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Call for Interim Govt Unconstitutional, Military Warns

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The Defence Headquarters on Thursday described as unconstitutional calls for an interim government after the emergence of the president-elect.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, stated this in Abuja during the biweekly update with journalists on Armed Forces of Nigeria operations.

He condemned the clamour for an interim government by those unhappy with the outcome of the presidential election, stating that the ING was illegal and unconstitutional.

The Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress and the New Nigeria Peoples Party supported the military’s pledge to defend the constitution.

Some candidates who lost the election and their supporters had been agitating for the interim government, hinging their demand on the reported malpractices recorded during the presidential election which was won by the APC standard bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Sequel to the protests and alleged inflammatory statements by the proponents of the interim government, the Department of State Services alerted the nation to a plot by unnamed politicians to scuttle the transition and install an interim government.

The secret police said it was monitoring the plotters and warned them against fomenting any crisis in the country.

But responding to questions from journalists in Abuja, during the biweekly update on Armed Forces of Nigeria operations, Danmadami maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission had conducted elections and declared a president-elect.

The DHQ spokesman said, “On the issue of an interim government, it is rather unfortunate; an election has been conducted and INEC, which is mandated, has announced a president-elect. It is not our responsibility to speak on that issue but I know that several calls have been made by the Presidency that there is nothing like an interim national government.

“So I think people were just trying to be mischievous. It is unconstitutional and all of us know that the Constitution does not provide for an Interim National Government; that is the point the Presidency has been hammering on and that is our stand because that is what the Constitution says. It is unconstitutional, so, anything unconstitutional, as far as I’m concerned, is not applicable.”

Speaking on the security situation across the country, he attributed the recent spike in kidnappings to the reversal of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy.

He also noted that ending kidnapping required a whole-of-a-society and government approach.

He, however, added that the military was working round the clock to tame the menace of kidnapping and other criminal activities.

PDP backs military

Commenting on the military position on the election, the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the party agreed with the DHQ.

“Yes, we agree with the military. Interim National Government is unconstitutional and the PDP as a law-abiding party will always be on the side of the law.

“Those pushing for an interim government do not wish this country well. The call is unpatriotic and condemnable,” he said.

Also speaking, Ladipo Johnson, spokesman for the NNPP Presidential Campaign Council, called on security agents to unravel those plotting to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis with their demand for an Interim National Government.

“The NNPP frowns upon any attempt to undermine our constitution. The Interim National Government or whatever you called it has no place in our constitution. But aren’t we tired of talking in the void? We thought by now the security agents would have arrested promoters of this evil agenda. They should be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.

Reacting, the ruling APC applauded the military for staying true to its promise to protect the Constitution and the country’s unity.

Speaking with one of our correspondents, the APC Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, warned that those demanding an interim government were inadvertently calling for a coup d’etat, which attracts capital punishment in Nigeria.

He said, “What the Defence Headquarters is saying is reiterating the supremacy of the Federal Constitution. And it is the Constitution that recognises an elected regime. It also recognises INEC as an electoral umpire. It is the same Constitution that says anything contrary to the recognition of INEC with regard to elections is akin to disagreeing with the Constitution.

“So, anyone who comes with something that is alien in the name of an interim government or whatever name not recognised by the Constitution is asking for the overthrow of this Constitution.

‘’Now, the military cannot under any guise support the overthrow of a legitimately elected government. To do that is to call for a coup d’etat and calling for a coup is treason which attracts the death penalty.

“Therefore, in agreeing with INEC’s position, the DHQ is directly agreeing with the Constitution and saying that they remain subservient and submissive to the will of the people as provided for in the Constitution.”

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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