Pro-democracy advocacy group, the Centre for Good Governance and Accountable Leadership Initiative (CEGGAL Initiative) has reacted to the ongoing rumour in the social media that former vice President Atiku Abubakar got married in Dubai last Saturday to a new wife and paid $1, 000, 000 as dowry.
The Centre, in a statement issued on Thursday by its Executive President, Chief Willy Ezugwu, described the allegation as “unfounded, demonic, lacking any iota of truth, and a cheap blackmail.”
According to Chief Ezugwu, who was also a guest at the wedding in Dubai, “It was Alhaji Atiku’s step son, Mr Anthony Douglas who wedded former Miss Whitney Woods at a Church wedding ceremony last Saturday, not the former vice President and so $1, 000, 000 dowry payment does not arise.
“The video of the purported “marriage dance” between Alhaji Atiku and his wife was Anthony’s mother, Mrs Jamilah Nkoli Atiku Abubakar from Onitsha in Anambra State, who has been married to the former vice president for over a decade.
“As a Muslim, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by his religious faith is entitled to four wives and there would have been nothing wrong with him taking a wife if he so desired.
“It is obvious that the allegation is unfounded, demonic, lacking any iota of truth, and a cheap blackmail meant to achieve political purpose”, the Centre said.
The statement added that “Atiku Abubakar’s large heart and his maturity should be celebrated for giving his step son equal treatment with his biological children, a plus to his outstanding leadership qualities.”
Obaseki: Secretariat Buildings, Street lights to be Powered by Ossiomo Power before December
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state secretariat buildings and streets lights in the state capital will be powered with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed between the state and Ossiomo Power before the end of the year.
Obaseki disclosed this when he inspected on-going construction work at the High Court Complex Extension and Block C of the Secretariat Building, along Sapele Road in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The governor, who expressed satisfaction with the pace and quality of work done by the contractors, said “We have secured most of the clearance from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). With this, we are optimistic that before the end of the year, when work on the buildings would have been completed, the PPA agreement with Ossiomo Power for 5MW of electricity will be activated to provide power to the Secretariat Complex.”
He said government offices at the complex will be powered in the day using the power from Ossiomo plant, and at night, the street lights in the state capital will hook on to the power facility.
Obaseki noted that going by the work programme of the contractor handling the High Court Complex Extension, the project is expected to be completed within 16 to 20 weeks, adding “The work is of high quality. The standard is as can be obtained anywhere in the world. I am optimistic that by the last quarter of the year, the Court House will be ready for furnishing.”
He said the state was liaising with the Ministry of Interior and the Nigerian Prison Service to relocate the Benin Prison along Sapele Road to a more remote and secure location.
“We are working seriously on this issue and once we agree on the design for the new prison, the present facility on Sapele Road will be relocated. This will enable the state carry out more expansion work to accommodate the court complex, which will be sited at the present location of the prison.”
Obaseki explained that the state is concluding plans to site an Industrial Court in Benin City, to make the state capital a judicial hub in the South-South region.
At the twin 9-story Block C Secretariat Building, commenced over 40 years ago by late Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia’s administration, the governor said the construction work commenced after an integrity test was done on the building and the result showed that it was in good condition.
He stressed that he is satisfied with the support from public servants for the reforms being undertaken by his administration.
“This shows that public servants are in support of the initiatives of my administration. On our part, we will provide more opportunities for training and capacity enhancement to improve their welfare and boost productivity. The hierarchy of the state civil service have continued to exhibit high commitment to duty and better service delivery.”
“Public servants have remained resilient and I am optimistic that if government improves their working conditions through capacity training in line with international best practices, we will get more value from them,” Obaseki added.