Friday, 07 August 2020
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (1024)

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday asked Nigerians not to despair, saying they had fought leaders, who he described as more ruthless and more dictatorial than President Buhari, in the past.

The former Vice-President was reacting to the President order that ballot box snatchers should be shot, while speaking at the opening of the emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the PDP in Abuja.

Atiku also cautioned soldiers and other security agents against obeying unlawful orders from President Buhari.

He said the military and other security agencies were not bound to obey unlawful orders.

Atiku said, “When you people are talking about democracy, I have always said that General Muhammadu Buhari is not a democrat. He has never been a democrat. We started the fight to drive the military away from governance, he was never there. He never participated.

“I am sure that you have followed with interest, utterances from the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, and General Muhammadu Buhari in particular which are a painful reminder of the era of dictatorship and military rule. General Buhari has consistently violated the constitution; he failed to uphold the rule of law.

“Only yesterday (Monday), General Buhari said and I quote, “The military and police should be ruthless. Anybody who disturbs the voting system will do so at his own risk” that is General Buhari.

“It is shocking for any head of state to utter such words in a democracy and we shall not accept it from General Buhari in this country. We have fought more ruthless dictators than him.”

Atiku alleged that the All Progressives Congress had equipped many of their members with unnamed devices that could slow down or hasten the Smart Card Readers during the presidential poll.

He said the APC was doing that in some geopolitical zones where the APC allegedly believed it would never win.

He said, “So, if you are in the South-South, South-East and North-Central, you are likely to get your card readers to be slowed by those APC operatives.

“We have seen the machines; we have interviewed some of those who have gone on this training, and we have passed that information to the campaign council to pass to you.

“But if you are from the North-West or North-East the tendency is that they will use these machines to fasttrack the reading of your card readers, so that many of their supporters can vote while disenfranchising the other three zones.”

Atiku said that the President Buhari owed a duty to the electorate to ensure that the presidential poll was free, fair and credible.

“If you do so and if you win, then the people will commend you for it but otherwise, history will condemn you for it but before history does that, we will condemn you for it,” he added.

Posted On Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:09 Written by

Two Nigerian soldiers were killed and six others injured when Boko Haram jihadists attacked a military post near the Cameroon border, security sources told AFP Monday, days before rescheduled presidential elections.

Fighters loyal to long-time factional leader Abubakar Shekau launched the attack on Sunday evening some 15 kilometres (nearly 10 miles) from the town of Banki.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on a pledge to defeat the Islamist militants but despite his repeated claims that they have been weakened to the point of defeat, attacks persist.

His failure to end the violence is again a polling issue as Buhari seeks re-election this weekend.

“We lost two soldiers to Boko Haram terrorists who attacked Alpha Company location…” a military officer in Banki said on condition of anonymity.

“Six soldiers were also injured in the attack,” he said. The account was backed by a civilian militia member in the town.

The injured troops were evacuated to a hospital in Mora, across the border in Cameroon.

Banki is 130 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, and houses some 45,000 people displaced by the conflict in a sprawling camp.

Boko Haram has launched several attacks in and around Banki, targeting troops and the displaced.

Last month two soldiers were killed and seven civilians injured in an ambush on a convoy of traders under military escort in Chachile village.

Boko Haram has in recent months stepped up attacks against military targets which have been blamed on or claimed by IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

On Saturday, four soldiers and five jihadist fighters were killed when ISWAP fighters attacked a base in the town of Buni Yadi, in nearby Yobe state, the military said.

Five civilians were killed and 11 injured in the crossfire.

The conflict, which began in 2009, has killed more than 27,000 people and left 1.8 million homeless in northeast Nigeria.

The violence has spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Posted On Monday, 18 February 2019 19:44 Written by

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there is no more room for political campaign or collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in spite of the postponement of elections dates by one week.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure while fielding questions at the commission’s meeting with stakeholders, on Saturday in Abuja.

Yakubu said that the deadline for the collection of PVCs and elections campaign by political parties according to election timetable has passed.

“Campaign closed on Thursday, Feb. 14, and for the period that remain campaign remained closed.

“All the other process that remain in the main timetable remain closed including the collection of PVC, except the conduct of the elections,” he said.

On why the commission did not consult party leaders before adjusting the dates of the elections, Yakubu said that it was due to the urgency and that Section 36 of the Electoral Act empowered the commission to do so.

“We have to take a decision and communicate because polls were suppose to open at 8a.m. and we took the decision at 2a.m,” he said.

Yakubu while answering question on why the commission waited till about 3a.m on Saturday before postponing the elections, said that up till 2a.m the commission was still hopeful that elections would hold as scheduled.

On whether the commission has enough fund should the elections be postponed again, Yakubu said that INEC was not complaining, adding that the commission do not intend to postpone any of the elections again.

On request that INEC should compensate political parties for the change in dates, Yakubu said that INEC did not finance parties.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomole, expressed displeasure that INEC waited till last few hour before announcing the postponement to Nigerians, demanding the apology of Yakubu to Nigerians and political parties.

He said the postponement entailed huge loss to political parties who had no public fund to fall on like INEC, saying if the postponement was done on time, loss and inconveniences to political parties would have been avoided.

“Serious inconveniences has been caused, Nigerians have been subjected to rude shock and I fell extremely cold.

“I think we should be honest. I am shocked, disappointed and disgusted.

“The real question I will insist, Mr Chairman by all due respect, is to tell us why by Wednesday you did not announce the postponement, since you acknowledged that the weather was bad.

“You should have taken all these into account and announced this postponement at least 48 hours before the elections time, so that political parties don’t have to mobilise resources across 176,000 Polling units.

“Observer will stay where they were and a lot of inconveniences would have been saved,” Oshiomole said.

Representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Osita Chidoka, former Aviation Minister and Chairman, Strategy Committee of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, commended decision of the commission for not allowing the experienced challenges to lead to staggered elections.

Chidoka, requested for INEC assurance that Activate Technologies Limited, one of the companies producing the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), would not be involved in the retrieval and reconfiguration of card readers to be used for the rescheduled elections.

He said that available information was that the Managing Director of of the company was a senatorial candidate of APC in Niger State.

He also requested that the commission should allow independent verification that sensitive materials to be retrieved to the CBN had not been opened or tampered with.

The National Chairman, Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), Chief Peter Ameh, said initially he was angered that INEC did not consult political parties like it was being done before change of election date in the past.

Ameh, who is also the National Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), however, said that with the explanation by INEC Chairman, it was clear that the decision was taken in the interest of the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that INEC had shifted the Presidential and National Assembly elections from Feb. 16 to Feb. 23 and the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections from March 2 to March 9.

Posted On Saturday, 16 February 2019 21:27 Written by

INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu and other national commissioners: Presidential and governorship elections postponed

The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has decided to shift Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections till next week 23 February. The governorship and house of assembly, FCT area council elections have also been shifted from 2 March to 9 March.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu confirmed earlier report of the shift of the presidential election, attributing the postponement of all the scheduled elections to logistic and operational problems.

He said the postponement will afford the commission the opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain the quality of Nigeria’s elections.

The postponement of the election came after more than six hours of meeting between INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and 12 national commissioners in Abuja.

The meeting, which began Friday evening ended early on Saturday.

Professor Yakubu said the INEC will be meeting all stakeholders at 2pm on Saturday at the International Conference Centre in Abuja to explain the commission’s position.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman had hinted newsmen earlier that some decisions about the election had been reached and that the decision would be communicated later.

“I can confirm to you that the INEC Chairman and the 12 national commissioners are in the meeting.

” Decisions have been taken and you will be addressed later,” Oyekanmi said.

Presidential and National Assembly elections were scheduled to take place throughout the country today, while governorship and state assembly elections were slated for 2 March.

The national elections are expected to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of results will take place in 8,809 Registration Areas or Wards, 774 Local Government Areas and 36 States and the FCT.

It will not be the first time that the commission would postpone a scheduled general election.

In 2015, the presidential election was shifted from February 14 to March 28th, 2015; while the governorship and assembly elections scheduled for 28 February were shifted to 11 April.

INEC statement on the postponement of the election

Posted On Saturday, 16 February 2019 04:58 Written by

HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S BROADCAST TO THE NATION, FEBRUARY 14, 2019

Fellow Citizens,

On Saturday, February 16, 2019, you will, once again, be called upon to choose the leaders who will pilot the affairs of our great nation for the next four years. This is a constitutional right which should be freely exercised by all eligible voters.

2. I wish therefore to start by assuring all Nigerians that this Government will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.

3. It was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for our Government to emerge, despite the fact that we were contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.

4. And as your president and a fellow Nigerian, I ask that you come out and queue to fulfill this important obligation you have to yourselves and your fellow citizens – and to our common future.

5. Let me at this point, reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to the conduct of free and fair elections in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. Just yesterday, I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.

6. I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection. Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

7. As Government has a critical role in maintaining the democratic traditions, so do citizens. I therefore urge you all, as good Nigerians, to take a personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhoods during the elections. This is certainly not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interests to drive us to desperation.

8. At this point, I want to make a special appeal to our youth: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence and destruction. The people who want to incite you are those preparing the ground for discrediting the elections. Having lost the argument, they fear losing the elections.

9. When you elected me in 2015, it was essentially in consequence of my promise of CHANGE. We committed ourselves to improving security across the country, putting the economy on a sound footing and tackling rampant corruption, which had in many ways become a serious drawback to national development.

10. Our Government spent the last 3 years and 9 months striving faithfully to keep this promise, in spite of very serious revenue shortages caused mainly by a sharp drop in international oil prices and an unexpected rise in the vandalisation of oil installations, which, mercifully have now been curtailed.

11. We nevertheless pressed on in our quest to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce commodity prices and generally improve the standard of living among our people.

12. The damage that insecurity and corruption have done, over time, to our collective livelihood is incalculable. However, it is pleasing to note that our frontal attack on these twin evils is gaining momentum and bringing about visible progress.

13. The recovery of the economy from recession is complete and Nigeria is back on the path of steady growth.

14. The key to creating more jobs lies in accelerating this momentum of economic growth. Happily, we have succeeded in making the fundamental changes necessary for this acceleration, and we are now beginning to see the efforts bearing fruit.

15. Our ease of doing business policies and programmes are already impacting medium, small and micro industries, as well as Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, among other key sectors.

16. Our commitment to critical infrastructure – that is Roads, Rails, Bridges, Airports and Seaports – will create more jobs, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industries.

17. Many of these projects are at different stages of completion, and those who use them regularly will attest to the fact that even while construction is ongoing, they are beginning to see reduced travel times. This will ultimately translate to reduced costs and greater convenience, making transportation, and business in particular, much easier.

19. The economic recovery that we promised is well underway, as demonstrated by the recently released statistics. In 2018, the economy grew by 1.93%, with the Fourth Quarter growth being 2.38%, up from 1.81% in the Third Quarter.

20. Remarkably, the strong economic performance was driven by the Non-Oil sector, which grew at 2% as at full year. Indeed, Non-Oil growth rose to 2.7% in the Fourth Quarter of 2018, up from 2.32% in the Third Quarter. These results further underscore our commitment to diversifying the economy away from the past dependence on Oil.

21. Other indicators confirm the economy’s steady recovery. Our monthly food import bill has declined from $664 million in January 2015 to $160 million as at October 2018. Inflation fell from 18.72% in January 2017 to 11.44% in December 2018. Our External Reserves have risen from $23 billion in October 2016 to $43.12 billion as at 7th February 2019.

22. Now that the recession is well behind us, our next task is to redouble our efforts, accelerate the growth and use it to create even more jobs for our people.

23. The Executive Orders, No. 5, and No. 7 issued by me, and the recently approved National Infrastructure Maintenance Policy demonstrate our commitment to accelerated job creation and infrastructure development.

24. We believe that Governments cannot simply proclaim jobs into existence. Job creation will only expand as a result of economic policies that enable the private sector to flourish, and this is the approach our Administration has taken.

25. Executive Order No 5, which Promotes Nigerian Content in Contracts, as well as Science, Engineering and Technology, will preserve and prioritize job creation for our citizens.

26. Executive Order 7, on the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, seeks to mobilize private capital and capacity for infrastructure development.

27. It responds to the demands of manufacturing and industrial complexes which wish to construct access roads without waiting for government, so long as they are allowed to recover the cost from taxes they would have paid to government.

28. We expect that this approach will boost industrial expansion and rural development, consequently creating more jobs for our people.

29. Similarly, our recently issued Maintenance Policy targets artisans, carpenters, welders, tailors, painters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers and many more Ordinary Nigerians at the base of our economic pyramid who will get regular and large-scale opportunities to improve themselves.

30. It is an economic solution that also brings the relevant artisans and professionals into long term sustainable employment to maintain our Schools, Court Rooms, Hospitals, Police Stations, Federal Secretariats and other Public Buildings.

31. Human Capital Development has also been a key priority for this Administration, which has increased investments in health and education. Innovative measures have been introduced to complement the traditional budgetary allocations to the relevant Ministries.

32. For instance, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has invested US$21 million in three healthcare projects as a Public Private Partnership with three Federal medical institutions. These include two modern Medical Diagnostic Centres located at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia; as well as one outpatient Cancer Treatment Centre in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos – which I commissioned on 9th February 2019.

33. Of course, our radical commitment to developing Critical Infrastructure is the foundation upon which we will deliver an all embracing national prosperity and a shared commonwealth.

34. There is no country that aspires to greatness without spending massively on its Critical Infrastructure. Rather than the discredited policy of ‘stomach infrastructure’, which could only benefit a few for a little while, we are focused on real infrastructural development for the growth of our economy and the long-term benefit of all Nigerians.

35. When you voted for our message of CHANGE, you invited us to assume office and depart from that bad and most regrettable choice. We have responded by making a choice for real infrastructure of Roads in every State, Housing in 34 States, Power Stations across Nigeria, Rail from Lagos to Kano.

36. The choice that now confronts us is whether we want to continue with real infrastructure development, which is the road to prosperity and jobs or return to the era of ‘stomach infrastructure’.

37. Agricultural Self-Reliance and Food Security is also a choice we made in fulfilment of your mandate for change.

38. Our Presidential Fertiliser Initiative has resulted in savings of US$150 million in foreign exchange due to local sourcing of inputs at 16 Blending Plants. It has also conserved N60 billion in Subsidies as well as supported tens of thousands of farmers and agro-dealers nationwide.

39. Our Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has substantially raised local rice yields from as low as two Metric Tonnes per hectare, to as high as eight Metric Tonnes per hectare.

40. Through this programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria has cumulatively lent over N120 billion to over 720,000 smallholder farmers cultivating 12 commodities across the 36 States and Abuja. Targeted crops and livestock have included cattle, poultry, fish, cassava, soybeans, ground nut, ginger, sorghum, rice, wheat, cotton and maize.

41. As a result, we have seen a remarkable rise in the production of key agricultural commodities. I am pleased to note that in major departmental stores and local markets, there has been a surge in the supply of high quality Nigerian agricultural produce.

42. Behind each of these products, are thousands of industrious Nigerians working in factories and farms across the nation. Our interventions have led to improved wealth and job creation for these Nigerians, particularly in our rural communities.

43. Again, these outcomes have been a major departure from the previous focus on consuming imported food items, which literally exported our children’s jobs to food-exporting nations, whilst depleting our precious foreign exchange reserves. This, of course, caused a closure of our factories while keeping open other peoples’ factories.

44. The choice made by this Administration to assist farmers directly and promote agriculture in every way possible has gone a long way to enhance our food security while enabling us to tackle poverty by feeding over nine million children daily under our Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. It also puts us clearly on the road to becoming a food secure and agriculture exporting nation.

45. Next to Agriculture, we are focusing on Manufacturing Sector. The Purchasing Managers Index, which is the measure of manufacturing activities in an economy has risen for 22 consecutive months as at January this year, indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.

46. I will conclude by going back to where I started: that our choices have had consequences about employment and cost of living.

47. In making your choice this time, please ask yourself whether, and in what ways, others will do anything different to address the issues of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Security, Good Governance and Fighting Corruption.

48. If they are only hoping to do what we are already doing successfully, we are clearly your preferred choice.

49. Think carefully and choose wisely. This time, it is a choice about consolidating on growth for Jobs and Prosperity.

50. February 16th is all about a choice. But it is more than a choice between APC and the opposition. It is a choice about you, it is a choice between going back or keeping the momentum of CHANGE.

51. The road to greater prosperity for Nigeria may be long, but what you can be assured of is a Leadership that is not prepared to sacrifice the future well-being of Nigerians for our own personal or material needs. You can be assured of my commitment to remain focused on working to improve the lives of all Nigerians.

52. Thank you very much for listening. God bless you, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Posted On Friday, 15 February 2019 03:20 Written by

• PDP introduces parallel voting tabulation system to check fraud
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that voters can cast their votes with any finger because the ballot paper is not finger sensitive.

It advised that what matters is that the finger does not cross to the next box; otherwise, it would be interpreted as voting for two parties, making such votes void.

The information is contained on the commission’s verified Twitter handle @inecnigeria.

It stated this in response to what it described as ‘fake news’ that voters could only vote with a particular finger.

A message on Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter had read, “INEC has changed pattern of voting without majority of citizens being aware o! You don’t vote with your thumb anymore.

“You vote with your index finger (warning finger). Any vote cast with the thumb is void. My question is why were the citizens not sensitised before now?

“Why would INEC hide such important information till a few days to the election? Please, don’t only read this, share for many would-be voters to be aware. The Destiny Of This Nation is now in our warning or prophetic finger.”

But INEC said, “voters can use any finger on the ballot but should ensure that the mark is clear and placed in the box of the political party of their choice and does not stray into another box.”

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has introduced a Parallel Voting Tabulation (PVT) System to prevent manipulation of the electoral process.

It also directed its members to remain at the polling units after casting their votes until they are counted and the results declared.

At a media briefing yesterday, its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan and a former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, said the PDP warned that any manipulation of the electoral process would engender serious consequences.

Expressing confidence that its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would win the election, it urged Nigerians to turn up massively for the elections, adding that their votes will count when they participate.

“Nigerians should go to the polls on Saturday, confident that the electoral process will be upheld based on our laws and constitution.

“We are pleased with the signing of the National Peace Accord today and look forward to all parties honouring our shared commitment,” they stated.

Posted On Thursday, 14 February 2019 04:34 Written by

What happened to power sector cash, by ex-president

The President vowed yesterday to recover the $16 billion power funds that went down the drain during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

“Where is the power? Where is the money?” the President queried at the Oxbow Lake Pavilion, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said his administration will go after all those involved in the power deals to recover the money and continue with the ongoing development of critical infrastructure for the common good.

Obasanjo was president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999 to 2007. His successor the late President Shehu Musa Yar’Adua launched a probe into the power projects. Many of the equipment got stuck at the ports while the probe lasted.

A mammoth crowd of party faithful thronged the rally for Buhari’s re-election and the election of APC candidates in the state.

Men, women and youths wearing vests and fez caps branded in APC colours were in a carnival mood, singing, drumming and shouting Sai Baba.

President Buhari, who is seeking another term on the APC’s ticket, at the Government House heliport in Yenagoa, was received by Governor Seriake Dickson, his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah, Information & Orientation Commissioner Daniel Iworiso-Markson, and other exco members.

Buhari was also welcomed by APC leader and former Governor Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Agriculture Heineken Lokpobiri and APC state chairman Jothan Amos, among others.

The President and his team, including APC Presidential Campaign Council Director-General and former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC), proceeded to the secretariat of the State Traditional Rulers’ Council, where the APC candidate held talks with royal fathers, led by Twon Brass monarch Alfred Diette Spiff.

The President was given an Ijaw name, Ebiwari (Good House) by Amos, who referred to him as “a symbol of truth” – to the admiration of the crowd.

President Buhari insisted that those who squandered the power funds would not go scot free.

He said: “You know we are building roads; the railway was virtually killed; we are rebuilding it and there was no power; we are bringing power back. The previous government mentioned on their own that they spent $16 billion for power.

Posted On Wednesday, 13 February 2019 04:32 Written by

A Second Republic lawmaker and prominent member of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Dr. Junaid Muhammed, has said the socio-cultural group did not endorse People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

According to Muhammed, only some members of the group, led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, backed Atiku.

Last week, leaders and elders of some geo-political zones announced their endorsement of the PDP candidate as their preferred choice for the February 16 presidential polls.

This was sequel to a meeting tagged, “Summit of Nigerian leaders and elders,” held at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, where leaders and elders of a few socio-cultural bodies such as Ohaneze Ndigbo, Pan-Niger Delta, Middle Belt Forum and a faction of Afenifere teamed up with NEF to announce the purported endorsement.

But, in an interview with The Nation yesterday, Muhammed said NEF has not officially thrown its weight behind any presidential candidate.

“There was no time we discussed endorsement of any candidate in NEF. What was announced was a personal decision of Prof. Ango Abdullahi. The whole thing was cooked up; it was faked,” he said.

Giving an insight into how the endorsement has triggered a crisis in NEF, Muhammed said his group summoned and interviewed PDP presidential aspirants, but could not arrive at a consensus candidate.

The prominent politician insisted that failure to convince the aspirants to embrace consensus option led to the PDP primary in Port Harcourt, River State.

“Sometimes last year, the newly appointed convener (as we call our leader) of Northern Elders’ Forum in the person of Prof. Ango Abdullahi, one-time vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, called a meeting of NEF. He summoned the meeting at Arewa House in Kaduna. He claimed that there were about 16 to 18 organisations that they have discussed with. And that they have decided to pass a vote of no confidence in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari and APC government.

“At the meeting, it was a controversial decision because the person, who read the resolution was an aide of Senate President Bukola Saraki.

“There is no consensus in the North. And lately, Prof Ango decided to combine with other socio-cultural groups such as Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere Revival, Pan-DEF led by Edwin Clark. These are groups agitating for restructuring, state police, security of the country and its various components and so on.

“There is no consensus in NEF on some of issues because most of us are not members of the PDP. We left them to go and solve their problems in their own party because it was not our own problem. That is why they went for primaries in Port Harcourt, where money was used in the way it has never been used in the politics of Nigeria. And in the end, it was the man with the highest loads of money that emerged as presidential candidate. Whether it was democratic or not was not the issue.

“As if that was not enough, another meeting of NEF was summoned and Atiku Abubakar was announced as the unanimous candidate or choice of the whole of the North.

“Throughout the history of Nigeria, nobody – not even Sardauna of Sokoto Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello – has ever been given such an honour. The North used to have Northern People’s Congress, Borno Youth Movement, People’s Redemption Party, Great Nigeria People’s Party and so on. An organisation, which is not political or elected or appointed is now declaring somebody as the unanimous choice of the North and is being presented as the choice of the North.”

Despite the fact that the former lawmaker in the Second Republic has been critical of President Buhari, he said Atiku is no match for Buhari.

“Whether Buhari is doing well or not, Atiku is no choice. If you are talking about integrity, Atiku is nowhere compared to Buhari. If you are talking about exposure, Atiku was VP and had a rocky relationship with his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo. If you have to endorse anybody, you need to explain the reason to the people of the North. But no reason was given.

“I have been critical of the President, but nobody should use my name to endorse Atiku because Prof. Ango or any other person does not have the right to take the North for a ride.

“How can anybody announce that a place that consists of a land mass of over 60 per cent of Nigeria has decided to embrace a unanimous candidate? People who issue statements should do so in their own names; not in the name of any organisation,” he said.

Posted On Tuesday, 12 February 2019 04:58 Written by

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomole, on Saturday urged Nigerians not to believe the promise of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to create massive jobs.

Oshiomhole gave the advice in Lagos while addressing the crowd at the party’s presidential campaign rally.

He said the promise was a calculated ploy by the opposition party to deceive Nigerians and get their votes.

The party chairman said the PDP had no good record of job creation in all its 16years in power.

He said that the era of PDP marked the death of many industries in the country, especially in Lagos.

Oshiomhole said that it was a big irony that the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who supervised the economy at the time as Vice-President when many factories died was promising jobs.

The party chairman said the opposition party was clueless about job creation.

According to him, the APC had created many jobs in the last three years and would create more when re-elected.

“When you go to Oshodi and Isolo, remember the industries in Oshodi and Ikeja? Where are they now?

“Who supervised the obituaries of these industries? It is the PDP, and who was the Vice-President at that time, Atiku.

“How can you supervise the liquidation of industries and make promise to create new jobs?

“Jobs are not created by miracles; by investing in infrastructure, the present government has generated many jobs through construction and multiplier effects.

“The Next level means more jobs are coming for the people” he said.

Oshiomhole said that the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, did not have the moral authority to speak on jobs.

He alleged that Obi deals in Made-in -China goods, exporting jobs, saying that was the reason he always quoted figures from China at any gathering.

Oshiomole said the country did not fare well under the 16years of PDP, which he described as an era characterised by looting and poor leadership.

He said the Buhari administration had done well to put the country on the right course in the last three and half years.

Oshiomhole said Buhari was a man of integrity, adding the anti-corruption fight and love for the masses had improved under him.

“President Buhari is a man of integrity. He is the only president that no British Prime Minister has called a thief.

“He is the only president that is widely acknowledged to be fighting corruption.

“This is the only president that the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury in London has described as an African leader who stands out to be counted on the side of the people.

“That is why I am proud and you are proud to be associated with what Buhari is doing and what he stands for, and why the Next level is about you,” he said.

He said the difference between the APC and PDP was that while the former was about the people the latter was about themselves.

Oshiomhole said while APC was spending N500billion on the poor, the PDP was complaining the money was too much, as they were used to looting.

He said the promise by Atiku to give amnesty to treasury looters while leaving petty thieves who steal N10 or N20 should tell anyone that PDP was about class.

The party chairman said the APC was sure of victory on Feb. 16 and March 2, as it would defeat the PDP “mercilessly”.

He assured the international community that the party would not be involved in rigging or violence,as it had no record of doing that.

Oshiomhole said the APC had no reason to rig, as people believed in the party for progress.

He said Lagos was an example of a working state, which was so because it was under APC.

The Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation and Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, said a vote for APC was a vote for infrastructure.

He said the delivery of Lagos -Abeokuta rail project and others in the country by the APC meant the party was for development.

The APC governorship candidate in the state, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, urged residents to vote right and for the APC.

He urged residents to come out en masse and vote for the party for the progress of the state.

The APC chairman in the state, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, praised the administration of Buhari, saying the state had benefited immensely in terms of projects in the last three and half years.

NAN reports that APC state governors, ministers, among others were part of the mammoth crowd of party faithful and residents at the rally. (NAN)

Posted On Saturday, 09 February 2019 21:24 Written by

Ahead of the Saturday mega rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, a coalition of 53 political parties has endorsed the candidacy of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the decision was based on the president’s achievements in the last three years.

The coalition, under the banner of Coalition of Political Parties in Lagos State (COPPILS), declared its support for Buhari at an event in Surulere.

The event was witnessed by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), APC’s National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, the party’s governorship candidate in Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and thelawmaker representing Lagos East in the Senate, Gbenga Ashafa, among others.

Director of Publicity of the coalition, Shakirudeen Olofin, said the 53 parties had directed their members to work with the APC to deliver Lagos to Buhari, noting that they took the decision to support him because of the infrastructure projects his administration has executed in the south west.

According to a communiqué issued by the coalition and signed by its convener, Akinola Obadia, the APC-led Federal Government had sited more projects in Lagos to consolidate the status of the state as the fastest growing economy in Africa, and such stride must be sustained for sustainable development.

The communiqué read: “Based on the numerous achievements of the President Buhari in the last three and half years, which include reduction in $5 million importation spending, infrastructure projects on Lagos-Ibadan axis and the flag of Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonsoki-Ojota Expressway, the coalition hereby endorses the candidacy of President Buhari.”

Hailing the decision of parties to support President Buhari’s re-election bid, Fashola said Lagos residents had no choice than to return APC to power, arguing that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in its 16 years dominance at the centre, left infrastructure in the state to rot.

Posted On Saturday, 09 February 2019 04:08 Written by
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