Local News

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 18, 2018


Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday said all former presidential aspirants that contested for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all the party’s governors have come together to push the campaign of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the nation’s presidency up for contest in 2019.

Speaking on the ‘Morning Show’ programme of Arise News, a broadcast arm of Akelicious Media, Okowa insisted that contrary to reports, the party has gone beyond the issues relating to the party’s primaries and is preoccupied with winning the 2019 elections.

He said, “There is no truth in the words that former presidential aspirants are not supporting Atiku. All of them are supporting him. I’m not aware of any aspirant that is not supporting Atiku. Even though I cannot mention all their names, we have people like Governor Aminu Tambuwal playing a significant role in the campaigns; you have Senator Kwankwaso also playing a prominent role in the campaign. The Governor of Gombe is playing prominent role in the campaign. These are all former aspirants playing prominent role. Even Aminu Turaki is playing a prominent role; a whole lot of them.

“For those you are not seeing visibly, they also have assignments they are undertaking in the background for the party because it is not possible to engage all of them in directorates, but because they are presidential aspirants does not mean that they are not party men.

“Each and every one of them is on board and each and every one of them has a special role to play. The fact is that you will begin to see Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, more because he is the arrow figure as the Director-General of the campaign. But all others are fully involved in the campaigns; there are no problems at all.”

Also responding to the speculations that the governors of the South-east and the South-south are not fully part of the Atiku project following the emergence of former governor, Mr. Peter Obi, as the vice presidential candidate, Okowa described the insinuations as untrue.
According to him, “That is not the reality on the ground.

“People are over hyping it. The South-south and the South-east caucus met on Friday in Port Harcourt. In that meeting, we took decisions on what next to do. We are indeed planning a South-south zonal rally. Committees are being put in place ahead of the elections under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike. A date is likely going to be taken for the rally in the early part of January.

“There are actually no problems within the South-south; I can confirm that to you. In the South-east, yes, there were some initial hiccups; there is no doubt about that because there were certain party procedures that was supposed to have been followed that were not followed. Some of us believe that we were not taken along before the announcement of the vice presidential candidate.

“We also understand that the candidate has the right of choice of who would be the vice presidential candidate. We have moved beyond that. We have had meetings where we have been able to talk over all the issues.

“The fact is: some leaders of the party including all the governors ought to have known before the announcement of the candidate; not because they want to change the choice but they just wanted to be briefed formally before the information was given to the press. But that has been pushed behind us and we are moving forward.

“The South-east is also meeting. It is a strong PDP zone. In politics, there are always issues and the issues have to be discussed. The South-east is fully on board; from the last meeting we had in Rivers State, so is the South-south. So, I don’t see any challenge in any of the zones at all, not right now.”

Okowa also spoke on the defection of his predecessor, former governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the implication of this on the cohesion of the James Ibori political family, which they both belong.
This, he said, was not an issue.

According to him, “Actually, the Ibori family is still strong. Ibori remains our national leader. I want to assure you that that family is still intact.”
The governor, however, declined to speak on why Uduaghan left the PDP but said that it was the outcome of the election that would determine if it was a right decision.
He stressed that the defection of Uduaghan from the PDP has not had negative impact on the Ibori family and the party.

The governor was, however, frank that he met an empty treasury and a lot of debt when he took over as governor of the state.
He said, “Obviously, there was an empty treasury; no doubt about that. I do not want to look into all the factors, but we met a very challenging condition. Beyond the empty treasury, there was a lot of debt overhang and we had to do what we ought to do.

“I’m the kind of person that will not dissipate my energy looking into the past; and begin to sorry in it. What I needed to do was to assemble a smart team; and we were able to think out how best to get out of the problem that we had.

“Unfortunately, as we moved on, we had the issues of the crisis that came up in the Niger Delta and the blow up of the Forcados Export line, which also brought further challenges to our woes as at then.
“But we are able to work as a team to restructure our debts. We are able to prioritise the projects to undertake and we are able to move forward. Today, we have consolidated and moving on.”

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 18, 2018


Mr Mutiu Agboke, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, on Monday said a total of 1,902,032 electorate have collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from 2015 to date.

Agboke disclosed this during the Maiden Christmas Carol and Lecture organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.

According to him, 941, 705 registered voters are yet to collect their PCVs in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture is ‘’The Role of Christmas in the Conduct of Credible 2019 General Elections“.

Giving the breakdown of the PVCs distribution, the INEC official said that 1,681,144 cards were distributed in 2015 while the commission distributed 152,741 new PVCs and 68,147 old PVCs this year.

He implored owners of unclaimed PVCs to visit the nearest INEC offices in their local government areas for collection.

He charged religious leaders to sensitise their followers against hate speech, vote buying/selling, thuggery and other forms of electoral violence before, during and after the elections.

The Guest Speaker, Pastor Femi Emmanuel, General Overseer, Living Spring Church, Ibadan, noted that a credible poll in 2019 was crucial to the destiny of the nation.

Emmanuel charged Nigerians to work towards successful elections, saying that free and credible poll would douse tension and make the country to progress.

The cleric advised Christians against apathy to the electoral process and urged them to play central and crucial roles in electing those who would govern them.

He said every Christian had a duty to pray for peaceful conduct of the general elections, noting that nothing could be achievable without prayers.

He further urged Christians to be agents of peace and admonished them not to be involved in violence.

The cleric expressed optimism that the nation would overcome her challenges and witness successful general elections come 2019.

Choirs of INEC, Nigeria Prisons Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) were among groups that rendered carol songs at the occasion.

Prayers were offered for the unity of the country and success of the 2019 general elections.

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 18, 2018


Representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday staged a walkout from a meeting with a federal government delegation.

The government delegation was led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Despite the walkout, Mr Ngige expressed optimism that the strike would soon be called off.

The university lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4, demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.

The National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, led the union’s delegation to Monday’s meeting.

The ASUU delegation arrived at the ministry at exactly 5:00 p.m. but no member of the federal government delegation was around as at this time.

The government delegation led by Mr Ngige arrived at exactly 6:00 p.m.

The minister of education, Adamu Adamu, was absent at the time the meeting started.

Before the walkout and at the start of the meeting, Mr Ngige told the lecturers that he hopes a consensus on most of the issues is reached at the end of the meeting.

He assured the union that attention will be paid to three critical demands, which are salary shortfall, university revitalisation and earned allowances of lecturers.

After the walkout by the lecturers, they did not brief journalists on what caused their action.

Mr Ogunyemi, who led ASUU’s delegation to Monday’s meeting, refused to make any comment.

Mr Ngige, who briefed journalists after the walkout, did not also state what the grievances of the lecturers were. He, however, expressed optimism that the strike would be called off soon.

He said negotiations are still ongoing with ASUU and that the federal government will try to have an agreement with the lecturers before Christmas so as to allow affected university students return to school in January.

Reacting to the walk out by ASUU’s representatives, Mr Ngige said the lecturers were only dissatisfied with the decision reached.

“There is no walk out because we even broke into a session that is on camera. We can say they were dissatisfied because he is a union leader so if he doesn’t get 100 per cent he might not be smiling.

“Note that any meeting you have and people come out smiling, that means somebody has cheated the other,” he said

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 18, 2018


Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Peter Obi has insisted that the statistical data he reeled out during the Saturday December 15 Vice Presidential debate were accurate, as he obtained them from competent sources. Peter Obi Obi has been greeted with outright criticism from some Nigerians, who claimed that most of the statistical data he reeled out during the debate were not correct and overblown in most cases. Obi’s Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, in a statement yesterday, called on Nigerians to disregard those going about debunking, as incorrect, the data used by the former Governor of Anambra State to support his points during the 2018 Vice Presidential debate. Obienyem said that engaging in what he called “statistical fallacy” was a mark of persons without honour and insisted that Obi did not do so during the debate as, “the sources of all the facts and statistics he put forward could easily be verified.”

In the statement made available to journalists, Obienyem itemised all the points that Obi made during the debate and gave the source of Obi’s data, which he challenged those doubting their authenticity to verify. Part of the statement read: “During the debate, Obi said that Nigeria used over 50% of her revenue to service debt. This can be verified from DMO’s 2017 reports on Nigeria’s debt stock and total debt service. Obi said the country’s total debt stock was N22.7 trillion, about USD80 billion. This can be verified from DMO’s June 2018 report on Nigeria’s debt stock. Obi said that Mexico’s GDP was over USD1 trillion and its GDP per capita was over USD8,000 This can be verified from World Bank report on:https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD?locations=MX&view=chart). Obi said that South Africa’s stock market capitalization was USD900 billion. This can be verified from Stock Market Clock (https://www.stockmarketclock.com/exchanges/jse). Obi said that Nigerian bank loans is made up of 15% of GDP. This can be verified from the World Bank (source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/FD.AST.PRVT.GD.ZS?locations=NG&view=chart). Obi said that Nigeria had the highest number of the Poor at 87 million – growing by six persons per minute.

This can be verified from Brookings Institute publication, ‘The start of a new poverty narrative” published by Homi Kharas, Kristofer Hamel, and Martin Hofer on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (source:https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/06/19/the-start-of-a-new-poverty-narrative/). Obi said that Nigeria’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranking moved from 152 – 157. This can be verified from http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2018_human_development_statistical_update.pdf). Obi said that the Misery Index in Nigeria worsened. This can be verified from https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/hankes-annual-misery-index-worlds-saddest-happiest-countries). Obi said that the FG budgeted N340 billion on health and paid over N1 trillion on PMS subsidy. Education budget was about N400 billion. This can be verified from https://punchng.com/subsidy-on-petrol-hits-n1-4tn-per-year-says-fg/. Obi said that the ease of doing business ranking was currently at 146. This can be verified from http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/media/Annual-Reports/English/DB2019-report_web-version.pdf).Obi said that China created 7.2 million jobs within first 6 months in 2018. This can be verified fromhttp://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201809/17/WS5b9f2aeda31033b4f46566bb.html).

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 18, 2018


Bola Tinubu, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has taken a swipe at Jimi Agbaje, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for saying he wants to free Lagos.

Agbaje had said he will free the state from Alphabeta Consulting, a company which he claims receives a percentage of every dime Lagos earns in taxes and revenues.

Tinubu, former Lagos governor, reacted to the comment on Monday at the APC stakeholders’ meeting in Ikeja.

He said: “Those who said they wanted freedom should go and learn tailoring and vulcanising and we will do freedom for them later. They do not have the people.

“He was in the contest for the first and second times. He is in the contest for the third time. He will fail again.”

Tinubu said Lagos must deliver at least three million votes for the APC during the 2019 polls.

He said it is imperative for the ruling party to hold on to power and that its members “must vote en masse” for President Muhammadu Buhari.

The APC chieftain said: “Here in Lagos, we must maintain a strong outing for APC, a party of progress, development and economy. We must differentiate between a developmental economy and a container economy. We will not accept to get Nigeria corrupt again.

“We suffered 16 years of their failure and fake promises. We have made progress in Lagos We have become the fifth largest economy in Africa. We have six million votes in Lagos.

“Your target should be half; three million or the entire six million. We must vote en masse for President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, our governorship candidate, senators, house of representatives and assembly candidates, and later, our chairmen and councillors.”

Tinubu urged the party’s leaders to woo back those who have left the APC, charging the local council chairmen and councillors to hold meetings with those who are aggrieved.

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 16, 2018


The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday revealed the reason the leadership of the party preferred Senate Leader Ibrahim Lawan to other contestants in leading the Senate.

He explained that the senator is a great example of a very consistent and intellectually resourceful leader the country needs. He lamented that those he referred to as political prostitutes denied him of the opportunity to serve Nigeria in that capacity because of their selfish interest.

Tinubu who was giving a goodwill message at the Abiola Ajimobi Roundtable held in Ibadan, yesterday, lauded the Senate Leader for staying consistent in spite of what happened; stressing that it was one of the qualities that stand him out.

At the Roundtable with the theme: ‘The Imperative of Building Institutions for Lasting Legacies’ , the former Lagos State Governor said: “Senator Lawan, thank you very much. It will come from you as the institution. You are a great example of a very consistent and intellectually resourceful leader that we have in this country. We saw in him, these leadership traits and the qualities we wanted in the Senate President. We know you are qualified and competent to be, that you would have led the most important arm of our government more effectively but the political prostitutes and their robbers and their collaborators denied you of it because of selfishness and selfish aggrandisement. But instead of fleeing, you remained constant and consistent, seeing this institution as a place for truly lawmaking that we the people and you have remained consistent and constant ever since on a progressive stand. Thank you.”

While commending Governor Ajimobi for changing the fortunes of the state in the last seven years, Tinubu said his success would have been incomplete without a worthy successor. He hailed his choice of Adebayo Adelabu, who he believes would build on his exploits.

His words: “To the discussants, we have facilitated this important topic, it is all about you as a thinker and a doer and that is what Nigerians need all over – thinking and doing. The capacity to pick the right kind of people to think out the need for our society; that institution that you represent, translate it to vision and be able to do it. Unless that you have the rare combination of thinking and doing you cannot succeed as a leader and that is what you have done for Oyo State.

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 16, 2018


Ahead of the 2019 general elections, at least 50 per cent of the 360 House of Representatives members of the eighth assembly will not return to the ninth assembly next year.

A review by News men show that many of these lawmakers either lost the primary elections that were recently concluded or have moved to seek different elective positions.

Below are some of the House members who are certainly not returning in 2019 for various reasons.


In Abia, the member representing Bende federal constituency, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, is not returning to the house as she did not clinch the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election.

Unlike many of her colleagues, she did not seek to contest on a different platform.


Three out of the eight House of Representatives members from the state are not coming back.

Out of the three, two lost the APC primary while the third contested for the Senate but failed to clinch the ticket.

The two lawmakers who lost the primary are Shuaibu Abdulrahman and Abubakar Lawal. Their colleague Adamu Kamale contested for the Senate and lost.


Two out of the 10 federal lawmakers from Akwa Ibom lost their party primaries and will not return.

The lawmakers are Emmanuel Ikon and Owoidighe Ekpoatai.


Three out of 12 House members form the North-Eastern state are not returning to the next assembly.

They are Shehu Aliyu, Haliru Jika and Adamu Gurai.

While Messrs Aliyu and Gurai lost out in their various party primaries, Mr Jika was able to clinch the ticket to contest for the senatorial election. He is expected to challenge the serving senator, Isa Missau.


The oil rich south-south state has one Rep member who will not return.

The lawmaker, Sodagumo Omoni, who represents Ogbia federal constituency, lost the PDP primary.


Five of the 11 House of Representatives members from Benue are not returning to the next assembly.

The lawmakers are Emmanuel Orker-Jev, Dickson Tackighir, Saleh Hassan, Emmanuel Udende and Ezekiel Adaji.

While Mr Orker-Jev is flying the flag of the PDP in a senatorial election, the others lost their respective primaries.


Three of the 10 House of Reps members are not returning to the House over their failure to get nomination of their party.

The lawmakers are Asabe Vilita, Muhammed Sheriff and Ayuba Bello.


Three out of the 10 House of Representatives members of Delta state are not returning to the ninth assembly having lost their party primaries.

The lawmakers are: Onyemaecho Mrakpor, Idisi Lovette and Daniel Reyanju.


One out of the six lawmakers from Ebonyi is certainly not returning to the ninth assembly.

The lawmaker, Linus Okorie, who represents Ivo/Ohaozara/Onicha federal constituency, failed to clinch a return ticket.


The case of the Edo lawmaker is quite different from the norm.

The House deputy whip, Pally Iriase, is not returning in 2019 because he did not contest the elections due to local arrangements in his constituency.


One lawmaker from Ekiti state won’t make it to the next assembly.

The lawmaker, Olamide Johnson, who represents Ijero/Ekiti West/Efon federal constituency, failed to secure a return ticket in the last primary.


Just like Ekiti, one lawmaker from Enugu state is confirmed as not returning in 2019.

The lawmaker, Chukwuemeka Ujam, who is a first timer representing Nkanu East/West, failed to secure a return ticket.


The two members from the FCT are not returning in the ninth assembly.

The lawmakers are Zephaniah Jisalo and Zakari Angulu, who both contested the FCT senate primary. It is still not clear who is flying the party ticket to challenge Philip Aduda of the PDP.


Two out of the six lawmakers in Gombe state are not returning to the House of Representatives in 2019.

Binta Bello, the deputy minority whip, was able to clinch the PDP ticket for Gombe South Senatorial district while Samaila Kashena lost out in the primary.


Two out of the 10 House of Representatives members from Imo are not returning to the house for the same reason.

The two lawmakers, Chukwukere Austin and Goodluck Opiah, lost out in their party primary.


In Jigawa, three of the 11 federal lawmakers are not returning in 2019 after failing to secure return tickets.

The lawmakers are Sani Zorro, Rabiu Kaugama and Muhammed Boyi.


Of the thirty six states and FCT, Kaduna has the highest number of Rep members who are not returning in the 9th assembly.

The seven lawmakers are Adams Jagaba, Muhammad Soba, Sunday Marshal, Muhammed Abubakar, Yusuf Bala, Mohammed Usman and Lawal Rabiu.

Mr. Jagaba lost in the PDP Kaduna South primary while Mr Marshal was picked as a runningmate of the governorship candidate of the PDP, Isa Ashiru.

The rest lost out in the primary.


Four out of the 24 members of the Kano state caucus of the House of Representatives, are not returning to the house.

The four are Aliyu Madaki who is the PDP candidate for Kano Central Senatorial district, Bashir Baballe who did not contest for any election and Nasiru Baballe and Mukhtar Chiromawa who lost their respective party primary.


So far, only one member of the House of Representatives from Katsina is not returning to the next assembly.

The lawmaker, Aliyu Sani, lost in the just concluded APC primary.


In Kogi State, it is so far clear that one lawmaker is certainly not returning in 2019.

The lawmaker, Sunday Karimi, contested for the senatorial ticket of Kogi west under PDP but lost to Dino Melaye.


Out of the six lawmakers from Kwara, three are confirmed as not coming back to the 9th assembly.

The lawmakers are Razak Atunwa who is flying the ticket of the PDP for the Governorship election, Zakari Mohammed who is also flying the PDP ticket for Kwara North Senatorial district and Amuda Kanike who did not contest the primary.


Six out of the 24 Lagos federal lawmakers are not returning to the House of Representatives in 2019.

The lawmakers are Tony Nwulu, Adaranijo Abiodun, Joseph Adebayo, Bamgbose Joseph and Diya Babafemi.

Apart from Tony Nwulu who is contesting for Imo Governorship election under the United People’s Party (UPP), the rest failed to secure a return ticket to the House.


Out of the five lawmakers from Nasarawa State, only two may likely return to the house in the next assembly.

The other three lawmakers who are not returning are David Ombugadu, Mohammed Onawo and Jaafar Ibrahim.

Mr. Ombugadu is flying the PDP flag in the upcoming general elections while he is being deputized by Mr. Onawo. The third lawmaker, Jaafar Ibrahim lost in his bid to clinch the APC Governorship ticket.


Despite the controversies in Niger State, PREMIUM TIMES has been able to confirm that three lawmakers from the state are not returning in 2019.

The lawmakers are Adamu Chika, Faruk Mihammadu and Saleh Shehu who failed to secure a return ticket.


Two lawmakers from Ogun State failed to secure their tickets back to the House.

The lawmakers are Olusegun Williams and Kehinde Olusegun.


Out of the nine lawmakers from Ondo state, three of them are confirmed not to be coming back in the ninth assembly due to their inability to get a return ticket to the House.

The lawmakers are Babatunde Kolawole, Baderinwa Samson and Akinfolarin Mayowa.


In Osun state, the deputy speaker, Yusuf Lasun, is not returning in the ninth assembly.

He did not contest the House of Representatives primary.

He contested the just concluded governorship primary of the APC but lost to Gboyega Isyaka, the governor-elect.


Two lawmakers from Oyo are not returning in 2019 because they failed to secure their party nomination.

The lawmakers are Ayoade Ojoawo and Oladele George.


In Plateau state, two of its members contested for senatorial primary while one lost in his bid to secure the ticket of the House of Representatives.

Edward Pwajok who is the House chairman on rules and business, contested and lost the APC senatorial primary for Plateau North while his counterpart Istifanus Gyang is flying the PDP ticket for Plateau North.

Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande lost out in his bid to return for the third term in the House of Representatives.


Two members have so far been confirmed in Rivers as not returning in 2019.

The lawmakers are Chidi Frank who lost in the primary and Betty Apiafi who is a senatorial candidate.


Just one member has been confirmed as not returning in 2019 due to his inability to secure his party ticket.

The lawmaker, Malle Ibrahim represents Jalingo/Yorro/Zing federal constituency.


In Yobe, the member representing Fika/Fune federal constituency, Ismail Gadaka, will not be returning in the ninth assembly for his inability to secure his party ticket.


Baring any last minute change, all the APC members from Zamfara will not be returning in 2019 due to INEC’s decision to reject any list from Zamfara APC.

The APC in Zamfara, according to INEC, cannot submit any list of candidates because it failed to conduct primaries within the stipulated time.

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 16, 2018


Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has faulted the refusal of President, Muhammadu Buhari, to withhold his assent to the amended electoral bill, saying that the president and his party the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had a hidden agenda ahead of next year’s general elections.

There have been wide spread public outcry across the country over President Buhari’s refusal to sign the amended electoral bill, the president had also withdrawn his assent to the bill in September asking for some text in the bill to be revised by the National Assembly.

But his refusal to sign an amended version have been criticised by Nigerians and political stakeholders across the country, the president, however, said the passage of a new electoral bill at this period could create uncertainty and confusion in the nation’s electoral process ahead.

But speaking in an interview with Business day Thursday, National Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin, described the President’s decision as a setback to democracy in the country, stressing that there has not been any move by the President since he assumed office to safeguard the electoral process in the country.

Odumakin said it was obvious that the president decision was taken to safe guard millions of votes he allegedly illegally acquired in the north, adding that the APC was planning to rig next year’s election.

“It is unfortunate that a president, who contested election in the country more than three times before he win even up to the Supreme Court, has not done anything to improve the electoral process in the country since he assumed office.

“We are not surprised it is part of the plan to rig in 2015 presidential election, he got several votes, about 75 percent of his total votes in the north illegally.

Speaking further, he condemned the current Trader moni entrepreneur empowerment scheme of the current administration, describing it as an advance vote buying.

“His refusal to sign is a continuation of the rigging plan of the election. The trader-moni is advance vote-buying you can see the way it is been done,” Odumakin said.

Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 16, 2018


The 201 mobile courts set up by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), nationwide to prosecute traffic offenders during the yuletide season, will begin sitting on Monday.

Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal of the FRSC, disclosed this on Saturday in Ibadan during his visit to Oyo State, in an effort to ensure free flow of traffic nationwide during the yuletide season.

The Corps Marshal who was on a nationwide tour, said all his personnel would be mobilised to ensure motorist obey traffic rules and urged road users to comply with traffic regulations so as not to spend their Christmas and New Year in prison custody.

He called for maximum punishment for any motorists that assault any of his personnel, saying 71 of his officers were assaulted by motorists from January till date as a result of malicious behaviour of some road users.

Oyeyemi advised motorists to cooperate with FRSC personnel as 2018 comes to an end.

He said the commission has been able to bring down the number of road traffic crashes to single digit in 2018 compared to 2017, saying this was an indication that an appreciable achievement had been achieved.

Oyeyemi said the FRSC was embarking on critical assessment of key federal roads nationwide in which Lagos-Ibadan Express way toll-gate, Iwo road express way were among in order to ensure free flow of traffic during yuletide period.

“I am satisfied with the level of operation so far and we are complying with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure free flow of traffic and reduce road crashes.

“I have set down full enforcements to ensure removal of obstruction from highways, proper manning of all diversion areas so that we don’t experience gridlock and rescue team fully activated among others,’’ Oyeyemi said.

Oyeyemi urged road users to plan their journey and not to be in haste to complete the journey of four hours in two hours, saying most federal roads were now undergoing repair and motorist may not spend the normal time they spent when traffic was light.

He promised prompt response of the commission whenever there was traffic obstruction or road crashes and appealed to motorists to cooperate adequately.

Oyeyemi also urged the FRSC personnel to conduct themselves in a professional manner. (NAN)