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Why I convened 2014 National Conference – Jonathan

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Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan said on Tuesday he convened the 2014 National Conference in a bid 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 held in honour of the first Nigerian President, late Nnamdi Azikiwe, in Abuja.

He said the inability of successive governments to manage Nigeria’s diversity was a major factor limiting the nation’s socio-economic development.

The ex-President said: “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.

READ ALSO: Jonathan declares support for e-transmission of election results

“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 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.

These, according to him, will 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 the country.

Jonathan added: “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.”

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Politics

We are not losing sleep over members defection to PDP, says Lagos APC

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The Paradise Breaking News
APC members burning brooms. File photo used for illustration purposes. 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos says the defection of the Lagos4Lagos movement to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot change the main opposition’s misfortune in the state.

The splinter group defected on Saturday during an event attended by Bukola Saraki, former senate president.

Reacting to the defection in an interview with NAN, Seye Oladejo, APC spokesman in Lagos, said PDP would still lose in Lagos despite the move.

“There is nothing that is going to happen that will change the fortune of the PDP. They have always lost, it is in their DNA. So, they will lose again,” he said.

“So, they are moving to nothing, we will meet at the polls. I can assure you they would not even win a single ward in the state.”

Oladejo said the aggrieved members’ movement to the PDP underscores their political naivety “for them to think they can bring any special fortune that is unknown and alien to our state”.

He added that the Lagos4Lagos movement has just formalised its membership of the opposition party and that the ruling party would not miss the group.

“They have always been in the opposition anyway. We have always believed that they were acting a script. There is a limit to hypocrisy which is not sustainable,” he said.

“No one plays opposition within the ruling party and hope to sustain that. So, it is a good thing that they have finally moved on.

“We are happy that in some of their interviews, they promised to resurrect a dead party. I believe resurrection is left for Almighty God.

“It is good they are mixing and fraternising with the dead now, which is a good thing for them. For us, we are not going to miss them.

“Hopefully, someday, they will see the light and know that Lagos has always been a progressive state and remains one. They can return.

“So, if they want to come back in the future, why not? Our doors remain permanently open to those who are ready to repent and see the light.”

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Taraba APC threatens to burn brooms, collapse party structure for another party over disappointment in Buhari

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The Paradise Breaking News

The crisis rocking the Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have taken a nosedive as some critical stakeholders of the party are threatening to collapse the entire party structure into another political party, following what they called negligence of the chapter of the party by the national leadership.

A stakeholder who spoke to The SUN on Sunday , said that the party has done very well in ensuring that President Muhammadu Buhari gets overwhelming support in the state since 2015 but was disappointed that the President has never reciprocated the gesture to the party.

He said that the failure of the President to appoint another Minister for Taraba several months after he dropped the then Minister of Power Saleh Mamman has shown clearly that the President may not have the interest of the party at heart especially now that the party is warming up for another general election.

“In 2015, the APC gave the President overwhelming support in Taraba. Infact, you will remember that the crowd that came out to welcome him was so much that it led to a stampede and the death of several persons. The only thing we got was the minister of Women Affairs who later left the party ahead of the 2019 elections. We went into that election almost naked. Even at that, we still have him landslide in Taraba.

“Now again, after the 2019 elections, the President appointed someone who was little known in the party and he could not galvanize the party. But at least he was there. Sadly, we are facing the next general elections and there is no clear plan for the party. Several months after the President sacked the minister, Taraba state has remained with a minister and no serious national appointee. This is detrimental for the party.

“We had hoped that the President will look at the records and see those that actually worked for the party over the years and appoint someone who has the track record of bringing the people together so that all the issues bothering the party could be addressed and yet nothing is been done. So what is the point staying in the party? As it is, the party needs a leader apart from the state officials who can bring all the stakeholders together to sort out our issues and prepare ahead of 2023.

“I can tell you in confidence that already consultation is underway to move the party structure in Taraba to another party. What is the point staying when we are not appreciated and have been abandoned by our leaders? What is the motivation here when hard work and absolute loyalty counts as nothing? It is this same action that cost the party Taraba state governorship in 2019. We can not sit back and watch that happen again.

“To further worsen the situation, we learnt that some people in government are lobbying for some persons who are either not party members at all or are, at best, Fairweather members, to get tickets and appointments. What message are they trying to send to those that have worked faithfully and tirelessly for the party? So don’t be surprised if you wake up tomorrow to witness the death of the APC and birth of a new party in the state”.

The APC has been through some challenging times in the state with some attributing it to a lack of clearly acceptable leader of the party at the state level who can bring all the stakeholders to a round table and sort out their differences in a manner that will be tolerable by all parties involved.

Another member of the party Alhaji Sani Umar noted that the reward system of the party seems to work well everywhere else except in Taraba state.

Umar said that “the APC does not consider Taraba chapter of the party for anything at all. As a state where the President won election back to back even though the PDP is the ruling party in the state, it is sad that we are not considered for appointments and other good things that come with been in leadership.

“Even the ministerial slot we should enjoy constitutionally has been vacant for several months now. How do we progress as a party without support from our leaders at the national level? How do you convince the people to work for the party wholeheartedly when there is no reward system for them? I think the party may be heading for a major crisis if this is not urgently addressed and corrected”.

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CNG accuses Buhari of nepotism For appointing more northerners into critical positions

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Buhari 1 1

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism by appointing more northerners into critical national positions to the detriment of the Southern part of the country.

The apex northern group which made the allegation in a statement issued on Sunday by its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said Buhari’s key appointnents since coming into power in 2015 has been skewed to favour the north, while neglecting other parts of the country.

Suleiman, however, lamented that despite majority of Buhari’s “sensitive and critical” appointments going to the north, the region has not benefitted much as it is still reeling from poverty, underdevelopment, insurgency and banditry.

“Since coming to power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed more northerners into critical positions but to what effect has these appointments been for the North?

“We all can testify that the North has been the major casualty of the policies of the Buhari administration while the South is the major beneficiary.

READ ALSO: SERAP wants Court to stop Buhari, Pantami from shutting down telecoms

“The appointment of northerners into critical positions cannot be a yardstick for judging a people’s development or prosperity as we are all witnesses to the fact that the North is still wallowing extreme poverty, underdevelopment, banditry, kidnappings and insurgency.”

Suleiman further lamented that with all the lopsidedness in Buhari’s appointments into key security positions, the North continues to face the severest security situation than all the other regions.

He added that being a northerner in the office does not translate to preference in terms of service delivery, claiming that the positions could be occupied by any other region or tribe.

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