Tag Archives: tinubu

EDHA crisis: PDP tackles Tinubu over comments on Obaseki

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu over his comments on the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

Tinubu had alleged that Governor Godwin Obaseki has resorted to the ‘strong-arm tactics of dictators.’

He noted that Obaseki committed an impeachable offence by not inaugurating the assembly members timely, adding that the lawmakers have not indicated an interest in removing him from office.

But reacting to Tinubu’s allegations, Edo PDP leadership linked the APC national leader to the state assembly crisis.

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Speaking during a press conference on Friday, Chairman of the Edo PDP Campaign Council, Dan Orbih, said Tinubu ought to know that once a proclamation is made by the governor, the law prevents him from making another.

“Reading through his statement, I have come to the conclusion that certainly he is not aware of the issues concerning the unfortunate incident at the State House of Assembly.

“I should expect as a former Governor of Lagos State, he should know better that once a proclamation is made by the governor of a state, the law does not allow him to make a second proclamation.

“The governor made a proclamation for the House. After that event, about 10 members turned out to take their oath of office. The other 14 members stayed away from the House,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

EDHA crisis: Tinubu breaks silence.

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has broken his silence on the crisis engulfing the Edo State House of Assembly.

In a statement he personally signed on Friday, Tinubu said Governor Godwin Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

He said after denying elected members of the house of assembly from being inaugurated for over a year, the governor allegedly mobilised thugs to frustrate their inauguration.

While noting that Obaseki committed an impeachable offence by not inaugurating the assembly members timely, the APC leader said the lawmakers have not indicated an interest in removing him from office.

“The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern,” Tinubu said.

File photo of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

“Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

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“First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex. In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.

“As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo. No renovation has been planned for the statehouse building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.

“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.”

His reaction comes shortly after some unknown persons stormed the assembly, climbed the roof of the complex and removed the mace.


#Newsworthy…

Eid-el-kabir: Tinubu plead Muslims to pray for COVID-19 patients

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National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has asked Muslims to pray for those who have contracted the COVID-19 virus as well as those who have lost their lives to the pandemic.

He appealed to them not to fret about not being able to gather to pray but rather, reflect on the lessons of Eid-El Kabir and practice it in their daily activities.

“Not gathering for the Eid for this Sallah celebration is due to the circumstance and the environment and its for the sdafety of all of us and that is crucial.

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“The essence of today in our religion is about sacrifice. So, demonstrate it, to be able to pray for our health, those who have lost their lives, pray for forgiveness for them,” the APC chieftain said in an interview on Friday.

– Gov. Zulum’s Convoy Attack –

B.A.T also reacted to the security issues in Borno State, while saluting the courage of Governor Babagana Zulum.

He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government will win the war against insurgency across the country.


#Newsworthy…

Reno Omokri reveals difference between Hushpuppi & Tinubu

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Political critics and motivational author, Reno Omokri, drops a hot one at the ex-executive governor, Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu of Lagos State, asking ‘how much of the tax and other revenue made in Lagos goes in to the pocket of the ex- governor’.

According To The Controversial Author, Reno Omokri, there is little or no difference between the international fraudster, hushpuppi and sir. Bola tinubu.

Reno wrote; “Hushpuppi scammed 1.9 billion people off ₦168 billion. Lagos state has a population of over 20 million. Their tax and other revenues is in the trillions of Naira. How much of that goes into Bola @AsiwajuTinubu’s pocket? How is Tinubu different from Hush??


#Newsworthy…

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2023: I have no decisions yet – Tinubu

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, says he has not taken any decision to run for president in 2023 contrary to speculations.

He said rather, he was more concerned about the health and economic challenges facing the country at the moment.

Tinubu said this in a statement issued on Saturday while reacting to comments that the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee, had ended his purported 2023 ambitions.

He described the comments as distasteful, saying “already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born”.

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According to him, rather than politicking, he has been spending his time trying to think of helpful ideas and policies to help in solving the myriad of problems in the country.

“During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of 8 policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do 3 years hence seems too remote given present exigencies,” the statement read in part.

Read the full statement below.

THE FULL STATEMENT: BECOMING THE PARTY WE WERE INTENDED TO BE

I wish to begin my remarks by commending members of the National Working Committee. Under their collective stewardship, the party earned great and important victories, not least the vital second mandate handed to President Buhari. President Buhari’s victory, and the overall electoral success of APC speak highly of them. Our task as a party is to build upon the progress thus made so that both nation and party may advance to their better future.

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Yet, we must acknowledge that something important has gone off track. For some months we have experienced growing disagreement within the leadership of the party. This unfortunate competition had grown so intense as to impair the performance of the NWC, thus undermining the internal cohesion and discipline vital to success.

Some people have gone so far as to predict the total disintegration of our party. Most such dire predictions were from critics whose forecasts said more about their ill will than they revealed about our party’s objective condition. Predictions of the APC’s imminent demise are premature and mostly mean-spirited. However, an honest person must admit the party had entered a space where it had no good reason to be.

The trouble is not that we would forfeit our collective existence but whether we were in danger of losing our collective purpose. In some ways, this possibility is of greater concern. A political party that has lost sight of the reason for its existence becomes but the vehicle of blind and clashing ambitions. This is not what drove the APC’s creation.

Those who believe Nigeria can be forged into a better nation and deserves good governance must harken back to the establishment of our party. Those who were there and contributed the most to the party’s genesis embraced a common vision. Not only did we believe the venal, purblind PDP was leading the nation into a pit, we sincerely held a common vision of progressive good governance. This was the overriding reason for the APC.

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Those most intimately involved in founding the party remain faithful to this benign, timely assignment. Sadly, many members have lost their balance. Their personal ambition apparently came to greatly outweigh the obvious national imperatives.

Even in the best of times, Nigeria is beset by myriad challenges. Poverty and economic inequality, insecurity, lack of infrastructure are longstanding obstacles that have blocked our access to national greatness for too long.

Through no fault of our own, we now live in a moment of heightened difficulty. We did not ask for COVID-19 but it has found us. We must deal with it and navigate its rude economic consequences. At the same time we must grapple with the violent insecurity caused by increasingly desperate terrorists and criminals. People need concrete help from us. We must focus on building roads and creating jobs. For the average man, watching politicians wrestle for position is a poor substitute to seeing politicians working for the benefit of all.

Yet, such intramural fighting has come to occupy the attention of many high ranking party officials and members.

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The National Working Committee, itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict. Those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground. Attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other. I must be blunt here. This is the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party.

Some members went against their chairman in a bid to forcefully oust him. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late. I believed and continue to believe that Comrade Oshiomhole tried his best. Mistakes were made and he must own them. Yet, we must remember also that he was an able and enthusiastic campaigner during the 2019 election. He is a man of considerable ability as are the rest of you who constituted the NWC.

It had been my hope that the disagreements could be resolved. After all, a political solution should not be beyond the ken of leaders of a major political party. But such resolution has failed to materialise. It was as if some unseen but strong force continued to stoke the embers. Instead of calling a prudent ceasefire, too many people sought more destructive weapons against one another.

Order, party discipline and mutual respect went out of the window. Members instituted all manner of court cases, most of them destructive, some of them frivolous, none of them necessary. In the process, a dense fog fell upon our party.

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When this matter first came to a boil a few months ago, I issued a statement against this litigious tendency. President Buhari and former interim chairman Akande published strong words against this misuse of the courts as being contrary to the spirit of the party and the letter of its constitution. Each of us knew nothing good would come of such conduct. Instead of listening to this counsel, party members increased their trips to the courts. While busy providing ample livelihood for a gaggle of lawyers, these actions cast the good of the party to the wind.

After the fusillade of lawsuits and countersuits, two NWC members laid competing claims to the chairmanship. One legitimately elected at our national convention; the latter whose claim was based on the questionable suspension of the former.

With lawsuits so numerous one needed a spreadsheet to keep track, President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough.

I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.

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President Buhari is much more than a mere beneficiary of the party. He is one of its founding fathers. The APC does not exist in its current form without his singular contributions. That is not opinion; it is an undisputed fact.

Given these antecedents, he cares about the condition of the party as any parent would care for its offspring. President Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do. The more troubling consideration is that so many trusted people acted in such a way as to force the president to put aside the issues of statecraft in order to address these problems.

The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded. While we recognize that people have personal ambitions, those ambitions are secondary, not sacrosanct. Members must subordinate their ambitions to health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.

In this vein, I appeal to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of our party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture.

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We have governorship elections around the corner in Edo and a primary and elections in Ondo. On these important events we must concentrate our immediate energies. In the longer run, we must restore the collegial nature to the party so that it should be in the practice of coming to support the President instead of him having to rescue the party from itself.

In Edo, we must rally round our candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. In this, Comrade Oshiomhole has a crucial role to play. I congratulate him for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President in accepting the dissolution of the NWC. I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

In Ondo, we must set the procedures for primaries and conduct that exercise in a fair, transparent manner that shows the Nigerian people the party has left turmoil behind.

In addition to the daily operation of the party, the Caretaker Committee has the mandate to prepare for a mini national convention within six months. We must give the committee the support needed to fulfil this assignment in an impartial manner.

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As I understand it, no one has been precluded from seeking any party office to which he is otherwise eligible. Former NWC members are free to seek re-election to the NWC. Provided they have the support of party members, they will have an opportunity to return to serve the party in a leadership capacity. This reflects our overriding desire to restore and maintain internal democracy not subvert it.

To those who have been actively bleating how the President’s actions and the NEC meeting have ended my purported 2023 ambitions, I seek your pity. I am but a mere mortal who does not enjoy the length of foresight or political wisdom you profess to have. Already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born.

At this extenuating moment with COVID-19 and its economic fallout hounding us, I cannot see as far into the distance as you. I have made no decision regarding 2023 for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.

During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do 3 years hence seems too remote given present exigencies.

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Those who seek to cast themselves as political Nostradamus’ are free to so engage their energies. I trust the discerning public will give the views of such eager seers the scant weight such divinations warrant.

Personally, I find greater merit trying to help in the present by offering policy ideas, both privately and publicly, where I think they might help. I will continue in this same mode for the immediate future. 2023 will answer its own questions in due time.

I have toiled for this party as much as any other person and perhaps more than most. Despite this investment or perhaps due to it, I have no problem with making personal sacrifices (and none of us should have such a problem) as long as the party remains true to its progressive, democratic creed. Politics is but a vehicle to arrive at governance. Good politics promotes good governance. Yet, politics is also an uncertain venture. No one gets all they want all the time. In even a tightly-woven family, differences and competing interests must be balanced and accommodated.

My fellow party members who now feel aggrieved by the NEC meeting I urge you to accept the sacrifice you have been asked to make so that the air can be cleared, the party can assume its proper role of helping this government lead the nation toward enlightened improvement, and the party itself can grow and firmly establish itself as the best, most democratic party in the land.

SIGNED

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

27 June 2020.


#Newsworthy…

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Tinubu’s lead has been knocked under the bus – FFK

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A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has said that the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had been “thrown under the bus and retired from politics.”

The former minister stated this in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recognition of Victor Giadom as the acting national chairman of the ruling APC.

He wrote on his Twitter handle, @realFFK: “First Oshiomole is kicked out by the Court of Appeal. Then his preferred replacement, Ajimobi, falls into a coma. Then his arch-rival, Giadom is recognised by Buhari as Nat. Chairman.

“Conclusion: it is over for Tinubu. He has been thrown under the bus and retired from politics!”

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Recall with Noble Reporters Media that since the Appeal Court affirmed the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the APC in a recent ruling, the party has been thrown into confusion.

The members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) following the development had appointed a former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, said to be ill and hospitalised, as its acting chairman.

However, Victor Giadom, the deputy national secretary of the party declared himself as the APC’s acting national chairman.

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But the APC NWC claimed that Giadom lost his position as the party’s deputy national secretary since 2018, when he resigned to be a running mate to Tonye Cole, Rivers governorship candidate in the 2019 election.

Consequently, 17 of the NWC members selected and swore in Worgu Boms as the party’s new deputy national secretary, to replace Giadom.

Not giving up, Giadom recently summoned a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting slated to hold on June 25, which got the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Responding to the apparent political intrigues in the ruling APC, Fani-Kayode, who supposed the NWC had the backing of Tinubu, therefore, described Buhari’s acceptance of Giadom as an end to the political career of the South West political leader.


#Newsworthy…

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Storyline: Tinubu sob amid Osinowo’s demise

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The National leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has reacted to the death of Senator Bayo Osinowo representing Lagos East at the 9th Nigerian National Assembly, who died on Monday.

According to the former governor of Lagos State in his condolence message, Tinubu, who described the death as sudden and unexpected, which deeply hurts.

He said, “The passing of Senator Bayo Osinowo has deeply hurt me and Lagosians. He was more than a close friend and political associate.

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“Over the years he became like a family member and brother in so many ways. Bayo and I have come a long way, dating back to our days in the pro-democracy struggles. We both enlisted in the Social Democratic Party where he served so well as the Youth Chairman of that party during the Third Republic and later in the Alliance for Democracy in 1998 after the restoration of democracy.

“Bayo’s contributions to the return of democracy were significant and enduring. As a prominent political figure in Lagos, he served our state with dedication, passion, and concern for the common man.

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“In the Lagos State House of Assembly, where he was a four-time member from 2003 to 2019 representing Kosofe Constituency 1, he was more than a member of that House. He provided leadership. He was a stabilising figure. He worked hard and tirelessly to make Lagos a better place. He cared for all Lagosians.

“His election in 2019 to represent Lagos East in the Senate demonstrated not only his immense political skills but also the affection the people have for him and his popularity. Thus far in the National Assembly, he discharged himself creditably as Chairman Senate Committee on Industries.

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“Like the committee he headed, Bayo was extremely industrious. Bayo was not born with riches. He rose from a modest background to the great heights that he attained.

“His death hurt all who know him. Bayo was more than an excellent politician. As great a politician he was, Bayo was an even better person.

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“He was a man of a kind heart and ready smile. His loyalty and enthusiasm was legendary, just as his generosity. People loved him. So many tears have been shed. However, we must summon strength to carry on as he would want us to do.

“My thoughts are with his immediate family. May Almighty Allah comfort and give them the solace that only He can provide. May Almighty Allah grant him eternal rest and admit him to Aljanna Firdaus.”


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Obaseki shenk Tinubu


Embattled Governor Godwin Obaseki finally met his party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Lagos on Sunday. But Obaseki returned to Benin empty-handed.

Tinubu had nothing but a shattering news for Obaseki. He could not save him from his godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, charging with a political cudgel.

Rather, Tinubu advised Obaseki to go out there to test his popularity in the party’s direct primary scheduled for 22 June.

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Tinubu gave the same advice to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state as the two governors and seven others met at a parley.

The meeting was hosted at the Lagos House Marina by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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Also at the meeting were governors Atiku Bagudu, Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Mai Buni(Yobe), Adegboyega Oyetola(Osun), Abubakar Bello(Niger) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), who was the host.

At the meeting Tinubu reportedly described democratic primary as a core element of internal democracy should not be jettisoned.

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A source at the meeting held at the State House, Marina, Lagos, said Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, emphasised the importance of primary to democracy, admonishing party leaders to safeguard it in the preparation for the choice of standard bearers.

The Progressives Governors’s Forum, led by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, unfolded plans last week to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to support their push for right of first refusal to two of their colleagues, Akeredolu and Obaseki, for the governorship tickets.

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The polls will hold in Edo in September and Ondo in October. No fewer than 10 chieftains are competing for the ticket in Ondo APC with Akeredolu, who is seeking a second term.

In Edo, other contenders have stepped down for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is challenging Obaseki at the shadow poll. The Edo governor is also seeking re-election.

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Last week, National Working Committee (NWC) announced that direct primary will be adopted for the Edo APC shadow poll.

According to the source, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma could not make it due to undisclosed reasons.

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The governors, who appeared to be in one accord, wanted the party to be fair to their two colleagues, who they said, should not be muscled out.

Specifically, the governors wanted Tinubu to prevail on the party leadership to give Obaseki the right of first refusal, the source said.

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However, Tinubu went to the meeting with the position that it is better, more democratic, constitutionally right and politically defensible that all aspirants should go for primaries to test their popularity.

He added that through free and fair selection process, the ruling party will successfully build a strong democratic culture.

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Tinubu, the source said, urged the governors to support the guidelines released by the NWC, maintaining that they are in the interest of the party.

Although some of the governors revisited the acrimony and controversy generated by the contrasting perspectives on the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole leadership, which they acknowledged as a battle within battles, Tinubu pointed out that it was normal in political life.

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Besides, according to the source, the party stalwart counselled that since the conflict had been resolved, stakeholders should put the past behind them and forge ahead in harmony.

The source said Asiwaju Tinubu reiterated his belief in fairness to the incumbent governors and other interested governorship aspirants in the two states.

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“Asiwaju also said he believed in the direct primary. His argument was that the direct primary will boost the confidence of the flag bearer as he prepares for the main governorship election.”

“Asiwaju Tinubu may have intervened in this sensitive nomination matter with a benefit of hindsight because as he rightly pointed out, direct primary produced Oyetola as Osun APC candidate and Babajide Sanwo-Olu as flag bearer in Lagos State.

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“Besides, I think Asiwaju Tinubu is of the opinion that where there are more than one contender, primary should be adopted to foster equity, fairness and justice.”

After the meeting, Sanwo-Olu took the governors to see the photo exhibition of his activities in the last one year.


#Newsworthy…

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Reduce interest rates – Tinubu advise Nigerian govt, Banks.

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, is of the opinion that if the COVID-19 crisis is to have any positive economic aspect, then it should be that Nigeria used this moment to drive down interest rates.

Chief Tinubu in a lengthy communique on Sunday, advised the Federal Government avail tax reliefs that would aid financial institutions in the country to reduce their interest rates.

In his statement, the elder statesman noted that by doing this, the government will saving the nation from a monumental drag on national economic growth.

According to him, lower rates will increase domestic investment and production, as well as create jobs.

While noting that lower rates may have some negative short-term impact on inflation and the exchange rate, the former governor of Lagos argued that the economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus will serve to mitigate those temporary negative consequences.

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Below is the full statement by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

THE CASE AGAINST HIGH INTEREST RATES IN TIME OF CONTAGION

THE TIME IS NOW – CORRECT THE INTEREST RATE

The economic fallout from the coronavirus may present the best, most pressing case for revising the CBN’s high interest rate policy. The undue rates penalise domestic investment and consumer borrowing. This reduces both aggregate domestic supply and, to a lesser degree, aggregate domestic demand. The chronic gap between domestic supply and demand has been filled by bloated levels of imports and encouraged an overvalued exchange rate that the high interests have helped produce. In normal times, the high interest rates also attract significant foreign financial speculation, the ever-ominous hot money. While in the short-term, the foreign speculation boosts financial inflows. Over time, as compound interest payments become due on these foreign investments, the nation will lose an ever-increasing amount of money to satisfy foreign debt obligations. In the short run, high rates seem to attract foreign capital and spur the economy while giving it discipline against inflation. In the longer-term, all of this is untrue. High rates give us the worst of both worlds. They stifle domestic investment and incomes while pushing up inflation and exposing an ever-increasing share of our financial system to foreign manipulation and dependence. Put another way, if you take a single picture early in the process, the high interest rate policy looks good at that moment in time. However, if you view the entire movie, you will see an ending that is both painful and unnecessary.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has demonstrated its financial agility by establishing a growing number of special financing programs for various industries and sectors of the economy. While these programs look good at first glance, they also expose important contradictions in the CBN’s position. The special schemes are an implicit admission that normal rates stifle investment borrowing and thus suppress the economy. The extraordinary schemes would not be required if the general interest rate was at a proper level. By establishing the special programs, the CBN attempts the impossible. On one hand it defends the general rate as prudent. On the other, it proliferates special exceptions in order to spur investment borrowing that the general rate has heretofore stifled.

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This complex CBN rear-guard action does not serve the greater purpose. It merely prolongs the inevitable: We must retreat from high interest rates if we want investment borrowing to attain levels that actually increase private-sector growth and job creation.

This point bears repetition. If the financial sector functioned properly, servicing the needs of the economy in general, there would be no need to constantly resort to specialised sectoral plans (one for this industry, another for that industry and so on) for concessionary lending below regularly available rates of interest. Each such scheme is evidence that the overall financial system is fragmented in a manner that artificially reduces investment and the positive consequences increased investment has on growth, production and employment. The schemes are akin to a homeowner who, confronted with severe structural damage, commissions a fresh coat of paint to obscure the obvious structural flaws. Just as the homeowner should focus on fixing the core problem to prevent the house from crumbling, the Bank should do the one great thing it can do to free the economy from an unpayable burden. It should reduce interest rates.

The modern global economy is built on credit. Prosperous nations have built success based on the sustained ability to use credit to generate high levels of domestic investment as well as allow for significant consumer financing. Unlike two centuries ago, most business investment is not derived from the self-generated funds of the businessman or investor. Investment comes mainly from bank loans. However, the current rate of interest in Nigeria prohibits most normal business investment. Thus, the productive sector stagnates as innovation and creative endeavour are discouraged. Employment and aggregate demand are dragged down. The economy becomes a slave to a negative, impoverishing dynamic.

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THE STORY THIS FAR

The current form of our financial system is antithetical to growth. Our financial system was originally structured to serve the colonialists who wanted a highly centralised system that provided little chance of prosperity for indigenous business beyond that which the colonial master would allow. Though the years have passed since the end of the colonial era, the basic structure of that old financial system remains intact. The system has not kept pace with the needs and challenges of our evolving nation.

After national independence, the system was but slightly modified to fit the requirements of highly centralised military rule. Broad and diffused growth was not the goal. Such growth contravened the underlying tenet of military rule – tight, centralised control of political power and economic resources.

Only those allied to the power core were enabled to access credit and favoured to prosper in business. A high interest rate regime was integral to this centralised and closed system. High interest rates prevented the growth of independent business. One had to seek the alliance and friendship of the government of the day to overcome the strong impediments that high rates caused. This rendered business an appendage of government, dependent on government favour to survive. There were no nodes of power truly independent from the centre. Nor did this situation foster creative and innovative economic thinking leading to sufficient business start-ups that might have grown and diversified the economy.

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All things were thus reliant on the goodwill of those at the core of national power. There were few successful businesses that did not have a patron seated in the high ranks of government. In many nations, prosperous businessmen can rightfully claim they know no one in government. In Nigeria, such claims were nigh impossible. Genius was declared upon those who could get close to the men in uniform and did not always depend on whether a person could efficiently organise an enterprise or invent a useful device.

Thus, the banking system became one intended to bar most businesses and people from access to sufficient commercial and consumer credit, a system constructed to suppress large-scale independent economic activity unless expressly sanctioned and approved by arbitrary power. Thus, it suppresses wealth and job creation. It keeps the economy on crutches so it cannot run too fast as to get beyond the grasp of whosoever wields that arbitrary power. As such, we are in a situation where the banking system is not sufficiently governed by the rational dynamics of economic maximization. As a result, the system sputters and fails to reach full throttle. Without optimal financial sector support, the productive economy has failed to grow as it should. We all suffer, especially the poor man who would have been employed and earning enough money to take care of a family and contribute to national wealth if only sufficient levels of investment had been attained.

In decades past, this model could survive because our economic situation was more benign than it now is. Oil prices were such that the nation gained enough revenue given its then existing population. The nation could stay afloat and even record modest growth rates when oil prices climbed to their highest levels. Yet, this economic model was never meant to last as it risked all based on the price of one commodity.

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This model led to an overvalued currency, which has caused Nigeria long-term harm. It undermined the global competitiveness of local producers. It also made imports cheaper. We became an import-reliant nation with a dwindling productive capacity. Over the long haul, such a position is high risk. Underlying economic fundamentals have become more adverse over time. Oil revenues, in real terms, have not and cannot keep apace population growth.

As oil revenues lose their potency to carry the economy, this financial model becomes an increasingly heavier albatross impeding economic growth. We remain too import reliant even though our supply of funds to buy imports dwindle. We seek to maintain a strong currency because of this import reliance and because of national pride. However, this reliance drains funds to support the exchange rate that could be better invested in strengthening our productive capacity. Moreover, pride is fleeting for who can maintain pride in a weakening economy with a stubbornly high incidence of abject poverty.

At this moment, we need business and industry to take up the slack generated by the weakening of the oil sector. However, the productive economy is barred from this needed increase in activity because the high interest rates, along with an unreliable power supply, combine to form a steep obstacle to sufficient real-sector investment, growth and productivity.

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The high interest rate financial model runs contrary to the ideals of a progressive democracy to which Nigeria aspires. A nation cannot become a genuine democracy while access to credit remains under a semblance of authoritarian lock-and-key. Lending schemes under which a central bank has sole authority to prescribe lower interest rates may appear to open the system. In truth, they do no such thing. Instead, they merely move the discretionary power to give financial concessions from where it formerly resided (the military in times past) to the central bank.

LONG TERM POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH RATES AND INFLATION

Over time, high rates cause more inflation than they prevent. In the initial phase, high rates might lower inflation. However, an economy is dynamic not static. Feedback loops created by the initial high rates will eventually encourage inflation. First, the suppressed levels of private sector activity will result in higher levels of government borrowing than otherwise would be the case had private sector incomes and productivity been unhindered by the high rates. This means that government must spend an increasing sum merely on interest charges. This places more naira in circulation without a corresponding increase in goods and services. This is inflationary.

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Second, to the extent domestic firms can borrow, they must charge high prices in order to achieve profit levels sufficient to repay their high interest loans. This too is inflationary.

Third, we attract initial dollar inflows as private loans or investments in government bonds because of the high rates. Yet, the interest payments on the underlying bond, being computed as compound interest, compels us to pay an increasing percentage of our dollar intake through oil sales just to service the interest charge on the foreign debt. Consequently, we must engage in all manner of tricks to cover the widening gap between ever increasing foreign debt calculated at compound rates and foreign currency revenues which tend to remain flat and linear, if not decline during times of economic weakness. Debt servicing as a percentage of overall public and private sector spending will increase, causing more naira to be misdirected; exchanged into dollars instead of being used for productive economic discourse that would create wealth and jobs on these shores. This not only is an unproductive way to use the extra naira, such practices are historic drivers of inflation in any nation that measures inflation. Such practices are avoided by the best central bankers because their abuse courts ruin. This is why the best managed developing economies shy from heavy borrowing of foreign currency.

However, we have become too reliant on foreign borrowing. In our case, we have created a highly imbalanced and imperfect economy. On one hand, high rates are used to scare domestic investment borrowing thus undermining income, production and consumption. On the other hand, high interest rates are used to attract foreign creditors who must be repaid with an increasing percentage of our intake of dollars. This indifference to domestic investment yet open encouragement of foreign financial speculation is a rather odd mis-arrangement that makes little sense if the true objective is to grow the overall economy.

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Given the inescapable dynamics of compound interest, a dollar borrowed today will have to be repaid with 2 dollars some point in the future. This drains our reserves to the benefit of foreign creditors. If we must borrow dollars better to first borrow from our own people, then the DFIs (World Bank, etc.) at concessional rates. We should only borrow from the foreign private sector as a very last resort.

EXCHANGE RATE AND THE ECONOMY

If we went to a freely floating exchange rate, the naira would devalue. This means our currency is overvalued in terms of our trade with the outside world.

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This overvalued exchange rate is buoyed by high interest rates. Yet to maintain both interest rate and exchange rate levels simultaneously over time requires that money be siphoned from use in the productive economy in order to prop up both rates. High rates drain liquidity from the system. However, here the multiplier effect works terribly against us. For every naira drained from the system, we lose more than one naira of productive wealth, activity and income.

This provides a higher exchange rate but a shrunken domestic economic base. This combination of a high exchange rate and a diminished domestic productive base gives strong impetus to high import levels. In a well-functioning economy, import levels should shape the exchange rate. In our economy, the exchange rate determines import levels. Our demand for unnecessary imports is much too high. This unhealthy appetite drains or limited supply of foreign currency. We are again relegated to placing more and more naira in circulation in the futile chase of the dollar, the pound and the euro. Again, this is a most unproductive way to use our currency. Had or currency issuance power been used to fund domestic infrastructural development, the economy would be much improved.

To maintain the exchange rate, we must sacrifice both naira and dollars that could have been invested in strengthening our productive capacity and job creation. Instead of bolstering the economy, we give these financial resources to international finance arbitragers who care little for our well-being, who invest little in our productive economy and who gain too much influence over our national economy as insensitive creditors. We have to progressively pay them increasing amounts just to sate their demands while giving our population relatively less.

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CORONA VIRUS AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOWER INTEREST RATES

To stimulate their economies, the central banks of all major economies have driven their prime interest rates below 1 percent and nearer to zero percent. These central banks are lending vast amounts at low rates just to support to their industries and firms.

My position has always been one of reticence to foreign denominated debt due to repayment challenges. However, if we need foreign currency to buy items essential to protecting the nation from the coronavirus now is the time to borrow. The World Bank and other DFIs have said they will grant loans at concessionary rates. We should hold them to their word and demand a renegotiation of existing loans or debt relief.

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While we are not yet inundated with the medical fallout of corona, we too suffer gravely from the economic and financial effects of the contagion. The rest of the world understands the imperative of lower interest rates. We should not pretend to be blind to that which every other major nation sees.

If this crisis is to have any positive economic aspect, let it be that we used this moment to drive down interest rates. To apply the rate reduction only to future loans would be prejudicial to current bank debtors. Thus, the financial authorities should consider formulating regulations that banks must reduce the high interest rates on existing business loans to the new lower general rate. This can be achieved through regulations requiring banks to automatically roll-over existing loans at the lower rate or regulations stating this must be done if the borrower so requests.

Any such change will alter the profit structure of most banks. To help moderate the change, government should provide generous tax relief to the banks. Additionally, government should institute a special bond-purchasing program where banks can purchase interest bearing government bonds at a significant discount or even on credit for a period of years. The central bank should give banks liberal access to its discount window in order to participate in such programs. These programs are intended to be transitional and thus will sunset in 3-5 years. During the transitional period, banks will have time to alter their lending practices. They must begin to earn profits from higher volumes of business and consumer lending at much lower profit margins per loan. In this way, our banking system will finally advance into the modern banking practices that have served as the linchpins for growth in any prosperous nation one can name.

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There will be some initial jitters and anxiety. In the end, this will materially help us by sparking much needed private sector investment borrowing and encouraging suitable levels of consumer borrowing. Such borrowing will complement and thus lessen the amount of direct fiscal stimulus government must provide. The lower rates will be politically popular as well as economically benign at this time. Lower rates might dissuade some foreign speculators, but most speculative money has returned to its host nation at this point. So, the effects of lower rates will be muted. For those speculators still sensitive to arbitrage opportunities, our rates, albeit lower, will still be visibly above those obtained in any Western economy.

Yes, the lower rates will put pressure on the exchange rate. However, much of that pressure has already been priced into the exchange rate due to capital flight and lower oil prices caused by the viral outbreak. Moreover, shipping and the import-export business are at a minimum. With trade at a minimum, this is again an opportune moment to allow downward pressure on the exchange rate; the practical effects will be minimised since trade has already been materially reduced.

Another consideration we must weigh regarding interest rates is how lowering rates along with other innovations may unlock the potential for real estate to be catalyst for economic growth at this moment. The global economy will not rebound for several months if not longer. We must seek ways to inject liquidity into the economy and foster activity. Should the CBN lower rates as well as allow for longer-term mortgage notes, real estate would become a better functioning collateral for investment borrowing not only for the housing industry,but for the general economy. Reform of government mortgage agencies and policies will further allow us to deepen both the primary and secondary mortgage markets in ways that increase liquidity and spur economic activity independent of what may be happening in the outside world.

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CONCLUSION

High interest rates are a fundamental drag on national economic growth. Only our unreliable power supply may loom as a bigger impediment to national prosperity.

Lower rates will spur domestic investment and production. This creates both jobs and wealth. High rates serve only to suppress these vital factors. Lower rates will have some negative short-term impact on inflation and the exchange rate. However, in a twist of irony, the economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus serve to mitigate those temporary negative consequences. If there is a time to reduce interest rates, that time is now.

SIGNED
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,
APC National Leader,
May 3, 2020.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Tinubu’s test result out. Is he positive?

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Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has tested negative for coronavirus.

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Tinubu in a statement issued by his media office said he took the test following the death of his well-respected and beloved Chief Security Officer, Alhaji Lateef Raheem who tested positive for the virus.

“NCDC medics took the wise precaution of taking samples from his body for testing to actually determine the cause of death.

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“Today, the test results are back. The samples tested positive for Covid-19.”

The APC Chieftain while warning that COVID-19 is real and a present threat revealed that one of his aides tested positive.

He said, “Those of us who discount it or claim it is a fabrication do a grave and dangerous disservice to the public well-being. Likewise, those who stigmatise people who may have been stricken by the virus also do a disservice by casting blame on the innocent and discouraging people from taking the COVID test. We cannot defeat this health menace through ignorance or by shaming one another. We can only beat it through transparency, knowledge and compassion. This, we have learned first-hand.

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“As a precautionary measure taken soon after the death of Alhaji Raheem, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and all their aides took COVID-19 tests Saturday, April 25. The results of the tests were returned this morning.

“Test results for both Asiwaju and Senator TInubu were negative.

“The result for one aide is positive, the rest of the staff were negative. The one staff member has been isolated in accordance with NCDC guidelines. Further contact tracing and COVID-19 tests are being conducted by the NCDC with regards to the relatives and possible contacts of that staff member.

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He stressed that openness and transparency must be observed if we are to defeat this disease.

”There is no house immune to its entry. Contracting the virus should not bring social or moral stigma any more than contracting malaria or a common cold.

“We cannot overcome this challenge by acting like it does not exist or by trying to conceal that someone may have it due to social shame. The culture of denial is counterproductive and will do great harm in our current situation.

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“We must do all we can to contain the spread of the virus and to treat those of us who have been hit by it.

“As you go about your day, we know you must find daily sustenance. Yet, please continue to do all you can to maintain social distance and to take all other public health measures to protect yourself and others. In this way, we all may contribute to halting the spread of this dangerous virus.”


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Tinubu’s ‘Chief Security Officer’ is dead.


Nigeria’s All Progressives Congress national leader Bola Tinubu on Friday lost his chief security officer Lati Raheem.

The cause of his death is still unknown.

Raheem had been on Tinubu’s team for over 20 years and was the only aide still left from his time as governor of Lagos state from 1999 to 2007.

He will be buried according to Muslim rites on Friday, the first day of Ramadan, which is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.


#Newsworthy…

Lockdown: FG should pay relief funds via BVN – Tinubu says. [Nigeria]


National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has urged the Federal Government to make cash payments to households through Bank Verification Numbers to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, gave the advice in a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said payments could be made quickly by using the BVN of prospective recipients to make direct deposits into individual bank accounts.

The APC leader said the use of BVN would also be safer and not lead to violence and crime that might follow physical cash transfers.

Tinubu said this would encourage those without bank accounts to establish such accounts, adding that it would further bring millions of people into formal banking.

“The money-less family still needs food, water, shelter and, to a lesser degree, utilities. In a compassionate society, they should not be made to do without.

“Most families need relief. If relief is not forthcoming, these families risk hunger and its attendant suffering and woes,” Tinubu said.

He said the palliative measures would blunt hunger, maintain aggregate demand in the domestic economy and help sustain private-sector markets to the extent possible.

Tinubu explained that such payments could be done in either one or in a combination of three ways.

He said, “First, we can designate a stipend for every household. The amount should be enough to pay for the monthly needs of an ‘average’ household for food and other basics.

“While this may somewhat penalise larger families, perfection cannot be had at this time.


“Second, the stipends could be given as a form of emergency unemployment insurance to those who can prove they were relieved of employment due to the crisis.

“This will be more targeted at the actual victims of the crisis but harder to administer. This stipend will also have to be extended to owners of small and medium-sized businesses.

“Third, the government can render some form of payroll support to companies and businesses that seek to retain workers albeit they may not be fully employed.

“The stipend can help companies stay in operation while maintaining workers on their payroll. By maintaining workers, the company can more swiftly return to full operation when normalcy returns.”

Tinubu said payment of these stipends would require hiring additional government workers to augment the existing bureaucracies to implement that programme.

According to him, this administrative requirement will help boost employment and aggregate consumer demand.

He said that activating Trader-moni and other programmes would help many small-scale traders but not the average wage earner who just lost his job.


#Newsworthy…

NGF congratulate Tinubu as he turns 68.


The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has joined families, friends, well wishers and political associates of National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu, to congratulate him as he turns 68.

The chairman of the Forum and Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, described the former Senator and two-term Governor of Lagos State as one of Nigeria’s finest politician.


Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham on Saturday in Jos, described Tinubu as a personality worthy of note.

He said he is a man who understood the best way to connect with the people and canvass for their interests.


“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a leader who serves with diligence, courage and compassion in such a manner that he clearly articulates and canvasses for issues that directly affect the people.

“He has remained consistent in advocating for matters that unite Nigerians and also promote the economic development of the country,” he said.


The chairman acknowledged the contributions of the celebrant as the national Leader of the APC and one of its founding fathers, saying he continued to provide exemplary leadership for the ruling party.

He noted that the politician, ensured he maintained harmony among members of the party.


Lalong urged the APC leader not to relent in upholding the path of cooperation and collaboration among different segments of the Nigerian society.

“This will enable the nation overcome the challenges of insecurity, religious intolerance, corruption and economic sabotage,” he said.

The NGF chairman prayed for more years of good health and prosperity for the APC leader.

NobleReporters gathered that Mr Bola Tinubu was born on 29th March 1952.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Tinubu postpones 68th birthday ceremony indefinitely.


The Bola Tinubu Colloquium, an annual event in honour of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s birthday has been postponed indefinitely due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The colloquium was initially scheduled for Sunday, March 29, Asiwaju Tinubu’s 68th birthday.


In a statement by the Planning Committee signed by Mrs. Foluso Idumu, the organisers said it decided to take the painful decision in view of the prevailing circumstances.

“After careful consultation with all relevant stakeholders regarding the health and safety of all our guests, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium, scheduled for March 29th 2020 in Lagos, till further notice,”


“Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation”.

“We are however certain that this is the right decision given the prevailing circumstances”.

The Lagos State government on Wednesday announced that any gathering above 50 persons is prohibited as part of measures to guard against the spread of the virus”.


#Newsworthy…

Nyesom wike attack Uzodinma, agree with Tinubu.


Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has berated the Hope Uzodinma, for alleging that the PDP is responsible for the plot to remove Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman APC
“Many of us, leaders of the party, are aware that those clamouring for the chairman’s removal are working with the PDP to destabilise the party,”

Uzodinma told reporters on Saturday.

In an interview at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Governor Wike said the comments credited to Senator Hope Uzodinma are baseless, untrue and unfortunate.

“I read that Senator Hope Uzodinma said that the PDP conspired to plot the attempted removal of APC National Chairman. That is an unfortunate lie.

“It is unfortunate that Senator Hope Uzodinma will have the temerity to make that false allegation. Hope Uzodinma was an APC agent while he was in PDP. That was why APC used him as an agent to support Ali Modu Sheriff, but they failed.

“It is unfortunate that people of questionable character are in Government. Hope Uzodinma cannot talk about the attempted removal of APC National Chairman and mention the PDP. What is our business in the attempted removal of Oshiomhole? “

“APC does not mean well for Nigeria. It is a party of strange bedfellows merely formed to take over power.

“If Senator Uzodinma dares to make such false comments again about the PDP, we will tell the world about him.

“That he fraudulently took the mandate of PDP does not mean that PDP is weak. Hope Uzodinma lacks the capacity to discuss the PDP.”

Governor Wike also urged Nigerians to be vigilant and work towards protecting the Judiciary, adding that the APC has destroyed the Judiciary.

“We must protect the Judiciary to do its work. But the Judiciary should protect itself. APC has destroyed the Judiciary,” He said.

Governor Wike wondered why the Judiciary should allow leaders of the APC to toss it around as has been witnessed during the party’s internal crisis.

He decried the situation where the Court of Appeal granted a stay of execution on the suspension of the APC National Chairman, but the FCT High Court went ahead to declare another person the Acting National Chairman. He said only the National Executive Committee of political parties have such powers.

“The Judiciary should be very careful. The Judiciary should be alert. It should not allow itself to be used. It should not allow itself to be destroyed.

“APC should not be allowed to destroy the Judiciary. Judiciary was there before APC. It was there before any political party. I cannot see the Judiciary being destroyed and keep quiet.

“I am not interested in what happens in the APC. But I am concerned with the Judiciary and its survival. “

He urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria to caution judges.

“With what the APC is doing today, we may not have the Judiciary and everyone will pay the price. The party is trying to destroy the hope of the common man,” He said.

Governor Wike regretted that the APC and her supporters attack the Judiciary when judgment is not in their favour.

He pointed out the attacks on Justice Mary Odili in the Bayelsa State Governorship matter.

The Governor said that the recent order by the wife of the member of a House of Representatives wherein she reaffirmed the freedom of the former Emir of Kano, was hailed, even though she was the wife of a PDP member.

He said that the APC is an association that was only concerned about the removal of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said that having removed Jonathan, APC has been unable to use power to the advantage of Nigerians.

The Governor wondered how a national official of the APC who resigned to contest the Deputy Governorship position in Rivers State, would still go to court to seek to be Acting National Chairman.

Governor Wike, however, agreed with the Former Governor of Lagos State that the struggle in the APC is about 2023.

“I agree with the former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu that the crisis in APC is about 2023. Everyone wants to be President or Vice President. This virus is indeed worse than coronavirus,” He said.


#Newsworthy…

Tinubu tackles Obaseki, others ahead NEC Meeting, backs Oshiomhole.


A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has expressed frustrations with developments in his party, declaring that the effects of the desperation of those he described as overambitious politicians exceeded the fatality of the raging coronavirus.

In a widely circulated statement issued ahead of the planned emergency meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Tinubu expressed dismay at the way the provisions of the APC constitution were allegedly being breached by some chieftains of the party due to their personal ambitions.

He lamented that the political misunderstanding between the suspended national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State had become a rallying point for “those desperate for 2023” to distract President Muhammadu Buhari from governance.

Tinubu stated: “It is no secret that the chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs to hopefully resolve this spat.

“The chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us. To do so would be an act of ingratitude.”

Tinubu disclosed that “the plotters launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions,” stressing that “people went to court knowing full well that the party’s constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures.

“We even had a national deputy secretary improperly calling for an NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself to be the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals, whom he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.”

The former Lagos State governor noted that due to alert responses of Lagos and Ogun states’ governments, actively supported by the federal machinery, Nigeria was able to quickly identify and isolate the two cases of the novel coronavirus 19.

“This action, thus far, has stopped the spread of the disease into the wider community as has been seen in other nations. We are grateful to God and to all those involved in the response effort, particularly the brave and committed medical teams on the frontline.

“While corona has been presently contained in Nigeria, we must be alert to another sickness that seems rampant within a certain segment of society. That sickness is old ambition-virus 2023. This illness afflicts many in the political class along with their allies in the media.

“Those touched by this malady find that their ability to tell time and discern the difference between the present and the future has been strongly impaired. The carriers of this sickness are confused as to the very season our nation now finds itself.

“They conflate things, which no sensible person would conflate. The primary symptom of their malady is the driving tendency to believe the events of 2023 will be decided before we even exit the year 2020,” Tinubu said.

The APC leader, who observed that all the things said and done under the circumstances were “geared toward obsessive jockeying for position to control and manipulate a race still three years away,” added that in doing so, the desperadoes recklessly undermined the very party, which they claimed to serve and weakened the administration of President Buhari to which they claimed to be loyal.

Alluding to Governor Obaseki and other APC stalwarts, particularly members of the South-South leadership caucus allegedly moving for the removal of Oshiomhole from office as national chairman, Tinubu said: “those engaged in these manoeuvres see themselves as clever or cunning.”

“In a well-structured society, people come to understand that the time for politics is seasonal; it is periodic. The responsibilities of governance are what are perpetual. Many of our politicians sadly have inverted this reality.

“Politics and electioneering are secondary to governance, for they are but tools of governance, the platforms by which one demonstrates his or her worthiness to lead a great people. The more a person obsesses over and constantly engages in political manoeuvring is a warning sign.

“Not only is he prone to the 2023 virus, he likely has little to offer in the way of good governance. He wants to hold public office that you might serve him not he serves you. For if he had adequately studied and been acquainted with the ways and means of progressive governance, he would be focused on that important task at the present moment. He certainly would not drown himself and all around him in harmful political intrigue,” Tinubu said.

To him, it is against that backdrop that the alleged ploys and plots to undermine the APC national chairman should be viewed. “The chairman is human; thus, he has his merits as well as his flaws. Yet his humanity cannot be grounds for his dismissal. If so, the position will forever go vacant.”

While insisting that those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration, the APC leader lamented: “Many of us expended sweat, tears, toil and sleepless nights to build this party. Our personal sacrifices were not insignificant. We built this party not simply as a vehicle for personal ambition. We built the party because we saw it as perhaps the only enduring hope to bring progressive governance to this nation. Those who now seek to abuse the party by using it as their personal device do it great harm.

“They should not be allowed to sacrifice this collective enterprise at the altar of their self-aggrandizement. Somehow, some way they should find in themselves the bearing to adhere to the democratic spirit on which the party was founded. To be an APC member means more than merely carrying a membership card. It means to believe in a set of ideals and principles geared to our highest purpose as a party and a nation.”

The former Lagos governor said that the president was faced with many challenges, fighting hard on security to keep the population safe and pushing for economic reforms that would engender future sustainable growth, adding that his disdain for corruption remained unwavering.

“Add to it now the corona crisis and its resultant social as well as economic impact. Politicians express loyalty to him but the words of too many of our politicians are like butter under a burning sun; they melt quickly away. Better to be loyal in deed.

“Instead of trying to manipulate party and other mechanisms solely to their political gain, it is time to shelve political intrigue for the time being. It is time for all party members to truly see what is at stake and work with Mr. President for the collective good of the nation.

“This means we must rally around President Buhari. Instead of everyone saying they are working for the party and nation but going their separate ways based on their selfish designs, we must help him build a stronger national consensus on policies that will ensure safety and bring greater prosperity,” he appealed.

Tinubu remarked that he had said what was on his mind, hoping that “some people may leave the 2023 frenzy and commit themselves to the harder yet more rewarding task of improving progressive governance, whether within the party or at the local, state or federal levels.”


#Newsworthy…

2023 Election: My aim is to retire tinubu from politics – Bode George


Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George has vowed to truncate the rumoured 2023 presidential ambition of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In this interview with TUNDE THOMAS, George who is also a member, PDP Board of Trustees urged Tinubu to watch it, adding that 2023 may end Tinubu’s political career if he joins the race.

“One of the main reasons I’m joining the 2023 race is to stop Tinubu. If the presidency is zoned to the South-West in 2023, and Tinubu enters the race I will not only face him but also stop him. Tinubu should remember that Nigeria is a bigger constituency, it is not Lagos where Tinubu and APC have been rigging the elections’’, he added.

What can you make of the present state of insecurity across the country?

We are in a very dire situation and everybody is deeply worried. The situation in the country today is not only worrisome but it is also very disturbing. But as elders and patriots, we must proffer solutions. We should be able to make recommendations to those in authority and they can look at our suggestions on the way out of the present quagmire. The insurgency in the North that is usually referred to as the Boko Haram war, with my military experience, I believe is not a regular war. It is guerilla warfare. It is not a conventional war. When you are fighting a conventional war, you can define who the enemy is, but in this case, the insurgents speak the same language, they wear the same clothes, and look the same way as the local people. So how do you identify the enemy? When the insurgents come into town, it is difficult to identify them because they have same similarities with the locals, and this is why it has been difficult for the military to contain the insurgency.

Our military personnel are well trained. Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces are well trained and they’ve performed very well in many operations within and outside Africa. They were in Angola, Namibia, Lebanon, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, and several other places where they performed excellently well on United Nations operations, and missions. So this insurgency can never be too much for our military to subdue, and deal with if not for the reason I pointed out earlier. The Boko Haram war is not a conventional warfare. To win this battle, we must adopt a new tactic. Our approach now must be different. We must explore other avenues to tame the insurgents.

What approach are you suggesting to bring an end to the insurgency?

Take a look at guerilla warfare in the Latin America, especially in countries like Cuba, Mexico, and other countries like Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, despite years of battle in the bush, they eventually had to resort to dialogue to bring about peace. This is what happened in Vietnam also when the Americans realized that it was going to be difficult to identify an enemy in Vietnam because they all look alike. Recently, the United States forces in Afghanistan announced that it was time to discuss with Talibans for peace to reign in that country. This is despite the fact that the Americans had the most sophisticated weapons to fight the Talibans. The Talibans had been a thorn in the flesh of the American troops for many years, and it has not been easy for the American troops to fight them because they dress the same way, and speak the same language with the local people. After many years of battle with the Talibans, somebody now advised the Americans that it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. I’m suggesting that we adopt this option in this Boko Haram war because I believe it is the best for us in the present circumstance.

But some other Nigerians have been canvassing other options like calling for the removal of the service chiefs–

I know some Nigerians have been calling for the heads of the service chiefs, but is that the solution? No. I don’t think so. And one thing again is this, the service chefs are retained at the pleasure of Mr. President who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I left the military service over 30 years ago, and I don’t know how many years these service chiefs have spent in service. But one thing I know is that if you have attained the age of 60 years or have spent 35 years in service then you must get out, or you must retire. However,like I said earlier, everything depends on the Commander-in-Chief. It is at the President’s pleasure to either retain or fire the service chiefs. One thing Nigerians must know again is this, it is not only the service chiefs that are fighting the war against the insurgents, it is a congregation of efforts. Therefore it will be unfair to make the service chiefs the scapegoats––the hood doesn’t make a monk. The best option for us now is to embrace dialogue. No effort must be spared to get the insurgents to the dialogue table. We must talk with them to find out what they really want or what are their grievances.

It is heartwarming that the new Chairman of African Unity, AU who is also the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that he will set up a committee to look at various areas in Africa where you have insurgents making life difficult for people. The United Nations also just released a statement where it was stated that the global body may intervene over insurgents attacks in Nigeria. We will be deceiving ourselves if we say that all is well. Nobody is safe again. Everybody is scared. The number one responsibility of any government anywhere in the world is to secure the lives, and properties of citizens. I must commend our state governors in the South-West over the set up of regional security outfit, Operation Amotekun. It is the right step in the right direction.

However it is very sad that the level of mistrust among the various groups in the country today is on the increase. When a group makes a suggestion, if you see the level of opposition or attack by another group you will be worried. They don’t bother to think whether such an idea is a good one that will benefit Nigerians. We are gradually losing all sense of civility. We are no longer our brother’s keepers. I have been to different parts of the country, and I can confidently say that God has really blessed Nigeria, be it in terms of natural resources, or human resources. When those South-West governors decided to set up the Operation Amotekun security outfit, I supported them because I see nothing wrong in it. To me, it is a form of local policing. Although some individuals and groups launched vitriolic attacks on me but I have no apology for supporting the security outfit. Operation Amotekun is a form of local policing, and there is nothing wrong with local policing or state police. They have it in the United states which is our role model. In actual fact, apart from state police, they also have county police, and the FBI in America for effective security management. This is why the need for restructuring of Nigeria is now. If we restructure, some of these issues would have been naturally addressed.

While you are canvassing restructuring, some individuals and groups are opposed to it with some even saying that the body language of those in authority doesn’t seem to be in favour of the idea…..

We should be honest and bold to tell ourselves the home truths. We were not like this before. Until 1966 when the military took over the running of affairs of the country, Nigeria was practicing federalism but when the military took over, everything changed, and the unitary system of government was introduced whereby order was being given from a central command. When the Commander-in-Chief gives an order, everybody must fall in line. But this later proved to be counter-productive because Nigeria is a country with different ethnic groups and different cultures. Politics is all about management of resources of the people for the benefit of the people. But this became a negation when resources from different places are being taken to the centre at Abuja, and later redistributed back to the states sometimes in unfairly manner, and this is why you have protests and clamour for restructuring. This is why some are clamouring for a return to true practice of federalism as it was in practice in the First Republic. This is why Nigeria is not working.

Restructuring will make Nigeria to work in the way envisaged by the nation’s founding fathers. It is unfortunate that some people are giving wrong interpretations to restructuring, while others are having unjustifiable fears about the concept. There is no part or section of the country that is not blessed with different resources.

The unitary system, which we are using is an anomaly. It can’t work. Another issue we have to address urgently is the issue of unity in the country. The level of distrust is too high, and this is not in the nation’s interest. Our former colonial master, the British, created distrust among Nigerians, and this is still fertile in Nigeria, even after our former colonial masters have gone. Although we are pretending that all these mistrusts and hatred are not there, in reality, they are still there, but we have to jettison all these if we want to move forward. It is very unfortunate that Nigeria is sliding dangerously into the debris of hell.

Some people have attributed ills plaguing the country to ineffective leadership, do you agree with that?

No. I don’t agree. A leader doesn’t operate in isolation. He works with ministers and other aides. Now if you are a member of the team and you are loyal and you write your own convictions and it is not working in that department, then you quit. That’s what civilized people do because there will always be a day of reckoning, a day to defend your actions. When General Yakubu Gowon introduced the NYSC scheme, one of the objectives was that it would help us understand ourselves. It was a brilliant idea. But it fell short of one thing, and this is an idea I will like to propose. Every primary school pupil in Yorubaland before graduating must be able to speak Igbo and Hausa languages; same thing with Hausa boy, he must be able to speak Igbo, and Yoruba before he graduates, and Igbo boy must also be able to speak Hausa, and Yoruba before he graduates. This will help to foster unity in the country. Language is a powerful tool which we must use to promote unity in the country. This idea I’m proposing is not new. In Switzerland, they have three major tribes, the French in Geneva, the Germans in Zurich, and the Italians in Lugano, and everybody speaks the same language. Nobody is lost. Go into history, no world war has ever happened in Switzerland, and not only that, their human resource is unmatchable. For us to move forward ,we must emulate a country like Switzerland. We must jettison the winner-takes-it-all approach from our politics.

Your party, PDP has been accused of laying the foundation for some of the crises presently affecting the nation, especially the insurgency in the North East with killing of Boko Haram founding leader , Mohammed Yusuf….

(Cuts in)..I don’t agree with that. When the crisis first broke out, there were different stories with some saying that it was only a flash. One state governor was even reported to be using the insurgents for political purposes that time, and when he finished his tenure, and didn’t want to continue using them, they almost killed him and even killed his brother. That was the beginning of the crisis in the North East. But today, the crisis has festered.

Instead of blaming PDP or start apportioning blames, I believe what we should do is to find solution to those serious problems confronting Nigeria today, and that is the problem of hunger, poverty, and insecurity. Towards the end of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, he started a skills acquisition programme from which many people benefitted. But what has happened to that scheme today? It has been abandoned. That kind of programme should be revived. Government should be a continuity. Again, I believe that government should show more cohesion. It should be teamwork. But this is lacking, and a good demonstration of this is the issue of leaked memos between the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari. For God’s sake, what is going on there? I think enough is enough.

I will also like to advise President Buhari to call a meeting of all elders including traditional rulers from all the corners of the country. This has nothing to do with politics now. This gathering should be convened without delay because Nigeria is wobbling. The gathering should be saddled with the task of proffering the way forward for Nigeria. Two heads are better than one. The situation in Nigeria today is terrible most especially for people living in those areas being ravaged by the insurgents.

Some Nigerians have even gone to the extreme calling on President Buhari to resign following the insecurity challenges confronting the country, how would you react to the calls?

How can Buhari resign? Resign for what? A tree doesn’t make a forest. It is a collective responsibility. If Buhari resigns then you will hear people saying different things including those working with him. Some will be saying we told him to do this or do that but he refused. Nigerians are very interesting, and one will be shocked by what will be coming out of the mouths of many people including some of his own aides if Buhari resigns. To me, if the country is well, it is everybody that is there that is well, and if the country is unwell, it is everybody that is there that is unwell. This is why I’m advising President Buhari to seek advice of elders on the way forward. We still have some elder statesmen that are still alive. We also have very senior generals that are retired from the Army, Navy, and Airforce that can still give useful advice to President Buhari.

Some are suggesting the President is not doing any of these because he has been caged by some powerful elements. How can I believe that President Buhari, a retired general can be caged? Buhari being caged by who? I don’t believe Buhari can be caged by anybody. It is President Buhari as the leader who knows where the shoe pinches. But nothing stops him from taking useful advice that can help move Nigeria forward. The buck stops at the President’s table, and I will never subscribe to the idea that Buhari is being caged. The President has not only seen it all but he is also an experienced civil, and retired military leader capable of taking his own independent decisions.

What’s your reaction to the threat by the leaders of Miyetti-Allah to form a parallel security outfit if Operation Amotekun, and Shege-de-Faka security outfits recently formed by state governors in the South-West, and some groups in the North are not proscribed ?

That’s a joke taken too far. I don’t even know who these people are. On what basis are they threatening to form their own parallel outfit? It is unfortunate that everybody is reading meaning into the good intention behind the formation of Operation Amotekun. These Miyetti-Allah leaders should be ignored. Until recently who even knows Miyetti-Allah? Fulani herdsmen have always been involved in their legitimate trade without any hassles for decades. They bring their cows down from the North to the South to sell and graze, and there were no crises until lately. But why all these now? Miyetti-Allah and any other group that wants to create confusion and tension should not be allowed to disturb the nation’s peace. Why all this noise by Miyetti-Allah? These are mere noisemakers who should be ignored. Honestly, we need to make restitution in Nigeria. We need to seek God’s forgiveness for some of these strange things happening in the country today.

On your reported 2023 presidential ambition, some Nigerians are saying that it is not real, that at 75 what are you looking for again, that it is just a distraction……

(Cuts in)It is not a distraction but real. At 75, I’m still able and fit to lead Nigeria. The idea to run came not even from me, it was somebody that suggested it and I thought over it before coming to the conclusion that I must run. Most importantly if 2023 is zoned to the South West, and some people continue to talk about Bola Tinubu, then I must enter the race to stop him. I will face Tinubu, and I will defeat him.

But Tinubu’s APC has been defeating your party, PDP in Lagos State since 1999, what gives you the confidence that you can stop him in 2023?

Nigeria is bigger than Lagos, and even in Lagos, APC has been rigging the elections, Nigeria is on a bigger scale, and what Tinubu, and his cohorts are doing in Lagos, they can’t try it across the country. If they try it, it will boomerang. Tinubu, and APC have been rigging elections in Lagos. Tinubu will meet his political waterloo in 2023 if he runs, and I will be his nemesis.

You were recently reported to have declared that you will run to Togo if Tinubu wins 2023 elections––

I never made that statement. I was misquoted, and it is unfortunate that a section of the press has been publishing that wrong information.How can I run away because of Tinubu? Never,it should be the other way round.It is Tinubu that should be running away.

But it was reported that you made a similar claim in 2015 that you will go on exile if President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan––

Some of these things are the handiwork of my political detractors. However, for now, I don’t want to distract myself with some of these issues. For now, my concern, and what concerns most Nigerians is to stabilize Nigeria. Nigeria is not only wobbling. It is wobbling so badly. Who even knows who will be alive by2023? For now, let’s all join hands to salvage Nigeria. It is when Nigeria is stabilized that we can plan for 2023. We should even allow President Buhari to concentrate on governance now. He has not even spent up to one year in his second term. He should not be distracted.


#Newsworthy…

Insecurities: Nothing else is my big concern but the safety of Nigerians – Bode George


Ex-Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has said he is more concerned about the security problems in the country than contesting the 2023 presidential election.

George had said that he was interested in contesting the 2023 presidential poll against ex-Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. NobleReporters can claim

The retired military officer, however, said he had not abandoned his presidential ambition.


George said, “People are trying to push (me), saying, if it’s coming to the South-West, they will give me support. For me, it’s still about three years from now.

“When people make such overtures to you, you don’t just brush them off. But there are many hurdles to cross before we get there.


“Look at the state of the country now. The country is destabilised. It is shifting. The platforms are very unstable and it is not a matter of one party versus another party now. It’s a national disaster and it calls for us to put all our hands to stabilise our nation.”

George praised the Operation Amotekun initiative of South-West governors, saying it would help tackle insecurity in the region.


The ex-Ondo State military governor said, “If you travel from A to B now, you will keep looking behind you and thinking you may be kidnapped or somebody is going to hit you.

“That’s a state of hopelessness and helplessness. And the number of police we have can’t cope – 245,000 versus more than 200 million people. That’s absolutely inadequate.


“That makes Amotekun more essential is community policing, at least, so that people can sleep well at night. Those are the issues that bother me now, rather than presidential elections.”

Meanwhile, George called on countries bordering the North-East Nigeria to renew their support for the fight against Boko Haram.


Ex-Security Adviser to Cross River, Mr Jude Ngaji, also echoed the PDP chief’s view.

In separate interviews, the duo said tackling the Boko Haram insurgency required the support of the neighbouring countries. N.Rs heard


Ngaji said, “We underestimated their level of infiltration into society. The military thought that the terrorists were a group of persons they would just clean up, but these people have infiltrated society. They have become those that even sell your basic daily needs to you.

“Much as we are trying to wipe out these people, we should ask if Cameroon, Niger and Chad are doing the same thing that we are doing. These countries must have to put in the same efforts as Nigeria for this war to succeed.


“There must be a commitment from the neighbouring countries for us to win this war. Cameroon, Niger, and Chad must step up the fight to support our firepower. These guys have gone beyond insurgents; they are now terrorists who operate from different countries.”

George said intelligence gathering was key. He stated, “If we think that the current war against these terrorists is a conventional war, then we have missed it. It is guerrilla warfare and once you have that situation, it takes a much longer time. The people they are fighting live in communities.

Ex-Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George

“The only thing that we can do is to keep applying technology, especially the use of satellite equipment to locate their operational bases. We must internationalise this by getting the support of other nations.

“The other option is information gathering and to negotiate for peace. These Boko Haram fighters are more of Nigerians, not aliens. Meet their leaders and discuss with them and that is the way you can end this protracted guerrilla warfare.”


#Newsworthy ..

El-Rufai @ 60: Tinubu send message


The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Chief Bola Tinubu, has felicitated with Kaduna State Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, at 60.

In a congratulatory message signed by his Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman, in Lagos, Tinubu said that El-Rufai’s reputation as a public servant always eager to confront challenges was commendable.


Tinubu said that El-Rufai served Nigeria to the best of his abilities with unquestionable zeal.

The APC leader said: “I congratulate Malam Nasir El-Rufai on turning 60.


“Your reputation as a public servant eager to confront challenges is well deserved.

“It is not surprising that this milestone birthday has come with you still in active public service.

Kaduna State Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai

“Whether as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory or Governor of Kaduna State, El-Rufai served to the best of his abilities with unquestionable zeal and energy.

“My prayer is that God Almighty grants you many more years, gives you good health and renewed strength to continue to govern the people of your state and serve our nation,” Tinubu said.


#Newsworthy…

K1’s mighty voice made Tinubu dance in an event..

…as aare rasak okoya clocks 80

…Evangelist Ebenezer Obey & King Sunny Ade present


The recently held 80th birthday party of Aare Rasak Okoya will be remembered for its panache and the quality of people it paraded.

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, wasn’t left out of the celebration.


An exciting part of the night was when Asiwaju stood up to dance to King Wasiu Ayinde’s music. One particular lyric, which made Tinubu to dance like never before was “Tinubu wo ero leyin e, Tinubu Iwolamo, Olofo lobinu Ologo.”

Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and King Sunday Ade also excited guests with live performances at the grand party.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Musa shade Tinubu, others


Former governor of Old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has slammed Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, over the comment he made on his statement about the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named, Operation Amotekun.


He also took on the O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams and described Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as belonging to a government that is showing lack of aptitude to govern Nigeria.

Operation Amotekun was Introduced by the six South West governors to curb kidnapping, banditry and ritual killings that has thrown the region into panic.


Musa had said in an interview with one of The Sun newspaper titles that Operation Amotekun was a ploy by the Yoruba preparatory to the declaration of Oduduwa Republic.

But Soyinka, Adams and Tinubu took exception to the statement. While Tinubu said Amotekun was not a threat to national unity and that “those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion,” Soyinka noted that “raising the spectre of secessionist is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh.


Adams, on his part, queried the former governor when he became the spokesman of the North, adding that it was on record that Musa is the only former governor in Nigeria who operated a one-man show, has no aide, and has no followers-hip just as he remarked that the Northern oligarchy as represented by Musa were afraid that the existence of Amotekun might jeopardise their conquest agenda.

However, Musa in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun yesterday rose in stout response to the attack on his person?


He said: “The statement of Soyinka and that of Tinubu do not amount to criticism. In fact, we agreed in some areas and we differed in others. The statement of Tinubu, for instance, is just calling attention to the insecurity as seen by Amotekun because Tinubu listed a number of steps that Amotekun should have taken and have not taken. Tinubu has not said anything different from what we have said in a different way.”

When reminded of Tinubu’s statement that Amotekun is not a threat to national unity contrary to his averment, Musa said: “But what do you expect Tinubu to do because Tinubu is part and parcel of this government which is responsible for this incompetence that makes Amotekun look necessary to others. So, what do you expect him to do. How can he say Amotekun is not a threat to national unity when he is part and parcel of the government and part and parcel of the South West elite that are responsible. So you can’t expect the same attitude with mine because he is directly involved.


“I am not surprised about his response but I am saying that people like him and us should work together because we think principally about national unity and I have no doubt about Tinubu’s commitment about national unity even though I have doubt about the commitment of people like Soyinka. I can even identify specific attempts that Tinubu took to bring about national unity since his intervention in real politics at NADECO.

“For Soyinka, all his announcements since he came into the scene particularly during his encounter with the late Bala Usman who was doubting whether he earned his professorship and he was reacting. When regional issues arise, Soyinka has never taken his bias towards, for instance, Yorubaland, Yoruba states and everything Yoruba and not Nigeria. I mean that has been clear.


“The best thing is that let all of us who differ on this Amotekun come together and do what appears to have been done by others. For instance, Tinubu is suggesting something that will make Amotekun a national aspiration. Now, the North Central governments are also thinking of doing the same thing.”

Asked if he was aware that the Arewa youths were in support of Amotekun, he retorted: ”I mean the thing is this: you can say the same thing about the governors of the North Central states but they are not saying they have accepted Amotekun per se. They are saying the regional security formation is essential but in conjunction with the relevant bodies. For instance, they talked about it in consultation with the Attorney General and coming together. They never talked about any tribe or whatever unlike Amotekun that is talking about Yoruba all the time.

When reminded of Adams conquest agenda allegation, Musa quipped: “Forget about Adams. We know his position right from the beginning. As far as he is concerned, it is Yoruba and Yoruba all the time. I don’t even want to comment about what Adams. He is talking about the North fixing a national problem. Why should he be talking about the North?

“He is talking about conquest agenda by the North. You see this nonsense. This is something that lacks intelligence and it shows the attitude of people with intellectual and social indiscipline and articulation. What does Adams know? When did he arrive into the scene to know all these? He arrived when the rot has already started and he started using the rot.”


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Tinubu finally speak up

...says not threat to national unity


After days of silence, former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has given his views on the newly established security outfit by governors of the South-West named Amotekun.

According to Tinubu, the creation of the new outfit is not in any way a threat to national unity as claimed in some quarters.

In a statement on Wednesday, Tinubu said, “Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.


“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the South-west have also lost their compass.

“Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.


“Amotekun is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war.

“Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun, they are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.


“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many.

“If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances.

“I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue.

“Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.”


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Yoruba leaders blast Tinubu for not speaking up


Pa Ayo Adebanjo says Tinubu will never become the president of Nigeria, adding that Buhari is only deceiving him.

Yoruba elders have come for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for keeping mum over Operation Amotekun, a security outfit established by his region’s governors.

On Saturday, January 18, 2020, Afenifere chieftains Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Senator Femi Okurounmu, lambasted Tinubu, who is seen as a political leader in the South-West for refusing to comment on the security initiative.


The South-West Security Network code-named Operation Amotekun was launched by the region’s governors on Thursday, January 9,2020, and almost immediately after the launch, the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami declared it illegal.

Leaders of interest groups in the north have also condemned the establishment of Operation Amotekun as regional security outfit for the South-western part of the country.


While the Federal Government has expressed its opposition for the initiative, Yoruba elders have voiced their support for Amotekun, but Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state is yet to say anything on the issue.

Reacting to Tinubu’s silence on the security outfit, 91-year-old Adebanjo in an interview with Punch tackled the politician for forming an alliance with the North.


“It was the likes of Tinubu that told us that the South-West would enjoy many privileges but what has the South-West benefitted from the alliance? He shouldn’t have forged an alliance with them in the first place, he said.

Adebanjo further said, Tinubu will never become the president of the country. He added that the APC leader has been keeping mum over Amotekun because he is being deceived with a presidential ticket.


“He asked the Yoruba people to vote for him (Buhari) and that things would be better. Now that they are being slaughtered and they don’t want us to have our security, you are keeping quiet all because you are being deceived that you will become the President which you will never be.

“I have continued to tell him that they are just deceiving him and he is deceiving himself. Which promise has Buhari made and fulfilled? In 2015, he said he would be a born again democrat but does he even obey court orders?”

The Afenifere Chieftain also said that the Federal Government had not right to discount Operation Amotekun when it had failed to provide adequate security for the region.


He recalled that since Pa Fasoranti’s daughter, Mrs Olufunke Olakunrin was murdered on Friday, May 12, 2019, there has been no single arrest.

“I have always told you that the Yoruba people know who their real leaders are. The problems that the Yoruba people are facing today were caused by men like Tinubu. If they had not gone to forge an alliance with Buhari, we wouldn’t be in this problem.

“I told them then that Buhari was only after power. If not, how is it that they neither want to protect us nor allow us to protect ourselves? Why is the North allowed to have security agencies while we are not allowed to protect ourselves against armed persons?

“The police refuse to do anything because of the President’s body language. How could they have killed the daughter of our leader (Pa Reuben Fasoranti) and there has been no single arrest?

Also reacting to Tinubu’s silence on Amotekun, former senator, Femi Okurounmu said the politician has been exposed for who he is.

He said, “Tinubu doesn’t need to be prompted before speaking. We have all been speaking on the matter. Their silence is ominous. This thing was launched by the governors, not Afenifere. And such initiatives should be supported by all Yoruba people.


“Yoruba people are not idiots, we are not fools. If he doesn’t talk now, then we will know how to describe him. Nobody needs to tell us what he is. Nobody needs to call him anything. Even the illiterate man knows what he is.

“If the ordinary man on the street is in support of Amotekun, if all Yoruba people say this is what they want and he is refusing to talk, then his silence has exposed him for what he is. His silence speaks loudly.”

Also, in an interview with Punch, the Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide said Tinubu being a leader in the ruling party is expected to speak up on an issue affecting his people and region.

Olajide said, “The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, is challenging the legality of our entrenched constitutional right to protect our lives and property. I expect our political leader (Tinubu) to be in the forefront of rebuking whoever authored the statement. We see him as a leader and we expect him to say something.”

Meanwhile, Tinubu’s Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman has said that the APC Chieftain would speak at the appropriate time.

He said, “You know he is a deeply reflective person and a deep thinker. I know that at the appropriate time he would speak on the matter. What time is appropriate is his prerogative in my view. And I think we must all grant him that indulgence.”


#Newsworthy…