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Those saying Presidency shouldn’t be zoned in PDP are agents of APC – Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Tuesday said members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are saying the presidency should not be zoned are agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Former Governor of Kano State,  Rabiu Kwankwaso, who is interested in contesting the 2023 presidency had said on Monday that the presidency should not be zoned to the South.

Wike spoke when he visited Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to commiserate with him on the death of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji.

“Forget about the people saying there should not be zoning. It is just a distraction. For me, those doing that are agents of the APC and they are not helping the party. Whichever way, we must sit down and take the best decision that will make Nigerians to be happy; that will make us to win the election.

“There is no basis for anything we do that won’t make us win the election, because it means we still want Nigerians to suffer and they cannot just continue to suffer. They have suffered enough in the hands of APC and God will not forgive PDP if we don’t rescue Nigerians,” he said.

“And I believe you are one of the people doing well in your state. We must take a decision. Not taking a decision means that there is no leadership. It is not like a situation we have in the APC where they will say one thing today and, tomorrow, they will say another thing. They don’t even know who is in charge. But you are in charge of Oyo State and you are doing well,” Wike told Makinde.

Wike said he and others had come to let Makinde know that it was important for them as a party to unite a lot of Nigerians who were waiting for the PDP and that the party could not afford to lose this opportunity.

“The governors must be united. It does not matter who would be the party’s presidential candidate. Once the party and governors are united, I can tell you that the victory is on our way. So, the unity of the governor is key to making sure the party gets it right.

“It was the way we were united that made us produce the National Chairman and the best National Convention, which got Nigerians surprised. We should also do the same by working hard to produce the presidential candidate, who will win the election for the PDP. This is because if we lose it this time around, Nigerians will not be happy with us.

“We cannot allow this evil they call APC to continue and that is why they cannot put themselves together. So, God has used people like you to unite the party and to organise the best convention. Mine is going around telling our people to let us work together as a party so that we will be able to stand APC in the next general election. We must all rally round anybody the party produces to be the presidential candidate and make sure that we win the election,” he said.

Wike further charged Makinde not to be distracted by criticisms, urging him to continue to do well, while also charging his aides and residents of the state to keep supporting him.

“People must criticise, even in a family, it happens. So, be focused and don’t be distracted. Continue to do well. This is a public office and not the same with a private business but that experience has helped you a lot to move the state forward.

“I also want to urge your aides to continue to give you the needed support. Most people fail because of their aides, because they are not committed. But for you to have travelled for some days and things still worked, it means your aides are committed and I want to commend you all. You are a part of those that have changed Oyo State,” Wike added.

Speaking, Makinde said Wike had shown leadership in piloting the affairs of Rivers State, saying he had shown leadership nationally and in pushing for what was right and just in the affairs of the party.

“We can only pray for more strength and good health so that you will continue to render your service, at least, till the end of your tenure in Rivers State.

“For us in Oyo State, we are following in your footsteps by giving dividends of democracy to our people. It is all about serving the people.

“You mentioned just now about individuals jostling for the Presidency of our country under our party’s banner and what they need to know. Well, you have demonstrated it, and this is what we are doing in Oyo State. It is not seeking power for the sake of wanting to be in power but for the sake of making our country and our state a little better than the way we have met it. This has been demonstrated time and time again, especially in Rivers State and that is what we are also doing here.

“The unity, especially that of the governors of our party is paramount and most of the successes we have recorded so far are really because we are together,” he said.

According to Makinde, 2022 would be a decisive year in the agenda to rescue Nigeria from the disaster brought upon it by close to seven years of APC leadership at the centre, hence the importance of the visit by Governor Wike and the unity among the PDP governors.

“This visit is timely and appreciated, because 2022 is the year when the political parties will take decisions on who would fly the flags of their parties, from the Presidency to even the lowest positions.

“This is a year we have to take serious decisions, because whatever we do and whatever the outcome is, Nigerians will have to live with that for the next four years.

“The past seven years have been a real disaster. If you look at the data, an economy that was growing at the rate of 5 to 6 per cent yearly before then suddenly became poor. We went into recession and we thought we were coming out but still went into another recession.

“Meanwhile, the population is also growing at an alarming rate. So, just like our party has been pushing, this is the time to rescue Nigeria. We have a serious role to play in that effort,” Makinde added.

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Who will be Biden’s pick for Supreme Court? Childs, Kruger, Jackson?

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Speculations have begun in the United State about the African American woman who will meet President Joe Biden’s criteria for Supreme Court nomination.

Biden has made a commitment to nominate the first black woman into the apex court and the opportunity has now arisen with the planned retirement of 83 year-old Justice Stephen Breyer.

Nominating a black woman will be a historic first, which Biden said is long “long overdue.”

One of the women in contention for the nomination is Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former Breyer law clerk confirmed by the Senate last June to serve on an influential U.S. appellate court.

There is Leondra Kruger, who serves on the California Supreme Court.

Another potential contender is Michelle Childs, a federal district court judge in South Carolina who Biden already has nominated to the U.S. appeals court in Washington.

Biden, who won the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination in large part because of strong support from Black voters, noted that he committed during that campaign to name a Black woman to a lifetime post on the high court and would keep his promise.

“Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,” Biden said, calling the selection of a Supreme Court justice one of a president’s most serious constitutional responsibilities.

“While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity – and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my view,” Biden said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden believes that being a sitting judge is not prerequisite for his nominee and that whether a candidate could draw support from Republicans is not an influencing factor.

Biden said he wants the Senate, which his fellow Democrats control by a razor-thin margin, to “move promptly” once he chooses his nominee.

Democrats can confirm a nominee without a single Republican vote because Republicans in 2017 changed the Senate rules to no longer require 60 of the 100 senators to allow Supreme Court nominations to move forward.

While Breyer’s retirement after 27 years gives Biden his first chance to fill a vacancy on the nine-member court, it will not change its ideological balance.

The court’s 6-3 conservative majority has shown a growing willingness to reshape the law on contentious issues including abortion and gun rights. Biden’s Republican predecessor Donald Trump appointed three justices during his single four-year term in office.

Breyer, the court’s oldest justice, often found himself in dissent on a court that has moved ever rightward. He spoke at the White House of the importance of a diverse nation like the United States resolving its deep divisions by adhering to the rule of law.

“People have come to accept this Constitution and they have come to accept the importance of the rule of law,” Breyer said, holding a copy of the 18th century foundational document in his hand.

Biden appeared with Breyer, whom he has known since the 1970s, at the White House after the 83-year-old justice formally announced his retirement in a letter to the president.

Breyer wrote that he plans to depart at the conclusion of the court’s current term, typically at the end of June, assuming his successor has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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Our helicopter did not crash – Police

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By Christopher Oji 

The Nigeria Police high command has denied reports making rounds that one of its Bell 429 5NMDA helicopters flying from Abuja to Bauchi on Wednesday crash-landed. 

In a statement by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba, the police explained that the helicopter was involved in a controlled safe landing at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.

“The aircraft did not crash, as being reported in some sections of the media, and none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever.

“All six on board, including the pilot and co-pilot, are in good condition.  

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“Similarly, the aircraft, which was flown by one of the best police pilots, was professionally safe-landed with minor damage on the rear rotor as a result of obstacle at the landing spot.

The incident occurred around 7:30pm (local time). The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has commended the Police Air Wing for their professionalism in safe-landing the aircraft and averting any serious air mishap.

He further noted that the Nigeria Police Air Wing, with a fleet of one fixed-wing aircraft, a Citation jet and 13 helicopters, has got a strong history of air safety since its establishment in the year 1972.”

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Police arrest wife, 2 others for murder of Lagos hotelier 

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By Christopher Oji 

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested three persons in connection with the death of a popular hotelier, Mr. Femi Bakare Alaba, who was allegedly murdered last Monday by his wife. 

The deceased’s family had  returned from a trip from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, before he was murdered in their house at 9, Finance Road, Maplewood Estate, Oko- Oba, Agege, Lagos.

The family had accused Alaba’s wife of using a hot pressing iron to burn the man while he was sleeping.

The police said three persons, including his wife, have been arrested in connection with the murder and that the  body has been deposited at Yaba Mainland Hospital’s morgue for autopsy. 

According to Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, “The deceased’s wife and three others have been arrested in connection with the suspected murder case. Meanwhile, the case has since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence  Department, Panti, for diligent investigation on the order of the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi.”

A police source at the homicide section of  SCIID, said the woman was not cooperating with the police as she has refused to tell investigators on what really happened to her husband.

The police source who said there was more to the murder beyond the allegation that the deceased impregnated another woman as his family were alleging that their brother was questioning the paternity of two of her two out of their three kids.

“ We are investigating and there are many things we are trying to unrevel but they are not what I can tell you till further notice. For now, we are having his wife and two others who though are not cooperating with us,but they will soon open up”, the senior police officer said.

When  Alaba and his wife returned recently from a trip from Dubai,their house was a Mecca of sort as family members and friends thronged the premises to welcome them back home

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No one could envisage that danger loomed. In fact, if anyone had told them that the life of one of the couple would be abruptly cut short, the person would have been dismissed and tagged a prophet of doom. 

Those who visited them when they returned were not disappointed as they were well entertained and got one gift or the other .

The family was described as philanthropists as well as peace lovers that they were the envy of residents. The couple was loved and admired by all.

But in the morning of January 24, things took a dramatic turn to the amazement of all. The owner of the popular Bama Hotel was murdered by his wife of eight years. 

According to a source, Bama, as he is fondly called was allegedly roasted to death with a hot iron by his wife.

A resident, who identified himself simply as Emmanuel, said: “My brother, we are still in shock because the unexpected really happened. We were told that Bama’s wife discovered that another woman was pregnant for her husband and was embittered.

“She waited for the man to sleep and used hot iron to press his body and the man died out of severe pain. We are still baffled and surprised how the woman who we saw as easy-going would have the mind to kill her husband in his sleep.

“The deceased was the owner of Bama Hotel and Suite. He was a good man that we respected him a lot. The couple has three kids and they just returned from Dubai before the incident occurred.”

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