#NewYear2019: PDP Assures Nigerians of Brighter Future

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) has urged Nigerians to step into 2019 with unwavering optimism, faith and hope of a new era of peace, national cohesion and economic prosperity under a new President, Atiku Abubakar, that will be elected on February 16, 2019.

The PPCO congratulated Nigerians for their resilience in “surviving the almost four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which has not been all positive for the nation.

The party called on Nigerians to avert negative projections by voting the opposition in the coming polls.

READ ALSO: There Is Hope For Nigeria, Jonathan Says In New Year Message

According to the PDP, “2019, as an election year, offers our citizens their much-desired opportunity to end the trajectory of economic hardship, hunger and starvation, strange diseases, untimely deaths, collapsed infrastructure, humongous unemployment figures, wanton killings and all the evils that have bedeviled our nation in almost four years”.

“Our citizens have made immeasurable sacrifices to keep the nation going in the face of very harsh policies, lies and fake promises of the Buhari administration. They now eagerly long for a breath of fresh air under Atiku as their next President”.

The PDP argued that if voted in as President, “Atiku will usher in a new era of a transparent and responsive government with the template for wealth creation, job opportunities and revitalization of our productive sector through tax cuts and direct empowerment of our hard-working entrepreneurs in a manner that increases our national productivity, reduce costs of goods and services, increase exports and shore up the value of our naira.”

 

Nigerians Usher In New Year With Prayers And Fireworks

Nigerians have joined the rest of the world in ushering in the year 2019.

Earlier, Sydney and Hong Kong put on stunning fireworks displays in a spectacular welcome to the New Year, among the first in a wave of celebrations for billions around the world.

Australia’s largest city organised its biggest-ever fireworks display, using a record amount of pyrotechnics as well as new effects.

Colours lit up the city’s skyline for 12 minutes and dazzled the more than 1.5 million spectators who packed the harbour front and parks.

 

New Year’s Eve fireworks erupt over Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the fireworks show on January 1, 2019.
PETER PARKS / AFP

An earlier thunderstorm did not dampen the spirits of revelers who camped out at vantage points, some since the morning.

To mark the international year of indigenous languages in 2019, the harbour also hosted a ceremony celebrating Aboriginal heritage that included animations projected onto the bridge’s pylons.

In Hong Kong, hundreds of thousands of revelers packed the streets on both sides of the city’s Victoria Harbour for a spectacular 10-minute firework show.

Some $1.8 million worth of pyrotechnics bathed the city’s skyscrapers in a dizzying array of colours accompanied by a score that included Auld Lang Syne sung in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour during New Year celebrations in Hong Kong on January 1, 2019.
ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP

In Nigeria, many Christians took to their various churches where night vigils held to herald the new year.

While some Nigerians took to the churches, there were others at city centres and parks where official countdown concerts took place.

The One Lagos Fiesta was one of the events put together to usher in the new year, with various artists and performers thrilling revelers who thronged to the venue of the fiesta put together by the Lagos state government.

And when the clock struck 12am signaling the berth of a new day, Nigerians across the country especially in Lagos, took to the streets in jubilation. At certain centres around Nigeria’s economic hub, major firework displays lit up the skies as each-one bad the other “Happy New Year”.

President Urge Nigerians To Vote Without Fear

President Muhammadu Buhari has in his New Year Message reminded Nigerians that there are new opportunities to be explored in 2019.

Buhari who reminded Nigerians of the polls in 2019, told the people that the election is not a do or die affair, hence, they must not approach the process with fear.

The President made the call in a New Year Message sent out on Monday, December 31.

According to the President, 2019 is a very significant year in the nation’s history and as such Nigerians must brace up for the new moral grounds to be broken.

Man Guns Down Six Family Members Including Kids At New Year Party

File photo

 

A man who felt slighted by his in-laws shot dead six family members including his two young children at a New Year’s Eve party before turning the gun on himself, the police said Tuesday.

The mass shooting took place 10 minutes after midnight as Thai man Sucheep Sornsung joined his wife’s family to ring in the New Year in the southern province of Chumphon.

Sucheep was “heavily” drunk when he pulled out his pistol at the table in the beauty parlour where the party was being hosted in Phato district, police said.

“All of the victims were his family members including his nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter,” Lieutenant Colonel Larp Kampapan of Phato police told AFP.

“They were shot either in the head or the torso… he was angry that as the son-in-law he was not being made welcome by his wife’s family.”

The gunman then turned the weapon on himself.

The other four victims were two men and two women aged between 47 and 71.

Thailand has high rates of gun ownership and petty personal disputes, romantic and business rivalries are often resolved with bullets.

AFP

2019 Election Is Not A Do Or Die Affair, Have No Fear – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerians that the 2019 election is not a do or die affair, hence they must not approach the polls with fear. 

The President made the call in a New Year Message sent out on Monday, December 31.

According to the President, 2019 is a very significant year in the nation’s history and as such Nigerians must brace up for the new moral grounds to be broken.

Below is the full mesage by President Muhammdau Buhari.

“Dear compatriots,

It is my utmost pleasure to rejoice with all Nigerians as we enter the year 2019, which will be a very significant one for our country.

At the turn of every year, we often use the opportunity to look back at the past and forward to the future. To review the outgoing year, its high and low points, successes and failures, and be fully thankful to God.

We Nigerians are a religious people, and we believe that God reigns and rules in the affairs of men. A time like this offers precious opportunity for thanksgiving, stock taking and reflection on goals and targets set for the receding year, and how much was accomplished. The ones not done can then be rolled over into a new year.

The dawn of a New Year is also a time to look forward. To consider new prospects, unfold our plans, and prepare for landmark dates and events.

2019 will be an election year for us. In about two months, the polls are due, and we will elect leaders into various offices, at national and state levels.

As I welcome you into 2019, I also reiterate my many promises and declarations that the general elections will be free, fair and credible.

Elections need not be do or die affair, and we should not approach that eventuality in a democracy with trepidation and mortal fear. Happily, a large number of presidential candidates have committed to peace, and peace we shall have.

Those who continue to trumpet falsehood and negativity are on their own, fighting a losing battle. The greater number of Nigerians are trusting and believing that we shall deliver on our promises for a level playing field at the polls, and that is what we shall do.

Nigerians desire peace, security, prosperity, inclusiveness and infrastructural development, a nation they can be proud of, a country that can hold its own among the nations.

READ ALSO: We Can End Terrorism In 2019, Atiku Tells Nigerians

That is the journey we have embarked on since we came onboard in 2015, and we are not distracted as we move on. We are resolved to build a country in which the resources are utilized for the benefit of the largest number, and not appropriated by a privileged few in their never-ending quest to satisfy their greed. We are on this mission together, and I assure you of a firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure, fair, just and prosperous country.

We have had our challenges: security, economic, political, social. But we are resolved to combat and overcome them all.

I appreciate your support and collaboration in previous years, and look forward to same in 2019, and beyond, as I hope you will renew the mandate you overwhelmingly gave us in 2015, for another term.

We are motivated by nothing other than service to motherland, and service without selfishness or personal interest.

I can assure you all that we are making steady and sustainable progress in all areas of national life. Those who are unbiased can see and appreciate the progress the country has made since 2015.

A New Year provides an opportunity for renewal of commitment, and I invite you to rededicate yourselves to the vision of a Nigeria that works for all.

We are moving from potentials to actualization, and it’s a task to be accomplished by us all; man, woman, young, old, military, civilian, all Nigerians.
Please come along, as we journey to the land of our dreams. Happy 2019.

Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

PDP Asks Buhari Not To Make ‘Fake Promises’ In New Year Message

PDP Asks Buhari Not To Make 'Fake Promises' In New Year Message

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to address Nigerians on New Year’s day.

According to a statement by the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO), President Buhari should not bother with any New Year Message as he has nothing to offer Nigerians.

“PPCO insists the message will be a rehash of fake promises which had been foisted on Nigerians since December 2015,” it said in a statement on Sunday by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.

“The PPCO says President Buhari has already admitted failure in governance, that he has no solutions and as such will only dwell on fictitious claims and cosmetic patriotism, in an effort to sway Nigerians and divert their attention from his failures and insensitivity to their problems.”

The party said it considered the New Year message as “a ritual” that must be must fulfiled and advised the President to use the occasion to provide answers to some allegations of corruptions against some purported members of his family.

“No New Year message would be more apt than Mr President explaining how his family members came about the sum of N1.032 trillion for this scandalous acquisition,” the PDP alleged.

It also asked the President to use his New Year message to respond to other allegations of certificate forgery, looting, and diversion of repatriated funds.

While the government has since denied the allegations, the opposition party challenged the President to use the occasion to provide answers for the allegations of false performance claims in his 2019 budget speech.

The PDP alleged, “President Buhari must not continue to play the saint when his administration has skeletons in its cupboard.”

“He must provide answers to Nigerians. If not, he should not bother sending any New Year message as the nation has moved beyond mere rhetoric, blame game and false promises, which have been the hallmarks of his administration.”

Paris: New Year’s Eve Bash To Hold Despite ‘Yellow Vest Protest’

Yellow vest member Vincent installs a sign on the roundabout (rond point) next to a tent where people can write their demands (in French “Cahier de doleances”) in Cagnes sur Mer,
VALERY HACHE / AFP

New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Champs-Elysees in Paris will go ahead despite plans for another “yellow vest” anti-government protest on the famed avenue, city officials said on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of tourists and locals traditionally ring in the new year on the wide shopping boulevard, which ends with the Arc de Triomphe monument.

The Champs-Elysees has since last month been the epicenter of repeated violent protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government, with the Arc de Triomphe ransacked on December 1.

While the numbers turning out at protests across the country have dwindled dramatically, some “yellow vests” have called online for a New Year’s Eve protest on the Champs-Elysees.

On Facebook 7,400 people are listed as planning to attend what it calls a “festive and non-violent event”.

Paris officials said they would continue as planned with preparations for a fireworks display and sound and light show on the Champs-Elysees under the theme “fraternity”.

The avenue is a regular gathering point for national celebrations such as Bastille Day, the Tour de France and France’s victory this summer in the football World Cup.

But on recent Saturdays, it has been the scene of violent clashes between riot police and “yellow vest” protesters who accuse Macron of favoring the rich with his policies.

The movement sprang up online in October and spiraled into the worst crisis of Macron’s presidency, with tens of thousands blocking roads and protesting across France.

Macron sought to defuse the crisis in mid-December by announcing a 10 billion euro ($11.4 billion) package of measures to help pensioners and low-paid workers.

Since then the “yellow vests” have been split between moderates willing to engage in dialogue with the government and others intent on remaining at the barricades.

Phone Ban Rings In New French School Year

French president Emmanuel Macron sits next to a pupil in a classroom during a visit in a secondary school in Laval, western France, on September 3, 2018, at the start of the school year in France (known as “rentree des classes” in French). LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL / AFP

 

Texting under the table should be a thing of the past after French children returned to class Monday following a nationwide ban on mobile phones in schools.

The new rule, a campaign pledge of President Emmanuel Macron, was brought in under a law passed in July which for primary and junior schools also banishes tablets and smartwatches.

High schools, which teach students aged 15 to 18, can introduce partial or total bans on electronic devices as they reopen after the summer break, though this will not be obligatory.

Proponents say the law, which has prompted vigorous debate, will reduce distraction in the classroom, combat bullying, and encourage children to be more physically active during recess.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Marie-Caroline Madeleine, 41, told AFP after dropping her daughter off for the first day of middle school in Paris.

“It’s a good signal that says ‘school is for studying’, it’s not about being on your phone,” she added. “It’s hard with adolescents, you can’t control what they see and that’s one of the things that worries me as a parent.”

Nearly 90 percent of French 12- to 17-year-olds have a mobile phone, and supporters hope the ban will limit the spread of violent and pornographic content among children.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has hailed the legislation as “a law for the 21st century” that would improve discipline among France’s 12 million pupils.

“Being open to technologies of the future doesn’t mean we have to accept all their uses,” he said in June, as the bill was going through parliament.

 PR ‘stunt’ 

But critics dismiss the measure as a public relations exercise, and predicted it will be difficult to apply.

The government has left schools to decide how to implement the new rules, recommending that they store students’ phones in lockers during the day — but some schools don’t have them.

Research shows that in French schools that have already banned phones, many pupils admit to breaking the rules.

Schools all over the world have struggled to adapt to the rise of pocket-sized devices as parents grow increasingly anxious about the amount of time their children spend glued to the screen.

In 2015 New York Mayor Bill de Blasio lifted a ban on phones in his city’s schools on security grounds, saying parents should be allowed to stay in touch with their children.

Macron, a 40-year-old centrist, pledged widespread reforms when he was elected, and education has been no exception.

Along with the mobile phone ban, he has halved primary school class sizes in disadvantaged areas to 12 in a bid to narrow a massive gap in outcomes between children from poor families and those from wealthy ones.

On the other end of the age spectrum, a shake-up of the higher education system to make university access more selective prompted a wave of student sit-ins this year.

AFP

Saraki Condemns New Year Attacks, Seeks Strengthened Effort Against Violence

Saraki Condemns New Year Attacks, Seeks Strengthened Effort Against Violence
File photo: Bukola Saraki

 

Senate President Bukola Saraki has condemned the recent killings in Benue, Rivers and Kaduna States that left countless Nigerians dead.

In a statement issued on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Dr Saraki described the attacks as ‘heinous’ and ‘reprehensible’.

He also called on all Nigerians to remain united and support the Federal Government to tackle all forms of violence in various parts of the country.

“The recent killings in this new year that have left many families without their loved ones, and several communities in distress was a reprehensible act of violence,” he said.

“As Nigerians, we must all remain united in our condemnation of violence. Such actions have no place anywhere in our culture.

“The killers and perpetrators of this callous act must be caught and brought to justice. The Senate will continue to render all necessary support to ensure that this happens,” he added.

The Senate President further called on relevant agencies to ensure adequate measures are put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of such acts.

He also stressed the need to review Nigeria’s security structure and explained why the Senate set up a committee for such purpose in 2017.

“I call on our security forces to continue to work around the clock to ensure the safety of the affected communities and all communities across the nation,” Saraki said.

“Such random and widespread acts of hate and disorder are part of the reasons why last year, we inaugurated an Ad-Hoc Committee to Review Nigeria’s Security Infrastructure for better delivery across the board; the committee is still at work.

“However, now it is clear that we need to review, re-vamp and reposition our security apparatus across the nation to be able to respond to the diverse nature of the crises and concerns of various communities,” he added.

On the role of intelligence gathering in an effective security system, the lawmaker said: “I still believe that the intelligence gathering aspects of our security system are not measuring up to standard.”

“We need to ensure that our security system could gather relevant intelligence and analyse them to prevent activities of hoodlums and insurgents so that we don’t always cry after the milk is spilt.

“These killings, like those that occurred in Benue, Rivers and Kaduna – are becoming too recurrent and the relevant Senate committees will hold discussion with the senators from the affected states with a view to having a proper understanding of what the issues are and make appropriate recommendations to the executive,” he stated.

The Senate President further commiserated with the families who lost their loved ones as well as the government and entire people of Benue, Kaduna and Rivers States on the sad occurrence.

New Year Attacks: Mark Condemns Killings

David Mark Denies Receiving N2bn Campaign Fund
File photo

Former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has condemned the violent attacks in Benue, Rivers and Kaduna States.

Mark described the killings as “reprehensible, barbaric and inhuman,” according to a statement by his Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh on Thursday.

While lamenting the unfortunate incidents, he urged security agencies to rise up to the challenges and curb the menace.

“Nobody has a right to take another man’s life needlessly. The law must take its course and perpetrators must not go unpunished. This lawlessness must not continue. Security operatives must do the needful to fish out the perpetrators,” he said.

He further called for working synergy between and among security operatives to combat the worrisome situation.

Mark added, “No matter the anger in a man’s mind, resorting to violence or taking another person’s life can only aggravate the situation. There are enough channels of mediation including the courts and the legislature to address perceived or alleged misdemeanor.

“Our governments must stand up for the people. Enough of this malady. We deserve to live in peace in our fatherland. Nigeria is a nation governed by law. Every citizen is a stakeholder and everyone has a right to life.”

Nigerians on Monday got the shocking news of the death of several worshippers in Omoku community of  Rivers State, who were murdered by gunmen blood.

While trying to recover from this, another 34 were sent to their early graves in a Benue farming community.

Kaduna also was not spared as a traditional ruler and his household were gruesomely killed in Southern Kaduna on New Year day.

Four Killed In London New Year Knife Violence

Mounted police officers patrol near Trafalgar Square prior to the New Year’s celebrations, in central London on December 31, 2017.  Tolga Akmen / AFP

 

Four young men were stabbed to death in unrelated incidents in London on New Year’s Eve, while a fifth is in a critical condition in hospital, police said Monday.

The unusually concentrated spate of violence will add to growing concerns about knife crime in the British capital, which is at its highest level for five years.

At least 80 people were killed in stabbings in London in 2017, more than half of them under the age of 25.

Detectives launched four separate murder investigations into the overnight attacks, which took place away from the city centre, where more than 100,000 people had gathered to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

An 18-year-old man was stabbed in Enfield, north London, late on Sunday evening, and later died in hospital. Five men have been arrested, police said.

Earlier, at around 7.30 pm (1930 GMT), a 20-year-old man was stabbed in West Ham in east London, while in Tulse Hill, in the south, a 17-year-old boy was killed at around 10:40 pm.

In the early hours of Monday morning, a 20-year-old man was fatally stabbed in Old Street, a busy area filled with bars and clubs east of the city centre.

A second man in his 20s was hurt in the same incident, and was taken to hospital suffering critical stab injuries.

“It is heart-breaking that, at a time when so many of us are contemplating what lies ahead in 2018, four families are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one to senseless violence and the callous use of knives as lethal weapons,” said police commander Neil Jerome.

Police registered almost 12,100 knife attacks in London in the year to March 2017, which left more than 4,400 people injured — the highest figures in five years.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said Monday that 77 people died from knife crime in the city between January 1, 2017, and December 22.

In November, Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office revealed that 40 of those killed since the start of the year were under the age of 25.

Khan has launched a major campaign to reduce knife crime, including giving some high-risk schools metal detectors, while the government is also looking into tougher measures for people carrying knives.

AFP

‘No Human Law Is Perfect’: Top Quotes From Buhari’s New Year Message

'No Human Law Is Perfect': Buhari In Quotes
File photo

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday addressed Nigerians in a live television broadcast to commemorate the New Year.

Here are some of the top quotes drawn from the President’s speech below;

We must change our way of doing things or we will stagnate and be left behind in the race to lift our people out of poverty and into prosperity.

 

We have got to get used to discipline and direction in economic management. The days of business, as usual, are numbered.

 

Great nations are built by enterprising people who turn their hands to anything that circumstances dictate.

 

No human law or edifice is perfect. Whatever structure we develop must periodically be perfected according to changing circumstances and the country’s socio-economic developments.

 

When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.

 

Politicians must avoid exploiting ethnicity and religion by linking ethnicity with religion and religion with politics. Such must be avoided at all costs if we are to live in harmony.

 

Political discourse should be conducted with civility, decorum and in a constitutional manner. We all have a collective responsibility to strengthen our democracy and entrench the rule of law.

 

Terrorism and urban crimes are world-wide phenomena and our security forces are continuously adapting their responses to changing threats.

Nigerians Welcome 2018 With Fireworks, Celebration

 

Nigerians have joined millions of people across the world in welcoming the New Year.

While many, especially in major cities, gathered at fun spots from where they ushered in 2018, some others started the New Year in places of worship, giving thanks.

As fireworks filled the sky in the first minutes of the New Year, many took to the social media to share images and send out greetings to their loved ones.

In the nation’s capital, Abuja Nigerians ushered in the New Year in churches and at the Eagles Square with prayers and thanksgiving.

Apart from thanking God for his protection and blessings throughout 2017, Christians also prayed for the nation with clerics preaching messages of hope and assuring their congregation of God’s abundant blessings in 2018.

The New Year had arrived in Nigeria hours after the people of Samoa celebrated its arrival.

Samoa, south of the equator was the first country in the world to welcome in 2018 and was quickly followed by Australia.

Australia welcomed the New Year in style with a spectacular firework display over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and opera house.

As Nigerians join the global celebration of the New Year, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, wants them to renew their commitment to the unity and progress of Nigeria.

In his New Year message to Nigerians, Mr Dogara wants Nigerians to draw on the lessons learnt in the outgoing year to strengthen the bonds of unity, solidarity and peace.

The Speaker, who commended the resilience and determination of Nigerians in the midst of daunting challenges, expressed optimism that better days are ahead.

“The New Year presents an opportunity for stock-taking and a strong resolve to sustain the gains of Nigeria’s exit from economic recession. Improvement of Nigeria’s economy, security and welfare of Nigerians must remain our priority in the new year.”

On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari will address the nation at 7 am.