‘Buhari Has Done Very Well’ Senator Akpabio

The National Coordinator, Presidential Support Committee, Senator Godswill Akpabio has insisted that considering the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration in office, Nigeria has no other better alternative than to More »

‘Gov Yahaya Bello’s Aide Is Behind The Attack On My Supporters’ Kogi Senatorial Candidate, Victor Adoji

Supporters of Kogi East Senatorial candidate Victor Adoji are having it very tough ahead of the shifted general election. Information filtering in has it that African Democratic Congress candidate’s supporters are being More »

ZENITH BANK’S IMPROVED PBT OF N232 BILLIONEXCITES SHAREHOLDERS, WITH DIVIDENDOFFER OF N2.80 PER SHARE

In a clear show of its resilience and strong market share, Zenith Bank has announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 2018 with profit before tax (PBT) rising to More »

‘I Did Not Write Any Letter To The COS, My Enemies At Work’ -Akpabio

Former Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio,CON, has described a letter making the rounds in the social media, entitled, “Gratitude for your marvelous More »

‘We Can Have A Violence Free Election’ Papas Foundation Boss, Frank Okamigbo Advocates For The Youth

Frank Okamigbo, the CEO, Papas Group has joined his voice to the voices of the noble men and women of the great nation calling for a peaceful, free, fair and a violence More »

 

‘Buhari Has Done Very Well’ Senator Akpabio

The National Coordinator, Presidential Support Committee, Senator Godswill Akpabio has insisted that considering the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration in office, Nigeria has no other better alternative than to give him another term.

Akpabio, who spoke with Journalists in Abuja, urged the South South people to reconsider their stand in planning to vote for the party that wants to sell the Nigeria National Petroleum Coporation(NNPC), and its other assets.

Atiku Abubakar, the PDP Presidential Candidate, has vowed to sell the NNPC, if voted into power, to break what he called ‘mafia’ in the corporation.

But Senator Akpabio said it will not be in the interest of the Niger Delta people for NNPC to be sold.

“Yes I believe Nigerians can compare the difference between apple and orange. The reality is that this president has done very well considering the fact that he was able to take Nigeria out of recession.

“He met ongoing projects on ground, such as the airports and the railways. He completed and put them to use. Nigerians are clamoring for change, better health care, better educational facilities and all those things cannot happen when you spend almost 80 percent of resources on recurring expenses like pension, salary arrears.

“So we must commend the President and of course, if you take a look at what is happening on the Lagos-Ibadan railway, you will be very impressed. Take a look at the Abuja-Kano railway, some people now travel with rail to the North.

“The power sector has improved from 2,500MW to 7000MW. So many things are visible and the enabling environment is there in terms of law and order. The fight against corruption has really been intensified and the good thing is that it has now become a deterrent to any public official that yes…, if you go out of your way to move your pocket forward instead of your country or state, you will be held accountable.

“We in the Niger Delta are very apprehensive. I don’t think that there is any person in the South South who will go and vote for PDP. Even some of them are trying to purchase votes because when you look at the major policy document of the PDP today, they are talking about selling the NNPC.

“What does the NNPC have? Is it the building? What NNPC controls is the oil of the Niger Delta, oil wells, oil fields and all those things come together with the land. I don’t see anybody from the South South or any Niger Deltan, who will agree that the same way we sold out Nigeria Airways and we became a laughing stock in the comity of states in Africa is the same way NNPC should be sold.

“Look at Kenya Airways, Ethopia Airline, Ghana Airline, South African Airways and Nigeria has no single plane now called its own. We sold out our Aluminium Smelter Company in Ikot Abasi, that provided thousands of jobs and today that place is totally bare with over 690MW of electricity.

“We sold out Oku Iboku Paper Mill in Akwa Ibom and our people are there jobless. That massive structure is a waste. All those things combined are things that frighten us when somebody talks about the sale of NNPC. The sale of NNPC on its own simply means that the Niger Deltans are going to be divested of not just their properties, not just the water that they fish in, but the fact that they will become tenants in their lands for the next 50 to 100 years. And people will come from outside, maybe friends of the government, and possess their land.

“The election also is between integrity and others. The President has shown that he can give what belongs to Niger Delta to Niger Delta. He is even refunding monies that were used during my tenure to repair Federal roads and what we use to call Paris Club refund.

“We tried everything under the PDP. We never had that money and I was a Governor and the FG was owing my state over 145 Billion on federal roads and the building of prisons and other things I had to intervene. I dualized federal roads, built airport and today, federal government is refunding those monies to the state.

“If you see a government that has shown sincerity, it simply means that we are now talking about a question of integrity and a question of postulation. We are postulating that if you bring in a government that will sell your father’s land, that will sell your oil wells and sell the waters that you use in fishing, then I can conclude that there is no alternative to President Buhari.”

‘Gov Yahaya Bello’s Aide Is Behind The Attack On My Supporters’ Kogi Senatorial Candidate, Victor Adoji

Supporters of Kogi East Senatorial candidate Victor Adoji are having it very tough ahead of the shifted general election.

Information filtering in has it that African Democratic Congress candidate’s supporters are being hounded out of town ahead of the Saturday, February 23, 2019 poll.

‘’They are being arrested and attacked under different facades’’ a source stated.

Details available alleged Edward Onoja, the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello as masterminding the intimidation of Adoji’s supporters.

Senatorial candidate Adoji confirmed the information.

He disclosed that his supporters are currently moving out of town to avoid attacks and related intimidation tactics being deployed by the Governor’s Chief of Staff.

Governor Bello, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress had boasted to President Buhari that he would deliver Kogi state ‘’100%’’ to the President.

It is believed that Onoja is acting out a part of the script to help the Governor deliver on the promise with the hounding of Adoji’s supporters.

The election for the President, Senator and Federal House of Assembly Members hold on the same day.

Adoji had stirred up a whirlwind of support that has thrown up intimidating popularity ahead of the election.

The ADC’s Senatorial candidate’s formidable political presence had attracted the attention of the ruling party chieftains, especially Governor Yahaya.

ZENITH BANK’S IMPROVED PBT OF N232 BILLIONEXCITES SHAREHOLDERS, WITH DIVIDENDOFFER OF N2.80 PER SHARE

In a clear show of its resilience and strong market share, Zenith Bank has announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 2018 with profit before tax (PBT) rising to N232 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2018.

Also, in demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend pay-out of N2.50 per share, bringing the total dividend to N2.80 per share, representing a yield of 11.2 per cent.

According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2018 financial year released in Lagos on Tuesday, this represents an increase of 16.6 percent over the N199 billion recorded for the same period in 2017. It is the highest so far published by any bank in the Nigerian Banking Industry in the current reporting period. Also, the results showed that profit after tax (PAT) witnessed an impressive growth of 11 per cent year-on-year to N193 billion from N174 billion.

This record profit before tax (PBT) was achieved through the Group’s optimisation of its cost of funds, cost-to-income ratio and cost of risk, ensuring that earnings per share strengthened by 11% to ₦6.15.

Despite the challenging macro-environment, the Group mitigated the knock-on effects through growth of its net interest income and operating income by 15% and 8% respectively as it was able to ensure improved cost efficiencies across the business. This focus on cost efficiencies is yielding tangible benefits as the Group recorded its lowest ever cost-to-income ratio at 49.3% from 52.8% in 2017.

The bank’s balance sheet remains shockproof as loan to deposit ratio, liquidity ratio and capital adequacy ratio were 44.2%, 72.0% and 25.0% respectively and all above the regulatory threshold.

Our risk-centric approach also ensured that cost of risk reduced significantly by 79% from 4.3% in the prior year to 0.9% in 2018. This was reflected through the drop-off in impairment charges by 81% (₦80 billion) compared to 2017, re-affirming the Group’s enhanced asset quality. In the same breadth, coverage ratio increased by 34.2% from 143.4% to 192.4% over the same period, reflecting a prudent disposition to credit risk management. Cost of funds also moved in the positive direction, declining by 41% from 5.2% in 2017 to 3.1% for the year, supported by a 33% decrease in interest expense (₦72 billion) over the same period, demonstrating a robust treasury and liquidity management.

The Group’s efforts to deepen its roots in the retail segment have started yielding benefits. This has resulted in a remarkable increase in the volume of transactions across various electronic platforms as well as significant customer acquisitions. This growth in transactions on its digital channels continues to support its retail push as fees from e-products increased by 44% over 2017 with retail deposit balances also growing by 25%.

Consistent with this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance,the bank was recently ranked as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in 2018 by The Banker Magazine. In similar fashion, Zenith Bank was recognized as the Best Corporate Governance Bank in Nigeria by The World Finance for the sixth time just as Ethical Boardroom, a Europe based Boardroom watchdog reaffirmed this recognition by naming the bank as the Best Bank in Corporate Governance in 2018.Recognition has also come the way of the bank as it was recently named as the Best Institution in Sustainability Reporting in Africa 2018 (SERAS Awards) and the Bank of the Year 2018 (BusinessDay).

‘INEC In Akwa Ibom State Is Biased And Working For The PDP’ -Forum of All Political Parties In Akwa Ibom

LET’S PAUSE AND REFLECT

The text of a press conference held in Uyo by the Forum of All Political Parties in Akwa Ibom State, following the postponement of the 16 February 2019 elections

Gentlemen of the Press,

As you may all be aware, the general elections that were to kick off on Saturday, 16 February 2019 have been moved forward by one week. The rescheduling came as a surprise and with a huge cost to us; we were ready as a party for the elections. INEC has said the elections were postponed to get the logistics right in order to deliver a free, fair and transparent elections. In light of the explanation by INEC, we as Political Parties have accepted the cost incurred as a necessary sacrifice for the good of our democracy.
Let us take the advantage of this pause on the road to thank God whose grace and protection have seen us thus far in the Akwa Ibom Project.

We want to also thank the good people of Akwa Ibom in general and members and supporters of our parties in particular who have remained loyal to the cause in the past months in spite of many challenges as we keep up the good fight to recover and redeem our dear state. We urge them to remain mobilized and ready until the job is done.
We want to take note of the work of members of the security services and urge them to exercise professionalism in the discharge of their duties in the state.
Permit us to place on record the support of leaders of our various Parties. Their support in the form of good counsel and contributions in material terms have helped the us to cope with many hurdles that have confronted the parties in the cause of this project. However, many challenges remain and must be addressed for us to achieve our set objectives.

INEC AND THE IMPERATIVE OF FAIR UMPIRE

We have had cause in the immediate past to call attention to the failure of the INEC leadership in the state to inspire the confidence of all parties in the political process by reason of the actions of the Commission and the utterances of its leaders.
INEC has betrayed unbridled partisanship through the selection of its ad hoc staff, some of whom are drawn from the employees of the Commission, contrary to extant practices and institutional requirements.
Through connivance with the state government, all the ad hoc staff of the Commission is made up of loyal members and supporters of the PDP.
In addition, the Commission has acted as though it were part of the Government House in Uyo. In spite of our representations to the head office of the Commission in Abuja, nothing has been done to allay our concern that the INEC office in Akwa Ibom State is not a fair umpire and cannot deliver a free, fair and transparent election because it is partisan and in bed with the ruling PDP government in the state. This anomaly must be addressed.

SECURITY THREAT

Just as we warned of the partisanship of the election umpire, we had raised the alarm that the PDP and the state government stockpiled arms and recruited thugs and terrorists to be used to rig the elections. What happened on the eve of the now rescheduled 16 February 2019 elections proved beyond reasonable doubt that the alarm we raised was not unfounded. On the eve of the first scheduled sets of elections, the Police arrested more than 500 thugs in various parts of the state. Confessions by the captured criminals showed clearly that they were brought into the state from other parts of the country by PDP politicians. The thugs were arrested with sophisticated arms and ammunitions.
At this point, we want to register our appreciation to the security forces who averted a bloodbath through their quick and precision strike to neutralize the threat posed by the infiltration of the dangerous criminals into the state by leaders of the PDP.
However, our concern over security as we approach the rescheduled election is more structural. Field reports from our men on the eve of the rescheduled elections show that there were no visible deployments of security forces in the state. This smacks of sabotage. What was worse, the state Commissioner of Police actually disarmed the tactical command of the Force and redeployed them elsewhere. That kind of inadequate attention to security at a critical period like election season is an open invitation to trouble from elements such as thugs and anti-social elements who flooded the state on the eve of the elections.

1000 VOTE DEFENDERS

We want to call attention of the security agencies and members of the public in general to the open boast by the State Governor, a boast well reported in the mainstream media, that he had made provisions for ‘1000 vote defenders’ for each polling unit during the elections. Since the state has 2980 polling units, the governor would have to use ‘2,980,000 vote defenders.’ I want to ask the security agencies and the public at large to see the connection between that boast by the governor and the flooding of the state on the eve of the rescheduled elections with thugs and terrorists imported from other states in the nation. It is common knowledge that most of the polling units in the state cannot boast more than 500 people. So where was the governor going to get his ‘1000 vote defenders’ from? The answer to that query lies in the importation of thousands of thugs and terrorists into the state by the PDP government. The Udom Emmanuel administration is thus a direct threat to the sanctity of the forthcoming elections and therefore to our democracy. Given the immunity enjoyed by the governor until he leaves office, we call for immediate arrest and prosecution of all those who work with him to endanger the state with industrial scale importation of nearly three million thugs and terrorists deceitfully spoken of as ‘vote defenders.’

PROSECUTION

We demand a thorough investigation of those thugs with the purpose of determining who brought them into the state. We also demand that the criminals and their sponsors should be promptly prosecuted in accordance with the extant laws of the land.

NEED TO BEEF UP SECURITY

Given the unprecedented security threat in the immediate build-up to and during the first scheduled elections, the need to enhance security to avert a bloodbath in the state and guarantee free and fair elections cannot be overstated. We are therefore calling on the National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the DSS to take a peculiar look at Akwa Ibom State, and accordingly beef up security in the state with more police personnel, more DSS operatives and more armed forces personnel. The level of threat in Akwa Ibom State, given the number of thugs arrested on the eve of the first scheduled elections, shows that we cannot make too much provision for security in the state.

EFCC AND CASH SEIZURE

We received report that during the week leading to the first scheduled elections, the EFCC intercepted a cash haul of N1.3 billion moved from the state government accounts at Heritage Bank, intended to be used to bribe INEC officials and for vote buying in some parts of the state. We call on the EFCC to clear the air on this report.

VOTE BUYING BY STATE GOVERNMENT

As reported under the EFCC cash seizure above, the State Government is using state funds to indulge heavily in the criminal practice of vote buying at N10,000 per voter in all the 2,980 polling units in the state.
In addition to the general vote buying, the State Government is busy mopping up PVCs in opposition strongholds through mindless financial inducement of voters to part with their voter’s cards at the rate of N50,000 per card.
We are hereby calling on all Akwa Ibom people not to sell their PVCs. The PVCs represent your power to change a government that has not helped you in any way and replace it with a government that will support your business, invest in your child’s education with bursary award and develop your communities.
We also want to call on the security forces to go after the criminals who are disenfranchising innocent voters by taking away their PVCs through a trick of a financial inducement.
Gentlemen of the Press, before we end this conference let me thank you too for your professionalism in reporting the events and issues that shape this election process. Your job is not yet done. We therefore look up to you for continuing show of professionalism in your work as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm.
Again, we thank all stakeholders in the Akwa Ibom Project. Let’s continue to work together until the set task of rescuing our dear state from crass ineptitude is achieved.

Long live Forum of All Political Parties!!
Long live Akwa Abasi Ibom State!!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Signed:
Association of Registered Political Parties in Akwa Ibom State

‘I Did Not Write Any Letter To The COS, My Enemies At Work’ -Akpabio

Former Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio,CON, has described a letter making the rounds in the social media, entitled, “Gratitude for your marvelous support to Akwa Ibom APC”, purportedly written by him as fake.
Akpabio asked the general public to disregard the letter as it did not emanate from him.
In a statement, signed by Anietie Ekong, Special Assistant (Media) to
Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the letter was written by the Senator’s enemies as no time did he write such a letter.
The statement said: “My attention has been drawn to a forged letter purportedly written by him to the Chief of Staff to the President titled: “Gratitude for your marvelous support to Akwa Ibom APC” and making the rounds in the social media.
“We wish to state categorically that the letter never emanated from the Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio. It is a poorly crafted piece of forgery and the figment of the imagination of the authors.
“A cursory look at the letter reveals the fakeness of the contents. For instance, the complimentary closing line reads, “Yours sincerely” and “Yours faithfully” in one letter!
“With an imminent defeat in the coming polls, we have always known that desperate politicians will be up to some tricks to gain some political mileage, but we never imagined they could go to the extent of committing forgery just to malign an opponent.
“Fortunately, the perpetrators are not ghosts. We have alerted security agencies to be on the look out for those who have either published or shared the sham document for an invitation to shed more light on its source.
“Once again, we wish to assure the teeming supporters of Senator Godswill Akpabio and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State and beyond to remain focused, steadfast and unshaken in their commitment to resoundingly vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and all candidates of the party in the coming elections.
“According to the immortal words of the great Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes, “truth will rise above falsehood as oil above water.”

‘We Can Have A Violence Free Election’ Papas Foundation Boss, Frank Okamigbo Advocates For The Youth

Frank Okamigbo, the CEO, Papas Group has joined his voice to the voices of the noble men and women of the great nation calling for a peaceful, free, fair and a violence free election.

Speaking with newsmen in his office, the UN Youth Ambassador for Peace expressed an immeasurable concern on how deep violence has eaten into the electoral process of this nation and youths being in the center of these violence breaks his heart more. He further said “We cannot all belong to the same political parties just as we cannot all come from the same families and it is very normal if we have different preferences of political candidates but we don’t have to kill ourselves”.

On the issues of youths participation in the electoral processes and being the tools for election violence he said, “Young people are the leaders of today and constitute a majority of voters in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. It will be very wrong to think of preventing them from participating in the election process but we must encourage and guide them to channel their raw energy towards significant and productive endeavors rather than ungodly activities. “it is a sad irony that young people who should have the most incentives to envision the long term and interest in the future are the mostly likely to be manipulated to sacrifices their own long term interests and sometimes their live for the sake of the older generation in power.” He then added.

Frank who is a successful businessman and a Master’s Degree holder in Philosophy from the University of Lagos advised the different political candidate contesting for electoral seats to allow the supremacy of development ideals, peace, love and unity be the focus and cease from endangering and destroying the bright and brilliant future of this great nation by reducing our youths to mere political thugs and tools of vendetta against their political opponents and enemies.

He then admonished the general public to go get their permanent voters card (PVC), come out on the day of the elections and vote wisely to save the future of our children, our youth and the future of our beloved nation, Nigeria.

Akwa Ibom Lawmaker Risks Disqualification Over Alleged Criminal Records

The member representing Uyo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Michael O. Enyong, (aka Baba Ntan) risks being disqualified from seeking re-election for failure to disclose his past criminal records and convictions in his affidavit filed in support of his personal particulars of persons seeking election to the office/membership of the House of Representatives.

Certified true copies of the case information from Fort Bend County, Texas, USA, shows Michael O. Enyong had pleaded guilty to a case of theft and accordingly sentenced. He failed to disclose this in INEC form sworn on oath. It is averred that Hon Michael Enyong had knowingly concealed the fact of his conviction from his constituents to circumvent the law which conviction occurred less than 10 years to the time he sought for and got elected into the Federal House of Representatives.

In Suit No: CV/1017/19 filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, his challenger Hon. Ekerete Ekpenyong is seeking the disqualification of Hon Enyong on the grounds of being an ex-convict and that he lied on oath having been sentenced in a criminal case of theft which he had been charged and pleaded guilty by a court in Ford Bend County, Texas, USA.

The Claimant is seeking a declaration that Hon Michael Enyong is not qualified to contest the 2019 election into the House of Representatives seat having circumvented the law by lying on oath and failing to disclose his past criminal records and convictions.

Hon Ekerete Ekpenyong is also seeking a declaration of the Court declaring vacant the Federal House of Representatives representing Uyo/Uruan/Nsit Atai/Ibesikpo Asutan Federal Constituency currently being occupied by Hon Michael Enyong and also an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Hon Michael Enyong in 2015, and withdraw his candidature for the 2019 elections.

The claimant is also seeking an order of the court directing that Hon Michael Enyong immediately after delivery of judgment in the suit repay back to the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria all salaries and allowances he has received as a Member of the House of Representatives between 2015 – 2019.

Hon Michael Enyong was also alleged to have committed perjury by lying on oath about his age and academic qualifications. For instance, according to information he provided on his Form CF001 he gave his date of birth as 31 August 1969 in his affidavit sworn to at the High Court Registry, Abuja dated 15th August, 2018, when indeed, he was reportedly born on December 25, 1961.

The lawmaker also claimed that he has a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Warren National University without any record of having done a Masters Degree anywhere having acquired a Bachelor of Science degree, Second Class Hons) Lower Division in Applied Chemistry from the University of Uyo in 1999.

According to legal analysts, the case against Hon Michel Enyong is water tight and PDP in Uyo Federal Constituency may be without a candidate in the forth coming National Assembly elections if the Court upholds the arguments of the claimant to disqualify Hon Enyong on the grounds of being an ex-convict and that he lied on oath having been sentenced in a criminal case of theft which he had been charged and pleaded guilty by a court in Ford Bend County, Texas, USA. Additionally, the contradictions in his birth certificates and sworn affidavits and his questionable educational qualifications may further lead to his disqualification.