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Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who reacted to claims by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to lead the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to take back Imo State in 2019 elections, has advised the former Vice President and PDP Presidential aspirant to face his challenges and leave Imo politics alone.

‘I will defeat Atiku even in his hometown, Adamawa’ – Rochas Okorocha lailasnews
In a statement released on behalf of Governor Rochas Okorocha by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, the Imo State Governor described the statement by Atiku Abubakar as an empty threat that can never be achieved.

The statement which stated that Governor Rochas Okorocha will defeat the former VP in any election, even in his home state of Adamawa, also advised Atiku Abubakar to “leave Imo and Governor Rochas Okorocha alone and face his worrisome challenges”.

It reads in part;

”And if he does not know, Governor Rochas Okorocha will defeat him in any part of the Country including his Adamawa State in any election involving two of them. He does not therefore have what it takes to lead any struggle that will return the PDP to power in the State or the Country in 2019. That promise was a false one”.

It continued that, “the former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was in Owerri for a meeting with the stakeholders of the PDP in the State over his presidential ambition.

“While meeting with the PDP Stakeholders in the State, he was reported to have told them that he would lead the struggle for the PDP to take over Imo and Nigeria in 2019. He also tried to run down the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his government.

“What we do not take from anybody is blackmail against the government of Rochas Okorocha. We would do our best to set the record straight. The former Vice-President would have done his meeting without scratching the governor and the government he heads in the State. And that is where we come in”.

The statement also read, “the former Vice-President therefore leave Imo and Governor Rochas Okorocha alone and face his worrisome challenges. And if he does not know, Governor Rochas Okorocha will defeat him in any part of the Country including his Adamawa State in any election involving two of them. He does not therefore have what it takes to lead any struggle that will return the PDP to power in the State or the Country in 2019. That promise was a false one.

“To say the least, that promise of returning Imo to PDP was very deceitful knowing full well that in 2011 Rochas ran on the ticket of APGA that had no structure on ground and defeated an incumbent PDP governor with a very wide margin. In 2015, he took the soul of APGA to merge with other parties to form APC and defeated two powerful Candidates of PDP and APGA, even with the PDP Candidate having the Federal might behind him. Interestingly Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was not in exile when all these happened.

“Imo PDP is dead. The monumental achievements of Governor Okorocha in less than eight years have destroyed the Imo PDP because the Party has no claim again to make before Imo people.

“When PDP was in power in the State the Imo Airport was an eyesore, but today it has become an International Cargo Airport with all the facilities available and Courtesy of Rochas Okorocha’s administration. The former Vice-President would have demonstrated statesmanship by commending Rochas Okorocha for that feat”.

Furthermore, the statement pointed out that, “all the flyovers and tunnels Alhaji Atiku passed through in Owerri were not there when the PDP was in power for twelve years. The twelve and eight – lane roads the former Vice President saw in Owerri when he came were not there when the PDP held sway. The free education that has raised the school population of the State from 381,000 in 2011 to over one million in 2017, was not also there under the PDP.

“Beyond the noise of few power seekers in the State, Imo people are on the side of Governor Rochas Okorocha because of the large extent he has developed the State. The projects are available for verification. Let Atiku ask the PDP in the State to publish their achievements for the twelve years they governed the State and let Rochas publish his achievements for the less than eight years he has been on seat, and the former VP will discover that PDP in the State is a goner.

“And that is the reason all those who made the Party thick in the State have all left to join either APGA or APC. Today, all the former guber aspirants in the PDP are doing so in APGA including Chief Ikedi Ohakim. They have left the PDP for two people.

“So, the former Vice-President should have told the remnants of the PDP in the State to bear with the situation they have seen themselves instead of raising their hope by promising them that he would lead the struggle that will return the Party to power in the State. And on our part, we do not need to struggle for APC to sustain its hold on Imo since Imo people shall Continue to vote for the party.”

Leading financial services provider, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has once again demonstrated its commitment towards the empowerment of youths in entrepreneurship by sponsoring a capacity building programme for almost 1,000 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Abuja on July 30th, 2018.

Tagged ‘’Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme’’, it was in partnership with Activate Success Foundation. The highly engaging, interactive and exciting session provided a platform for the youth corpers to look inward, develop and deploy their business skills through practical trainings facilitated by experts and successful business owners.

According to the Bank, the development will go a long way to empower them with the requisite resources to start and grow successful businesses during and after their service year in order to become financially independent and contribute significantly to national development.

Commenting on the initiative, the Executive Director, Retail Banking of FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu, said it is in line with the commitment of the Bank to provide multiple opportunities that would inspire and enable youths to be actively engaged and eventually become successful business owners.

According to him, ‘’FCMB Flexx account empowers Nigerian youths with the entrepreneurial and employability skills they need. Many youths set up their own businesses from their campuses. FCMB will be there with them to provide the necessary entrepreneurial and business skills they need to make great successes out of their businesses. FCMB will also provide great support for the youth businesses and work with them to nurture and grow the youth entrepreneurial ventures’’.

Also speaking, the Founder of Activate Success Founder, Love Idoko, said, ‘’I have a penchant for motivating people. There are business-minded youths out there that are just looking for mentorship or business ideas as well as funds to start their businesses. The purpose is not just to give grants, it is to also empower and motivate as many youths as possible”.

Among the facilitators at the programme were a Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Desmond Elliot; Chief Executive Officer, Vodi Tailors, Mr. Seyi Adekunle and Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Mr. Samson Itodo, of the #NotTooYoungToRun fame. At the end of the programme the sum of N2.7million was given as grant to some of the youth corpers with excellent business ideas to enable them start-up.

FCMB has over the years developed various engagement programmes focused on empowering young Nigerians such as #FlexxYourCreativity, #FCMBFlexxtern and the Flexx Youth Entrepreneurship Masterclass. Through these initiatives, FCMB has given young entrepreneurs and students access to training, funding, mentorship, networking opportunities and jobs. The Bank’s Flexxzone (http://flexxzone.fcmb.com/) also provides useful resources to help young Nigerians build their business and career, while keeping up with latest trends in fashion, lifestyle and entertainment.

The Bank’s youth product, Flexx, is one of its innovations to simplify and make banking services exciting. The Flexx proposition has continued to meet the overall financial and other socio-economic needs of young people from the age range of 16 to 30years. This is summarised in the description of Flexx as, “An app, a card, an account”. These features give account holders the freedom to bank on the go, using the Flexx Mobile App and also the Bank’s USSD code, *329#.

With a clear understanding of its market and environment, FCMB is well positioned to continue to create value by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of its customers.

The Nigerian Police force has declared nine bankers wanted for stealing various amount of money from depositors of a new generation bank, the police acted on petitions it received from the bank and its customers on the disappearance of a large sum of money from their various accounts.

They include Oshiojum Chibuzor Wilson, Juwon Faromoh, Akanaga Christian, Linda Chekwube, Matthew Akpan, Oluwasoji Ajetumobi, Nelson Omuzagha, Ogunlaja Ganiyu and Adeyemi Omitogun.

See images below…

In what appears to be one of his reasons for returning to his old party, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday claimed that the state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress had continued to launch an attack on him.

Speaking at a gathering in which he formally announced his return to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Ortom added that 10 out of the 17 state lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressive Congress are ready to follow him to PDP.

Ortom had formally announced his return to the opposition PDP, from where he had defected to APC on whose platform he was elected as governor in 2015.

Ortom made the declaration of his defection during a meeting with local government chairmen and councillors at the new banquet hall of Government House, Makurdi.

Thirteen local government chairmen and 276 councillors were in attendance.

“The state chapter has continued to launch an attack on me,” Ortom claimed, saying that was despite the intervention of APC national leadership.

“This morning, I had wanted to go to Abuja to attend the meeting but some youths in the state refused, they asked me to go back.

“But let me formally inform this gathering that I have forwarded my resignation letter from the APC to the chairman of my council ward and he has promised to join me in the new party.

Immediately he announced his resignation from APC, the governor displayed his resignation letter to the people.

“As I talk to you, ten (10) out of seventeen (17) state lawmakers of All Progressive Congress, APC are ready to follow me to the new party.

“May I formally announce to you that I have formally moved to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,” governor Ortom declared.

Earlier, the 13 council chairmen and leaders of the legislative council in attendance promised to follow the governor to the new party to ensure his re election aspiration.

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Thursday shut down Ekiti for the mega rally and official presentation of party’s flag to his deputy and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

Olusola received the party’s flag from the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.

At the event, former Vice- President Abubakar Atiku said the PDP was on a rescue mission in Nigeria.

He said, “The people of Ekiti, I have known you since 1992, all the projects completed which took Ekiti to a higher level have been done by the PDP alone. PDP guarantees you good hospital, road, infrastructure, education and many other dividends of democracy.

“It is time for you to ensure that this administration continues because that is the key to development. What we are doing is a rescue mission; we will bring back peace, security and prosperity of this country. Make sure you vote and stay there till the results are announced.”

Fayose had declared Thursday as a public holiday for workers in the state.

Addressing the mammoth crowd, Secondus said, “By the glory of God, Ekiti people are very peaceful and we can see the clear demonstration of love for Fayose and the incoming governor, Olusola. You won’t vote for herdsmen’s attacks and killings.

“We believe Ekiti state is full of people with the highest level of manpower and professors. Our youths are very strong, innovative and resourceful and not lazy, they are leaders of tomorrow.

“APC is broken; I am here with the National Working Committee of the PDP to appreciate you for standing for the PDP. As you can see, Fayose has worked for Ekiti and the evidence is all over in the infrastructure development, education and economic advancement.

“All PDP states are witnessing great developments, these are not so in the APC. PDP is winning and moving forward to rescue our country from economic, and security collapse and all the inhuman treatments meted out by the APC.

“You can see killings in all states, Zamfara, Plateau, and other states. APC leaders are not God, we refuse to be intimidated by them. It is their style to put fear in people but we refuse to fear.”

Fayose said he won’t receive President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday because he had not done any project in Ekiti to deserve that.

He also berated the Federal Government for allegedly closing the Akure Airport at a time the PDP leaders were coming into the state for the rally.

“I want to condemn the Federal Government for the act, it is shameful for whoever has done that. That’s not patriotic; it is shameful.

“If you vote for the APC, God forbid, you are voting for Boko Haram and herdsmen attacks. Fayemi is our customer, 16 – 0 is loading.”

Fayose urged the PDP members and supporters to shun violence but to use their votes to defend their rights.

At the event were Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Ben Ayande (Cross-River), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) while Seriake Dickson was represented by his deputy, John Jona.

The list also included former governors: Otunba Gbenga Daniel (Ogun), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Peter Obi (Anambra) and Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna) as well the Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walin Jibril, and members of the National Working Committee, among others.

Leaders of ethnic groups, student unions in Ekiti, Okada riders, road transport unions and National Union of Local Government Employees also attended the event.

Makarfi, who is the PDP former National Caretaker Committee Chairman, said he was happy seeing “PDP family giving APC government sleepless nights.”

Secondus said, “We are experiencing civil war because of killings. Buhari and APC are behind it. PDP will rescue this nation from them. APC is shattered, ask Fayemi, on which of the APC factions’ platform is he contesting. We have the best candidate for Ekiti.”

Olusola promised to sustain legacies of Fayose and improve on it.

“I assure you of adequate security, healthcare, excellent infrastructure, civil service, education enterprises, and exemplary leadership among others.

“Ours is a divine agenda. It is a divine mission with divine agenda it cannot be conquered by APC.”

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday urged landlords in the country to start collecting rents in arrears beginning from today, July 6, 2018.

According to him, property owners across the country should understand the plights of the low-income earners.

While advocating the payment of rents after each month, as against what is obtainable across the country currently, the minister appealed to homeowners to be considerate.

He argued that salary earners, who could afford to pay rents, were not receiving their salaries in advance, but in arrears.

Fashola stated this while speaking on the theme, ‘Innovative housing finance model as a catalyst for home ownership,’ at an event for real estate operators in Abuja.

He recommended that there should be a landlord-tenant-employer’s relation, whereby the landlord reaches an agreement with the tenant’s employer to ensure the rent is deducted on a monthly basis from the tenant’s salary.

Fashola said, “If you ask me to go and bring in advance one year’s rent from what I’m going to earn monthly in arrears, how feasible is that?

“Even my salary as a minister is paid at the end of every month, not even at the beginning; then you the landlord is now asking me to bring next year’s salary, and we’re complaining that there’s corruption.

“I tried to intervene as a governor, passing the resolution to our own council in Lagos then, but the outcome was not peaceful, because there were landlords in our midst.”

The minister made it clear that he was not pleased with the practice of advance rent payment, arguing that all the developed economies Nigeria was being compared to were not collecting one year’s rent in advance.

“Those who get paid weekly, pay their rents weekly; those who get paid monthly, pay monthly rents,” Fashola stated.

According to him, the masses, unlike the well to do in the society, cannot afford to pay their house rents in advance.

“I believe this meeting is about the critical mass of Nigerians, the taxi drivers, market men and women who earn their money daily and are not even sure of making any revenue for that day. Meanwhile, landlords expect advance payments,” the minister told his listeners.

Fashola charged all landlords in the country, starting from Friday, July 6, 2018, “to agree to take one month rent in arrear,” noting that the payment pressure on the side of the tenant would be reduced in 12 months.

The minister also stated that there was no country in the world where everybody owned a home.

Fashola, at another function in Abuja, stated that claims that Chinese firms in Nigeria could be harbouring workers originally serving prison terms in their home country were subjective and unconfirmed.

He also suggested that the conditions for loans given to Nigeria by China might include the use of certain number of Chinese labour to execute infrastructure projects in the country.

He added that it was necessary for Nigeria to upgrade its influence in the world by developing its economy such that it could take such decisions in its engagements with the rest of the world, especially countries it would lend money to.

Mr Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives (APC) has reiterated his appeal to aggrieved members of the party to be patient with his leadership, in an apparent response to the emergence on Wednesday of a rebel group, Reformed APC(R-APC)
“My appeal to all those who are aggrieved is to be patient,” Oshiomhole said.

However, former Senate leader and the Senator representing Southern Borno, Alhaji Ali Ndume, dismissed the new group, saying that only God and time could determine the direction of the APC in 2019.

Oshiomhole spoke to newsmen after receiving the report of the party’s just concluded National Convention Appeal Panel Committee’s report on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alhaji Buba Galadima who is the National Chairman of the Reformed APC, announced its formation at a news conference at the Sheraton Hotels in Abuja on Wednesday.

“The assurance is that under my leadership, we will make honest mistakes and once our attention is drawn, we will find courage to make up for our mistake.

“Some people say how can people eat their words, for me, I will eat my words if it is nutritious enough and if that is what I have to do to have peace in the family,” Oshiomhole said.

He expressed appreciation to members of the party for his election and for entrusting with him, the responsibility to pilot the party’s affairs at this time.

He acknowledged that he new of the party’s challenges before accepting the task, saying that it was a huge opportunity for him and other newly elected executives of the party to make a difference.

This, Oshiomhole said, was not only for the party, but for the country generally.

“So, I appeal to people to realise that a blind man can redeem his eyes if he applies the correct medication, but you can’t force it to open over night,” he said.

He added that forcing the eyes to open over night, would create more problems and damage the eye the more.

The APC national chairman maintained that he would do everything possible to sustain confidence and trust, adding that everybody was important in the party.

He also said that everybody in the party matters, adding that he would run an inclusive party.

“I pray for wisdom and courage and I believe that we have it and we will deploy it for peace within the APC family, Oshiomhole said.

Senator Ali Ndume, in a separate interview dismissed the new group.

He said the threat by the R-APC and nPDP to leave the APC would never spell doom for it, but only God and time would tell.

The Senator who admitted that politics is all about interest, said there was however, nothing wrong if an aggrieved group voices out its displeasure.

He added that movement from one political party to another is normal in politics.

“What is happening is part of politics, especially now in our political days, all of us are Nigerians and we know what is happening.

“So, politics is about interest and if somebody feels that his or her interest will be more protected by voicing out his dissent, it is Ok.

“This party is a party of time, decided by Nigerian masses and it is only God that can decide the time of a political party: God and Nigerians know that APC government is the light at the end of the tunnel,”the Senator said.

Malam Bolaji Abudullahi, APC National Publicity Secretary was more laconic in his reaction. He said the party leadership would get the full details of what happened.

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the temporary seizure of a parcel of land in the Lekki area of Lagos linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The land, designated as Plot 13, Block II Oniru Chieftaincy Private Family Estate, Lekki, Lagos, is said to be worth N325.4m.

The order temporarily forfeiting the property to the Federal Government was granted by Justice Babs Kuewumi in favour of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Anslem Ozioko, who took an ex parte application before the judge on Wednesday, said the land was suspected to be acquired with proceeds of crime.

Joined as defendants in the ex parte application were Diezani, one Mr. Donald Amamgbo and a firm, Mez Group LLC.

Justice Kuewumi, after granting the temporary forfeiture order, directed the anti-graft agency to publish same in a national daily to put interested parties on notice.

The judge gave anyone interested in the property 14 days to appear before him to show cause why the land should not be permanently forfeited.

The EFCC is seeking an order of the court to appoint “a competent person(s) or firm to manage the assets/property named and described in the schedule to this application.”

An investigator with the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the anti-graft agency stumbled upon the documents of the land sometime in 2016 while executing a search warrant on the office of Amamgbo, an ally of the ex-petroleum minister.

SOURCE – PUNCH

Air Peace, on Monday elevated one of its Senior First Officer, Sinmisola Ajibola, to a captain.

The airline said the development was in fulfillment of its pledge to always ensure gender equality, adding that Ajibola joined the airline in February 2017 as a senior first officer before making history as its first female captain.

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According to the airline, the new captain is from a family of pilots – father and four brothers, three of whom are with Air Peace.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, while presenting Ajibola for decoration, said he was proud of her achievement.

Onyema, urged the new captain to sustain her outstanding performance in and out of the cockpit.

He also commended the airline’s pilots for displaying excellence in the cockpit, as well as standing tall among their counterparts, globally.

Onyema explained that Air Peace caused a revolution in the nation’s aviation industry in the area of pilots’ benefits, saying, “The airline currently has eight female pilots in its workforce.”

According to him, women occupy most of the top positions in Air Peace and also run four of the carrier’s stations.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has re-echoed President Muhammadu Buhari’s allegations that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration spent $16bn on the power sector without tangible results.

Oshiomhole said this while addressing party supporters after receiving handover notes from his predecessor, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, at the APC National Secretariat, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

READ ALSO : Herdsmen attack 11 Plateau villages, kill 86, torch 50 houses

Although the new party chairman did not mention ex-President Obasanjo by name, events he talked about took place while Obasanjo held sway as Nigeria’s President (1999-2007).

Oshiomhole also faulted the alarm raised by the former President that there were plans to kill him.

The APC chairman said, “As I was reflecting, I watched our President recently asking questions rhetorically, ‘you have spent $16bn on power under the PDP, to lay emphasis, he repeated, where is the power?’.

“Nigerians in their various homes, those who had power that day or generator, said, Mr. President, we don’t have. So, $16bn spent, the more dollars they spent, the more darkness the people suffered.

“Now the questions I had in my mind were: maybe because the President has not yet proceeded to now ask the follow-up questions that ‘since we don’t find the power, then, you must bring the $16bn that you spent.’ If he doesn’t do that, then the accusations of limited anti-corruption may begin to gain some currency.

“Our President needs to do the needful. After all, it is already on record what other presidents didn’t do, with regards to the issue of MKO Abiola, and the criminal manner by which the election was nullified, and people pretended that that was never an issue, the President showed courage.

“That same courage should not fail him, so that he can proceed to recover the $16bn and return it to the treasury from the man who superintended over the spending of that money.

“When he does that, people will say, yes, there is a difference because there are Nigerians who are saying so.

“That propelled Prof. Wole Soyinka to say that, if people had immunity as sitting presidents, when the immunity expires, should they transit from immunity to impunity? I think impunity is deadlier than immunity.

“What we need to do as a party is to provide the support that our President needs and for the Nigerian people to provide those supports and then they want to distract our attention when they are in trouble and say, ‘Eh! they want to kill me.’”

While faulting claims by the former President that he was being targeted for elimination, Oshiomhole said, it was on record that no politician of note had been killed under President Buhari’s watch unlike what happened in the past.

He said, “The man said they wanted to kill him. No! To kill is to prevent the investigation. He must be alive to account. That is a typical distraction.

“I think all of us should be ready to do anything we can to help Nigerians not to forget in a hurry. Those who thought they can loot for 16 years, destroy the fabric of our growth system, and tender apology later, so, that they can be allowed to come back.”

Earlier, in his address, the former APC National Chairman, Odigie-Oyegun, prayed for the success of the new party leadership, describing their victory at the just concluded national convention as a victory for the party.