Pastor Bakare Blacklists AIT

Pastor-Tunde-bakare

Pastor Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly.

The convener of the Save Nigeria Group and serving overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare has blacklisted Africa Independent Television, AIT, from airing one of the church’s very important events.

Pastor Tunde Bakare.

He made the announcement during his sermon at his church in Lagos, Nigeria, yesterday.

Pastor Bakare said the television station, which has been broadcasting his yearly State of the Nation address every October, will not air the live telecast this year.

Although he did not explain the reason for dumping AIT for another TV station, which he is yet to mention, many members of the church believe the action may not be unconnected with the appointment of the owner of the TV station, Raymond Dokpesi, as the Campaign Director for General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retd) for the 2011 presidential election.

Bakare, who had earlier vowed that Nigerians would never allow Babangida to return to power, said though other aspirants have signified their interest to contest, it was certain that IBB would never enjoy the support of members of his church and the vast majority of Nigerians. He had earlier asked Nigerians to vote for IBB with stones.

He also announced yesterday that the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, had started sensitising Nigerians on the need to register and ensure that they vote during the elections and make sure their votes count.

According to him, Nigerians cannot afford to be complacent anymore.  And as such they must participate actively in the electoral process so that the current looters in government would be voted out in 2011.

He said SNG would embark on the sensitisation campaign in all the six geopolitical zones in the country, adding that his church would fast and pray on 24 and 25 September for Nigeria in order to have free, fair and credible elections next year.

Bakare said Nigeria would be saved, changed and the country would be great again after credible leaders had been voted into power.

Pastor Bakare Blacklists AIT
The convener of the Save Nigeria Group and serving overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare has blacklisted Africa Independent Television, AIT, from airing one of the church’s very important events.
He made the announcement during his sermon at his church in Lagos, Nigeria, yesterday.
Pastor Bakare said the television station, which has been broadcasting his yearly State of the Nation address every October, will not air the live telecast this year.
Although he did not explain the reason for dumping AIT for another TV station, which he is yet to mention, many members of the church believe the action may not be unconnected with the appointment of the owner of the TV station, Raymond Dokpesi, as the Campaign Director for General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retd) for the 2011 presidential election.
Bakare, who had earlier vowed that Nigerians would never allow Babangida to return to power, said though other aspirants have signified their interest to contest, it was certain that IBB would never enjoy the support of members of his church and the vast majority of Nigerians. He had earlier asked Nigerians to vote for IBB with stones.
He also announced yesterday that the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, had started sensitising Nigerians on the need to register and ensure that they vote during the elections and make sure their votes count.
According to him, Nigerians cannot afford to be complacent anymore.  And as such they must participate actively in the electoral process so that the current looters in government would be voted out in 2011.
He said SNG would embark on the sensitisation campaign in all the six geopolitical zones in the country, adding that his church would fast and pray on 24 and 25 September for Nigeria in order to have free, fair and credible elections next year.
Bakare said Nigeria would be saved, changed and the country would be great again after credible leaders had been voted into power.

Ojudu, Abati, Others Honoured
Senatorial aspirant in Ekiti Central District, Ekiti State, South West Nigeria, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu; the Editorial Board Chairman of The Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Reuben Abati and 14 other journalists were at the weekend honoured for their outstanding contributions to the media industry and the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Media Friends (NMF) which honoured the 16 accomplished journalists at the Sheraton Hotel and Suites, Ikeja, Lagos, South West Nigeria, disclosed that they were selected among 1, 000 applicants.
The applicants, NMF said, were practicing or former editors who had spent a minimum of 10 years in the journalism profession in the country.
Apart from Abati and Ojudu, the Managing Editor of TheNEWS and P.M.NEWS (now on leave of absence to pursue his senatorial ambition in Ekiti State ), other honorees included; Mr. Emeka Oparah, Head Corporate Communications, Zain Nigeria; Mrs. Tosin Dokpesi, Managing Director Africa Independent Television (AIT), Mr. Nathan Egba, Commissioner of Information and Communications in Bayelsa State; Mr. Akin Adeoya, CEO, M2 Magazine; Mr. Mike Effiong, Editor Ovation International; Mr. Ranti Akerele, Commissioner for Information and Communications in Ondo State; Ms. Funmi Iyanda, CEO Ignite Media.
Also honoured were Mr. Tokunbo Modupe, CEO TPT International; Mr. Bode Opeseitan, Director, Special Promotions Globacom; Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, Commissioner for Information and Commuications in Rivers State; Mr. Declan Okpaleke, Editor-in-Chief News Digest; Ms. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Editor Saturday Thisday, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, Special Adviser, Media to the Senate President and Mr. Cyril Stober of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
NMF Chairman, Mr. Chris Kehinde Nwandu, said that the award aims at recognising outstanding journalists who are often not recognised by the Nigerian government.
“If they don’t want to recognise us, we are going to recognise ourselves,” he said.
The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalist who was represented by Mr. Ayo Adebayo wondered why the Nigerian government has failed to recognise journalists such as Ojudu and Abati who have accomplished so much for the progress and stability of Nigeria.
“We don’t recognise our own. That is why we are finding it difficult to bag national awards. We want to congratulate Babafemi Ojudu. He was among the people who put their lives on the line for the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.
“We wish you God’s support and we see you as an agent of change. We want to see you as our representative at the National Assembly,” the NUJ President said.
The Head of Service in Ondo State, Mr. Ajose Kudehinbu, who represented Governor Olusegun Mimiko, while congratulating the organisers of the award for their foresight, also charged journalists to always strive for excellence.
He said that Ondo State will continue to partner with the media for a better society.

—Simon Ateba

Soyinka Leads Rally For Chima Ubani
Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, former president of Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, Dr. Dipo Fashina and others will tomorrow hold a rally to mark the five years demise of Chima Ubani, former Civil Liberty Organisation, CLO leader.
Ubani died in a ghastly motor accident five years ago while leading the people’s resistance against obnoxious increase in the prices of petroleum products by Obasanjo civilian dictatorship.
The rally is being put together by the Campaign for Democracy, CD and the United Action for Democracy, UAD and will hold at Allen Roundabout by 9.00 a.m.
Other speakers at the rally will include Dr. Joe Okei –Odumakin, President, CD and Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye, Convener, UAD.
After the address, Soyinka will lead a march through Ogba to Textile Labour House, Acme Road Agidingbi from 9.25 a.m for the second event at 10.30 am with the theme, Chima Ubani: 5 Years After.
Prominent leaders of civil society groups such as Fashina; Comrade Biodun Aremu former convener UAD; Barrister Supo Ojo, President Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Comrade Bamidele Aturu, Okei-Odumakin; Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye, Convener UAD, among others will also grace the occasion.
— Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos ACN Denies Crack In Party
Ahead of the 2011 general elections, Leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in the Lagos East Senatorial District of Lagos, Nigeria, have denied that there is a rift within its fold and charged supporters of the party to go all out and register during the forthcoming voter registration exercise.
The party stalwarts had converged on the Ikorodu Town Hall for the Zone’s meeting which had been earlier held in Epe, Ibeju-Lekki and Somolu zones of the senatorial district.
The gathering had in attendance several ACN bigwigs including Leader of the Senatorial District Otunba Busura Alebiosu, former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye, Chief Olorunfunmi Bashorun and other ACN top shots in all the five zones under the Senatorial district.
Also present at the meeting organised to chart a better path towards ensuring that the district and Lagos State as a whole remained a no go area for other political parties, were federal lawmakers representing the district at the National Assembly including Dayo Bush-Alebiousu, Bola Gbabijo and Abike Dabiri-Erewa from Kosofe, Epe and Ikorodu Federal Constituencies respectively and the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Dele Onabokun and others.
Otunba Busura Alebiosu in his remarks at the gathering said there could never be a division within ACN as the party remained an indivisible entity, adding that all those reports of divisions were figments of the imagination of those in other political parties targeted at distracting ACN from achieving the ultimate goal of being the party of choice of the good people Lagos State.
Busura, however, charged the party faithful to be steadfast and ensure that the Lagos East Senatorial District remained the best in terms of its electoral value to the success of the party at next year’s polls. The former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chief Rafiu Ogunleye and Chief Olorunfunmi Bashorun, while speaking at the event, said that the license to vote remained the voter cards, adding that party leaders from wards, local governments and district levels were duty bound to ensure that no party member was left out of the exercise.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and other speakers also called for vigilance as other parties might want to ensure victory at all cost, urging the gathering to ensure that ACN surpassed its electoral fortunes of 2007.
— Kazeem Ugbodaga

Landlady’s Son Cuts Off Tenant’s Hand Over PHCN Bill
The police in Lagos have arrested the son of a landlady for amputating a tenant’s hand following a quarrel over the payment of  Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, bill.
The suspect, Afiz, resides at 10, Olayinka Street, Aboru near Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, Nigeria. He lives with his mother who interited the house from her late father.
The victim, Adekoya Arowosegbe, 32, was rushed to a private hospital where the amputated hand is being treated.
Speaking on his hospital bed, Arowesegbe said, “on Thursday last week, while I was inside my house around 10.30 p.m., I noticed that the electricity supply was fluctuating and as I ran out, I saw Afiz trying to disconnect the cable because a tenant who owns a container in the house refused to pay PHCN bill.
“I begged him not to put us in darkness since I always pay my bills regularly. When the PHCN bills are brought, we often don’t see it, the landlady will just call us one by one and tell us that N3,000 is our bill and whether we like it or not, we must pay.
“When he insulted me, I left to enter my room. I never knew he was following me. I suddenly looked back and as he tried to attack me with a machete, I blocked it thinking it was a stick, but I got it wrong. In the process, my right hand was cut off with the sharp cutlass. What can I do now? He has rendered me useless. What can I now do with one hand to survive?”
One of the tenants who begged for anonymity said: “we had to run for our dear lives because he was holding a cutlass and ready to kill. His mother also gives us problem everyday and always threatens our lives.”
The victim’s pregnant wife, Mrs. Mayowa Arowosegbe, amidst tears, said, “please, I am begging good people of Nigeria and Lagos State to come to my husband’s aid so that he can use his right hand again. I am a mother of two children expecting another one with this pregnancy.”
The victim, Arowosegbe is receiving treatment at Mayfair Medical Centre, Okekoto, Agege, while the suspect is currently being detained at Oke-Odo police station.
—Oluwole Adeboye

Ribadu Joins Prezy Race
The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has formally joined the crowded race for Nigeria’s presidency. And he will be contesting on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria ACN.
The retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, had last week confirmed his intention to contest the presidency during an interview session with journalists in Abuja. But he kept his audience and Nigerians in suspense regarding the platformon which he wanted to contest the 2011 election.
In a letter to Nigerians titled, A New Nigeria: Our Time Is Now! published as an advertorial in a national daily this morning, Ribadu said: “with deep humility and a profound sense of responsibility, I am writing to inform you of my intention to join politics and seek your support to participate in the forthcoming general elections.”
With the ACN logo of a broom boldly displayed on the full page advert, Ribadu said he was contesting for the office of the President of Nigeria.
The retired AIG declared that after 50 years of independence, the leaders have failed to deliver a nation that can make us proud, while most Nigerians are yet to appreciate the true meaning of independence or derive any benefits from it.
“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Armed robbery and violent crimes are commonplace; honest hard work goes unrewarded,” Ribadu noted.
As a public officer who had served the country as a police officer, he said he believed he could fix Nigeria, fighting corruption as an official of the Federal Government and leading economic and political reform.
With the advertorial, Ribadu may have dispelled speculations over which political party platform he was planning to run for the office of President in 2011.
Because of his anti-corruption activities as chairman of EFCC against former Delta State Governor, Mr. James Ibori and others, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration declared war on Ribadu. He was persecuted. Attempts were also made to prosecute him illegally.
He was demoted from AIG to Deputy Commissioner of Police, ACP. At the peak of the persecution, Ribadu was forced into exile. He lived overseas until Yar’Adua died and  Goodluck Jonathan emerged as the president before he returned to the country.
The new leadership restored his rank of AIG and retired him immediately he returned home.

Jonathan Cancels U.S. Trip
Has President Goodluck Jonathan cancelled his planned trip to the United States of America where he is billed to address the United Nations General Assembly on Friday?
There were conflicting reports this morning over whether he has done so. The  New York Times reported for instance that the visit has been cancelled “abruptly.”
But when contacted by P.M.NEWS this morning,  Ima Niboro, the president’s spokesman, said a final decision on the trip will be taken later today.
It is expected, according to some sources, that the final decision may be in the form of a lengthy explanation as to why the President will no longer go to the United States.
The botched trip is coming on the heels of the request by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Sunday that the planned presidential election be shifted slightly. Less than two weeks ago, the commission announced a timetable for the presidential contest, sandwiched on consecutive weekends between elections for the National Assembly on January 15, 2011 and subsequent elections for state offices on January 29. It said in asking for the delay that a January 22 poll date would not give workers enough time to register voters.
The aborted visit is also coming 48 hours after the president formally announced at a very elaborate and colourful ceremony in Abuja, that he will be contesting for the number one seat.
Hours after the declaration, Jonathan received a new challenge when his national security adviser, General Aliyu Gusau, announced his own candidacy. And this morning, Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki and former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu also announced that they have joined the race.
There are now four Northerners contesting for the PDP ticket with the President. The others are a former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, and a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
Aso Rock sources said the President in jettisoning the trip to New York, really wants to take charge of his campaign.
“He is facing a stiff competition. And he knows he has to be around to coordinate his campaign’’, a source told P.M. News this morning. The PDP will decide on his candidate on 23 October in national primaries.
An unwritten power-sharing agreement within their party calls for the presidency to alternate candidates from the south and the north.
Mr. Jonathan, who had been vice president, was elevated to the top spot May 5 after the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim from the north. Because Mr. Yar’Adua died while still in his first term, some leaders in the north believe their region is due another term.
In formally announcing his candidacy in Abuja on Saturday, Mr. Jonathan danced his way to the lectern to deliver his speech, dressed in a gray caftan and black bowler hat traditional to his home in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.
He recounted growing up without shoes and forgoing meals. He vowed to fight corruption and increase access to electricity.
Every child “will be able to realise his God-given potential, unhindered by tribe or religion and unrestricted by improvised political inhibitions,” he said.
“My story holds out the promise of a new Nigeria.”
Shehu Sani, president of the Civil Rights Congress in Nigeria, told New York Times that Jonathan’s candidacy would inevitably lead to increased regional acrimony.
“Jonathan’s act can only create more division and distrust between the northern part of Nigeria and the south that have hitherto enjoyed decades of political solidarity and cordiality,” he said.
Nigeria’s external affairs minister, John Odien Ajumogobia is already in New York and will read Jonathan’s address on Friday.