The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over his comment last Friday that Nigeria’s economy was in a bad shape.
President Buhari reportedly stated this at a meeting with state governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president told us that “the economy is in bad shape and that we have to come together, think and rethink on the way forward,” Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara who briefed journalists after the meeting said.
No presidency official has refuted the statement by Governor Yari who is of the same party as the president, APC, and is the chairman of the Nigeria Govenrors Forum.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, Alhaji Abubakar described President Buhari’s statement as a ploy to attract the sympathy of Nigerians and a disguise to get a soft landing from aggrieved Nigerians unhappy with his performance.
“The result of course is this late hour confession of failure on the eve of our general elections, in the hope that millions of Nigerians, whom he has condemned to poverty and hardship will give him a clap for failing abysmally. I dare say that President Buhari has miscalculated badly on this matter because Nigerians are simply fed up with him.”
“The economy has collapsed under his watch and he has by this frank remarks admitted that he has no idea on how to fix it and that is why he summoned the governors to help him. This is really very sad because President Buhari has run out of time and what Nigerians need now is a leadership which has the political will, administrative experience and sound economic acumen to get Nigeria working again,” Mr Shuaibu said.
“But then, President Buhari has only confirmed what we have known all along; that he has wrecked our once robust economy, that he has no solutions to the challenges facing our country and that the situation can only get worse under his administration.
“The Buhari Presidency has continued to increase its expensive running costs and has failed to offer any explanation or recover the over N11 trillion (allegedly wasted) from our oil sector by APC interests, yet Mr. President is asking Nigerians to make more sacrifices,” the statement read in part.”
Atiku said the honourable step to take is for the president to step down from his position.
“Unless those in charge of the APC and the party’s supporters are, as usual, suffering from some form of self-delusion, it just does not make any sense for them to say that the APC-led federal government had brought succour to the ordinary Nigerian when President Muhammadu Buhari himself has admitted to Governors of the 36 States of the federation that the economy has gone beyond his control,” the spokesperson said.
“Or do we need a prophet to tell us that the president’s admission of the state of the nation’s economy is a vindication of our long-held position and indeed the forecast by HSBC recently cited by the Nigerian media where the bank had said a second term for Buhari would greatly stunt the economy of the country?” he asked.
He called on the APC to apologise to Nigerians for the party’s performance since 2015.
According to him, the hopes for better governance and improved standard of living that many had nursed with the assumption of office by President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2015 has since given way to despair and hopelessness.
“The exchange rate of the Naira to the US dollar when the APC assumed office in 2015 was about 170 (official rate) to the dollar. Today it is 360 to the dollar. Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars who wait with bated breath for FG’s monthly N5,000 handout and N10,000 Tradermoni aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections,” the statement said.
“Power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 megawatts PDP left in 2015 to less than 3,500 megawatts even though Buhari’s handlers consistently claim that 7,000 megawatts is what is currently being generated. What more evidence do we need to know that the APC has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country,” he queried
“It is amazing that, in this day and age when leaders of nations are expected to be creative and think outside the box, by applying new digital tools and embracing new thinking in addressing the emerging challenges to modern governance, our own President is still living in the Paleolithic age of blame game and buck passing as responsible for his failures. What this simply means is that President Buhari was not really prepared for governance and did not even understand the simplest intricacies of running a national economy as big as Nigeria.
“This is really tragic and it is obvious that President Buhari has come to the end of the road and has completely given up on the next steps to advance Nigeria, while those whom his dear wife openly declared misled his administration into this economic quagmire are still drumming up support for his next level of more hardship, suffering, unprovoked deaths as a result of misgovernance,” the statement said.
He said the only way out of the nation’s problems is for Nigerians to vote en-mass for Atiku Abubakar whose policy document focuses on job creation, ensuring security, growing businesses, developing power, and water infrastructure, agriculture and education and how ‘Nigeria’s next president will empower women.’
“The next generation of Nigerians are looking up to a visionary and cosmopolitan leadership, headed by a solid and steady leader, that will free up the space, remove unnecessary ancient cum bureaucratic obstacles and launch Nigeria into the competitive global space instead of de-marketing the country in the eyes of the global community. President Buhari should wake up and smell the aroma of the coffee Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is brewing. He is tired and at his wits end and it is time for him to vacate active task of presidency and return to his much cherished sedentary, pastoral and rustic lifestyle in his country home in Daura then leave the rigours and highly strategic art of governance to those who know how to govern and get the economy working again,” he concluded.
SPDC, Belemaoil Resolve Dispute Over OML 25 …Resume Operations In 10 Days
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with its joint venture partners, Shell Production Development Company, has resolved the protracted dispute with Belemaoil over the operation of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25.
The feuding group at the signing of the dispute closure agreement in Abuja, yesterday, agreed that operations at the oil well would take off in the next 10 days.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, while signing the agreement, thanked all the parties for their understanding, stressing that the step signified the beginning of a new chapter in the industry.
Silva said that the aim of the ministry was to ensure an oil industry that worked and operated in harmony and in unity.
“When I came into the office, the issue was one of the problems that came on the table; there were so many letters from communities complaining about the problem.
“I just decided to invite Shell to hear its own part of the story but fortunately, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, had intervened in the matter.
“So, I have the honour now to thank him for this great intervention.
“And also thank Shell and Belemaoil for cooperating to ensure that there is closure on this matter that has bedevilled the industry for so long,” he said.
He said that one of the aims of the petroleum industry was to ensure zero loss in the industry and that production got to its destination.
He said that the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement were not the companies but the communities, especially those in Belema who had been suffering since the beginning of the dispute.
The minister commended the NNPC, Shell and the Belemaoil for agreeing to resolve the dispute.
Earlier, Kyari had said that the development was a big achievement for the corporation.
The NNPC boss said that the dispute around the OML 25 had been on for over two years, adding that the end result was that communities lacked peace.
“For us, the most important aspect of the dispute resolution is that, at least, the communities will have their peace restored.
“At the back of it, you are aware that there is a complete stoppage of petroleum operations around the OML 25 and adjoining blocks.
“What this means is shut down of production of over 35,000 barrel of oil every day in the last two years, and that is an enormous economic loss for all stakeholders, Nigeria and the communities.
“This is why we engaged all stakeholders and we are happy to announce today that the closure on the issue has been obtained”, he added.
He, therefore, directed SPDC to return to full operation of the OML 25 within the next 10 days, and urged the communities to cooperate with the government and SPDC to ensure that the benefits of crude oil production in the area get to all stakeholders, including the people.
Kwara Gov Appoints 26-Year-Old NYSC Member Commissioner
Kwara State Governor, Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq has forwarded the names of four women to the State House of Assembly as commissioner-nominees, including a 26-year-old Joana Nnazua Kolo from Edu Local Government Area of the state.
Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, made the announcement in a statement yesterday afternoon.
Abdul Razaq also nominated a former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the FBN Mortgages Limited, a subsidiary of the First Bank, Mrs. Folashade Omoniyi, as the new Chairperson of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS). She would succeed Prof. Murtala Awodun whose tenure expires soon.
Omoniyi, who holds a bachelor of engineering from the University of Ilorin and Masters of Business Administration from Obafemi Awolowo University, has many years of leadership experience in the banking sector, marketing, information communication technology, and business management.
She has executive education in positive leadership from Michigan Ross Executive Education (USA); Market Driving Strategies from London Business School (UK); Strategic Uses of Information Technology from Stanford Business School (USA); and Senior Management Programme (SMP18) from the Lagos Business School (Nigeria).
Omoniyi is from Irepodun local government area of the state.
Miss Kolo, the youngest commissioner-nominee in the state’s history, is a 2018 graduate of Library Science from the Kwara State University (KWASU). A grassroots mobiliser, Miss Kolo is an ardent advocate of community development.
If confirmed, she would be Nigeria’s youngest commissioner, taking the trophy from Oyo State’s 27-year-old Oluwaseun Fakorede.
Miss Kolo is still participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)programme in Jigawa, where she is teaching at Model Boarding Junior Secondary School Guri. Her screening for the cabinet seat would hold after she rounds off her NYSC service in the next two weeks.
The three other nominees are professionals and grassroots politicians: Mrs Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu; Arinola Fatimoh Lawal; and Aisha Ahman Pategi, according to a correspondence Abdul Razaq forwarded to the House and read at the Tuesday plenary by the Speaker, Rt. Honourable Salihu Yakubu Danladi.
A 1997 graduate of Economics from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Mrs Modibbo-Kawu also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin and various certificates from Penn Foster Career School Scranton in the United States and Metropolitan School of Business and Management in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A member of several professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of Management, she is a co-founder of a number of schools and learning centres.
She is married to the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu and would be representing Ilorin South in the cabinet if her nomination scales through the House of Assembly.
Arinola Fatimoh Lawal, a 1993 graduate of Catering and Hotel Management from the Kwara State Polytechnic, is a top-rated player in Nigeria’s hospitality industry with experience as chief executive officer of several firms including Batool Nigeria Limited, Mohbalamira Nigeria Limited and MirMira Enterprise.
Hajia Lawal, who was a member of the Kwara State Transition Committee in 2019, is a daughter of former Kwara State Governor Mohammed Lawal from Ilorin East local government. Her skills cover project management, tourism and hospitality, change management, and Risk Management. A grassroots mobiliser with effective leadership skills and emotional intelligence, the nominee is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State.
A scion of one of Kwara’s oldest political families, nominee Aisha Ahman-Pategi is a professional business manager with over 20 years’ experience in communication strategy, investment/financial consulting, and marketing and motivational leadership. She is a serial entrepreneur known for a contagious passion for excellence and innovation with great resource skills in research, government and relations.
Ms Ahman-Pategi was educated at the School of Remedial Studies and FASS-International Relations in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State in 1996; Agent and Broker License Barney Fletcher School, in Atlanta GA, USA in 2004; Capstone Institute of Mortgage Finance, also in Atlanta in 2006; Stanford University, Stanford California where she obtained a certificate in Political Science (Data Analysis) in 2013; Bachelor of Art – Mass Communication from Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma; and MBA Business Administration from American Inter-Continental University, Dunwoody GA.
Aisha was Sales Manager for J&S Auto Sales Decatur, GA 30082 before founding A-Line Realty SMYRNA, GA 30082 in 2004 as the President and Managing Broker. The agency serves more than 300 clients by providing financial planning, asset management, commercial and residential real estate transactions.
100 Days In Office: Wike Commissions GCDC, Seabed Model School
In line with his commitment to empower youths through vocational training, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has revived the Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, bringing the training facility back on stream as part of his first 100 days for his second term.
Commissioning the rebranded school, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Wike said that technical and vocational training remains one of the surest ways of reaching out to thousands of Rivers youths.
Wike announced that the state government has contracted Julius Berger to construct standard training workshops for the education of the students.
“We must develop middle level manpower. That is why we have repositioned this school to groom technicians in the state.
“We have contracted Julius Berger to equip the workshops with standard training machines. Our children must get the best training facility”, he said.
He warned the principal against hiring out the school’s facilities to outsiders, explaining that the principal would be sanctioned.
The Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Hon Victor Ihunwo said the governor has performed exceptionally in the education sector.
He commended the Rivers State governor for reviving the dead institution and placing it on the platform to empower Rivers youths.
Principal of Government Craft Development Centre, Mr China Ameka appreciated the governor for considering it necessary to rebuild the centre into a standard institution for teaching and learning towards human capital development aimed at empowering the youths.
In his remarks, Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison said Governor Nyesom Wike has continued to showcase Rivers State as the best in terms of infrastructural development.
He said the revived institution would help in reducing crime in the society as youths would be equipped with the right skills to be self-reliant.
Member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Hon Dumnamene Dekor described the project as a quantum leap to give the best to Rivers youths.
He said Rivers State was the only state in the country where several projects have been rolled out for the first 100 days, adding that the governor has proved himself as a lover of Rivers people.
The Permanent Secretary of Rivers State Bureau of Special Projects, Sunny Okere, noted that the project was designed to ensure that Rivers youths get the best technical education.
He said all the key Workshops have been primed to train the youths in the right skills.
Similarly, in his commitment to the creation of access to quality basic education, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, last Monday, commissioned the reconstructed and remodeled Sea-Bed Model Primary School, Port Harcourt.
The school is one of the 253 schools upgraded and expanded by Wike in the last four years.
The Sea-Bed Model Primary School, Port Harcourt, was delivered as part of the governor’s first 100 days in office for his second term.
Commissioning the school, Wike assured Rivers people that he would continue to uplift the standard of education in the state through critical interventions.
He said: “We shall continue to engage in human capital development. And the best way to engage in human capital development is to fund educational development”.
Wike announced that the state government has awarded contracts for the construction of 69 primary and basic education schools across the state.
“We are awarding contracts for the construction of 69 primary and basic education schools for the expansion of the frontiers of education.
“These projects will be handled by people of Rivers State, who will be empowered in the process of executing the projects”, he said.
He said that the Rivers State Government would continue to develop the education sector as a way of securing the future of Rivers State.
The governor reiterated the abolition of fees and levies for all primary and secondary schools in the state.
He said: “We shall sanction any school administrator or principal that collects any type of fee. We have made provision for the funding of all schools in the state”.
Wike said that while other states celebrated their first 100 days through press conferences, the Rivers State Government has continued to deliver projects to the people.
In a project description, the Permanent Secretary of Bureau of Special Projects, Mr Sunny Okere said that the school was remodeled and expanded, adding that the new school now has computer laboratory, e-library, new classrooms and a generator house.
In his remarks, Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Ven Fyneface Akah said that this was the first time the school was witnessing upgrade after 106 years of existence.
Mrs Inko-Tariah of Christ Church thanked the Rivers State governor for delivering on his promise to the church.
He said that the project is a testament that Wike was a man of his words.
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