KOWA Party Hopeful It Will Change Nigeria

Remi-SonaiyaThe presidential candidate of the KOWA party, Professor Remi Sonaiya, has expressed hopes that the party could change Nigeria and give the oil rich nation a clean break from what has been in existence.

Professor Sonaiya told reporters in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, on Wednesday  that what ‎Nigeria needed at this time was a leader who would change the course of things.

According to her past leaders, who had one time or the other ruled the country, should ordinarily not be given a chance to come to power again, saying, they were responsible ‎for the present status of the country.

Face The Task Of Governance

Professor Sonaiya further stated that Nigeria needed someone who would squarely face the task of governance and move the nation forward from her crawling stage, something she said she could offer.

She described the rescheduling of the elections as a big disappointment, insisting, however, that those kicking against the use of card readers for the elections, would only drag the country’s democracy back.

She said the time had come for Nigerians to rise up and vote change for the betterment of the entire country, maintaining that KOWA party represents the kind of change needed in Nigeria.

Buhari Meets Organised Private Sector, Reels Out APC Manifesto

Muhammed_Buhari_At_Lagos_Private_Sector_MeetingThe presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria has met with the organised Private Sector in Lagos State, reeling out the ‘APC manifesto’, which he said was the product of a survey that took over 6 months to develop.

General Muhammadu Buhari told the gathering on Monday that if elected, he would maintain periodic and regular series of meetings with the stakeholders to enable the government get informed advice from them on what should or should not be done to advance business interests.

Highlighting the party’s economic plans, General Buhari said that the policies would be governed by the highest consideration of how they could create jobs.

“Equipping and resourcing our security personnel, for example, will not be limited to provision of arms alone, but uniforms, boots and accoutrements, are enormous opportunities for textile production, garment making and shoemaking.

“Power supply is the minimum that we can seriously commit to in order to quickly galvanise the economy back to productivity.

Buhari_Speech_Focus_With Organised_Private_Sector_In_Lagos
Focus words from General Muhammadu Buhari’s speech at the meeting with the Organised Private Sector in Lagos.

“We agree with the privatisation of the power utilities but we believe it must go further to transmission.

“After the signing and handing-over ceremonies of the power assets the real work of producing, transmitting and distributing power is really just beginning.

“The reason the success seems elusive is that apart from the signing ceremony and handing over of the power assets, the hard work to connect the various parts of the power chain, supply gas, install transformers, complete substations has not been done,” he said.

According to him, the power sector reform that his party would implement would provide direct employment, as it would require over 200,000 trained personnel to support the initiative to provide power and light up Nigeria.

“Apart from the inherent direct employment that this will give, the reduction in cost of production, the savings from self-generation by Nigerians, who currently spend a lot of their income on purchase of diesel and petrol to generate their own electricity, will reduce the burden on their disposable income.

“These savings to Nigerians from reliable electricity will help the average Nigerian spend their money on other basic necessities of life and reduce poverty,” General Buhari said.

The former Nigerian military Head of State said the party would also focus on an initiative to build a refinery in Lagos, stressing that a local refinery would create jobs locally at a Nigerian refinery instead of refineries abroad, promote local fuel supply and National security, reduce importation, with less demand for foreign exchange and strengthen of the Naira.

He said that the party would also look at other areas which include infrastructure investment in roads and highway construction from one end of Nigeria to the other.

General Buhari further invited the representatives of the group to sit with his economic team to look at the party’s proposals and develop workable policies and implementation options.

He reminded the gathering that the ‘APC Manifesto’ was a product of a survey that took the party over six months to develop.

“We spoke to over 20,000 Nigerians across the 36 states and the FCT.

“The questionnaires we issued to them and the interviews we conducted showed overwhelmingly that; Insecurity, Corruption and the Economy were the biggest worries among the electorate,” he said.

PDP Hopeful Of Victory In Presidential Election

Goodluck_Jonathan_At_RallyThe ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria is optimistic of winning the presidential election and retaining power at the centre.

In a statement, the spokesman for the party, Olisa Metuh, said the support that the Party’s presidential candidate and the incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, had received in the last two weeks of intense campaign for Nigerians support showed that the party would come out victorious in the February 14 election.

Mr Metuh’s statement is coming as the party concludes it presidential campaign in states in the South West and South East geo-political zones and heads to the north.

“As we move along, one thing is clear, Nigerians from all walks of life identify with President Jonathan as a leader with very strong bond with the people and their well-being, irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliations.

“Our outing in the South West and South East shows clearly that the people of Nigeria are still with PDP and their admiration for our flag-bearer remains unprecedented. We are hoping for even more of that in the north.

“Our campaigns have been greeted by the turnout of millions of Nigerians who are eager to return our dear President to power come February 14.

“I can assure you that with the support of Nigerians, we will not only win convincingly in the entire five states of the South East but also deal the APC a crushing defeat in South West states including Lagos state where the popularity and acceptability of our Presidential and governorship candidates have earned us tremendous support at the grassroots,” the PDP spokesman said.

The PDP is looking to take the presidential campaign to the north and Mr Metuh said the party would leverage on the goodwill it had enjoyed from citizens in the north, emphasising that the north remains a stronghold of the PDP where in the last 16 years, it had enjoyed massive support and had continued to win majority votes as a result of the PDP-led administration’s unprecedented performance in all sectors.

“Our strength lies in the fact that out of the 19 states of the north, the PDP controls 12 with solid structures, oiled over the years in all the wards and local government areas. The capacity of our winning machine is buoyed by the various tangible development projects that have hugely affected the lives of ordinary Nigerians in the north, a factor that has put us in vantage position to win back our original states of Sokoto, Kano, Nasarawa and Kwara as well as win in Borno, Yobe and Zamfara States,” the statement read.

‘Verifiable Achievements’

Mr Metuh listed the inputs that President Jonathan’s administration had made in the in the north in the last few years, stressing that they were signs of the President records that the president had set.

“As we go to the north, we are not just asking for votes, we are coming loaded with verifiable achievements. For instance, in education, the once abandoned Almajiri boys can now go to school as President Jonathan initiated and established the Almajiri System of Education, the first of its kind, with over 150 special schools already built across the Northern states while others are nearing completion.

“Also, out of the 14 new universities established by President Jonathan, 9 are located in the northern states thereby ensuring that all states of the region have a federal university. This is in addition to establishment of new secondary schools and training of teachers for better quality education in the north.

“Recognising that agriculture is the mainstay of the northern economy, President Jonathan ensured that out of the 2.7 million direct farm jobs achieved by this administration, over 2 million are in the north. He also established the e-wallet system, which eliminated the corruption in the distribution of fertilizer and other farm inputs thereby making the products directly accessible to millions of farmers in the region and this has boosted their productivity. Today, our silos are brimming and food pyramids are returning in the north.

“In the last four years, President Jonathan has committed enormous resources in tackling desertification in the region. This administration established more than 80 km of 15– row Green Belt in addition to the Presidential Initiative on Afforestation in Kano and 10 other Northern States.

“Furthermore, the revitalization of the railways by the Jonathan administration has connected major cities in the north to the extent that very soon it will become easy for Nigerians to live in states in the north and still work in Abuja as the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2015,” Mr Metuh said.

The party further expressed its appreciation to Nigerians for their support, goodwill and prayers for its presidential candidate.

 

Nigerian Electorates Told To Prioritise Individuals’ Performance Not Religion

Akin_Oyebode_ProfessorNigerian electorates have been asked to first consider the performance of candidates vying for political positions before their religious affiliations and ethnicity.

A Professor of International Law with the University of Lagos, Professor Akin Oyebode, said on Friday that the issue of religion that delayed the choice of a running mate for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), was skin deep because “it will not put food on the table”.

“We know what the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has put on the table in the last 15 years or so,” he said, referring to the APC as the joker in the 2015 presidential election.

Before the selection of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as the running mate of the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, critics, including a former president, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, had stressed that a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the party would be a flaw for it in the presidential election.

Professor Oyebode said: “The choice of Buhari and Osinbajo seems to be a ticket that should be given a considerable attention.

“What people do not know is that Osinbajo is an activist against corruption. He set up the integrity NGO in terms of good corporate governance,” he said.

The Professor further pointed out that General Buhari’s track record on anti-corruption was also a good point for the party.

“With what we have seen before now and what is promised for Nigeria for a turn around, I think we are in for interesting times and I am optimistic that there would be a dare choice in terms of the ticket.

“We should not border so much about the process that brought professor Osinbajo in.”

He further explained that the sentiment on the religion of the candidates was as a result of what was happening in the north-east.

“Religion factor is a red-herring, but good governance should be the acid-test for any arrangement that we have.

“Nigerians are asking for a change and to bring the change you have to be circumspect so you do not throw away the baby with the water.

“Nigerians should vote, either to keep the status quo or they want to move Nigeria forward. If we are not okay with what we have seen in the last 15 years, then the time for change is now,” he said, emphasising that the ballot box is a platform to change the trend of things, if Nigerians feel they are not as they should be.

Professor Oyebode also stressed the need for people in governance to ensure that individuals of  integrity are chosen to head institutions, in order to make them outstanding.

Giving his opinion on the state of the nation, Professor Oyebode, who was a delegate at the national conference held few months ago to fashion out a new constitution that will move the oil rich nation forward, expressed fears that “not much will come out of it despite all the promises that the recommendations will be actualised”.

“The report is still gathering dust on the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. We wanted a new constitution for Nigeria because Nigeria has been living a lie.  What we have is decree 24 of 1999 which is masquerading as the constitution of Nigeria.

“The National Assembly seem to have stolen all the recommendations of the conference, but  if you want to move Nigeria forward, look at the leadership we have had from 1999 to date.

“Nigerians should ask themselves if their lives have been better since 1999. If their lives have improved then they should vote for what they have, but if has not changed, then the 2015 election is a platform that they should use to make a choice that will change their state.

“That is what democracy is all about. The right to choose and to use the ballot box to vote out a government that is under-performing.

“You must challenge the government. Ask uncomfortable questions of your leaders. We should do away with the carry-go mentality.

“Critics are not enemies because it is the supreme act of patriotism to be critical of your government. The more critics we have the better for our country.

On whether the girls that were abducted in April by members of the Boko Haram sect would be rescued as the government had continued to promise, he said “the rescue operation of the Chibok girls is a lost cause”.

 

 

2015 Elections Will Hold In All States Despite Security Challenges – Jonathan

SataPresident Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has allayed fears that elections may not hold in some states in Nigeria, giving the assurance that all states, including those in the volatile north-east, will take part in the 2015 elections.

The President gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday morning while delivering his acceptance speech after the Peoples Democratic Party ratified his choice as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

He was given the party’s ticket after he polled 2,812 ‘YES’ votes to get the needed support from the 3,073 party’s delegates at the National Convention held at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

President Jonathan had earlier been chosen as the sole candidate of the party, a development that did not go down well with some members of the party who had the intention of vying for the ticket.

Stakeholders in Nigeria’s political sector have expressed fears that election may not hold in the volatile north-east that had been under siege.

A terrorist group, the Boko Haram, has carried out most of its attacks in the region.

The terrorist group demanding for an Islamic State and an end to western education has  continued to carry out attacks on schools, villages, towns, churches, mosques and other public places in the region.

Six persons were killed on Wednesday in a latest suicide bomb attack on a market in Kano State in north-west Nigeria.

In his acceptance speech, President Jonathan accepted the nomination as the PDP presidential candidate, assuring his supporters and Nigerians  that he will not let them down.

He also announced Vice President Namadi Sambo as his running mate in the election.

“The 2015 elections will hold in all the 36 states of the Federation,” he said.

He observed that the convention of the PDP that brought him as the presidential candidate was held on Human Rights Day and reiterated that no Nigerian would go on exile for holding contrary views under his administration.

The President further enumerated his achievements in the last four years and promised to serve with more humility and firmness when  voted into power again.

President Jonathan also emphasised that no one’s political ambition was worth the blood of any Nigerian.

The PDP’s National Convention was held to also ratify the appointment of its national chairman, Mr Adamu Mu’azu and also fill two other positions in the National Working Committee – National Secretary and National Auditor.

 

Jonathan Gets PDP’s Ratification As Presidential Candidate

Goodluck Jonathan.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria has ratified the choice of President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate in the presidential election that will hold on February 14, 2015. 

President Jonathan was ratified at the National Convention of the PDP that was held on Wednesday at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He polled 2,812 ‘YES’ votes to get the needed support from the party in a result that was announced in the early hours of Thursday.

President Jonathan had earlier been chosen as the sole candidate of the party, a development that did not go down well with some members of the party who had the intention of vying for the ticket.

In his acceptance speech, President Jonathan accepted the nomination as the PDP presidential candidate, assuring his supporters and Nigerians  that he will not let them down.

He also announced Vice President Namadi Sambo as his running mate in the election, promising that the 2015 elections will hold in all the 36 states of the Federation.

He observed that the convention of the PDP that brought him as the presidential candidate was held on Human Rights Day and reiterated that no Nigerian would go on exile for holding contrary views under his administration.

The President further enumerated his achievements in the last four years and promised to serve with more humility and firmness when  voted into power again.

President Jonathan also emphasised that no one’s political ambition was worth the blood of any Nigerian.

The PDP’s National Convention was held to also ratify the appointment of its national chairman, Mr Adamu Mu’azu.

At least 3,073 delegates were at the Eagles Square for the special National Convention of the party.

Mr Adamu Mu’azu assumed the position after the resignation of the last chairman, Mr Bamanga Tukur.

Delegates are expected to gather again on Thursday for the presidential primaries of the party, which is hugely considered as a formality.

State Delegates, led by President Jonathan, cast their votes in a peaceful manner closely monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Two other positions in the National Working Committee of the PDP – National Secretary and National Auditor – are also to be filled through the election.