Otunba Fasawe Decries Dastardly Attack In Owo Kingdom

Scene of the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo where scores of worshippers were killed in Ondo State on June 5, 2022.

 

The Asiwaju of Owo Kingdom, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, has condemned the brigandage and carnage that killed dozens and maimed scores on Sunday in his homestead of Owo City, Ondo State.

The frontline community leader described the mayhem that cut down the lives of promising citizens, while worshipping in a Church, as “a breach of peace and provocative attack that will incur the wrath of God.”

Otunba Fasawe, in a heart-rending condolence message to the Obas and people of Owo, decried the invasion of a peace-loving people by “evil-minded foreigners who unleashed terror on Owo Kingdom.”

READ ALSO: Owo Killings An Unspeakable Evil, Perpetrators Will Face The Law – Osinbajo

While appealing for calm but insisting that the culprits be caught and tried in court, Otunba Fasawe said that his people are not “cowards that be could be cowed into submission or intimidated into subjugation.”

The illustrious Owo Chief, Fasawe also commiseratex with the traditional rulers of Owo Kingdom, HRM Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye and the Ojomo Luda, respectively.

Meanwhile, Fasawe frowned at the unabating spate of insecurity in the country and urged relevant agencies of government, both at local and national levels, to buckle up to protect the lives and properties of the common man in Nigeria

Pope ‘Deeply Saddened’ By Owo Terrorist Attack

Pope Francis presides over the Way of The Cross on Good Friday, April 15, 2022 at the Colosseum monument in Rome. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

 

Pope Francis was “deeply saddened” by the “horrible attack” in Owo, his number two, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote in a telegram to the bishop of Ondo.

The pope assures “all those who are affected by this unspeakable act of violence of his spiritual closeness”, he said.

READ ALSO: Owo Killings An Unspeakable Evil, Perpetrators Will Face The Law – Osinbajo

Suspected terrorists had stormed the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State on Sunday, killing scores of worshippers while injuring others.

The incident which sent the nation into mourning has been condemned by Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari and many state governors.

Kalu Claims Ahmad Lawan Is Anointed APC Presidential Candidate



 

Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday claimed the All Progressives Congress has anointed Ahmad Lawan as its consensus presidential candidate.

Mr Kalu made the claim during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Senate President Lawan has emerged as one of the frontrunners in the race to pick up the APC’s presidential ticket in recent weeks.

READ ALSO: APC NWC Supports Power Shift To South, Says Argungu Amid Consensus Candidate Controversy

But he faces stiff opposition from southern candidates, who have the backing of northern APC Governors.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he has no annointed presidential candidate, saying party delegates will decide the party’s choice.

The APC is scheduled to conclude its presidential primaries by June 8 at a special convention in Abuja.

Consensus candidate

Kalu said the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, had announced Lawan as the party’s choice in an NWC meeting on Monday.

Mr Adamu is yet to officially confirm or deny the comment.

“Abdullahi Adamu is a very experienced and credible man,” Kalu said. “They had NWC meeting and the NWC, in their wisdom, from the consultations that have been made throughout, and selected Ahmad Lawan as a consensus candidate.

“People in the NWC confirmed this to me. One or two people disagreed but the majority had their way.

“The Chairman of the party cannot be acting on his own. He can never act on his own.

“If the Chairman of the party has said that, it is the choice of the party. And the choice of the party is the choice of the President.”

Owo Killings An Unspeakable Evil, Perpetrators Will Face The Law – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visits St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on June 6, 2022, a day after terrorists killed scores of worshipers in Ondo State. Credit: State House.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said the perpetrators of the gruesome murder of parishioners at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Sunday will be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law.

He said this when he visited Owo town and the Catholic Church to commiserate with the clergy, community and people of the State, a statement signed by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said.

The Vice President also visited those who were injured at St. Louis Catholic Hospital in the town.

Describing the unfortunate incident as a terrible tragedy and unspeakable evil by depraved minds and terrorists, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “the President has already ordered a full-scale investigation of this crime. Without any doubt, those who perpetrated this will be fished out and they will pay for the consequences of this crime.”

READ ALSO: FG Should Start Acting On Intelligence From Security Agencies – Falana

The Vice President was received in Akure by the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, and was later joined by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Owo.

During his visit to the palace of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, and accompanied by Governor Akeredolu; Prof. Osinbajo told the traditional ruler that his visit was on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, who sent his condolences.

Noting the President’s statement condemning the dastardly act, the Vice President added that, “this barbaric act is one that has to be condemned by all. But more importantly, we must find the perpetrators and they must be punished, and we must set an example.

“Anyone who will go into a place where there are children, elderly people and shoot them, throw explosives at them, cannot be dignified by their description as humans.”

Expressing condolences to the traditional ruler, the entire community and people of the state, the Vice President said the Federal Government, through the security agencies, will ensure that the perpetrators are found and justice is done.

“This is the pledge that the Federal Government has made through the security agencies, that the perpetrators are found, and that we are able to discover exactly what it is that led to this situation in Owo, which, as you said, is a peaceful community that is not known for excessive behaviour. We need to investigate this thoroughly and find out exactly the situation,” he stated.

“You can be sure of the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure that we don’t just support the efforts of the state government in every way we can, but to ensure that this act of terrorism is punished. But also, more importantly, to ensure that, going forward, we are able to protect the citizens of this state, and the citizens of all states around Nigeria.”

The Vice President commended the courage and resoluteness of the priest and the church’s congregation in handling the situation, despite the gravity and loss of their loved ones.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “the words that they spoke show that they are the ones who truly represent us; those who say that, let us approach this calmly, let us find out what happened and punish the perpetrators.

“I’m also pleased to see that there is relative calm here and that people have decided …they will ensure as much as possible that they follow due process to ensure that all things are resolved positively.”

While acknowledging Governor Akeredolu’s efforts in tackling security issues in the state and his exemplary work, the Vice President said, “I will ensure that I take this message back to the President, and that you are supported in every way to ensure the security and welfare of the people of Ondo State.”

Similarly, while addressing youths in Owo outside of the palace, the Vice President urged them not to take matters into their hands, but allow the rule of law and justice take its course.

“I can understand how you feel, because that is how all reasonable people all over Nigeria feel. It’s a very terrible thing indeed. It should never be allowed to happen, and I understand how you feel about so many other things. Many have lost their relatives, families. We are still going to the hospital to see those who are injured, many of them are very badly injured from the account I have heard.

“As young people, we must understand that despite the security challenges, when there is trouble, we are the ones who must come together, not to fight, but to say, our country can be better than this; it is possible for our country to be better.

“The solutions lie, not just in government, but in all of us, especially young people. And I believe very strongly in Nigeria’s young people. We will eventually solve all of these challenges, and all of us will be involved.”

The Vice President reiterated the Federal Government’s resolve not only to find those who committed this grievous crime, but also to resolve security challenges across the country.

“The future belongs to us all, young and old. So, let us think of ways by which we can solve our problems. I can assure you that we will do everything in our power, not just to ensure that we deal with security in the forest, and we have been talking to Mr Governor, but that we tackle security issues everywhere.”

Earlier in Abuja, on his way to the airport enroute to Ondo State, the Vice President’s convoy came across an accident scene on the opposite side of the road. He then stopped at that point to lend assistance to the victim, and the convoy’s security and medical teams assisted in removing the victim from the crash, as the car had somersaulted and got stuck on a tree.

Prof. Osinbajo ensured that the injured was then transported to the Airforce Base Hospital before he proceeded on his journey to Ondo State.

Lawan: Tinubu’s group lists conditions for consensus, warns against illegality

Tinubu Campaign Organisation has warned against the imposition of a consensus candidate by the All Progressives Congress. The organisation was reacting to the announcement of Senate President Ahmed Lawan as consensus candidate of the party on Monday. In a statement signed by its Legal Director, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, the support group listed three conditions for…

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UK PM Boris Johnson Wins No-Confidence Vote, Escapes Sack

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he meets with HM Coastguard and Royal Navy crews and technical staff at Lydd Airport, in south east England, on April 14, 2022. Matt Dunham / POOL / AFP

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday survived a vote of no confidence from his own Conservative MPs, after a string of scandals that have left the party’s standing in tatters.

Just over two years after he won a landslide general election victory, the Brexit figurehead again proved his ability to escape political hot water to maintain his grip on power.

But the “Partygate” controversy over lockdown-breaking events at Downing Street, which saw him become the first serving UK prime minister to have broken the law, has still severely weakened his position.

While 211 Tory MPs backed him, 148 did not.

READ ALSO: UK Faces Post-Jubilee Travel Chaos

Johnson, 57, needed the backing of 180 MPs to survive the vote — a majority of one out of the 359 sitting Conservatives in parliament.

Defeat would have meant an end to his time as party leader and prime minister until a replacement was found in an internal leadership contest.

In previous Tory ballots, predecessors Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May both ultimately resigned despite narrowly winning their own votes, deciding that their premierships were terminally damaged.

Rebuild trust

Johnson has steadfastly refused to resign over “Partygate”.

He earlier defended his record on delivering Brexit, fighting the Covid pandemic and Britain’s hawkish support for Ukraine against Russia.

“This is not the moment for a leisurely and entirely unforced domestic political drama and months and months of vacillation from the UK,” he told Tory MPs, according to a senior party source.

“We have been through bumpy times before and I can rebuild trust,” the prime minister told his parliamentary rank and file, according to the source, adding: “The best is yet to come.”

Supporters could be heard cheering and thumping their tables in approval.

The source said Johnson had indicated tax cuts could be in the offing as Britain contends with its worst inflation crisis in generations.

But the scale of Tory disunity was exposed in a blistering resignation letter from Johnson’s “anti-corruption champion” John Penrose and another letter of protest from long-time ally Jesse Norman.

The prime minister’s rebuttals over “Partygate” were “grotesque”, Norman wrote, warning that the Tories risked losing the next general election, which is due by 2024.

Ex-cabinet member Jeremy Hunt, who lost to Johnson in the last leadership contest in 2019 and is expected to run again if Johnson is deposed, confirmed he would vote against him.

“Conservative MPs know in our hearts we are not giving the British people the leadership they deserve,” Hunt tweeted.

Jubilee booing

After a dismal showing in May local elections, the party is expected to lose two by-elections this month, one of them in a previously rock-solid Conservative seat.

That is focusing the minds of Tory lawmakers, who fear their own seats could be at risk if Johnson leads them into the next election, which is due by 2024 at the latest.

In a snap poll by Opinium Monday of 2,032 people, 59 percent of respondents said the Tories should ditch him as leader.

Among Conservative members, 42 percent want MPs to fire Johnson, according to another poll by YouGov.

Johnson was booed Friday by sections of an ardently patriotic crowd gathered outside St Paul’s Cathedral, ahead of a religious service for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

For wavering Tories, the barracking at a televised national occasion reportedly marked a turning point. Some said they had held back on public criticism of Johnson until after the jubilee.

But cabinet ally Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed the booing as “muted noise” and insisted that Johnson could survive with the slenderest of majorities.

“He has shown himself to be a good, strong leader who gets the big decisions right, and he has a mandate from the British people,” Rees-Mogg told reporters.

Graham Brady, who heads the backbench committee of Conservatives which oversees party challenges, had earlier confirmed that the threshold of 54 Tory lawmakers seeking a confidence vote — or 15 percent of its MPs — had been met.

Squabbling

Brady told reporters that he had informed Johnson early on Sunday — as four days of jubilee celebrations ended — and that the prime minister had not objected to a rapid ballot.

In a message of thanks for the celebrations of her record-breaking 70-year reign, the queen had expressed hope that “this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come”.

Conservative MPs had other ideas, as they openly squabbled on Twitter in often-scathing terms following Brady’s announcement.

Dozens have broken ranks and criticised Johnson after an internal probe into “Partygate” said he had presided over a culture of Covid lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.

Some ran late into the night, and one featured a drunken fight among staff, at a time when the government’s pandemic rules forbade ordinary Britons from bidding farewell in person to dying loved ones.

 

AFP

Nnamani Drops Out Of APC Presidential Race, Calls For South-East Vice-Presidency

Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on February 5, 2021.

 

Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani has dropped out of the race for the All Progressives Congress’ presidential ticket.

He made this known during a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

Nnamani said his decision was motivated by the APC’s decision not to zone the presidency to the South, specifically the South-East.

He also noted that the processes leading to the presidential primaries had been beclouded by a lack of certainty on schedules and timelines.

READ ALSO: ‘Allow The Delegates To Decide,’ Buhari Says He Has No Anointed APC Presidential Candidate

“This uncertainty frustrated effective campaigns and made the primary a game for those with deep pockets (mostly those in control of state funds, political offices and party structure),” Nnamani said.

He said he had been unable to market his “profile and ideas” to party delegates.

“Therefore, while I discontinue my aspiration, I wish the Party a successful primary and unity of purpose, so that we can win the 2023 general elections,” he said.

“I will continue to engage with the Party and it’s Leadership to make sure that the ideas and values that I cherish and propagate find strong footing in the party administration and in public leadership after the elections.

Mr Nnamani advocated for a Vice Presidential candidate from the South-East.

“No matter the outcome of the Presidential primary, I pray that our Party does justice to the Southeast that ought to present the next presidential candidate of our Party,” he said.

“I would be glad if any of my Colleagues from the Southeast vying for the office wins the primary. Any of them can provide strong leadership to the country.”

 

See full version of his press statement below:

A TIME TO STAND ON PRINCIPLES

A Text of Press Statement by Senator Ken Nnamani, GCON
on the APC Presidential Primary Convention
June 06, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I want to address you on the developments in the upcoming All Progressives Congress (APC) primary scheduled for June 6-7, 2022. As you all know, the screening of the aspirants for president has been completed and the report submitted to the National Chairman of the APC. I appreciate the screening committee for its work. The issues I raised in this statement have no bearing on the outcome of the screening exercise. They relate to the large questions of justice and equity and how the leadership of our party wish to be remembered in history. The issues I want to raise are about the management of party politics to achieve the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy as articulated in Chapter 2 of the Nigerian constitution. They are about sustaining the visions of the founding fathers of the APC and the aspirations of millions of Nigerians who have placed trust in our party.

You will recall that on March 26, 2022, a new set of members of the National Working Committee of the APC was elected in an elective convention. In that election, there was a unity list which was endorsed by all the Governors and other leaders of the Party from different regions, and approved by Mr. President. The unity list was anchored on the core principles of the party to rotate and zone political offices. The Party swapped positions between the North and South. The party offices that were occupied by leaders from the South were automatically transferred to the North. This explains why no Southern Candidate contested for the office of the National Chairman at the convention. Everyone accepted that the position of the National Chairman was zoned to the north, while the position of the President was reserved for the Southern aspirants.

The clear understanding of party Members is that the Presidential Candidate of the party will come from the South while only aspirants from the zone will contest for the office. This is a logical follow-up to the outcome of the National Convention. The statements of party leaders confirmed this general perception. In the initial weeks after the announcement of the timetable for the election and commencement of sale of forms, the belief that APC would zone its presidential ticket to the South continued because only Southerners purchased forms, except Gov. Yahaya Bello. The fact that leading Northerners failed to indicate interest in the race convinced many of us that our Party will thread the path of honor and justice by zoning its presidency to the South after a president of Northern extraction had completed eight years under the party platform.

But the events of recent days have created the impression that zoning had been jettisoned in the APC. The vacillation of party Leaders with regards to zoning of the APC presidential ticket has not created clarity in the Party and injures the confidence and faith of many in the South, particularly the Southeast, in the Party. It has the implication of suggesting to many in the Party, including myself, that the Party will allow conveniences of the moment to override foundational issues of justice and fairness. Considering the events of the recent past, all well-meaning Nigerians must reaffirm faith in the constitutional values of justice and fairness. These values are what will sustain our democracy as we confront the headwinds of pluralism and sectarianism. We should never allow short-term political advantages to override these values.

But let me commend the 11 (eleven) Governors from the North for the intelligence and the courage to speak out in defense of zoning the APC presidential ticket to the South. This gesture, though belated, is an example of statesmanship in time of anxiety. By recognizing the centrality of Justice in our politics, these governors have underlined a core value in our republican government. Their action has given further hope that justice still means something for us. It could have been more reassuring and impactful if their statement was issued early enough to be adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our Party. It would have had greater impact if the statement had argued for the presidential ticket to be micro-zoned to the Southeast the only zone in the South that has not produced the President nor Vice President since the return to democracy in 1999.

Another issue that beclouded the process for the primary was the lack of certainty on schedules and timelines. This uncertainty frustrated effective campaigns and made the primary a game for those with deep pockets (mostly those in control of state funds, political offices and party structure). I do not belong to any of these groups. However, I have the ideas and competences to get the country working, to solve the crises of economic stagnation, insecurity and political instability. My faith for entering the race is that I will have the opportunity to present my credentials, achievements and ideas for the future of Nigeria. I had anticipated that the Party would have been more definitive with their plans for timely screening, so as to allow for meaningful consultations and campaigns. But that opportunity never came. The schedules were uncertain, even until a few days to the primary election.

Given the present circumstances, it does not make any sense for me to continue in the race as I have not had the opportunity to market my profile and ideas to the delegates of our party in a manner that allows for deliberation and introspection. Therefore, while I discontinue my aspiration, I wish the Party a successful primary and unity of purpose, so that we can win the 2023 general elections. I will continue to engage with the Party and it’s Leadership to make sure that the ideas and values that I cherish and propagate find strong footing in the party administration and in public leadership after the elections.

No matter the outcome of the Presidential primary, I pray that our Party does justice to the Southeast that ought to present the next presidential candidate of our Party. I would be glad if any of my Colleagues from the Southeast vying for the office wins the primary. Any of them can provide strong leadership to the country.

Senator Ken Nnamani, GCON
President,
Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2005-2007)

Ondo attack to dampen govt’s morale, says Aregbesola

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said the killing of worshippers in Owo was carried out to dampen the morale of the government and the community. Aregbesola who lamented that the criminals were going after soft targets because they have been weakened, added that the Federal Government is not deterred in its efforts to…

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Former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State says the powerful cabal in the Presidency is planning to give All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu, the ‘MKO Abiola’ treatment at the presidential primary of the APC. Fayose said this in an open letter to Tinubu on Monday which he personally signed. MKO Abiola was the acclaimed…

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