls.

Similar battles of wits among party leaders are raging in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, and others, including the President’s home state of Katsina.

In Sokoto, Governor Aminu Tambuwal is squared against former governor Aliyu Bafarawa; while Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State is battling with Senator Shehu Sani, who is believed to be preparing to contest for the governorship next year.

Some party leaders are also reported to be up in arms against the national chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, who they want kicked out before the next general elections.

Meanwhile, Buhari Tinubu arrived the Villa, former head of state, General Abdusalami Abubakar, had meet behind closed doors with Buhari, and left without speaking to the press on his mission.

Abubakar, is chairman of the National Peace Committee, which sought to facilitate a rancour-free 2015 presidential election and seamless handover of power from the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan to Buhari.

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Troops inflict devastating casualty on Boko Haram terrorists in fresh Baga encounter



Combined Special Forces troops of the Nigerian Army, Navy and the Air Force operating under the auspices of Operation LAfiYA DOLE in the ongoing counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in northern Borno have inflicted devastating man and equipment casualty on Boko Haram terrorists in a fresh encounter with the dissidents in the late hours of Saturday 19 January 2018.

The terrorists, armed with two Gun trucks, a vehicle laden with Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and a suicide bomber met their water loo while frantically fighting to break into the formidable defensive position of the troops. The gallant troops responded swiftly in a fierce counter offensive, unleashing superior and overwhelming firepower on the terrorists and neutralizied five of them, including a driver and a gunner firing from a gun truck, a suicide bomber in a vehicle loaded with IED and two other terrorists.

In the ferrocious counter attack, the valiant troops destroyed one Gun truck ànd one IED – Carrying vehicle. The troops also recovered one Anti Aircraft Gun and three AK 47 Rifles belonging to the terrorists. The troops are relentless and in high morale as they continue in hot pursuit of some of the terrorists who fled the scene of the encounter when they were overpowered by the troops.

It will be recalled, that only recently, the special forces troops resolutely dealt a deadly blow on the terrorists in a battle in which the terrorists attempted to contest the control over Baga town with the Special Forces troops.

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Boko Haram: Nigerian Army seeks strategic military partnership



…As COAS visits Republic of Korea

As part of the efforts to further enhance the professional efficiency and capabilities of the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai has led a delegation to the Republic of Korea to seek strategic bi-lateral collaboration in the fight against terrorism and insurgency. The visit which was at the instance of KIA Motors Corporation, was further aimed at improving the capacity building of the Nigerian Army by Republic of Korea in the areas of military logistic, intelligence gathering, army aviation and military vehicle manufacturing.

The visit began on 16th January 2019 with a courtesy call to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Korean Armed Forces, General Park Hanki, at his office. During the visit, both emphasised the need for more collaboration between the Republic of Korean and the Nigerian military especially in the areas of training and equipment support. They also promised to further enhance the relationship between the Republic of Korea military and the Nigerian Army. Lieutenant General TY Buratai also paid similar visit to Chief of Staff Republic of Korean Army, General Kim Yong-woo, where they exchanged ideas and emphasised on the need for further collaboration between both Armies.

Thereafter, the COAS was at the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), at Duteopbawi-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, which was equivalent to Defence Industries of Nigeria (DICON). While there, he interacted with the Minister in charge, Mr Wang Jung Hong and other management staff of DAPA on ways of further collaboration between DAPA and the Nigerian Army.

As part of his itinerary, the COAS also visited the Headquarters of 11th Infantry Division of the Korean Army, at Hong Cheon. On arrival, he was received by the Commander, Major General Kim, who briefed him on the organisation, operations and exploits of the Division. The Division also displayed the sophistication and potency of some of the formation’s equipment and Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the COAS.

On Friday 18th January 2019, the COAS and members of his delegation were at the Corporate headquarters of KIA Motors Corporation, Gwangju, where they were received and briefed by Mr Il -Tae Kim, Director Special Vehicle Global Sales Group. Thereafter, they were conducted round the company’s manufacturing plants particularly the KIA Light Tactical Vehicles manufacturing plants.

The COAS also had another meeting with Mr Il-Seop Lee, the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Special Vehicle Division of KIA Motors Corporation in Seoul. Present at the occasion was Mr Ik-tae Kim, Director, Special Vehicles Global Sales Group.

The COAS was accompanied on the visit by Major General VO Ezugwu, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Brigadier General Hussein Ahmed, Acting Provost Marshall (Army) and the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General SK Usman.

Earlier on arrival at Incheon International Airport, Seoul, on Wednesday 16th January 2019, the COAS and the entourage were received by Mr Gabriel Olufemi Asaolu, a Minister with Nigerian Embassy at Seoul, Republic of Korea, Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to Beijing, Major General TOB Ademola, Navy Commodore EO Ferreira, Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to New Delhi, Republic of Korean military delegation and some officials of Kia Motors Corporation. They also accompanied the COAS delegation throughout the visit.

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Onnoghen: Nabena cautions South-south leaders, governors, others over threats



Justice Walter Onnoghen

Justice Walter Onnoghen

The threats and comments by some South-south leaders, Niger Delta agitators and South-south governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen has been condemned by a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, Yekini Nabena, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary said the attempt to give Justice Onnoghen’s prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over false asset declaration an ethnic colouration is dangerous, unacceptable and totally misplaced.

“The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen has already confirmed inadvertent discrepancy in his asset declaration, although the law says ignorantia legis neminem excusat (meaning: ignorance of law excuses no one). The right and proper thing is to allow the CCT or any other empowered judicial body look at the allegation contained in the petition, consider Justice Onnoghen’s defence and take a judicial decision.

“Resort to blackmail, ethnic coloration, inciting statements and threats to sabotage the country’s economic assets by the South South leaders, Niger Delta agitators and South South governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the legitimate prosecution must be condemned by all.

“They will be held responsible for any breakdown of the peace in the Niger Delta that has sustained since the advent of the President Muhammad Buhari government.

“The fight against corruption and ensuring the rule of law is blind to ethnic, religious, social, economic and political standing of whoever is accused or indicted for breach of our laws.” The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain stated.

Citing a court decision, Nganjiwa vs FRN (2017)LPELR-43391(CA), Nabena dismissed arguments of the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to entertain the petition against the Chief Justice of Nigeria without recourse to the National Judicial Commission.

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