Adamawa: Lamido’s c’ttee to meet Atiku, Nyako, others, PDP flays ACN, CPC over FCTA budget
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has described the reconciliatory meetings between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as a good omen for both the polity and the party.
Also, the presidential committee led by Governor Sule Lamido of Taraba State will commence rapprochement with eminent citizens of Adamawa State beginning with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar over the political crisis, which had polarised the party in the state.
However, the party has described as fallacious and wicked, statements by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) discrediting the PDP-led Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) under the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed.
Speaking on the reconciliatory meetings, Tukur said the implication of it was that the unity of country as a sovereign nation was not negotiable.
The PDP chairman, who lauded Nigeria’s centenary celebration, stated that such peace meeting should be encouraged to avoid overheating the polity.
According to him, “this is a good omen for the polity and party. I will ask you myself, don’t you want to see that we are building one on top of the other. Obasanjo was the president before, today it is Jonathan. For him to really go and work with Jonathan and give Jonathan what he knew, so that Jonathan will take what he knew and what he is doing today and help us move forward and also hand over one day to somebody, is it not right and encouraging? Let us clap for them and encourage such meeting.”
On the centenary celebration, Tukur said: “There is unity, there is one country and so there is no question of anybody asking or talking about whether we need to stay together or to stay apart. You saw all our leaders who are alive from Gowon, up to our present president were present. All of them without exemption.
We have seen also members of the National Assembly, all of them said yes. We thank God for the existence of Nigeria for one hundred years as a country.
“It is a great Nigeria with good promise; that is important for us. Within this hundred years, we did very well, we even fought civil war and we resolved ourselves to ensure that after all that, we still remain one united country. Today, I thank God when I saw what they are doing because, I was a witness as a young person, when the British flag was lowered and Nigerian flag raised, I was there watching at Tafawa Belewa Square when our independence was handed over to us and today we are talking about our hundred years as a nation.
“What we need to do now is to continue with that resilience to build a better, united and a prosperous country because we have every opportunity, education wise, resource wise, political wise, we are all there. Today, Nigeria is 14 years in democracy so we have to deepen and strengthen our democracy. We should encourage ability to move toward consensus issues; to talk about what unites us most and not what divides us.”
In another development, it was gathered that the Lamido’s meeting with eminent indigenes of Adamawa State was aimed at harmonising the factions in the state, moreso as the committee was expected to meet Tukur, former Minister of Education, Prof. Jubril Aminu, and other prominent sons of the state.
Sources close to the Lamido’s committee also revealed that the committee would meet prominent elders and stakeholders such as a former governorship aspirant, Dr. Umar Ardo; Senator Jonathan Zwingina, former Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), General Anthony Haladu; Chief Joel Madaki, Alhaji Mijinyawa Kugama; former governor of the state, Chief Wilberforce Juta; former military governor of Plateau State, Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd.); immediate past National Vice-Chairman of PDP (North-east).
Others are Senator Paul Wampana, former military governor of Plateau State, General Aliyu Kama; former Minister, Idi Hong; Senator Grace Bent, Chief Medan Teneke, PDP factional leader; John Elias.
Others to be consulted, according to the source, are Ambassador Hassan Adamu, Senator Iya Abubakar, Alhaji Dahiru Bobo, Alhaji Ahmed Song, Brigadier A.U Kama, Mr. John Manasa, Alhaji Yakubu Tsala, Alfa Bele, Bashiru Toungo, Alhaji Danjuma Illiyasu amongst others.
THISDAY was told that the committee at the moment is happy with the contributions from stakeholders in the memoranda received so far, just as it was gathered that the assignment would soon be completed and the report submitted to President Jonathan.
Apart from Lamido, who chairs the committee, other members, who attended the meeting were Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State; the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh; National Woman Leader, Ambassador Kema Chikwe; National Legal Adviser; Mr. Victor Kwon; two members of the National Assembly, one from the House of Representatives and the Senate and both from the North; and the Special Adviser, Political to Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Mallam Abba Dabo, who is serving as the Secretary.
Meanwhile, PDP has described a as fallacious and wicked statements by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) discrediting the PDP-led Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) under the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, condemned CPC and ACN criticising of the N7 billion for the First Ladies Mission, new city gate and rehabilitation of Prostitutes, said: “It is however clear that this coalition of disparate forces are at their usual homage to deceit and bare-faced lies aimed first at misleading Nigerians and whipping up public anger against the PDP.”
“It is unfortunate that the leadership of these political parties among whom are elders whose ‘silver hairs’ we thought, would avail the nation virtues to paraphrase Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, have turned to merchants of cheap lies in an attempt to slur the integrity of our leadership of the nation.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no provision for the construction of the Abuja City Gate in the FCT 2013 budget and there is nowhere the FCT earmarked N5 billion for the rehabilitation of commercial sex workers in the said budget. We challenge the parties to prove us wrong.
“The truth is that the FCT administration has nothing to do with the proposed Abuja City Gates. The project is one of the items making up the Centenary City to be financed by the private sectors in earnest of corporate social responsibility towards the Centenary Celebrations. Neither is the FCTA connected to the Centenary City nor to the City Gate, as such does not exist in its budget,” statement added.
The statement stated: “The FCTA did not provide the sum of N5 billion for the rehabilitation of commercial sex workers in the 2013 budget. What is public knowledge however is that the overall budget of the Social Development Department of the FCTA is N4.7 billion out of which the FCTA slated only N150 million for routine enforcement and general management of the rehabilitation centres including training and empowerment of rehabilitated sex workers.
“In fact, the budget was reduced from N225 million budgeted last year. Therefore, to tell Nigerians that the FCTA budgeted N5 billion for the rehabilitation of prostitutes when it is clear that only N150 million was budgeted for the sub-head under which it falls is to say the least despicable.”
The statement further said it was auspicious to educate the opposition as well as other Nigerians on the proposed building for the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) for which the sum of N4 billion has been provided for in the budget.
“Contrary to the odious and deliberate distortion of facts by the opposition, the building was not for the Nigerian First Lady. The complex on completion is to host the AFLPM which has the backing of the African Union as an instrument for championing women and youth development.
“The Peace Mission House is a public institution, a building in the likes of the Women Development Centre (WDC), Nigerian Cultural Centre among others which the law empowers the FCTA to build and operate in provision of facilities for the advancement of its development efforts. It will go a long way in reducing the financial burden in rents for international bodies being hosted by the country.
“Similarly, the increment in the budget of the official residence of the Vice President was occasioned by the changes in the redesigning, expertly advised to take care of emerging security challenges. The house is not for the exclusive benefit of the current Vice Present as the malicious propaganda of the opposition has been feeding the public with,” the statement stressed.
Irked by the opposition ploy to deceive the public, the PDP asked, “what else but studied obscurantism will blind the opposition elements to the massive infrastructural development going on in the FCT under the current administration?