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Kwankwaso: Nigeria can’t afford another Yar’Adua *Shettima seeking President through the back door

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Again, Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), has aimed a sharp spike at Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, his All Progressives Congress (APC), counterpart, urging him to pity himself and refrain from further endangering his health.

The former Governor of Kano State, who had earlier in the year, told Tinubu, also a former Governor in Lagos State to take care of his health rather than engaging in the rigours of the presidency pursuit, reiterated the same on Sunday at a meeting with members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Lagos, on the same day he warned Nigerians that the nation could not afford another episode of clearly sick President or one that would die in office like the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Stressing his position, the NNPP candidate, a former Minister of Defence and currently a Senator, also attacked Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima, accusing the former Governor of Borno State of angling to benefit from Tinubu’s alleged sickness, to emerge President in the manner of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Though he did not mention either of them by name, he accused Tinubu, who has not appeared in any public debate of running away because of the issues of his health and background, challenging him to open discussion on what Nigerians have been concerned about in recent times.

His words: ““People are not talking about parties. They are talking about candidates and individuals. The APC and PDP have failed Nigerians. That is why we are in this mess today. I am ready for debates. Let us put our cards on the table. Some of the candidates are running away from debates. Some of them should look at themselves in the mirror and tell themselves the truth. Some of them are our seniors. You cannot cheat nature. Anybody who says 2023 is his turn is making a huge mistake.

“In 2007, Yar’Adua was nominated as PDP candidate without consultation. There was no serious consultation. We knew things but there was no consultation and so we ran into trouble. Today, that episode is recurring. Some people thought by becoming vice president they would soon be president.”

Regarding his stepping down for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as being heavily speculated, he said: “The reports of my stepping down are coming from detractors who go about concocting stories to suit their mind. Anybody who thinks of stepping down at this stage is not fair to himself because the time for merger, alliances, etc, has gone. NNPP is all out to win the 2023 elections. The other parties are going down in terms of support and popularity and there is nothing any of them can do to stop this misfortune.

“NNPP is the only party growing now and the growth will continue as the 2023 polls approach. The other parties have nothing to say again. I was a founding member of the PDP, which was formed to kick the military out of power. There was no ideology behind the formation of PDP other than kicking the military out.

“After kicking out the military, we realised our differences. It was one of the reasons I lost re-election as Kano governor in 2003. So we have to think of getting a progressive party, and five of us, PDP governors, had to move and join in forming APC. We also realised that APC has issues and our expectations were dashed. We decided to form a party of like minds. However, when the INEC refused to register our party, we looked around and found NNPP. It meets our beliefs and ideology. We are happy that we left APC and PDP and joined NNPP.”

The former Minister of Defence, also spoke on the serious insecurity in Nigeria, and the means to tackle the menace as well as gave his perspective on the issue of restructuring, which has also become a burning issue in a country divided along religious and ethnic lines, that has raised fears of marginalisation across the country.: He said:“So many people have lost their lives and means of livelihood. Some are in the hospitals while some are internally displaced and cannot work. We believe that there must be security for us to experience progress and development. After studying the level of insecurity in the country, I believe that there is a need to recruit more military personnel.

“Considering the ratio of civilians to military personnel, there is a need to increase the number of personnel in the armed forces. We need a minimum of one million.

“If elected president, I will listen to Nigerians on the subject. I will be open to discussions and negotiations and also consider adjustments capable of moving the country forward. We are not going to be rigid on restructuring, especially in the areas of insecurity, economy and education. These three are crucial for development to take place.”

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PDP, APC suffering consequences of social injustice – Anyim

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Political parties in Nigeria as well as the leaders that emerge through them, must promote the principle of social justice, without which, democracy would not achieve its purpose, former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, has said.

Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), told participants at the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) of Nigeria Political Parties Summit (NPPS), in Abuja that the performance of any government remained dependent on the integrity, social justice and policy direction of the political party that produced it.

He said at the event, which held at at Barcelona Hotel, Abuja, on Wednesday that it was regrettable that some political parties instead of toeing the line of this principle, became subservient to the government in power, despite being the vehicle on which such government rode to office.

Emphasising the inevitable roles of the political parties in democratic governance, Anyim noted that the tensions now pervading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), could be traced not only to their flawed primaries, but the obvious lack of social justice and equity in the management of their affairs.

“The rumblings in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressives Congress, APC, are surely due to perceived social injustice in the management of the affairs of the parties,” he said, arguing that the situation was even worse in the case of the main opposition party than it was in the ruling party.

Anyim, one of the frontline aspirants from the South East, who gunned for the PDP ticket in the May 28, 2022 primaries, bewailed the situation in which the party, virtually threw overboard its zoning arrangement, clearly enshrined in its constitution, a development, he stressed had been haunting it ever since.

The former Chairman of the National Assembly, said the agitation of some governors under the aegis of G5 Integrity Group, was as a result of the development, explaining that the group was simply protesting the perceived injustice which they felt had been done by sidelining a section of the country in the sharing of party structures.

On the part of the APC, he cited how the Muslim-Muslim ticket, which came from the presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu picking Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim as running mate as problematic today, adding that the decision was also haunting the party, because of the same perception of social injustice.

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However, Anyim, commended the ruling party for making sincere efforts to mitigate the injustice by ensuring that its presidential candidate emerged from the South after eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari from the North despite pressures from different quarters, arguing that it was gladdening that the party toed this line though zoning and rotation were not enshrined in its constitution.

Interestingly, he observed that the governors, mostly from the North, who championed zoning of the number one office to the South, not only displayed a high level of boldness and selflessness but even had to step on some powerful feet, such as disobeying their National Chairman to do so for the purpose of equity and social justice.

He regretted that the case of PDP had remained very pathetic because it jettisoned zoning and rotation provisions, visibly stated in its constitution, due to political exigencies, adding that this perceived social injustice had remained the reason it might be going to the 2023 presidential election with a divided house, which could prove costly.

He however, called on IPAC to step forward in playing a role to stabilise the democratic environment by ensuring that parties took their rightful position as the bedrock of democracy in Nigeria.

 

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Lagos court orders prison remand of Olaleye, 57, over child defilement case

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For Olufemi Olaleye, the days and hours have started counting from prison, where he would have to reside for now on the orders of Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, for alleged sexual offences on a minor.

Olaleye, 57, proprietor of Founder of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Lagos, was remanded after he took his plea in the two-count child defilement and sexual assault by penetration preferred against him by the Lagos State Government case involving of his wife’s 15-year-old niece.

The medical doctor, who pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him and was granted bail of N50m with two sureties in like sum, had remained in the news for the wrong reasons since his case broke with public outrage and over his alleged molestation of the girl for over two years.

The Lagos State Government promptly stepped into the case to ensure justice is served, following intensive pressure mounted by many Nigerians, including veteran actress Kate Henshaw, who not only called him out but championed the demand for his prosecution.

In his defence, the medical doctor, who claimed that the allegations against him were false, malicious and a set-up, had said specifically: “My name and organisation are in the news and on social media for all the wrong reasons. I think I may have underestimated the situation and thought it was a domestic issue which my wife and those encouraging her to destroy our home have weaponised. “I have now decided to fight against the false and malicious allegations and of course what now looks like set-up/blackmail.”

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Ikpeazu takes battle to criminals in Abia *You’re ‘police most friendly Governor’ – IG

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Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State, has promised hard times for criminals, who might decide to remain in the state, henceforth, as he has decided to take the battle to them  in his renewed resolve to make the state safe for citizens.

At the commissioning and handing over of the brand new Eastern Ngwa Divisional Police Headquarters Building Umuobiakwa,Obingwa LGA, constructed by his government, Ikpeazu made it clear that his administration placed the highest premium on security of lives and property as the bedrock of sustainable development.

Warning that criminals would no longer find any hiding place in the state, he Ikpeazu was full of praises for the hard work and cooperation of the Service Commanders of the various security services in the state, saying officers and men of the Nigerian police, had continuously shown selflessness in their operations.

Ikpeazu, who harged the Inspector General of Police to continue to encourage them for optimal performance, particularly recalled that his administration completed and handed over the brand new Zone 9 Police Headquarters Umuahia to the Nigerian Police as part of his contribution to the safety of the people and assured that it would continue to provide logistics to security agencies to enable them discharge their duties effectively.

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He disclosed that the cordial working relationship between government and security agencies has yielded positive results adding that the prevailing peace in the state is attributable to the robust working relationship with all security agencies in the state.

Inspector General of Police Alkali Baba Usman, who commissioned the new building, while describing it as being up of International standard, was particularly happy about the provision of 24 hours power which he said would aide the job of the police.

Eulogising the governor, whom he said, had through the facility brought motivation and encouragement to the Nigerian police, he promised that his men would justify the gesture with improved performance, thanking him also for bequeathing to the Zone 9 Police Headquarters Umuahia.

Acknowledging that the structure now represented a permanent and modern office accommodation of International standard and for launching an ICT-driven security architecture in line with international best practices, the IG said the Governor had through the gesture entered the “Guinness Record Book” as Police most friendly Governor,” charging his men to protect and defend the facility as their own.

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In their goodwill messages, the Chairman, Obingwa LGA Mrs Uloma Nwogu, the Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers,Eze Joseph Nwabeke and Chief Ike Onyenweaku congratulated the Governor on his developmental projects across the state including the security of lives and property of the citizenry and expressed optimism that he would do more in the Senate come 2023.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had earlier handed over the newly built DPO Quarters, Umuobiakwa to the IGP and was witnessed by the AIG Zone 9 Umuahia Isaac Akinmoyede ,State Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammad Bala while the IGP later commissioned the newly completed one storey edifice for the Ubakala Divisional Police Headquarters Umuahia and the Special Protection Unit Building at Zone 9 Headquarters Umuahia witnessed by other Service Commanders ,the Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, Chief of Staff to the Governor Chief Okey Ahiwe  amongst others.

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