The Department of State Security DSS has invited the anchors of Channels Television breakfast programme in connection with an interview conducted on the programme on Wednesday
A lawyer from the organization is accompanying the presenters who are said to be on their way to Abuja at the time of filing this report
Similarly, the National Broadcasting Commission NBC has issued a query to the broadcaster. The broadcast regulator is accusing Channels Telebi of airing an inciting interview and has asked it to respond within 24-hours
The station had reportedly broadcast a live interview with retired naval commodore Kunle Olawunmi who accused the Buhari government of shielding sponsors of the Boko Haram terrorists
Though he failed to mention names, he also stated that some Governors, ministers and senators are sponsors of Boko Haram and that the Government knows them.
In another interview which held on the same programme, Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom accused President Muhammadu Buhari having a hidden agenda of trying to ‘fulanize’ the country, in reference to the grazing route policy.
According to the NBC, the interview was “inciting and divisive”
…Bills to amend the constitution pass first reading in Reps
…APC may still feature Buhari for fear of extinction
…Crisis looms in PDP over zoning
Despite the outright denial by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in running for a third term, facts have emerged that he is perfecting plans to continue in office at the expiration of his second tenure in 2023.
When this plan was first uncovered, the Presidency quickly debunked such insinuations, describing them as internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary.
The Presidency had said Buhari would serve his full second elected term in office ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu who denied the possibility of a third term agenda said: “The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.
“There are no circumstances or set of circumstances under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two -term limit on holding office as President.
“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate. There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change. It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the constitution to allow for the then incumbent president to stand for a third term.”
According to Shehu, “That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President. President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support”.
But political observers are becoming more curious that Buhari through the ‘Cabal’ in the Presidency is leaving no stone unturned, including constitutional amendment, arm-twisting of the judiciary, pocketing the Electoral Umpire, rubber-stamping the legislature and castrating Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to realise the third term bid.
Only recently, an erstwhile political associate of Buhari, who is now the National Chairman of Reformed All Progressives Congress, rAPC, Buba Galadima, raised the alarm that the President may be contesting in the 2023 presidential election
Galadima said the forces controlling Buhari are planning to lure him into running for third term, alleging that the present administration has pocketed the judiciary and is doing all it could to muzzle the opposition.
According to him, Buhari has already pocketed the judiciary, and he feels that nothing will happen, and that he will be victorious at the court. His government has destroyed the judiciary and this is very troubling for democracy, and our nation
“A lot of politicians will be disappointed. Only God knows what will happen between now and 2023. Buhari may even be drafted to join the 2023 fray by some of his aides and associates.
Apart from Galadima, other political actors who however, lack the audacity to come out publicly are speaking in low tones that Buhari and his handlers are not ready to vacate the scene after 2023.
Some inside sources within the power cycle who would not want to be mentioned agreed that there are hidden plans for the incumbent President to continue in office beyond 2023.
They alluded to the fact that Buhari may not want policy somersault particularly the war against corruption, border closure, among others hence, the desire to have another tenure which would provide enough time for their consolidation.
Our sources noted that the continued retention of Service Chiefs even when some have attained 40 years against the mandatory 35 years of retirement is part of the plan not to inject new blood into the system to pave way for the unhindered tenure elongation.
The sources further disclosed that constitutional amendment is imminent and it would be targeted at creating a six-year single tenure so that after Buhari, no one would enjoy serving for a second tenure and in a way making him the last longest serving President.
“We are beginning to sense that the President and those around him don’t want to go after 2023. That is why they are doing everything, though covertly to water the ground for his third term.
“What do they want to do? They will ensure there is a constitutional amendment not just for Buhari to go for a third term but to introduce a six-year single tenure after his exit.
“So far, the Independent National Electoral Commission is in their palms, the National Assembly has been captured or do you think Gbajabiamila and Lawan would object anything the President and the Cabal want? No. In fact, they were handpicked for this purpose.
“The CSOs, where do you think they are? Can they try any rubbish? If anyone tries, he or she will have himself to be blamed as Sowore. The opposition has been annihilated. In fact, EFCC alone would finish them. Forget, 2023 is a done deal for Buhari,” a source that claimed to know the workings in the corridors of power said.
The indications to amend the constitution are becoming even palpable; hence so far, three Bills to amend the constitution have passed first reading in the National Assembly, especially in the House of Representatives which may not be unconnected with tenure elongation or six-year single term for President.
These bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.408) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.410) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.418) (Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante).
Also, there is anxiety within the ranks and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party would go down with President Buhari if he exits in 2023 as he is presently the uniting force of the strange bed fellows – the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), parts of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP).
As recently decried by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, APC might lose its current grip of power in 2023 as APC is a party that they hurriedly put together when they were governors, with Buhari as the fulcrum.
“President Muhammadu Buhari gave character to APC. He brought his integrity to bear on the party. He made the party what it is in the northern part of the country and the masses of the North, who saw him as a true leader, and we all rode on that to achieve that victory, but after the credibility of Buhari into this party, there seems to be no alternative in the same manner that will drive this party to 2023 victory.
“This is why I expressed my concern that if we are not very careful, APC might go with Buhari in 2023, and that will be a very unfortunate situation for the founding fathers of APC. The party needs to show purposeful leadership, show character,” Okorocha said.
Meanwhile, there is raging crisis in the ranks of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over zoning of the presidential slot ahead of 2023.
The party, particularly the National Working Committee (NWC) is plotting to maintain the zoning of its presidential ticket to the North East and South East, respectively.
By this zoning arrangement, the NWC is bent on picking former presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi as the candidates for 2023.
The NWC may have felt that since the party had a remarkable outing in the last presidential election, with Atiku and Obi, if the statuesque is maintained in 2023, PDP will oust the ruling APC roundly.
However, it was gathered that the PDP governors are not in any way ready to back the Atiku/Obi ticket anymore. The governors appear to be divided since all of them are angling for the position.
The governors seem to be resistant on the zoning to North East and South East because, they feel President Muhamadu Buhari’s body language tilts towards plot to elongate his tenure in 2023, and that if Atiku/Obi ticket is flown, the party may not coast to victory.
Sources said, already, some of the governors including Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State are nursing political ambition to run on North West and South-South zoning. They have since started holding secret meetings to woo the other governors’ support to convince the party to zone the presidential slot in their favour.
Wike, it is said has been the chief strategist rooting for Tambuwal as he wants to be Vice President in 2023 but as it stands, there is no possibility that the NWC will agree to dance according to tunes of Wike and or bow to any North West and South-South zoning, just as it appears Wike is the major financier of the party, hence Rivers is rated the only PDP state with overall financial might.
Retrospectively, it was same Wike’s alleged shenanigans that saw the crisis that erupted, few months ago, between the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and NWC, over suspension of the House of Representatives Minority leader, Ndidi Elumelu. The dust on the matter is yet to settle.
Wike had reportedly tipped Peter Chinda who is from Rivers State for the position and compelled the party to accept it, which the party refused.
Unfortunately, majority of party executive members did not buy into it and worked against it vehemently. Till now, the crisis on the matter is brewing and the party is not ready to entertain yet another internal chaos.
Although at the moment, the PDP appears unstable on how it intends to zone the presidential slot, it is determined to oust the APC and to resist every move by Buhari to elongate his tenure in 2023.
Of course, with alleged Buhari’s plan to retain 2023, pundits perceive that the consideration of Tambuwal and Wike for the 2023 slot may garner more acceptability, more so that they are younger politicians with vast experiences and sagacity.
But the PDP has said it is yet to decide on any zoning and that those trying to peddle the information are doing so to further their own selfish political ambitions.
The PDP, through the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan has stated in a statement that there is no plot to stop the ambition of any of the governors either.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is yet to discuss the 2023 presidential election, overtly or covertly, at any time whatsoever.
“If anything, the PDP is currently working with Nigerians on how to win its elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and will not be distracted by
individuals who found themselves operating in the highest offices of the land but failing in governance. “As a party, we are also working with our respective state governors and legislators across the country as they work hard, in line with the manifesto of our party, to improve on the welfare and development of Nigerians,” he said.
“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, that enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor,” Ologbodiyan said. (BusinessDay)
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Armed soldiers invaded Daily Trusthead office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, hours after taking over the newspaper’s regional office in Maiduguri, Borno State and arrested the Regional Editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.
They demanded to see some senior staff, among whom was the Political Editor, Hamza Idris.
At the Abuja headquarters of the newspaper, they reportedly forced the gate open and drove in with three Jokic vans loaded with armed soldiers.
Everyone in the building was asked to move to the ground floor while they moved the newspaper’s computers.
Last night, security operatives sealed up the premises of Media Trust Limited, publisher of Daily Trust newspaper; over Boko Haram stories.
The operatives, led by a Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army, arrived the Utako, Abuja premises at 6:00pm, with scores of soldiers and plain-cloth personnel. They immediately demanded to see some staff. The soldiers wore masks and cordoned off the Mafeni Crescent, off Solomon Lar Street of the newspaper.
Staff of the organisation, who gathered in group outside the office, told Daily Sun that the operatives,
on arrival, asked them to converge at the front yard of the office. After that, the soldiers, reportedly disconnected computers in the office, assembled and loaded them into their vehicles and drove away.
A statement by the Deputy Managing Director of the organisation, Mahmud Jega, said the soldiers still laid siege to the newspaper’s office, as at yesterday night.
Jega said: “Armed soldiers in several vehicles have laid siege to Daily Trust headquarters in Abuja. They have surrounded the premises, dismissed the Mobile Police guards and do not allow entry or exit. “
“Soldiers had earlier today (yesterday) entered Daily Trust’s office in Maiduguri and arrested two reporters, including the Bureau Chief, Usman Abubakar. They say it is regarding today’s lead story of Daily Trust on Sunday. Production has stopped.”
As at 8.30 pm soldiers were still manning the entrance and premises of the newspaper at Utako. Several staff of the organisation gathered in groups, on the street, and discussed the development. Meanwhile, the Lagos Bureau Office of the newspaper, was also, yesterday night, taken over by a combination of armed military and police officers.
The security operatives had earlier in the day besieged and shut down the Borno regional office of the news publication before arresting the regional editor and a reporter.
At about 9:00pm, seven security operatives’ vehicles were stationed within and outside the Lagos office premises situated at the Textile Labour House on Acme Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja.
Of the seven vehicles, two Hilux vans and one Rapid Response Squad (RRS) car were situated right in front of the Bureau office.
Four other Hilux vans were situated at the other side of the road, facing TheNews publishing house, a stone throw from Media Trust office.
About 15 soldiers and police officers were seen angling around the premises; as at the time of filing this report.
But, Defence Spokesman, Brigadier-General John Agim, described the newspaper’s Sunday publication as unpatriotic and capable of undermining the war against Boko Haram.
He told Daily Sun that the newspaper published highly classified details about a Boko Haram operation; which could ultimately hinder the war against insurgency.
In a development yesterday night, the Federal Government ordered the military to vacate Daily Trust’s offices. (The Sun)
President Muhammadu Buhari, has disowned his Chief Security Officer Bashir Abubakar, over the expulsion of Punch Newspaper’s State House Correspondent, Olalekan Adetayo, from the Presidential Villa. The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina through his twitter handle @femadesina said, “We weren’t consulted in the media office by the CSO before he expelled The Punch reporter. President Buhari is committed to press freedom.
An amicable solution would be found to The Punch reporter matter. President Buhari does not intend to muzzle the media in any way.”
Abubakar had earlier summoned Adetayo to his office and questioned him on two reports he considered uncomplimentary of Buhari and his administration. He referred to the lead story of Sunday Punch of April 23 titled “Fresh anxiety in Aso Rock over Buhari’s poor health” and queried the motive behind it. He also referred to Adetayo’s column, Aso Rock Lens, published on Saturday, April 22, and titled “Seat of power’s event centres going into extinction.” Abubakar asked one of his men to go and take Adetayo’s statement and revert to him. He thereafter directed the Officer in Charge, Department of State Services, Victor Nwafor, to withdraw his accreditation tag and lead him out of the premises after retrieving his personal belongings from the Press Gallery of the Council Chambers. Nwafor left an instruction at the Admin Reception that Adetayo should no longer be allowed into the premises after which he handed him over to another security operative who led him to where his car was parked to ensure he left the premises as instructed.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — One day after delighting in a massive campaign-style rally, President Donald Trump is turning back to the business of governing.
Trump, who is spending the weekend at his private club in Florida, plans to spend Sunday interviewing at least four candidates to be his new national security adviser. The meetings come as he seeks to refocus his struggling administration after weeks of tumult.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One Saturday, Trump said he had “many, many that want the job.” He also hinted he had a favorite.
“I’ve been thinking about someone for the last three or four days, we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “I’m meeting with that person. They’re all good, they’re all great people.”
Scheduled to discuss the job with the president at Mar-a-Lago were his acting adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; and the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there could be more meetings for the job, which is unexpectedly open after retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s firing early this week.
Also on Trump’s schedule Sunday: phone conversations with several foreign leaders Sunday and a health care policy meeting.
But for a moment on Saturday, Trump went back into campaign mode with a massive rally before thousands of supporters at an airplane hangar in Melbourne, Florida where he revived campaign promises to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs — and continued his attacks on the media.
Trump told the cheering crowd that he wanted “to speak to you without the filter of the fake news.”
Trump promised anew to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs. He also pledged to “do something over the next couple of days” to address the immigration order that has been blocked in the courts. Said Trump: “We don’t give up, we never give up.”
Insisting he was the victim of false reporting, Trump said his White House was running “so smoothly” and that he “inherited one big mess.” The president has been trying turn the page after reports of disarray and dysfunction within his administration.
The rally was put on by Trump’s campaign, not the White House. Trump told reporters he was holding a campaign rally because “life is a campaign.”
Trump, who held a rally in the same spot in Florida in September, clearly relished being back in front of his supporters, welcoming the cheers and letting one supporter up on stage to offer praise for the president. He also enjoyed reliving his surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
And the president’s supporters welcomed the opportunity to see him. Kenneth Wood, a 45-year-old electrical engineer from Daytona Beach, said this is his fourth or fifth Trump rally.
“His bond with his supporters is really like nothing I’ve ever seen,” said Wood. “They’re fun and Trump’s a hell of a showman.”
Asked about Trump’s recent comments about the media, Wood said: “I can’t say I completely disagree.”
The rally came during Trump’s third straight weekend at his private south Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.
Trump has lurched from crisis to crisis since the inauguration, including the botched rollout of his immigration order, struggles confirming his Cabinet picks and a near-constant stream of reports about strife within his administration.
Flynn’s departure was another blow. Flynn resigned at Trump’s request Monday after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.
Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned down the offer.