APC Govs Donate 200 Million to Boko Haram Victims Amidst Bombs in Maiduguri
We’re Irrevocably Committed To Merger – Opposition Govs
* Donate N200m to victims of insurgency in Borno, Yobe
Ten governors from opposition parties met on the platform of the emerging All Progressive Congress (APC) in Maiduguri, Borno State, yesterday, to put finishing touches to their new party.
But there were reports of explosions suspected to be improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Baga Road of Bolori area and other locations in the metropolis, a situation which threw the state capital into confusion. The scene of the explosion at Bolori area is about 3,000 meters away from the governors’ location - Presidential Lodge of the Borno State Government House located at the GRA. The incident reportedly occurred after a press briefing by the governors on the outcome of their meeting.The communiqué of the meeting was read by Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola, supported by the governors of Imo, Edo and Lagos states.
The governors had arrived in Maiduguri International Airport between 10.30am and 1pm in separate flights and moved straight to the venue of the meeting.
In attendance were nine governors including host governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State. Other governors were Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa). Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari came after the meeting due to flight delay, when all the APC governors were at the airport for departure. Governor of Yobe State Ibrahim Gaidam was said to be unavoidably absent due to ill-health but he was represented by his deputy.
After the initial formalities, journalists were asked to leave to enable the governors commence a closed-door session which lasted about three hours. They emerged from the meeting around 4pm after which they called the press for a briefing in front of the presidential lodge.
Reading from the communiqué after the meeting, Aregbesola said the forum reiterated its “irrevocable commitment to the emergence of the new party, All Progressive Congress (APC).”
He further said: “In solidarity with the government and people of Borno and Yobe states, we are pleased to witness an upsurge of tranquility and we are happy that the situation has calmed down considerably in Maiduguri.
Contrary to the image of rampant violence that has been painted to the whole world, we have discovered the people are going about their businesses without any hindrance. We wish to commend the efforts of our brother-governors in the two states and the security agencies for the restoration of peace and stability.
“We also sympathise with the families of those who lost their lives and properties and wish to donate a sum of N200 million to the two state governments for emergency relief and support to the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.”
On their emerging merger dream, the governors commended the Central Merger Committee of the APC on the progress so far made in the establishment of the new party, particularly the recent inauguration of three major committees on constitution, manifesto and legal/INEC.
The governors called on Nigerians to support their effort to rescue the country from a visionless leadership.
On the controversy surrounding the status of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the merger deal, Governor Okorocha told the newsmen that, to the best of his knowledge, there was APGA-APGA and APGA-PDP. Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State is APGA-PDP member, he said, adding that whether he (Obi) joins APC or not for now is not an issue but maybe he may change his mind to join the progressive governors later.
The day was almost marred by the multiple bomb blasts at Bolori and Customs areas of the city as the explosions took place within an hour after the governors’ meeting.
It was gathered that four Joint Task Force (JTF) men were killed and four other soldiers as well as several civilians were injured in the blasts . All efforts to get the JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, for confirmation of casualties nearly proved abortive as he did not initially pick his phone. Meanwhile, the JTF spokesman later called to say that he was far away in Katsina. He however confirmed the bomb blasts and said that the IEDs killed one soldier, one civilian while two civilians were injured.