BY LEKE ADESERI, South West Regional Editor in Benin
HENCEFORTH, people without invitation and specific mission will no longer be permitted into public buildings including premises of governors offices of the six Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, controlled states.
Also the party is making elaborate plans on how to take over Awka Government House following the ruling handed by the Appeal Court in Enugu last week over the petition submitted by Senator Ngige over a tribunal ruling.
The Tribunal that had adjudicated over the Feburary 6, 2010 elections pronounced over the results of the elections was said not to have followed the set guideline of the Electoral Act by the Appeal Court. In particular, the tribunal ruled that it was not necessary for a winner to score the required 2/3 of votes cast in 14 of the 21 local government areas, LGA, of Anambra State.
Fear of Boko Haram
Apart from the ban of un-authorised visit to ‘strategic buildings’ in the states, only official government vehicles will be allowed within such areas in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun Edo and Ekiti states. This directive took effect last Thursday after governors of the affected states met in Benin city, the Edo State capital.
The parley at which the issue of Boko Haram security risk in some northern states was fully analysed behind closed doors also looked at recent reports about the sect’s threat to strike in some southern states particularly Lagos where it was rumored that they may target the Third Mainland Bridge.
Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibikunle Amosu (Ogun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Laoye-Tomori who represented Governor Rauf Aregbesola were given matching orders by the party to tighten security around their territories. A source at the meeting told Vanguard that “special attention was paid to Lagos.”
Plot to take Anambra
Although Senator Chris Ngige came late to last Thursday’s meeting; “the gathering,” according to a reliable source, “believes having Anambra in its kitty will finally silence those who say ACN is a regional party.”
The source said: “We believe the judiciary will live to expectation again by returning the mandate wrongly awarded the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Anambra State. Senator Ngige’s protest petition against the ruling, in turn, was filed at the Appeals Court in Enugu. And early this week, the Appeals Court discarded the ruling and ordered for a new tribunal be set up to hear the case afresh.”
One factor ACN seems to be banking on is that the federal assistance which many political observers believed aided the governor to victory may no longer be as solidly behind him at the moment – and his major opponent at the polls – Ngige, now enjoys a comfortable platform from the Senate chambers in Abuja.
Apart from the governors, other party chieftains at last week’s retreat included the party Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Audu Ogbeh; party’s spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Lagos State chairman, Chief Dele Ajumale; Senator Chris Ngige, and Party’s National Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire.
Others included Mr Boss Mustapha, Senator Lawal Shaibu, Alhaji Yusuf Ali, Hon Olawole Oshun, Chief Akin Oke, Chief K. K. Kobani and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.
According to usually reliable sources, yesterday’s meeting also fine-tuned the issue of an investment outfit to be midwife by the states. Also the issue of N18,000 minimum wage was re-emphasised with the states again directed to pay without delay.
Meantime, the six ACN states have started evacuating students and other indigenes of their states that used to live or study in Borno State.
Ekiti State, Thursday, moved home its students while Edo State also brought home not fewer than 100 indigenes from the troubled Borno State.