Nobody Should Be Afraid Of An Igbo Man’s Presidency In 2023 – Umahi

 

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has urged Nigerians not to be afraid of an Igbo presidency come 2023.

Umahi made this call in Abakaliki, the state capital on Thursday during a reception organised for him after declaring his presidential bid in Abuja earlier in the week.

The governor allayed fears making the rounds suggesting that any southeasterner who emerges president might split the nation.

He argued that Igbos have investment everywhere across the country, saying it would be impossible to think of secession when in power.

A file photo of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

 

READ ALSO: Ebonyi State Will Never Be Part Of Biafra, Says Dave Umahi

“Some enemies of the South East say if we become president we will divide the country; how will we divide the country when we have investments everywhere?” the governor questioned.

Addressing the agitation for the actualisation of Biafra, Umahi said Ebonyi State will not take part in the struggle.

“First and foremost, I have been saying it, if anybody tells you about Biafra, tell them Ebonyi State will never be part of Biafra. We are not Biafra.

“We have been so oppressed and now we are finding our feet and you want us to go back? We will not. We will not,” the governor declared.

According to him, Ebonyi is better in a fair and equitable Nigeria because the state has investments everywhere and one cannot set fire to his own house.

He vowed that if he becomes president, he would further the projects of President Muhammadu Buhari and will fight the corruption in Nigeria to a standstill.

Fintiri Insists PDP Presidency Is Sacrosanct

A photo taken on November 22, 2021, shows Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri.

 

Adamawa State Governor Umaru Fintiri has revealed that governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are working in unity to deliver a president from the party to Nigerians come 2023.

The governor said this in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, during the swearing-in ceremony of 21 local government caretaker committee chairmen on Wednesday.

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According to him, the PDP is working out modalities that will salvage the country, hence the need for Nigerians to always support and cooperate with the PDP for growth and development.

He, however, assured Nigerians that the PDP will not disappoint the country when given the opportunity to provide proper leadership that will restore the nation to its past glory.

Why I Want To Succeed President Buhari – Umahi

 

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has given further insight into his Presidential ambition.

Umahi who had declared his intentions earlier on Tuesday said he believes he has the capacity to replicate at the national level, the successes in his state.

“I feel within me that the country is passing through a phase and I believe strongly that the miracles that God helped us to do in Ebonyi State by the reason of all the successes we made in all the economic indices and all our programmes, that if given the opportunity, we can replicate it at the national level,” the governor said on Channels Television’s Politics Today when asked why he wants to succeed the President.

Beyond that, he explained that his closeness with President Buhari given him a clear understanding of the President’s intentions and goodwill for the country and he intends to continue from where he stops come 2023.

Read Also: Senator Orji Kalu Declares Interest In 2023 Presidency Race

“This is my conviction and that we can also build from where Mr President would stop. I am also close to Mr President, I know his heartbeat for the country and I know what he desires for this country so I think that I understand his programmes and his policies and his integrity, coupled with what we have done in Ebonyi State and it can add and help the country,” Umahi said.

He added that he intends to bring a business-like spirit into governance.

Umahi, who doubles as Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, is also canvassing for a political solution to the insecurity problems in the region.

He believes that if the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is willing and open to engagement, peace will return to the South East.

The governor’s declaration comes about 24 hours after former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, also indicated an interest in the race.

Likewise, former Abia State Governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, has also declared his intentions to run for president.

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television, Senator Kalu said while he has nothing against the aspiration of Mr Tinubu, he believes that the SouthEast is ripe for the Presidency and that it should be the turn of the region to produce the next President.

According to him, he is fit not only physically, but financially, to become the next president.

PDP Agrees To Re-Zone Presidency To The North, Says Fmr Niger Gov

 

Former Governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu has said that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has agreed to re-zone the presidency to the northern region despite its agreement that any candidate can contest the election.

Dr Babangida Aliyu disclosed this on Friday when the Atiku Support Organisation visited him in Minna, adding that he is confident of the success of the group.

He also assured them of his support.

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“In our zoning agreement, we have agreed to re-zone the North as requested by others but we have agreed written openly as a result of what has happened that any candidate from any part of the country can now contest this election,” Aliyu said.

He added that the group has done wonderfully well by going round nooks and crannies of the country to ensure that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerges as the party flag bearer and is elected President of Nigeria come 2023.

The National Coordinator of the group, Dr Victor Moses, thanked the former governor for his continued support for Atiku Abubakar even as 2023 approaches.

Presidency 2023: Wike Has The Capacity To Deliver – Rivers Elder Statesman

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

An elder statesman in Rivers State, Sergent Chidi Awuse, says Governor Nyesom Wike is well qualified to serve as Nigeria’s president come 2023.

In an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, the politician urged Wike to join the race as the South-South candidate.

“Factors that should have a role to play is the ability to deliver and that is why some of us are saying we are offering him – Nyesom Ezenwo Wike – to Nigeria to assess him,” Mr Awuse stated.

He added that there is nothing that can disqualify the current governor of Rivers State from running for the next presidential election, including the geographical location which terms a political factor that does not count.

The elder statesman stressed that Nigerians must seek a leader like Wike, who he says, has the capacity to transform the country.

READ ALSO: [2023] Appointees Nursing Political Ambition Should Resign, Says Gov Abiodun

“What we have seen over the period he came into office, we have not seen it since politics started in 1999, still PDP. But PDP Rivers State has corrected the ills now through Wike.

“Wike has transformed the state beyond anyone’s expectation. No local government area in Rivers State that has no project, properly funded and properly executed,” the statesman proclaimed.

He further declared that Governor Wike has the potential to clamp down on any form of unrest stirred by terrorists and other anarchists, adding that by choosing the Rivers State Governor to lead Nigeria, the nation will enjoy a crime-free society.

Insurgency, Banditry Have Forced Over 12m Children Out Of School, Says Presidency

File photo of an empty classroom in Abuja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Presidency has lamented the impact of insurgency and banditry on school attendance in the country noting that over 12 million children have been forced out of school.

Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari said this on Tuesday at the fourth International Conference on Safe Schools Declaration in Abuja.

Gambari, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event lamented the increasing trend of school kidnaping noting that although the abducted students are eventually released, the trauma lingers.

“It is disheartening to note that even when the abducted students are released, the trauma of the incidences remains long in their minds; hence the plan to have teachers trained on psycho-social support.

“There are more than 12 million children currently out of school and the wider implication of the ongoing is that of a generation of children traumatised and afraid of going to school, especially the girl child,” he said.

He pointed out that fear of abduction and a traumatic experience from school children, who have been victims of kidnapping, has forced many children of school age to stay out of educational institutions, thereby increasing the problem of out-of-school children.

“The incessant attacks on the country’s educational system in the form of kidnapping, abduction of pupils; students through the increased activities of insurgents and general insecurity in our schools have been chief among contributing factors responsible for the growing number of out-of-school children.

“These perpetrators of evil, having turned their attention to innocent children in boarding schools or institutions outside city limits, adopt young learners in large numbers,” Gambari said.

 

The Chief of Staff, however, assured Nigerians that the government is mindful of the fact that, to record adequate achievements in the education sector, the system would require a total overhaul and changes to improve the education sector.

 

– Working To Overcome –                

The first mass school abduction in the country was in the northeast region in 2014, when Boko Haram members picked 276 girls from Chibok, triggering a global campaign called #BringBackOurGirls.

Since then, attacks on schools have grown in number and spread across the northern part of the country.

The President’s Chief of staff, however, assured that efforts are ongoing to curb the ugly trend.

“This remains a challenge that we are working towards overcoming by deploying orthodox and unorthodox methods.

“I must tell you that it has been tough dealing with these security challenges and their effect. Moving forward, our faith in the nation is unshaken. We are strong, we remain so and we are determined and robust in order to enhance the security of our learning institutions.”

 

‘I’m Enjoying What I Am Doing’: Okonjo-Iweala Denies Plans To Run For Presidency

File photo:  Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during her visit to Nigeria on March 13, 2021 – her first visit since she took over the WTO leadership. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Iweala, has denied reports linking her to plans to run for Nigeria’s presidential seat in 2023. 

Okonjo-Iweala, who was Nigeria’s former finance minister, faulted the reports which also claimed she is set to resign from her WTO position as part of plans to contest for the country’s number one post. 

“I just got here. I am enjoying what I’m doing,” she told Bloomberg. “It is a very exciting job and I am trying to have some successes here.”

She described the rumours as “utterly ridiculous”, maintaining that she is focused on doing her job as the WTO chief and achieving some milestones with the organisation. 

Her comment follows recent suggestions by trade officials in Geneva that the Nigerian would be leaving her post, months after she became the first woman and African to lead the WTO. 

RELATED: WTO Working To Boost Vaccine Production In Africa – Okonjo-Iweala

Okonjo-Iweala, Biden Listed Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Buhari Meets WTO DG, Okonjo-Iweala On Production Of Vaccine

Scaling Up Vaccine Production

The WTO chief has been at the forefront of the push for COVID-19 vaccine equity.

She told President Muhammadu Buhari during a recent visit to Nigeria that she is persuading vaccine manufacturers to invest in Africa as the drive for COVID-19 vaccination continues globally. 

“We have to scale up and scale out COVID-19 vaccine production, particularly in emerging markets and developing countries,” she was quoted in the WTO website as saying. 

According to her, since it takes a lot to build new manufacturing facilities, boosting the production in the short term is “making the most of existing manufacturing capacity — finding existing sites and turning them around.” 

Her drive for COVID-19 vaccine equity has also earned her accolades globally. In September, American media outlet Time Magazine listed her alongside US  President, Joe Biden; Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and others, among the Most Influential People for 2021.

“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access,” Prince Harry and Meghan wrote about her on the Time’s website.

Northern Govs Didn’t Oppose Power Shift, But Rejected Language Of Compulsion – El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state has clarified that the Northern States Governors’ Forum did not oppose the idea of zoning presidency to the south in 2023, rather it is against the language used in the resolution of the Southern Governors on the issue of power shift.

El-Rufai said that northern governors were alarmed that their southern counterparts will use the word “must” in their agitation for power shift to the south after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.

According to the governor, the word ‘’must’’ is at variance with democracy which is characterized by negotiations and horse-trading by parties involved, often out of the public glare.

The governor recalled that himself and “some other northern governors had earlier called for power shift in 2023 in their individual capacities in order to foster national unity and togetherness”, adding: “I was called names by our people for making that call.”

Read Also: [Banditry] Kaduna Govt Shuts Down Telecoms Services In Some LGAs, Bans Motorcycles

El Rufai who made these clarifications in a media chat with select Kaduna-based radio stations on Tuesday night said that the media misrepresented the resolution of the Northern Governors’ Forum meeting which held on Monday, on power shift.

The governor who spoke in the Hausa language, also stated that “the north has supported southern presidential aspirants in the past,” recalling that it “supported Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s aspiration in 1999 and his re-election in 2003”.

According to him, southern governors should have reached out to their northern counterparts on the issue of power shift instead of playing to the gallery.

He pointed out that the APC has no provision of power shift in its constitution, adding that even the PDP which has it in its constitution, flouted their own law during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2011, where the president stood for re-election.

Presidency Lists ZIK Mausoleum, NDDC, EFCC Buildings, PIA Among Buhari’s Milestone Achievements

File photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

The Presidency has released a list of what is describes as jinxes broken and milestone achievements by President Muhammadu Buhari since he assumed office six years ago.

Special Adviser, Media, and Publicity, to the President, Femi Adesina, in an article on Sunday, reeled out the milestones achieved by his principal.

He listed the completion of the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Niger Delta Development Commission complexes, which his administration completed in 2018 and 2021, respectively among the milestones.

Mr Adesina added that the Zik mausoleum started in 1996, was completed, and inaugurated in 2018 by Mr Buhari’s regime as another feat.

Adesina also noted that under Buhari, the NNPC announced a “first-ever profit” of N287 billion.

He said, “A giant-sized jinx was broken recently when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced a first net profit in the 44-year history of the organisation.”

READ ALSO: ‘I’ll Feel Bad If APC Doesn’t Give Southeast An Opportunity’ – Weekly Quotes

He, however, emphasised that this is not the only major jinx broken in the lifetime of the Buhari administration.

The media aide went on to reel out a list, which he says, is by no means exhaustive.

On the list were the Petroleum Industry Bill signed into law in 2021, after almost two decades in the works, and the “first National Social Investment Programme in the country’s history”. “Today it is the largest Social Investment Programme in Africa and one of the largest in the world,” Mr Adesina said.

Others are; restoration of the federal budget to a January-to-December cycle, enabling the NCDC Act and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.

He also mentioned the Nigeria Correctional Service Act, 2019, Finance Acts, 2019, and 2020.

In addition, Adesina listed the Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill (SPOMO), 2019.

The media aide noted that the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 was “another unprecedented piece of legislation in Nigeria” along with the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which started in 2012.

He added the completion of projects like the Maritime University, Delta, dams (in Taraba, Delta, Enugu, Katsina, Kaduna, Imo, Benue, etc.), inherited from the previous government to the list of the “jinxes” broken.

Furthermore, he named Gashua Water Supply Scheme in Yobe; Kwami Gadam and Bojude Water Supply Project in Gombe; the Saki Town Water Supply Project; and the Zobe and Kazaure Water Supply Projects in Katsina and Jigawa, respectively as part of the president’s masterstrokes.

I Am Done With Partisan Politics, Obasanjo Denies Plan To Float New Party

A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo
A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he is done with partisan politics, noting that claims making the rounds in the media that he is planning to float a new political party ahead of the 2023 general elections are false. 

“I’m done with partisan politics but by my position in Nigeria and in Africa and without being immodest and indeed in the world my door must be opened and it is open to any individual or group of individuals who want to seek my opinion, view, or advice on any issue or matter and I will respond to the best of my ability, without being part of that individual or group,” Chief Obasanjo was quoted as saying in a statement by his special assistant on media affairs, Kehinde Akinyemi.

The former president who stated this in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a guest of President Ashraf Ghani, warned those who want to use the back door to force him to return to partisan politics to respect his choice to remain a non-partisan statesman.

He insisted that he will continue to perform his role with a focus on providing counsel, support, or solutions wherever possible in Nigeria, Africa, and indeed the world.

Below is the former president’s full communique as sent out on Monday.

READ ALSO: Two Killed As Bandits Kidnap Students In Another Kaduna School

The attention of former President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has been drawn to unfounded report published in the Vanguard Newspaper with the headline: “New Party Ahead of 2023: Obasanjo picks 3ex-govs as coordinators, meeting July 13” and dated July 4, 2021.

Obasanjo, who is currently in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a guest of President Ashraf Ghani has declared that this report, written by one, Soni Daniel, is false, maintaining that there was no plan to float a new political party now or in near future.

He said that the fabricated story hardly comes as a surprise because he has, for some time now, observed with bewilderment the efforts by some people to drag him into their political games.

Upon hearing of this latest fabricated report, Chief Obasanjo said “In my part of the world, when you say goodnight in a place, you do not go back there and say good evening. The one who reported that may need to visit Yaba Left. And those who believe it can believe that their mothers are men.”

“I’m done with partisan politics but by my position in Nigeria and in Africa and without being immodest and indeed in the world my door must be opened and it is open to any individual or group of individuals who want to seek my opinion, view or advice on any issue or matter and I will respond to the best of my ability, without being part of that individual or group”.

If anything, Chief Obasanjo’s political party today is the party of Nigerians facing insecurity, unemployment, hunger, poverty, and various other challenging issues. It is the party of Nigeria which must be saved, kept wholesomely united in peace, security, equity, development and progress.

Let those who want to use the back door to force Chief Obasanjo to return to partisan politics respect his choice to remain a non-partisan statesman. On his part, the former President will continue to perform his role as a statesman focused on providing counsel, support, or solutions wherever possible in Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world.

Signed:
Kehinde Akinyemi
Special Assistant on Media Affairsb

Nigeria Will Continue To Collaborate With China For Critical Infrastructure – Presidency

 

The Presidency has said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to collaborate with the Chinese government in the area of provision of critical infrastructure in the country.

Speaking Friday in Abuja when he received in audience the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria His Excellency Cui Jianchun in his office, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina said:

“Nigeria has high respect for China and what China is helping Nigeria to achieve particularly in the area of infrastructure. President Buhari came at a time of severe infrastructure deficit in the country and resolved to make a difference and he is making that difference with the assistance of China. Nigeria appreciates China a lot for these and will continue to collaborate with it.”

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Student Killed As Troops Trail Kidnappers, Rescue Teachers And Students

The Presidential spokesman said the Nigerian President had been to China two times in furtherance of the relationship and looks forward to greater collaboration, assuring the Ambassador that the media office of the President was ready to join hands with the Chinese in advancing the relationship.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cui Jianchun who was recently posted to Nigeria said he was at the Villa to solicit the support of the media office of the President and also to express his gratitude for the strong relations with his country and to seek ways to make it stronger. He expressed his delight at witnessing the flag off of the Lagos to Ibadan rail project and unfolded his 5GIST Nigeria-China ‘Growth, Development Progress (GDP) strategy to take the bilateral relations to higher levels.

Ambassador Jianchun who is the 14th Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria said the 5-Goal strategy revolved around Political Support; Economic Cooperation; Military Collaboration; International Coordination and People to People Bond among others, built on the existing Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government.

He said he looked forward to celebrating 50 years of friendship and bilateral relations between the two countries in October.

Also at the event was the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

FG Didn’t ‘Temporarily’ Ban Twitter Just For Deleting Buhari’s Tweets – Presidency

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu appeared on Channels Television's Sunrise Daily on February 1, 2020.
A file photo of Garba Shehu.

 

The Presidency on Saturday said its decision to “temporarily” ban Twitter wasn’t a “knee-jerk reaction” to the social media network’s deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets.

According to a statement signed by spokesman Garba Shehu, Twitter has long been accused of spreading “misinformation and fake news” which can have “real world violent consequences.”

“The temporary suspension of Twitter is not just a response to the removal of the President’s post,” the statement said.

“There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences. All the while, the company has escaped accountability.

“Major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart.”

The Federal Government announced an “indefinite suspension” of Twitter operations in Nigeria on Friday.

By early Saturday, users across the country started to experience difficulties in accessing the service and many resorted to using Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

The decision to suspend Twitter has been criticised by many, but the Presidency in its Saturday statement insisted it was a justified move

“. . . the removal of President Buhari’s tweet was disappointing,” the statement said. “The censoring seemed based on a misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria faces today.”

The tweet deleted by Twitter had referenced the Nigerian civil war, in which millions of Igbo died, many due to starvation.

President Buhari had threatened to deal with IPOB “in the language they understand”, a statement many interpreted as a repeat of the civil war injustices meted out to Igbos.

IPOB is a group, proscribed by a Nigerian court, seeking secession of a chunk of Southern Nigeria.

“The tweet was not a threat, but a statement of fact,” Mr. Shehu’s statement said.

“A terrorist organisation (IPOB) poses a significant threat to the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.

“When the President said that they will be treated ‘in a language they understand,’ he merely reiterated that their force shall be met with force. It is a basic principle of security services response world over.

“This is not promotion of hate, but a pledge to uphold citizens’ right to freedom from harm. The government cannot be expected to capitulate to terrorists.

“IPOB is proscribed under Nigerian law. Its members murder innocent Nigerians. They kill policemen and set government property on fire. Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country.

“Twitter does not seem to appreciate the national trauma of our country’s civil war. This government shall not allow a recurrence of that tragedy.”