Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Oyegun urges PDP to become responsible opposition party

The All Progressives Congress (APC), has congratulated the new National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP ), Prince Uche Secondus and other officers on their election at the party’s recent National Convention.
In a press statement, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun  hoped  that the newly-elected PDP National Chairman will use his experience garnered over the years to ensure that the PDP assumes its role as a responsible opposition Party in the country.
“ Our Party wholeheartedly welcome opposition because we believe that democracy cannot thrive without a vibrant but responsible opposition that puts the nation first.  This will often challenge you to balance partisan interests with overall national considerations.
“ I assure the PDP National Chairman of my willingness to engage him robustly in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony and rancour.

Akwa Ibom 2019: Nobody can stop Emmanuel’s second term

Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel has unfolded his second term ambition. In this piece, Imam Imar contends that the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not be a threat to the governor’s aspiration.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State made his public declaration for a second term as governor last week before a tumultuous crowd in Uyo, the state capital. The declaration before the impressive crowd and the ensuing developments may have redefined the narrative as to what the people of the state knew about the affairs of the state in the last eleven years.
The disclosures and developments have inevitably reset the permutations and put the ordinary people of the state in better position to assess the political players in the fray.
Takeaway Number One: Ikot Ekpene Sheraton Hotel was a lie
Governor Godswill Akpabio had commissioned the 14 floor “Four Point by Sheraton Hotel” built in his hometown, Ikot Ekpene in May, 2015 just before he left office.
But as we now know, what was merely commissioned was a building without facilities and even worse, without a contract agreement with the brand owners of the name, Sheraton!
Governor Emmanuel said: “It is just now that we have incorporated a company to negotiate with Starwood for that name Four-Point by Sheraton. If anybody has ever done that, let him show me the agreement he signed.
“It is now that we are doing external works in that premises in order to turn it into a hotel. Can a building be a hotel?”
“But the truth must be told that it is just now that I have paid $7.2 million to Starwood so that we can retain the name that was surreptitiously put on the building called Four-Point by Sheraton Hotel.”
Takeaway Number Two: Udom will not allow Akwa Ibom See War
Governor Emmanuel for more than three years had almost consistently turned the other cheek to the provocations from his predecessor. Akpbabio had regularly defied protocol and in several ways sought to put down his successor. The public declaration, however, showed a different Emmanuel who was apparently provoked by the suggestion of Akpabio that the battle to take over the state in 2019 would be like the German push to take over Warsaw, Poland during the Second World War.
A sufficiently provoked Emmanuel rose to the occasion as Chief Security Officer of the state to assure the people of the state that they would not see war.
“I heard one human being boast that the Akwa Ibom politics in 2019 will be like the invasion of Poland by Hitler. Whoever is buying guns, trying to kill our children, meanwhile they have gone to hide their own children abroad, we say Holy Ghost….”
“Politeness is not weakness, so you need to go and warn them”.
People sometime like to be reassured that they have a leader who can rise to the occasion to fight for them. Udom has assured those who were in any doubt that he would not allow his people to see war.
Takeaway Number Three:  Truth emerges on Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road
Akpabio had enough time to work and commission the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road but never did.
Akpabio had given the impression that his issues with his successor had to do with Governor Emmanuel’s failure to complete the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road. But was it really so?
The road contract was given out in December 2011 and the former governor had enough time to construct and finish the road, but he never did.
“Let nobody deceive you, it is this administration that has taken that road (Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road) up to 23 kilometres,” Governor Emmanuel disclosed last Friday.
Takeaway Number Four: Governor Emmanuel has credentials to flaunt.
The governor had for so long acted like a banker not wanting to betray the assets of his customer in his custody. However, last Friday, the governor opened up on his democracy assets albeit without compromising his respectability.
He said that his administration “has done over 1,700 kilometres of roads in the state in less than three years, renovated over 349 schools, brought down the cost of garri, (a staple food in the state), at least by 50 percent, and revived the healthcare system”.
The governor’s assertions on his performance were soundly echoed by the enthusiastic crowd who have been beneficiaries of the governor’s superior performance in governance.
One performance that really astounded many was the marked improvement made by the Udom administration in the area of education over what it inherited from the Akpabio administration. From a 56%  pass rate in five subjects, the Udom administration reflective of its huge investments in the education sector has been able to boost success rate to as much as 80%. As the governor spoke last Friday, a school from the state was representing Nigeria in a competition in Sweden.
The equipment of some General Hospitals in the state, including those in Ikono and Entinan which have been digitalised were also marks of the success of the administration.
The governor also spoke about successes in other areas, including sports observing that he had in three years brought two trophies through Akwa United to the state a giant leap compared to the nothing brought in in the eight years before then.
Takeaway Number Five: Akpabio’s loss of his political disciples
Godswill Akpabio had personified the political culture of the state and projected himself in a way that few could countermand his political nuances.
Last Friday, many of the people Akpabio brought to political limelight showed that they had seen the light for themselves. Many of them made a public renunciation of his defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC by their public appearance at the declaration of the man that Akpabio had publicly vowed to reject. Even more, many of them including the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Offiong Luke publicly disavowed him putting to question his acclaimed political weight.
Virtually all the state’s political elders in the PDP were on hand to endorse Governor Emmanuel. The huge turnout at the stadium was also another feat that showed a public affection for the governor.
By their public association with Governor Emmanuel and renunciation of Akpabio, the people showed that no man is God in Akwa Ibom.
“No man is God. Senator Akpabio’s migration to the ruling APC, at the centre, would not stop my re-election. I would work with the people to continue with our superior performance,” the governor said.
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PDP National Convention: Delegates, food vendors, posters, canopies adorn venue

The News Agency of Nigeria correspondents at the venue report that some of the delegates have also been sleeping in vehicles parked within the open spaces around the stadium since Oct. 5. Delegates, food vendors, traders in various consumables, stickers and caps have set up canopies around the Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium, venue of the 2018 National Convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents at the venue report that some of the delegates have also been sleeping in vehicles parked within the open spaces around the stadium since Oct. 5.Similarly, posters of the 13 aspirants jostling for the party’s Presidential ticket at the Convention conspicuously adorned streets leading to the stadium.The aspirants are: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Sen. Bukola Saraki; Ibrahim Dankwambo; Rabiu Kwankwaso; Aminu Tambuwal; Ahmed Makarfi; and Jonah Jang.Others are: Sen. David Mark; Sule Lamido; Atahiru Bafarawa; Tanimu Turaki; Datti Baba-Ahmed; and Stanley Osifo.The presence of Nigeria Police personnel and sister security agencies were also noticeable at the stadium gates and around the stadium to maintain law and order.Praise singers with various musical instruments professing the virtues of their candidates also thronged the venue.Accreditation of delegates had not started at the time of filing this report.A delegate, Alhaji Kure Aminu, told NAN at the Sokoto State pavilion that delegates from the state were ready for the convention, saying that Tambuwal, who is also from Sokoto State, would win.Delegates from Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo separately told NAN that they were voting for aspirants they believed would win the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the PDP.Garba Iliyasu, a delegate from Bauchi State, also expressed confidence that PDP would win in the 2019 elections.

National Assembly: 6 things to expect as lawmakers resume on September 25

With the locks of the National Assembly set to be taken down, all political bets are off. The National Assembly embarked on a legislative recess during its last session on July 24 amid a controversial clampdown on its leadership.For weeks, the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC) has called for Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to reconvene the national assembly with threats of impeachment hovering over him.The senate president has kept the baying mob at arm’s length for weeks while the locks on the National Assembly remained intact.However, those locks are set to come off as lawmakers will resume legislative sessions next week on Tuesday, September 25, as scheduled.With the resumption just days away, it’s worth talking about all the things that are set to happen.1. To impeach or not?Since the National Assembly went on recess, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has dumped the ruling APC and returned to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and is in the running for the party’s presidential ticket.This has attracted calls for him to step down as leader of the National Assembly with threats that he’ll be impeached otherwise. The ruling party, spearheaded by its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has been boasting about having enough lawmakers to impeach Saraki while Saraki has been boasting that such a thing is impossible.With the Senate set to resume, Saraki’s position as president is back under the spotlight and it’s time for Nigerians to finally find out who has the numbers to have the last laugh. 2. Defection floodgate will likely reopenJust before the National Assembly embarked on recess in July, around 50 lawmakers in the upper and lower legislative chambers dumped the APC, with most heading to the PDP.Since they commenced the recess, there’s been a move here and a move there, with Senator Godswill Akpabio most notably dumping the PDP for the APC.Recently, the PDP has been boasting that it has more APC lawmakers, and governors, who are willing to defect and are just biding their time.Resumption day is as good as any to throw up some defection drama and it’ll be unsurprising to see lawmakers shuffle parties next week and come up with even more lame excuses than have already been used.3. Let the new Senate President stand upIf Saraki’s impeachment is successful, it means the Senate will brace itself for a new face at the helm of affairs. Since he’s Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan is the favourite to be elected the new Senate President.However, Akpabio has also been touted as a likely candidate to take the job if Saraki gets taken out.4. Speaker Dogara also faces chopping blockUnwilling to let the upper legislative chamber have all the fun, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, will have some impeachment drama of his own to deal with on Tuesday.The lawmaker followed in Saraki’s footsteps and dumped the APC for the PDP last week and is already facing impeachment threats from the ruling party. Despite his very public animosity with the party, Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, has not followed Dogara to the PDP and might be favourite to replace him as Speaker if he gets impeached by the APC-majority chamber (pending possible defections, anyway).The entire leadership of the National Assembly might get a major facelift by the end of Tuesday.5. To resign or not?This ranks really low on a list of things to happen, expecially because Saraki has stated explicitly that he won’t resign, but you can’t completely bet against the Senate President resigning on Tuesday before he can be possibly impeached.Get them before they get you.6. A new Dino Melaye song?Whichever way the wind blows for Saraki next week, his BFF, Senator Dino Melaye, can be trusted to bring some spice into the mix with his infamous artistic fervour.You cannot rule out a new Dino Melaye studio mix with all the drama Nigerians are set to face next week.

Soyinka’s Essay On Violent Killings Is A Wake-Up Call – Abati

Reuben AbatiA former Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Reuben Abati has said that Nigeria may not recover from the spate of renewed herdsmen attacks in parts of the country if it is not nibbed in the bud as soon as possible.
He stated this on Thursday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, hours after the Benue State Government conducted a mass burial for over 70 persons killed by suspected herdsmen in the state.
“We are going into an election year now. If this matter is not dealt with decisively and if no attempt is made to address the Miyetti Allah and other stakeholders, we may not require from this crisis in another 25 years,” he said.
Abati also advised the Federal Government to take up the issues a renowned Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka raised in his recent article.
Professor Soyinka had alleged that former President Jonathan refused to accept the news of Boko Haram had abducted the pupils of Chibok Girls Secondary School in Borno four years ago.
He said, “President Goodluck Jonathan refused to accept that marauders had carried off the nation’s daughters; President Muhammed Buhari and his government – including his Inspector-General of Police – in near identical denial, appear to believe those killer herdsmen who strike again and again at will from one corner of the nation to the other, are merely hot-tempered citizens whose scraps occasionally degenerate into communal clashes.”
Abati noted that the development was similar to the way insurgency started in the country a few years back.
He added, “Professor Soyinka made a point that all of us should pay attention to, the fact that we seem to be in a state of denial. The government seem to be in a state of denial on this s particular matter.
“And that was how the Boko Haram crisis started. At the end of the day, Nigeria is paying the price for it. So Professor Soyinka’s essay at the end of the day is a wake-up call,” he added.
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INEC Extends Deadline For Continuous Voter Registration

File photo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has also extended the deadline for the Continuous Voter Registration by two weeks.
More to follow…
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Oyo 2019: APC, PDP, ADC in succession battle

The gale of defections has hit major political parties in Oyo State. This is affecting their 2019 permutations. No fewer than 32 aspirants are struggling for governorship tickets across the parties. Who succeeds Governor Abiola Ajimobi? Southwest Bureau Chief BISI OLADELE examines the challenges confronting the parties ahead of  next year’s election.
Many voters are confused because of the gale of defections that has hit major political parties. The situation is much clustered in Oyo State where some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have defected to the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to team up with former governor, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja. The former governor had last year defected from Accord party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his original party. But, he led his supporters again to the ADC last week, claiming dictatorship and lack of sincerity on the part of the PDP leadership. With him is Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin and Sharafadeen Alli.
Also in the ADC are former chieftains of the APC, including Chief Michael Koleoso, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu, Dr Yunus Akintunde, Deputy Speaker Abdulwasil Musa, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, many serving state and federal lawmakers and former local government chairmen.
Their defection to the ADC has boosted the ranks and chances of the hitherto unknown party in the state, making it a party to reckon with in the next year’s general election.
In the PDP, Seyi Makinde still holds the ace as he teams up with Sen. Ayo Adeseun, Chief Bisi Ilaka and Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, among others.
In the APC, over 32 aspirants are itching to succeed Ajimobi. They include former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Joseph Tegbe, Ajiboye Omodewu, Adebayo Adelabu, Fatai Buhari, Adeniyi Akintola, Adesoji Akanbi and Azeez Adeduntan.
The three top parties are working hard daily to put their best candidate forward for the election even as they patiently monitor one another in the in the build up to the election.
The parties
The ADC was unknown until aggrieved APC members defected to it. Since then, it has been gaining popularity through the activities of the new members.
The strength of the party in Oyo State lies in the name of Ladoja and the number of serving federal and state lawmakers and other APC juggernauts. They are spread across the state. Some of its leaders are good mobilisers and have good record with the people in their various communities.
But, the party’s weakness lies in its doubtful ability to match the APC and PDP in financial might, particularly in this era of voters monetisation and high cost of mobilising for elections. The ADC may also struggle to get sufficient number of supporters to upstage a ruling party, given the fact that the majority of voters are not just massively divided between APC and ADC. The PDP remains a major player in the race.
Also, some followers of Ladoja have refused to follow him to the ADC. While some stayed back in Accord, others stayed back in the PDP because of their own interest and other considerations. Consequently, Ladoja’s political strength may not be absolutely the same as it was in the 2011 and 2015 elections.
As Ilaka succinctly put it on a radio interview recently, many new voters who just attained voting age in the last 10 years are not likely to vote for Ladoja, having left governance for more than 10 years. Many of them, he said, are unaware of his performance in office as governor between 2003 and 2007.
Not only that, as the APC reconciliation machinery advances, some aggrieved members may still be wooed back into the fold, thereby depleting the ranks of the ADC.
The APC still remains the party to beat in next year’s election in Oyo State. Though critics have listed a number of flaws of the current administration, its achievements are unrivaled since the return of civilian regime in 1999. From security to infrastructural development, elevation of the governance system and decency in political practice, Ajimobi has earned himself the credential of the author of the modern Oyo State.
Besides, the APC is in charge of the Federal Government and many states in Nigeria. Its victory in Ekiti State in the July election, which sealed its fortune as the only party in governance in the entire Southwest, will also serve as motivation for many voters to prefer it in the 2019 elections. This factor will also draw many financial supporters to its cause.
After the image of the PDP was battered by its profligacy toga, which culminated in its electoral rout in 2015 and the many revelations of financial crimes committed by its leading lights all over Nigeria, the APC is still seen as a saner party by many voters.
Oyo and Oke-Ogun zones are more likely to prefer the APC. The same may play out in Ogbomoso, if Alao-Akala remains in the party.
Not only that, the APC is considered the most popular and best organized party in the state, because it has been the ruling party in the last seven years. While the ADC is still trying to organise itself, having drawn together people from different political backgrounds, the PDP is still reeling from the loss of Ladoja. It has gone back to the drawing board to see how it can attract more crowd pullers within the limited time to the election. Whether or not it can succeed on that is questionable.
The PDP is far from regaining its strength in Oyo State since it was defeated in the 2011 elections. Its leading figures have since left for other parties. They include Ladoja, Alao-Akala, Teslim Folarin and Taofeek Arapaja. Without the influence of the former leaders, it may be difficult for the party to win governorship election in the state.
Though its leader, Makinde, is targeting youths in his campaign, the task of mobilizing voters of all ages may be a huge challenge for the PDP  to accomplish. Makinde’s ambition to pick the governorship ticket allegedly forced Ladoja out of the party. That loss is huge for the PDP.
The succession battle will not be a child’s play, even for the APC, owning to the confusion cause by the defection of politicians. Besides, the number of aspirants presents another Herculean task, if the experience of Osun State is taken seriously. Coming up with an acceptable and popular candidate is the hard nut the APC must crack, if it intends to produce Ajimobi’s successor.
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In Enugu: APC Congress: New leaders emerge amidst rancorous exercise

The congress which held at the indoor hall of the National Sports Commission (NSC) also returned Mr Ikechukwu Oloto as the party secretary while Mr Adolphus Ude was voted as the deputy chairman. The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has elected Chief Okey Ogbodo as its new chairman.The congress which held at the indoor hall of the National Sports Commission (NSC) also returned Mr Ikechukwu Oloto as the party secretary while Mr Adolphus Ude was voted as the deputy chairman.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Queen Nwankwo was elected women’s leader.NAN, however, reports that the congress was conducted amidst rancor as some party chieftains as well as the congress electoral committee and representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) walked out of the venue.However, the DSS and other security agencies were present during the exercise.The aggrieved party chieftains, including the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu alleged that non-accredited delegates gained entrance into the venue.Other chieftains of the party that walked out of the venue included former governor of the state, Mr Sullivan Chime and former state party chairman, Mr Ben Nwoye.Briefing newsmen after the election, Ogbodo said he was on a mission to unite all warring factions of the party.He said that the time had come for members of the party to get things rights in order to fully support the administration of President Muhammad Buhari.He said that the party would not tolerate any form of impunity, corruption and sabotage.Ogbodo called on all aggrieved members of the party to sheath their swords in order to win future elections in the state.Meanwhile, NAN further reports that prior to the exercise, the state chapter of the party had been enmeshed in controversy with each of the factions conducting its parallel congresses.However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama had during a meeting of party faithful in the state called for unity in the conduct of the election.Onyeama said that it would be wrong to disenfranchise both aspirants and delegates who had either bought nomination forms or were elected as delegates.Meanwhile, the party chieftains that staged a walkout from the exercise had yet to react to the outcome of the exercise as their whereabouts were not known.

There Will Be No Electronic Voting In 2019 – INEC

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said that there will be no use of the electronic voting system in the 2019 general elections.
Professor Yakubu said this on Friday while addressing participants at the International Press Institute world conference which took place in Abuja.
“There is no electronic balloting in 2019. In other words, there will be no electronic voting in the next general election but technology is already being used in many aspects of the processes.
“Electronic voting should be the ultimate step in the chain involving five inter-related processes,” he said.
Read Also: Reps Reject Electronic Voting, Pass Electoral Act Amendment Bill
The occasion also saw the adoption of the revised 2018 edition of the Nigerian Media Code of election coverage by media stakeholders across the country, with the European Union pledging to support free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria.
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I’m Not Afraid Of Free, Fair Elections In 2019 – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that the 2019 polls, under his watch, are free, fair and credible.
While addressing a gathering of Nigerians on Sunday in Beijing, the President said that as a beneficiary of free and fair elections, he is not afraid of a credible process in 2019.
He also stated that Nigerians eligible to vote in the general elections will be allowed to freely elect candidates of their choice.
‘‘I have no fear about free and fair elections because that is what brought me to the present position. I know what I went through and very few Nigerians could boast of trying four times [contesting for the presidency.
‘‘Those interested in participating in the elections must get their PVCs, register in their constituency and elect anybody of their choice across ethnicity and religion.
‘‘The Nigerian police, law enforcement agencies and INEC must respect the people to express their wishes,’’ he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Citing recent elections in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi States, the President said the country had made progress compared to elections conducted in the past years.
On security issues, he stated that his government has succeeded in curtailing Boko Haram insurgents in the country, adding that the terrorist group no longer controls any part of the country.
He attributed the success to operations of security agencies deployed to counter-insurgency in the North-eastern part of the country.
Speaking about the Nigeria-China relations, the President applauded China’s generosity and contribution to the development of Nigeria, citing the successful completion of the Abuja-Kaduna railway line, built by the Chinese, and ongoing works on Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Abuja, Kano railway routes.
Greener Pastures
He said Nigeria and China are also negotiating on the Mambilla project.
President Buhari also addressed the issue of migration for “greener pastures”.
He advised Nigerians planning to travel abroad for ‘‘greener pastures’’ to do so legitimately and not to expect too much from their countries of destination.
‘‘You cannot seek greener pastures in a place where you are not respected because of the colour of your skin or your lack of education or other things. Personally, I think you will earn more respect when you remain at home and get a job,’’ he said.
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Dapchi: Playing Politics With Innocent Children Disgraceful – Ogundamisi

Political Analyst, Kayode Ogundamisi, has criticised the government over what he describes as “playing politics” with the lives of innocent girls who were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from their school in Dapchi, Yobe state.
While analysing the circumstances of their abduction and subsequent release, he said the Federal Government ought not to celebrate their ‘victory’, as the girls should not have been kidnapped in the first instance.
He made the comments on Thursday, when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“For the Nigerian Government to even celebrate the release of these girls, they should hide their heads in shame, these girls should not have been kidnapped in the first place.
“The government should have lived up to its responsibility and learnt from the mistake of the PDP government in the case of the Chibok Girls,” Ogundamisi said.
Speaking further, the analyst also took a swipe at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had accused the APC of ‘scripting’ the abduction of the schoolgirls.
He also criticized the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who had accused the Government of complicity in the abduction of the Dapchi Girls.
Ogundamisis said: “Watching Governor Fayose, personally as a father of three girls, it is shameful.
“It is disgraceful, then hearing the PDP, the opposition party treat real tragedy of human beings, in this way, I feel so uncomfortable and I cannot believe I come from the same country as those elements.
“To play politics with the lives of helpless, harmless innocent children in our country is disgraceful and I think the supporters of the PDP should knock sense into the head of people like Governor Fayose.”
He, however, stressed the need for all political and ethnic groups to unite at a crucial time for the nation such as this.
“As a country, this is the time we need to unite whether you’re PDP, APC or whoever you are, whether from the south or north because if there is fire in Maiduguri or Yobe, there is fire all over Nigeria.
“We need to drop our political differences and come together.”
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Aminu Tambuwal: Sokoto state Gov. loses 252 aides to APC

And they have returned to the All Progressives Congress, instead of working under a PDP government. In what appears like a political earthquake,  252 Special advisers and Special assistants appointed by Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state have resigned  their appointments.And they have returned to the All Progressives Congress, instead of working under a PDP government.Alhaji Ibrahim Haske, a special adviser to the renegade governor and  spokesman for all the aides, announced this  at a news conference  in Sokoto on Sunday.He said their decision followed  Gov. Tambuwal’s defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).“Our appointment is based on the position that APC is the political party governing the state and now that the government belongs to PDP, we have no option other than to resign.“We are bonafide members of APC and our position has always remained same; we therefore resign voluntarily from the PDP government ,” Haske said.Haske, who was a former Sokoto South Local Government Chairman, further explained the decision was based on their desire to support APC to deliver on its mandate  after the  2019 general elections.Alhaji Abdullahi Sokoto, also a special adviser to Tambuwal,  restated the  former aides’  commitment and dedication toward ensuring the success of APC across the state.“We will continue to remain in our party APC and as such we sacrifice our political appointments to clarify people’s doubt and show our stand on party supremacy.”He restated the group’s loyalty and support to the policies and programme of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of APC.In his reaction, the APC Chairman in the state, Alhaji Sadiq Achida, commended the former aides  to  Gov. Tambuwal for their demonstration of  loyalty to the party.He said, “the sacrifice of the Special advisers is highly recommended and will surely be rewarded by the people and APC in future.

APC Youths Ask Buhari To Urgently Address Security, Leadership Crisis

Youths from the All Progressives Congress (APC) have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the issues of security and leadership challenges confronting Nigeria.
There has been series of the crisis affecting the country both in security and party leadership.
The youths of the affected party are worried about these issues and are asking the Federal Government to intervene in the situation.
The President during his democracy broadcast on May 29th said the killings across the country, the destruction, and sorrow caused by the Boko Haram insurgency is a source of pain for his administration.
He said, “This administration is pained over the grievous loss of lives and properties occasioned by the carnage of insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country”.
He, however, pledged that the Federal Government would not only work to end the killings, it would also make sure those behind them are punished.
“I wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest until all criminal elements and their sponsors are brought to justice. Government is boosting the capacity of our security agencies through recruitment of more personnel, training, and procurement of modern equipment, enhancement of intelligence gathering as well as boosting their morale in the face of daunting challenges,” he said.
Meanwhile, the leader of the group and member of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Jamilu Mohammed has said that a secure and peaceful Nigeria will promote the nation’s democracy and guarantee a free, fair and credible general election come 2019.
He also appealed to the government to improve the welfare of security agents in order to reduce the nation’s security challenges to the barest minimum.
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Osinbajo: Full text of VP’s address at Tinubu event

Here’s full text of speech VP Yemi Osinbajo delivered at the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium. Vice Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s speech at the 10th Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium touched on corruption and the APC road map for a troubled nation.The event held at the Eko Convention Center in Lagos on March 29, 2018. Here’s Osinbajo’s speech in full:__Let me first say that we started this colloquium now about 10 years ago, and I’m sure that most of us have heard the story. Many of those who started the idea of the colloquium probably are here with us today.  Most of us had worked with the then Governor of Lagos State, Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for several years, some for four years, some for eight years. And we decided that every year, on the occasion of his birthday, we would take time to discuss matters of national importance. Part of the reason why we did so was because Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was an unusual governor in Lagos State. Let me say why it was unusual. The reason why it was unusual was because it was a government where there was a great deal of argument and he, as the leader of that government, allowed so much argument and so many different shades of ideas.Land use chargeI recall a particular occasion, when we started talking about the land use charge. I know that there are issues around the land use charge today. But when the old concept developed around the land use charge, there were so many arguments. One group felt that we shouldn’t even introduce the charge, another group felt that we should do so. I remember that in Ikeja, where this argument was taking place, we were in a small room; Lai Mohammed was there, Wale Edun, Yemi Cardoso, I think Dele Alake, and a few others. We were all there arguing on both sides. At some point, when Asiwaju was losing the argument, he said, “Ah, were you the people who were voted for?” Then he stormed out of the room and left. Then, we all waited. Nobody left. He came back a few minutes later and said, “ah, are you people still here? Then he continued the argument. Now he came back with more facts and figures. So we suspected that when he stormed out of the room, he actually went to bring some more facts.In the end, we instituted the charge and so many other different ways by which the foundation for what we see in Lagos State today were developed. IdeasAnd I want to just commend Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu again, for ensuring that, not only did he develop a whole generation of persons who have become, in various respects leaders, but also that he allowed that group of people to develop ideas to contradict him many times, to controvert his own ideas many times, and many times, he gave in to those ideas, and we’ve seen the results of it. My role here is to tie the knots and link the philosophy to governance and commitment of our social investment programme.Social programmeI want to thank His Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for giving me the opportunity to coordinate this programme and also for giving me a free hand to run the programme. The way the programme was structured is that in order to ensure transparency, we left all of the issues around procurement and financing to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. We have a steering committee of ministers, an inter-ministerial group, about six or seven ministers I think, who decide what to do and what the direction would be. I chair that group of ministers, that inter-ministerial team. I must again say I pay my deep respect to the man in whose honour we are gathered here today and for whom we gather every year to explore and advance ideas that we hope would shape our nation for the better. And I must say that the Bola Tinubu Colloquium still draws its thematic priority from the main focus of Bola Tinubu’s life- the people. Not only is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu a man of the people, his life’s story in both private and public spheres, tells of a fighter and champion of people-oriented causes. CorruptionLet me say that when we began this journey in 2014, and when I say ‘this journey’ I refer to our government, our party, the APC, was determined to change the dominant narrative about our country. We were determined to ensure that the notion of a country rich in all natural resources, but even richer in human capital, but being destroyed daily by grand corruption, and the impunity in the looting of public resources; we had to change that narrative. We saw a nation where a few in office had so privatized the commonwealth that while oil prices were at their highest and we were getting growth figures as high as 7%, the majority of people remained extremely poor.  On one of our campaign trips in Zamfara State, Mr. President said, “Look at the eyes of this people,” and of course, we saw the poverty and desperation in their eyes. Then he said, “They expect us to fix this problem of their poverty as soon as we get into office.” So the President on the campaign trail emphasized three things; security, the economy; and by the economy here, in particular the welfare of the people and corruption. To address the question of the welfare of the people, we realized that if we waited for the economy to pick up and then provide jobs for the people, especially young people, many would have given up hope, and many would have ended up in all manner of illegal activities. AgricultureSo we decided on two things; one to invest heavily in Agriculture; to create jobs in the hinterlands, provide enough food locally and for all of the urban areas. In our agriculture programme, I’m sure that many would already agree that this has been a tremendous success. Several millions of Nigerians have been employed in agriculture. Some who have abandoned their farms, in fact, Mr. President tells the story of his own village where people used to let out farms; they used to lease out their farms to farmers from Kano. But now, nobody is leasing out their farms anymore. Everybody is on his own farm. The more interesting part of that story is that not only are more people now going to Hajj, they are also taking more wives. AudaciousSecondly we also decided to put in place an audacious Social Investment Programme to the tune of N500 billion, the largest  pro-poor programme in our nation’s history, and the largest social safety net, at least in Sub-Saharan Africa. This was despite the fact that by 2015, oil prices fell by over 50% and our production also fell from over 2 million barrels a day to less than 700,000 barrels a day, sometimes even 500,000 barrels in 2016. We have seen today the empirical evidence of the successes of this programme, and all of that is evident for us to see and listen to several testimonies and stories. 200,000 jobs for undergraduates employed under the N-Power programme, 300,000 more waiting to be employed; they have been pre-selected; over 7 million children being fed daily in 22 States so far; beneficiaries of microcredit loans going to about 300,000; and almost 300,000 households benefiting from conditional cash transfers. EconomyAs for our fight against corruption, we realized, as Mr. President said, that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us. Corruption is an existential problem for Nigeria. Let me pause here to reiterate that from all I have seen in government in the past three years, the corruption of the previous five years is what destroyed the Nigerian economy. Every time we talk about this, every time we talk about corruption, our opponents say, “Don’t talk about it, just do your own, Don’t talk about it.” The Yorubas have an adage, they say, and I will translate that. It says “When the conversation comes to the matter of tales, the frog will say, let us skip that, don’t talk about it.” We will talk about it. And the reason why we will talk about it is, first, we must let our people know that we cannot afford to go this way again; never again should we allow a system where people take the resources of this country and skew the resources of this country, use the resources against the people of this country, and at the same time, they want to continue in ruler-ship. The second is that, we as a party and your government, must show the difference between us and the party and government that impoverished our nation. We must show that difference.Oil priceLet me give you an example. In 2014, when oil was at between 100 dollars and 114 dollars a barrel, the actual releases for capital for three ministries – Power, Works and Housing – then they were three separate ministries, was in total N99 billion; while Transportation got 14 billion, and Agriculture got 15 billion. I’m talking about actual releases, not budgeted, what they actually got.Let’s compare that with capital releases to the same ministries in 2017, when oil price was between $50 and $60 a barrel, N415 Billion for Power, Works & Housing, N80 Billion for Transportation; N65 Billion for Agriculture; totalling N560 Billion, in a time when we were earning at least 50% less than we were earning in 2014. What is the reason why this is possible? It is possible because if you do not steal the resources of the people, you can spend on the projects that concern the people; it is as simple as that. If you are not stealing the money, you will spend it on the right things, and this is what we have seen. When the President insisted that the TSA must be done, we suddenly discovered that we actually could see for ourselves how much money was available in the system, and so much money was available. We doubled the money from everywhere, and we found out that this money was available. Election theftAnd when we say that this same government that spent N139 Billion only on all of Agric, Power, Works and Housing, Transport, etc; spent between January 2015 and the elections, the sum of a N100 Billion in cash and 289 million dollars, altogether about a 100 Billion in cash, was released and spent, shared. This sum of money was in excess of the amount of money that was spent on Power, Works and Housing. And this is the point we are making, that there is no country in the world, and we must know this; there is no country in the world that would allow its resources to be plundered in the way our own resources were plundered and expect to be economically viable; it is not possible. Nigeria is unlike any other country because of the level of corruption that was perpetrated. We must stop that corruption and that is why we are so committed.When you fight corruption the way we are fighting it, corruption is going to fight back. The system would fight back. You will find that the fight-back is taking place everywhere, it is taking place on social media, it is taking place everywhere. But we are determined. When you listen to the stories of these young people, when you listen to the stories of the vulnerable, the disabled, and all of these people, these are the people for whom we are responsible; these are the people who voted for us. We must ensure that we defend their rights, it is in the defence of the rights of these people that we will put everything out to make sure that those who have been taking the resources of this country are made to pay for it.Strategic allianceI will just give you one last example. Three billion US dollars was lost to something called the Strategic alliance contracts in NNPC, 3 Billion US Dollars, and never paid back. Now, the same 3 Billion dollars, the Minister of Finance sat with us at a meeting of the Economic Management Team, and we are proposing; in fact 3 billion dollars is about a trillion naira. We are now proposing foreign loans for the same 3 billion dollars: (to build the following roads): Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road, 2nd Niger Bridge, Enugu-Port Harcourt road, East-West road, Sagamu-Ore-Benin road, Kano-Maiduguri road, Abuja-Lafia-Akwanga-Keffi road, and Lagos-Abeokuta: the old road, all for the same 3 billion. That is why the criminal looting of this country cannot be allowed to continue and those who did it must be held to account.Today we earn almost 50% less than five years ago and we are investing several times more. In 2017 we spent 1:3 Trillion on capital, the largest in the history of this country, despite earning 50% less. PovertyThe majority of our people depend on the integrity of those who govern them because they don’t have the odds. They are far too poor, in many cases, far too vulnerable to be able to say anything for themselves. It is our historic duty as a party, as a government, to provide for all of them, to be a voice for them, to make the sacrifices that are necessary, even when the sacrifices are costly; we must make those sacrifices for them. That is why I am so pleased that the government of President Buhari has chosen the path of the people, to stand with the people. In this government, we have chosen to take the side, and we will remain taking the side of the people of this country.Again, let me commend the man for whom we are gathered, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the man whom has been known time and time again for his battles for the people of this country, beginning here in Lagos State, all over the South West and for the entire nation.I want to commend him for his resilience and for sticking to his principles as a fighter for the people of this country. On our part as a government, and for the rest of us, I believe that the best times for our country are yet to come. The future of our country is bright; day by day, step by step, we are going in the right direction. Our country is getting better and better every day. Thank you very much and God bless you.

Umahi seeks proper utilization of corps members skills

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, has sought for the deployment of next batch of the members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to their specific areas of specialization while in the higher institution.
He said it would be of no use posting corps members who studied Engineering, Agricultural Science or Information Technology to classrooms where their impact would not be felt.
Umahi requested this when he received the new State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) posted to the state, Mrs Ann Ibe, and other officials of the council who accompanied her to the Government House, Abakaliki.
“When these new set of people will come, let me look at the list to know those who are professionals and see how we will use the professionals instead of teaching.
Read Also: I won’t castigate Buhari, says Umahi
He said from next batch, his administration will utilize the expertise of Engineers among the corps in its massive construction projects around the state
“Some of them that are in ICT will also be useful. Civil and mechanical engineers and those who read Agriculture Science will not go to teach.
“You should be looking for lands. The NYSC should have a land for agriculture. We can give you a land and partner with you to do the agriculture. Let everybody be working”, he said.
The Governor also promised to renovate the permanent NYSC orientation camp at the Old MacGregor College, Afikpo which had become very dilapidated.
He also directed the Chief of Staff to immediately secure a Residential Area for the State Coordinator.
Earlier in her speech, the new State Coordinator, Mrs Ibe, lauded the governor for his welfare packages for the corps members serving in various state government establishments and the conducive environment the government has provided.
“My predecessor briefed me appropriately on the support of your administration to the NYSC in the state. Worthy of mention are the release of meal subsidy for the feeding of corps members during orientation course; payment of monthly stipend of N5,000 only to corps members serving in state schools among others”, Mrs Ibe said.
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