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My intention for holding 2014 Confab was to create a conducive environment for Nigerians, promote unity, says Jonathan

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The Paradise Breaking News
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he convened the 2014 National Conference with the intention to create an environment for Nigerians to address issues pushing citizens towards divisive politics and sowing the seeds of discord.

Jonathan stated this in his remarks at the “2nd Igbo Nsukka Zik Annual Merit Award”, in memory of the first Nigerian President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, on Tuesday in Abuja. The event was organised by Igbo Nsukka United Front.

At the event, Jonathan was honored with “the Zik’s Merit Award”.

He said the inability to manage Nigeria’s diversity was a major stumbling block to the nation’s socio-economic development.

“When I convened the 2014 National Conference as President, my intention was to create an environment that would enable our citizens to dispassionately address those issues that are pushing us towards divisive politics and sowing the seeds of discord in our polity.

“I believe that, in a complex and diverse country like ours, the journey of nationhood and march to greatness is not a sprint but a marathon.

“However, to get it right, we need to do much more to unite our people and integrate our society, in order to build a nation of selfless patriots and citizens, citizens as defined by the Greek philosophers.

“That is the type of country envisioned by our nationalists.

“That is the only way to turn our huge population, rich diversity, and the outstanding resourcefulness of our people into a positive force that would transform and enhance the greatness of our dear country.

“I have no doubt in my mind that God Almighty has deposited in our land and in our citizens, the indefatigable spirit and creativity to unite, work and relate in a harmonious way and make our country great,” Jonathan said

The former president stressed the need for Nigerians to come together and agree on how to strengthen mechanisms and institutions that would promote the harmonization and functionality of their diverse people.

Jonathan said that would ensure equitable distribution of resources and opportunities and inspire harmony, patriotism, justice, peace, and sustainable development.

He expressed his belief that Azikiwe’s ideals, philosophy, and wisdom were very relevant at this particular time, as Nigerians sought to chart a way forward for the country.

He added that Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and other great nationalists did their best to lift the image of our country.

“The nation owes Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria who was in office from 1963 to 1966, a debt of gratitude.

“His outstanding role while working with other great nationalists to secure the independence we enjoy today was legendary.

“Nigerians of different generations will continue to remember his extraordinary efforts towards keeping Nigeria one, and his belief in Nigeria’s greatness anchored on equity, justice, and inclusion.”

Jonathan said that as an indigene of Eastern Nigeria, born in Northern Nigeria and established in Western Nigeria, Azikiwe had a cosmopolitan life experience and disposition that prepared him for his role in society.

This, according to him, enabled Azikiwe to envision a progressive Nigeria, whose diverse tribes and tongues would blend to produce a great nation to lead the rest of Africa.

“Whether as a political leader, author, journalist and media owner, Zik was sincere in his consistent rhetoric about freedom and economic emancipation.

“He spent most of his life fighting for the progress of this country and the well-being of her people.

“It is, therefore, a thing of great significance that this group chose this very special day to evoke the nationalist spirit and principles of Azikiwe and restore to our consciousness, those ideals that raised our optimism about a cohesive and peaceful nation.

“A nation that would draw its strength in ethnic tolerance and accommodation and project to the world the beauty of unity in diversity.

“In those early days, Azikiwe never minced words on his fervent belief and optimism in the great potentials of our uniquely diverse society.

“He lived and died for one Nigeria, believing that what binds us is greater and more beneficial than what divides us as a people.

“While most political pundits insist that the potential for Nigeria’s greatness remains potent, our nation has continued, since independence, to grapple with the consequences of poor management of our diversity and differences.

Jonathan commended the group for organising the dialogue on the 117th birthday of Azikiwe and for making efforts to preserve his legacies for national unity, in challenging times.

Jonathan, also appreciated the solidarity and warm reception he always received from the people of the South East of Nigeria.

“The unconditional solidarity South Easterners have always accorded me, reinforces my hope in the fact that we can truly fraternize with one another as citizens of one country, no matter our tribe and tongue.

“It also shows that Ndigbo has accepted me as one of their own, in spite of the fact that I come from the creeks of the Niger Delta.

“When my grandmother named me Azikiwe, she probably had no inkling of the meaning of the name, other than the fact that she was enamored with the achievements of the great nationalist, the Great Zik of Africa.”

“I have come to understand that the name symbolizes peace, understanding, greatness, and solidarity in unity,” Jonathan added.

(NAN)

Politics

Ex-Gov. Yerima calls for unity in Zamfara

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1638184342 Ahmed Sani Yerima

Former Governor Ahmad Yerima of Zamfara has called for unity in the All Progressives Congress (APC) family in the state, urging those challenging the party’s leadership in the state to stop in the interest of peace.

Mr Yerima said this when he received newly inaugurated state executives of the party at his residence in Gusau.

Yusuf Idris, APC’s publicity secretary in Zamfara, disclosed this in a statement in Gusau on Monday.

The statement said the executives’ visit was to show appreciation to APC stakeholders in Zamfara over their emergence under the chairmanship of Tukur-Umar Danfulani.

“During the visit, Danfulani promised to show leadership by example, promising that all loyal members will be fully engaged in party activities,” said the statement.

It added that the executives also visited former Governor Mahmud Shinkafi, serving and former lawmakers at the National and State House of Assembly, among others.

(NAN)

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Sen Olujimi joins Ekiti guber race, makes case for female candidates

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Senator Biodun Olujimi

The lawmaker representing Ekiti South constituency under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen Biodun Olujimi has warned stakeholders against focusing on gender ahead of the state’s 2022 governorship elections.

Olujimi stated this on Sunday while formally declaring her ambition to contest for the 2022 governorship on the platform of the PDP in her ward 7, Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti-East Local Government Area of the state.

The former Senate Minority Leader said that people should rather focus on capacity and competence to deliver democratic dividends to them.

According to her, there is nothing spectacular about being a governor, such that it should be an exclusive preserve for men.

“I feel insulted and offended when some people insinuate that it is not time for women to be governor of a state,” she said.

Olujimi added that: “what is on the ground is not about men or women. It is about development; it is about inclusiveness; it is about wanting to serve our people.

“That is why I believe that coming into it is nothing spectacular, especially because I have been there before.

“This won’t be my first time. Nowadays, I hear stories that it isn’t time for women. I feel pained and insulted.

“So it wasn’t time for women when I became Commissioner for Works and Transport. It was also not time for women when I became Deputy Governor.

“It wasn’t time for women when I was elected into the House of Representatives. It was not time for women when I went to the Senate and became Deputy Minority Whip and also got re-elected into the Senate”, she said.

According to the senator, it was because the governorship election had been taken beyond its scope that the issue of gender is now being played up.

“To me, it is about capability, competence, and requisite knowledge and not about gender.

“For once, no woman has been there, except for Anambra when a woman inadvertently became an acting governor. So what is wrong with ensuring that there is inclusiveness? I believe I have what it takes to be governor of a state,” she said.

Read also: Ex-Senate minority leader, Olujimi, joins Ekiti guber race

Olujimi said that for equity and justice’s sake, all political parties fielding candidates for the election should pick from the southern zone which had never produced a governor since the return of democracy in 1999.

“I have never stopped saying that the southern zone has been badly marginalised. I have never stopped saying it. I have been behind the agitation for power shift to the zone.

“The reason is that if you are a true born of the zone and you see marginalisation going on, you either speak up or forever remain silent.

“There are three senatorial districts. From the northern part, Mr Segun Oni was there as governor for three and half years. Gov. Kayode Fayemi is about to complete his eight-year tenure. If you add the two, they would have spent eleven and a half years.

“Also, if you come to the central zone, Chief Niyi Adebayo was there for four years, followed by Mr Ayodele Fayose, who spent roughly eight years, making it a total of 12 years. The south part has not done any. Why?

“If you don’t allow the south now, it means they will wait for another eight years before taking a shot at the governorship and the state would have existed democratically for 32 years without a southern governor,” she said.

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Real reason Nigerian govt rejected #EndSARS panels —Adegboruwa

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Ebun Olu Adegboruwa 1

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), a member of the Lagos #EndSARS probe panel set up by the state government to investigate the killing of protesting Nigerian youths at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, has reacted to comments credited to Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, that the probe panels set up by state governments were illegal.

Keyamo had, while appearing on a television programme on Sunday, said the panels were illegal and their reports were not binding on the Federal Government.

However, Adegboruwa, in a statement on Monday, said the only reason the Federal Government was rejecting the panels was because the reports so far were not favourable to it.

“The Federal Government has recently muted the idea that all the Judicial Panels of Inquiry set up by the various States across the Federation, especially that of Lagos State, are illegal.

“It has never been part of our legal system in Nigeria, for a plaintiff who approached the court in the first instance, to turn around to challenge the legality or jurisdiction of the court.

Read also: Adegboruwa questions Lagos govt’s motives in wake of backlash on #EndSARS report

“The #EndSARS Panels were set up at the behest of the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council.

“In the case of the Lagos Panel, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Army, voluntarily submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the Panel, the Federal Government called witnesses, it tendered documents and it made very lengthy presentations.

“A party cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. Thus, a party who initiated a process and willingly and actively participated in that process, cannot turn around, after judgment, to plead illegality or absence of jurisdiction, simply because the outcome is unfavorable. We must strengthen our institutions to make them work.

“While we all await the White Paper from the Lagos State Government, it is important for government to build trust in the people in all its dealings and utterances,” he added.

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