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Why ‘Progressives Governors’ Kick Against ‘RevolutionNow’ Protest

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*Tell Aggrieved Persons to Meet Their Elected Representatives

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

Governors on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria have frowned at the call for revolution by a group describing the action as condemnable.

Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, in an interview with State House correspondents on Tuesday, in Abuja said “it’s wrong to protest in a democratic setting.

An organization called the “Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria” had planned a “revolution” march on Monday with the aim of bringing “regime change” in the country.

The initiator and lead of the protests, Omoyele Sowore – a publisher of Sahara Reporters – a popular online news platform was arrested last weekend by the DSS and may be charged to court.

Governor Bagudu said that the protesters should have waited for the opportunity to express their grievances through the ballot boxes in the next general elections.

In the alternative, he said that the protesters would have done better by following due process by making their grievances known to their representatives either in the state or National Assemblies who will in turn channel same to the appropriate authorities.

He said: “Any call for disorder in a democratic setting is condemnable because the democracy, as the saying goes, is not the best form of government but it is the best that we have, because it gives opportunity periodically for the electorates to exercise their mandate in affirming or rejecting leaders.

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“We have just come through a general election in march this year where Nigerians embraced the leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari and he has been elected for a second term with a little more votes than they have in 2015. “Also state governors were elected in different states; a lot of them second termer and a number of them first termers and interestingly enough we have seen all kinds of democratic outcomes which hitherto what we have thought differently, particularly in a democratic setting.

“We have first termers defeating second termers and in the case of one state, the supreme court exercising their rights as the highest court in the land to determine what should be and it is respected by the government.”

The Kebbi governor said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done well having been able to manage the nation’s economy through the global recession even when the price of crude was at its lowest in the niter national market.

According to him, the shortfall in the nation’s revenues compelled the government to do more with little resource available especially when oil prices took a plunge from $140 per barrel to $27 when Buhari took over in 2015.

He noted that in spite the dwindled revenue and the attendant recession that hit the economy, the Buhari’s administration has been able to put together progressive policies with infrastructural projects being executed across the country.

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“Rail-lines are being constructed, second Niger bridge is being constructed, infrastructural work across the entire six geopolitical zones are taking place, power is improving steadily,” he stressed.

The Kebbi governor noted what gets critics angry most remains the size of the nation’s economy which is very small when compared to her peers particularly Brazil an South Africa.

He said even though the population of Nigeria and Brazil are relatively close, Brazil 2018 budget is $657 billion, South Africa, with less population, is about $100 billion while Nigeria with her population of 200 million is having less than $30 billion as her budget for 2019.

Speaking further, he said that the nation could not attract support from the other parts of the world like her counterparts in Europe and America because it is located in the sub sahara.

“We are a bigger population, bigger economy but we don’t receive such money. Ireland, another European nation get support from the European Union to get them out of economic crisis in excess of Euro200billion. Nigeria is not so lucky, we have not received support of Euros10billion but ofcourse we have borrowed more, we have issued Eurobond,” he said.

Bagudu noted that even though the challenge of Boko Haram had been curtailed, there are still pockets of other crimes in the country occasioned by the the limitation of the nation’s economy.

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Asked whether he sensed foreign conspiracy I the call for revolution, Bagudu said such has always been the worry of developing countries world over. Citing Amilcar Cabral and Walter Rodney, the governor said people have always worry about effect of foreign actors.

Asked to comment on the controversies that surrounded the suspended Ruga policy, Bagudu  said “The federal government did not request any state to provide land for Ruga, I am not aware of it. The federal government requested states that have Fulani settlements, like Kebbi, to indicate how much support they want so that we can have more hospital, water, veterinary services, school in those places.”

Governor Bagudu revealed that Kebbi State has over 3000 Ruga settlements in the state.

On agriculture, the governor said that the prices of food in markets have dropped significantly adding that farmers anticipate a bumper harvest this year.

POLITICS

NPC Commissioner reaffirmed Plans for a Paperless Census in 2023

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The federal commissioner representing Nasarawa state at the National Population Commission Abuja, Silas Ali Agara, has reaffirmed the commission’s plans to conduct a paperless population census using tablets during the 2023 census.


He disclosed this while touring the training centers of enumerators of the trial census across the Karu Local government area, Tuesday.


              

The Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission NPC, representing Nasarawa state, Silas Agara, visited the training centers which include, Karu Local government Secretariat, Government secondary schools Karshi, and that of Pyanko as well as government secondary school Uke among others.


Addressing the enumerators, Silas Agara, said the paperless census is necessary for Nigeria just as other countries like Ghana and South Africa have already adopted it, calling on the trainees to make sure they understand the practical aspect of the training, stressing that at the end of it, some of them would be supervisors and enumerators depending on the recommendations by the facilitators while those with less performance will be on the reserve list.



Agara told them that the paperless work does not matter the qualifications of an individual but how one can handle the machine, urging them to use the opportunity to improve their skills based on the technicality involved in the work and assured them of adequate security and welfare throughout the twelve days training of the enumerators.

He said those that did not receive text messages but their names were captured in the Master list of Five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine names to be reassured that they are part of the program, admonishing them to cooperate with their facilitators to achieve success.

Some facilitators and enumerators interviewed, Amanda Litini Apatak and Felix Ajuda, applauded the National population commission for allowing them to serve, saying that they have learned a lot with two days of their training.

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POLITICS

2023: Umahi’s Deputy Governor, Igwe speaks on his Defection from APC to LP

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Godwin Okeh, Abakaliki

Ebonyi state deputy governor, Chief Kelechi Eric Igwe has few months to the 2023 general election speaks on his alleged defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Labour Party, LP.

DAILY ASSET reports that, there are rumours making the rounds in the state, that Igwe allegedly dumped APC to LP, to protest the denial of his senatorial ambition by the leadership of the party in the state.

Igwe, in a statement signed and made available to journalists in Abakaliki through his chief Press Secretary, Mr. Monday Uzor, said he has no intention to dump APC for LP, and that, in no account will he (Igwe) abandon his boss, David Umahi at the pick of the expiration of their 8yrs tenure.

He called on the people of the state to ignore the rumours, and warned his rivals to stay clear from heating up the polity in the state, especially as the gubernatorial candidates of PDP and APC struggles to takeover governance from Umahi.

He said: “The attention of the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Eric Kelechi Igwe has been drawn to a social media post alleging that the Deputy Governor is planning to dump All Progressive Congress APC for Labour party.

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“The report is not only false but a deliberate attempt to smear the office and personality of the Deputy Governor. It is a deliberate attempt to heat up the polity through dangerous speculations capable of undermining the peace in the State.

“The deputy governor remains a strong and bonafide member of the All  Progressives Congress APC and has no intention of dumping the party whether now or later.

“The Deputy Governor has  enormous responsibilities occupying his time especially, how to assist the Governor David Umahi to successfully anchor the  transition programme.

“The general public and  in particular members of our great party should disregard such unfounded rumour being peddled by those who are envious of the the progress the party is making” he stated.

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POLITICS

Rumbles, as APC Progressive Youth Movement Suspend Mustafa, Wife

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By Jude Opara, Abuja

Crisis is brewing in the youth wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM) rose from a meeting Tuesday night to announce the suspension of its National leader, Prince Mustafa Audu and his wife Princess Zahra Audu.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Secretary General of the group, Dr.

Hassan Sadiq said they decided to take the drastic action against their leader because of acts of misconduct on his part.

Sadiq said with the 2023 general elections around the corner, the PYM must be ready to mobilize the Nigerian youths in their  numbers to vote for all the candidates of the ruling from the House of Assembly to the President.

“We’re here today to intimate the press, the world and Nigerian youths that so far so good we have been doing very well in terms of youth movement inclusiveness.

“We also want the world to know that there are some members of leadership that we have suspended as of now because of gross misconduct. We want members of the public to know that if you have any dealings with them, it is at your own risk henceforth. Because if we are youths and we can not engage in gross misconduct and we are trying to bring the youths under one umbrella that  will support the APC and the incoming president which is Asiwaju. In that light you cannot see members of PYM misbehaving. It is on this note that we want the public to know that the faces you are seeing here these are the council members and leadership of the PYM.

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“Again, we are now moving into our zonal interactive session that we always do to tell them to go collect their PVCs and be ready to vote for APC when the time comes.

“The suspension was based on Prince Mustafa Audu, you’ve heard of it and his wife who have been involved in a lot of misconduct in terms of financial recklessness. We don’t want anybody to smear the name of PYM because we have reputation to protect. We have been doing very well and we are going to continue. We want the public to know that these are the real PYM. They are no longer our members, nobody should deal with them, if you deal with them it is at your own peril”.

Similarly, the South South leader, Prince Godswill Edward in his remarks said the previous leadership undermined the group, hence the decision to ask them to take a break til further notice.

“The previous leadership, we all appointed them to act on behalf of all of us and we gave them all amount of support and loyalty because we believe that they are going to work in the interest of Nigerian youths. 

“You cannot continue to take decisions without a gathering. We’ve not have a gathering for a very long time. People take decisions on behalf of all of us we have put out our integrity, our pedigree in the face of Nigerian youths.

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“We cannot be fighting and advocating for new kind of leadership and we are portraying that kind of attitude. Anybody who portrays that attitude different from what we believe in becomes the enemy of this association. I cannot put my face and die in silence. They say in silence dog will never back as a lion. I’ve chosen to speak for Nigerian youths that we will not mislead them.

“We have taken a position, we have disbanded them. They were members of our group but now they stand suspended until further notice”.

Oscar Obi the South-east leader equally took a swipe at Mustafa for allegedly engaging in actions that run contrary to the ideals of the PYM.

“Our sole concern has been how do we move the party forward. Today, we have huge mandate, huge responsibility to discharge before Nigerians before youths community, they are looking up to us for direction, for relevance. We here have disassociated ourselves from two of our members who have shown unscrupulous attitude, they have depicted manners that are contrary to our core objectives. So the names are Prince Mustafa Audu and Princess Zahra Audu.

“So, going forward we do not deal with these duo whoever that is dealing with them is doing that at his own peril.

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“What we want is for the young people of this party, the PYM to remain focused of the original objectives which are inclusiveness of youths in government and in party, winning elections, not just winning elections but delivering good services, good governance to the people.

“By the word misconduct, it cuts across finances, mischievous attitude, mischievous in the sense that painting the youths in the manner it was not formed that is what we called misconduct which now also involved financial recklessness in terms of going to party stalwarts and soliciting for funds and without the intimacy and knowledge of the youths of the PYM. These together is what I called gross misconduct”.

Also, Leadership Council member, Linda Dirisu said the PYM is not a family affair adding that Prince Mustafa and Princess Zahra cannot continue to lead the group as if it was their private business.

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