Poll defeat: Patience Jonathan makes first public appearance-PUNCH

Wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Sunday made what could be her first public appearance since her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, lost the March 28 presidential election.

 Mrs. Jonathan accompanied her husband to a thanksgiving and farewell service organised in their honour at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Gwarimpa, Abuja.

 She read the first lesson of the well-attended service from 1st Timothy 6:11-19.

 She later joined the President in a special thanksgiving.

 They danced to the altar for the thanksgiving, joined by top government officials, friends and church members.

 

The President’s wife has not been seen attending any public event inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, since her husband lost his re-election bid in the March 28 presidential election.

 She was conspicuously absent during the Good Friday and Easter Sunday services held inside the Aso Villa Chapel.

 Mrs. Jonathan did not also join her husband for the funeral service held in honour of his top aide, Oronto Douglas, in Yenagoa last Saturday.

 While she voted alongside her husband in the presidential election in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, she stayed back in her home state, Okrika, Rivers State, during the April 11 governorship election.

 She had expressed fears ahead of the elections that she might be thrown into prison if the then All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, won the election.

 But the Presidency last Thursday broke its silence on the whereabouts of the President’s wife.

Mr. Ayo Adewuyi, media assistant to Mrs. Jonathan, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said the President’s wife was at that time in Congo.

 He said Mrs. Jonathan was in the country to join her colleagues from Africa for the celebration of the 30th anniversary a Non-Governmental Organisation, Congo Assistance Foundation, established by the Congolese First Lady, Madam Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso.

 Adewuyi however did not indicate when Mrs. Jonathan arrived in Congo or when she was expected back in Nigeria.

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13. May, 2015

NEW SOCIAL RIGHTS GROUP TACKLES IGP ON ROAD BLOCKS

Campaign Director, Solicitors of Justice, Barrister Kunle Fatoyimbo, has announced the readiness of his group to confront the new IGP, Solomon Arase on the issue of Road Blocks.

The Canada-based Human Rights activist, made the statement during a Press Statement, last Monday, to announce the formation of their group and respond to recent statement by the IGP restraining his men from Road Blocks.

Barrister Fatoyimbo stated that the order by the new IGP is not new, as that has become the habit of every IGP once they are appointed on acting Capacity. Fatoyimbo believes that every IGP does the same grandstanding dance, to win public sympathy and support. He said each time such a statement is made, two things always happens. Firstly, it will not be enforced in practice; and secondly where it is done, the police patrols withdraw from the roads, provoking a sudden rise in crime, which in turn provokes a public clamour for return of road blocks.

Barrister Fatoyimbo stated that Road Blocks are never bad because they deter criminals, but a situation in which citizens now fear road blocks, clearly suggests there is something fundamentally wrong in how it is being exercised.

According to Fatoyimbo, the organisation commissioned five teams on research finding to Lagos, Imo, Kano, Abuja and Rivers States, which revealed a huge illegal business that is being carried out with high level backing for ages. The erudite Barrister revealed that by law, the Police have no right to demand vehicle particulars that is not stolen, because it is not against the law for a citizen to drive another person's vehicle with his permission. It is also not an offense by law for a citizen to have expired vehicle particulars, provided the citizen has had ample period of time to replace it, saying that it represents the human face of the law. He further stated that it is only the DRIVERS LICENSE that Police has the right to demand for.

Barrister Fatoyimbo bemoaned the rampant trend whereby harmless and helpless old men and women, are harrassed on the roads and intimidated away from the roads. He pointed several instances reported to his organisation revealing how many of these men and women, have abandoned their cars for fear of constant anxiety over the most mundane matters, which never borders on criminality.

The Campaign Director, therefore stated that rather than ban Road Blocks, the IGP should make a clear statement banning the Police from demanding particulars other than drivers license, except where such a vehicle is officially recorded as stolen, of which must be verified.

He stated that his organisation is determined to make life very difficult for any police official, connected to the spread of this practrice. In a related manner, the Publicity Secretary of SOJ, Abdulrahman Akinsoji, revealed that the organisation is grooming an army of cyber warriors that will be on the streets with covert cameras, using unprecedented ridicule and embarrasment to get the hierarchy of the Police force to be committed to bring about sanity on this matter.

13. May, 2015

BUHARI INSTRUCTS SECURITY AIDES TO OBEY TRAFFIC

The President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari, (Gen rtd), Has revealed that he has instructed his security and other aides that they must obey traffic regulations throughout his administration. This implies that his convoy movements will not stop traffic or bypass traffic at the detriment of other motorists' rights. The disclosure has elicited diverse reactions from the public.

A large segment of the public has hailed the development, heaping praises on the President-elect while having confidence on their belief that it is sign of things to come in a Presidency they feel will be close to people's sensitivities.

However, public policy analysts and security experts across the country have criticised the idea. Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, who is a part of the country's Foreign Affaris and national security history, opposed the stance as an interference in the professionalism of the security sector. He drew attention to the risks inherent in such a move, which he claimed is not practiced anywhere in view of its national security implications. Some security experts have adjudged the revelation as political grandstanding insisting that the Katsina-born retired General, got carried away with his populist posturing.

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