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Republican Bob Dole, World War II hero and former US Senator, dies at 98

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Republican Bob Dole, above in 2016, represented his home state of Kansas in both chambers of Congress for decades. A decorated veteran who was seriously wounded during World War II, the longtime US Senator ran for president in 1996 but lost to incumbent Bill Clinton, a Democrat

Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole, who valiantly fought during World War II and then represented his home state of Kansas as a powerful US Senator for decades, has died at 98. 

Born into a working-class family in Russell, Kansas in 1923, the future senate majority leader paused his university studies to enlist in the army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Dole would earn two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service.

In April 1945, Nazis shot Dole in the right shoulder during a fight in the hills of Italy. Given little odds to pull through, it took years for him to recover and his right arm was permanently disabled. Dole was always seen in public holding a pen in his right hand to discourage people from shaking it.  

The decorated veteran entered politics in 1950 by winning a two-year term in the state’s legislature. He then served as Russell County’s prosecuting attorney for eight years until he made the jump to the US House of Representatives in 1961. Starting in 1969, he represented Kansas in the US Senate. During his long and influential tenure in upper chamber, Dole was a Republican party leader who reached across the aisle to broker deals and served as majority leader. 

In 1976, President Gerald Ford picked Dole as his running mate but they lost to the Democratic ticket of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. Dole vied for the Republican presidential nomination twice – in 1980 and 1988 – before finally securing it in 1996. After resigning from the Senate to focus on his campaign, Dole lost to incumbent Bill Clinton, a Democrat. 

Dole married his first wife, Phyllis Holden, in 1948 and they have a daughter together, Robin, who was born in 1954. The couple divorced in 1972, and he met and then married Elizabeth Hanford in 1975. Elizabeth Dole has served in three Republican administrations and was also a US Senator representing North Carolina from 2003 until 2009.

On February 18, Dole announced that he had stage four lung cancer. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his daughter, Robin.  

From 1969 until 1996, Dole served in the US Senate where he was a leader of his party, held powerful positions such as majority leader, and was a skilled negotiator to get legislation passed. He resigned from the Senate to focus on his presidential campaign. Above, Dole and his wife, Elizabeth, at a welcoming rally in San Diego during his run for the White House in 1996. The couple had come to the city for the race's last debate. Dole chose Jack Kemp, who had served nine terms in the US House of Representatives, as his running mate but they lost to the Democratic ticket of Clinton and Al Gore, then vice president

From 1969 until 1996, Dole served in the US Senate where he was a leader of his party, held powerful positions such as majority leader, and was a skilled negotiator to get legislation passed. He resigned from the Senate to focus on his presidential campaign. Above, Dole and his wife, Elizabeth, at a welcoming rally in San Diego during his run for the White House in 1996. The couple had come to the city for the race’s last debate. Dole chose Jack Kemp, who had served nine terms in the US House of Representatives, as his running mate but they lost to the Democratic ticket of Clinton and Al Gore, then vice president

Dole, above, in uniform in an undated photograph. He was a student at the University of Kansas when bombs fell on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the United States entered World War II. He enlisted the next year. Dole started active duty in the summer of 1943. He was deployed to Italy as a second lieutenant in the Army's 10th Mountain Division late the next year. In April 1945, his company was fighting to take Hill 913 - northwest of Florence - from the Nazis when they came under heavy gunfire from the Germans

Dole, above, in uniform in an undated photograph. He was a student at the University of Kansas when bombs fell on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and the United States entered World War II. He enlisted the next year. Dole started active duty in the summer of 1943. He was deployed to Italy as a second lieutenant in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division late the next year. In April 1945, his company was fighting to take Hill 913 – northwest of Florence – from the Nazis when they came under heavy gunfire from the Germans

'I could see my platoon's radioman go down... After pulling his lifeless form into the foxhole, I scrambled back out again. As I did, I felt a sharp sting in my upper right back,' Dole wrote in his 1988 autobiography. That sharp sting was a bullet that tore through his right shoulder. A fellow soldier pulled him back to the American lines. Dole was given morphine but wasn't expected to make it. Using Dole's own blood, his fellow soldier marked his forehead with an 'M' to indicate he had already been given a shot: a second dose would have been fatal. Above, Dole recovering at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1945

‘I could see my platoon’s radioman go down… After pulling his lifeless form into the foxhole, I scrambled back out again. As I did, I felt a sharp sting in my upper right back,’ Dole wrote in his 1988 autobiography. That sharp sting was a bullet that tore through his right shoulder. A fellow soldier pulled him back to the American lines. Dole was given morphine but wasn’t expected to make it. Using Dole’s own blood, his fellow soldier marked his forehead with an ‘M’ to indicate he had already been given a shot: a second dose would have been fatal. Above, Dole recovering at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1945

Robert Joseph Dole was born on July 22, 1923 in Russell, Kansas. His father, Dorian Ray, worked at a facility that stored grain, and his mother, Bina, sold sewing machines. The family of six, which included his brother Kenny and his two sisters, Gloria and Norma Jean, lived in a small house that a New York Times article pointed out was ‘quite literally the wrong side of the tracks.’ 

Religious, hardworking and poor, the family struggled like many during the Great Depression of the 1930s. ‘As a young man in a small town, my parents taught me to put my trust in God, not government, and never confuse the two,’ he said, according to Biography.com. 

At Russell High School, Dole was an athlete who was seen as handsome and popular, according to the Times profile, which was published as part of a series called Political Life in 1996. Dole was ‘noted mainly for his shyness around girls’ in the school newspaper about his class, according to the article. After graduating in 1941, Dole went to the University of Kansas with the goal of becoming a doctor. Like in high school, he was also on the college’s basketball, track and football teams.

But since 1939, the global battle to fight Nazi Germany raged and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered the war. At the age of 19, Dole enlisted in the US Army Reserve Corps in 1942.   

While Dole was rehabilitating, he met his first wife, Phyllis Holden, an occupational therapist, in 1948. They married soon after and had one daughter together, Robin, in 1954. Dole first ran for Congress in 1960. In the conservative Congressional district he sought to represent, the primary was key. To differentiate him from the other candidates, his wife Phyllis set to work making skirts for the 'Dolls for Dole.' On the skirts were 'applique elephants holding

While Dole was rehabilitating, he met his first wife, Phyllis Holden, an occupational therapist, in 1948. They married soon after and had one daughter together, Robin, in 1954. Dole first ran for Congress in 1960. In the conservative Congressional district he sought to represent, the primary was key. To differentiate him from the other candidates, his wife Phyllis set to work making skirts for the ‘Dolls for Dole.’ On the skirts were ‘applique elephants holding “Dole for Congress” signs in their trunks,’ according to a New York Times series in 1996. Above, Dole campaigns for Congress sometime in the 1960s

Robert Joseph Dole was born on July 22, 1923 in Russell, Kansas. His father, Dorian Ray, worked at a facility that stored grain, and his mother, Bina, sold sewing machines. 'My father missed only one day of work in 40 years,' Dole said, according to the Horatio Alger Association. 'My mother was a source of inspiration; sacrificing her comfort for others was a lifelong habit.' Above, Dole with his parents, Doran and Bina in 1968, which is the year he won his first Senate term after serving in the US House of Representatives since 1961

Robert Joseph Dole was born on July 22, 1923 in Russell, Kansas. His father, Dorian Ray, worked at a facility that stored grain, and his mother, Bina, sold sewing machines. ‘My father missed only one day of work in 40 years,’ Dole said, according to the Horatio Alger Association. ‘My mother was a source of inspiration; sacrificing her comfort for others was a lifelong habit.’ Above, Dole with his parents, Doran and Bina in 1968, which is the year he won his first Senate term after serving in the US House of Representatives since 1961

Dole was married to his first wife until they divorced in early 1972. That year, he met Elizabeth Hanford, a lawyer who would serve in three administrations and run for office herself. The pair met at his office on Capitol Hill, according to a Today interview. 'All of a sudden, the side door opens and in comes Bob Dole. And I look up and I think,

Dole was married to his first wife until they divorced in early 1972. That year, he met Elizabeth Hanford, a lawyer who would serve in three administrations and run for office herself. The pair met at his office on Capitol Hill, according to a Today interview. ‘All of a sudden, the side door opens and in comes Bob Dole. And I look up and I think, “Gee, he’s a good-looking guy.” And he says he wrote my name on the back of his blotter,’ Elizabeth said during the show. They married in December 1975 and are seen above on their wedding day

Dole started active duty in the summer of 1943 and was then deployed to Italy as a second lieutenant in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division late the next year. 

In April 1945, his company was fighting to take Hill 913 – northwest of Florence – from the Nazis when they came under heavy gunfire, including from a sniper, and were trapped by the hail of bullets and a minefield.  

‘Dole had to get that gunman. He selected a small group of men to help him take out the sniper and find a safer passage. As he climbed a rocky field, his radioman was hit,’ according to his 1996 presidential campaign website. 

‘I could see my platoon’s radioman go down… After pulling his lifeless form into the foxhole, I scrambled back out again. As I did, I felt a sharp sting in my upper right back,’ Dole wrote in his 1988 autobiography.

That sharp sting was a bullet that tore through his shoulder. ‘I lay face down in the dirt,’ Dole said, according to the campaign website. ‘I could not see or move my arms. I thought they were missing.’ 

Sergeant Frank Carafa bravely pulled the wounded Dole back. ‘They had a perfect field of fire,’ he told the Associated Press in 1995. The Germans ‘could have killed every person that went out on that field.’

Dole was given morphine but wasn’t expected to make it. Using Dole’s blood, a fellow soldier marked his forehead with an ‘M’ to indicate he had already been given a shot: a second dose would have been fatal.  

In 1968, Dole won his first Senate term after serving in the House - the same year Richard Nixon took the White House. Nixon tapped Dole to be the chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1971. During Nixon's second term, he resigned after the Watergate Scandal and Gerald Ford, right, became president in 1974. Ford chose Dole as his running mate and they are seen above at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City. The Democratic ticket of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale defeated them

In 1968, Dole won his first Senate term after serving in the House – the same year Richard Nixon took the White House. Nixon tapped Dole to be the chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1971. During Nixon’s second term, he resigned after the Watergate Scandal and Gerald Ford, right, became president in 1974. Ford chose Dole as his running mate and they are seen above at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City. The Democratic ticket of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale defeated them

Dole first sought the Republican presidential nomination during the 1980 election but soon bowed out. Republican Ronald Reagan won the White House for two terms. He again pursued the nomination in 1988, but George H W Bush, Reagan's vice president, won the nomination and the presidency. Bush lost to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. Dole secured the nomination in 1996 and took on Clinton. Above, supporters cheer Dole at a rally in March 1996

Dole first sought the Republican presidential nomination during the 1980 election but soon bowed out. Republican Ronald Reagan won the White House for two terms. He again pursued the nomination in 1988, but George H W Bush, Reagan’s vice president, won the nomination and the presidency. Bush lost to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. Dole secured the nomination in 1996 and took on Clinton. Above, supporters cheer Dole at a rally in March 1996

Above, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Dole, the Republican nominee, his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Robin after a presidential debate on October 6, 1996. Two years earlier, there was a 'Republican Revolution' in which the party made substantial gains and won control of both houses of Congress during the midterm elections in November 1994. Momentum was believed to be on the side of the Republicans but with a strong economy, Clinton, the incumbent, prevailed

Above, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Dole, the Republican nominee, his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Robin after a presidential debate on October 6, 1996. Two years earlier, there was a ‘Republican Revolution’ in which the party made substantial gains and won control of both houses of Congress during the midterm elections in November 1994. Momentum was believed to be on the side of the Republicans but with a strong economy, Clinton, the incumbent, prevailed

Dole did survive but was seriously wounded and temporarily paralyzed. But the 22-year-old persevered and eventually after the paralysis subsided, he was able to relearn simple tasks using his left arm due to the damage to his right. 

His road to recovery was long but it was while he was recuperating that he met his first wife, Phyllis Holden, an occupational therapist. She saw him across the cafeteria at the Percy Jones Army Medical Center in March 1948. ‘He was handsome, with dark, penetrating eyes and shiny hair – and because his right arm was up in a sling,’ she told The Spokesman-Review in 1996 about why she noticed him.

At a party soon after, Dole asked her dance. Three months later, they were married, according to the article.

For a short period, the couple moved back to Russell and his fellow townspeople raised money – $1,800 in 1947 – for surgeries to straighten his right arm, according to the Times profile.

Dole went back to college, first at the University of Arizona before transferring to Washburn University in Topeka and switched his ambition from medicine to law. He then earned his undergraduate and law degrees. It was while he was in law school that he decided to enter politics and in 1950, he was elected to the state legislature. Four years later, his daughter, Robin, was born. 

After the two-year term, Dole was the county’s prosecuting attorney for eight years. By 1960, he was ready for a bigger stage and ran for Congress. 

In the conservative Congressional district, the primary was key. To differentiate him from the other candidates, his wife Phyllis set to work making skirts for the ‘Dolls for Dole.’ On the skirts were ‘applique elephants holding “Dole for Congress” signs in their trunks,’ according to the Times series.

Dole won his first term in the US House of Representatives and in 1961, the family split its time between Russell and Washington, DC. Phyllis told The Spokesman-Review that DC ‘was kind of scary for me.’

In 1968, after serving as a Congressman for eight years, Dole sought a Senate seat and won – the same year Richard Nixon took the White House. Nixon tapped Dole for Republican National Committee chairman in 1971. And while he traveled the country, Dole spent time away from his wife and daughter. The couple divorced in January 1972.

When asked about his accomplishments in the Senate, Dole told The New York Times: 'Just being there. I mean being in the United States Senate. I can't think of very many days I went to work without being a little excited. You see the Capitol dome and know that you're part of something that most people would give anything for. It's a great opportunity, and a great privilege.' Above, Dole after speaking to VFW members in Louisville, Kentucky during his run for the White House in 1996

When asked about his accomplishments in the Senate, Dole told The New York Times: ‘Just being there. I mean being in the United States Senate. I can’t think of very many days I went to work without being a little excited. You see the Capitol dome and know that you’re part of something that most people would give anything for. It’s a great opportunity, and a great privilege.’ Above, Dole after speaking to VFW members in Louisville, Kentucky during his run for the White House in 1996

In January 1997, President Clinton awarded Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor. 'Son of the soil, citizen, soldier and legislator, Bob Dole understands the American people, their struggles, their triumphs and their dreams,' Clinton said during the ceremony. 'Our country is better for his courage, his determination and his willingness to go the long course to lead America'

In January 1997, President Clinton awarded Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. ‘Son of the soil, citizen, soldier and legislator, Bob Dole understands the American people, their struggles, their triumphs and their dreams,’ Clinton said during the ceremony. ‘Our country is better for his courage, his determination and his willingness to go the long course to lead America’

Dole kisses his wife, Elizabeth, above, on November 5, 2002 after her electoral victory. Born in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1936, Elizabeth Dole served in Lyndon B Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's administrations. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she ran for her native state's Senate seat in 2002. She won and was reelected in 2006. In 2012, she founded her namesake foundation dedicated to 'empowering, supporting, and honoring military and veteran caregivers,' according to the organization's Twitter page

Dole kisses his wife, Elizabeth, above, on November 5, 2002 after her electoral victory. Born in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1936, Elizabeth Dole served in Lyndon B Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan’s administrations. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she ran for her native state’s Senate seat in 2002. She won and was reelected in 2006. In 2012, she founded her namesake foundation dedicated to ’empowering, supporting, and honoring military and veteran caregivers,’ according to the organization’s Twitter page

After he lost the White House in 1996, Dole continued to advocate on the behalf of veterans. Above, Dole, who was then co-chair of a President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors, speaks about the group's report as President George W Bush and Donna Shalala, left, then the Health and Human Services Secretary, listens in the Rose Garden in October 2007

After he lost the White House in 1996, Dole continued to advocate on the behalf of veterans. Above, Dole, who was then co-chair of a President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, speaks about the group’s report as President George W Bush and Donna Shalala, left, then the Health and Human Services Secretary, listens in the Rose Garden in October 2007 

But 1972 was also when he met his wife of 45 years: Elizabeth Hanford, a lawyer who would serve in three administrations and run for office herself. The pair met at his office on Capitol Hill, according to a Today interview from February 2019.

‘All of a sudden, the side door opens and in comes Bob Dole. And I look up and I think, “Gee, he’s a good-looking guy.” And he says he wrote my name on the back of his blotter,’ Elizabeth said during the show.

They went on their first date after talking on the phone and three years later they married in December 1975. ‘I love his compassionate heart. And the fact that he loved to feel that each day he could make a difference for at least one person in need,’ she told Today. ‘And I loved the fact that he had such a great sense of humor.’

Dole won reelection several times and served in the Senate for nearly three decades. Throughout his tenure, he led his party and was able ‘to maintain a unified Republican caucus, a job that grew increasingly difficult as the Senate grew more fractious and individual members more assertive,’ according to The New York Times series. With his reputation as a pragmatist and a dealmaker, Dole was able to work with Democrats. He was also a strong supporter and advocate for 1990’s American with Disabilities Act.

He was first elected the majority leader in 1984. Elizabeth told Today: ‘I got a miniature schnauzer from the Humane Society and walked into his national press conference with this little dog with a big sign ‘Leader’ around his neck, and presented him to Bob.’

Dole was majority leader again in 1995 but did not hold the position long. In 1996, after he secured the Republican presidential nomination, he resigned from the Senate to focus on his campaign. He had first sought the nomination in 1980 but quickly dropped out. George H W Bush beat him in 1988 when he vied for it again. 

During the midterm elections of 1994, there was a ‘Republican Revolution’: for the first time in 40 years, the party won both the House and the Senate. Many pointed to this momentum to push Democrat Bill Clinton out of the White House. Nonetheless, voters chose the incumbent and Dole lost.  

‘Sure, losing an election hurts, but I’ve experienced worse. And at an age when every day is precious, brooding over what might have been is self-defeating. In conceding the 1996 election, I remarked that ‘tomorrow will be the first time in my life I don’t have anything to do.’ I was wrong. Seventy-two hours after conceding the election, I was swapping wisecracks with David Letterman on his late-night show,’ Dole wrote in The Washington Post in 2012.

Dole was then a spokesman for Visa, Dunkin’ Donuts and Viagra, worked at law firm and as a lobbyist as well as founded the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He also continued to work on behalf of veterans.

 In 1997, Clinton awarded Dole the Presidential Medal Freedom. 

‘At every stage of my life, I’ve been a witness to the greatness of this country,’ Dole said at the ceremony. ‘I have seen this nation overcome Depression and segregation and communism, turning back mortal threats to human freedom. And I have stood in awe of American courage and decency, a virtue so rare in history and so common in this precious place.’

'For a long time after my loss to Bill Clinton in 1996, I would lie awake nights wondering what I could have done to change the outcome,' Dole wrote in The Washington Post in 2012. 'Did we rely too much on the Republican base, letting cultural issues define us in a harsh light and driving away independents and suburban voters?' After the election, Dole was a spokesman for Visa, Dunkin' Donuts and Viagra. Above, Dole at an ASPCA's Fourth Annual Paws for Celebration pet adoption event in June 2015

‘For a long time after my loss to Bill Clinton in 1996, I would lie awake nights wondering what I could have done to change the outcome,’ Dole wrote in The Washington Post in 2012. ‘Did we rely too much on the Republican base, letting cultural issues define us in a harsh light and driving away independents and suburban voters?’ After the election, Dole was a spokesman for Visa, Dunkin’ Donuts and Viagra. Above, Dole at an ASPCA’s Fourth Annual Paws for Celebration pet adoption event in June 2015

Above, Dole salutes the casket of George H W Bush, the 41st President of the United States, in the US Capitol on December 4, 2018. Bush had died in Houston on November 30, 2018. Dole, who was using a wheelchair, rose to pay his respects to his former rival. The two men both ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. Both were bested by Reagan, who won the nomination and chose Bush as his running mate. Dole dropped out. They met again in 1988 but then Vice President Bush was chosen as the candidate. Later on, in 1996, Bush supported Dole's run for the White House and spoke highly of him at that year's convention

Above, Dole salutes the casket of George H W Bush, the 41st President of the United States, in the US Capitol on December 4, 2018. Bush had died in Houston on November 30, 2018. Dole, who was using a wheelchair, rose to pay his respects to his former rival. The two men both ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. Both were bested by Reagan, who won the nomination and chose Bush as his running mate. Dole dropped out. They met again in 1988 but then Vice President Bush was chosen as the candidate. Later on, in 1996, Bush supported Dole’s run for the White House and spoke highly of him at that year’s convention

Above, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump look on as Elizabeth Dole kisses her husband at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in the Capitol rotunda to honor the former longtime Senator as a 'soldier, legislator, and statesman,' on January 17, 2018

Above, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump look on as Elizabeth Dole kisses her husband at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in the Capitol rotunda to honor the former longtime Senator as a ‘soldier, legislator, and statesman,’ on January 17, 2018

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Shonekan’s death major loss to Nigeria, private sector -Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the late head of Nigeria’s Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, was highly consequential as a leader in the private sector who impacted economic policy in Nigeria.

This is as he described Shonekan’s demise as a major loss to the country.

Osinbajo stated this on Sunday when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late head of the Interim National Government, in Lagos.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement he signed late Sunday titled ‘Shonekan was consequential as private sector leader, his death a major loss, says Osinbajo’.

The Vice President who visited in company of his wife, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, was received at the Ikoyi residence of the Shonekans by the late ING head’s widow, Margaret Shonekan, and the son Adeboye Shonekan.

Osinbajo described Shonekan’s death as “a very major loss for the country and for the private sector and even internationally.

“Here was a man who made an impact. He was one of the very first leaders in the private sector to shape economic policy in Nigeria, and his role in that respect was very significant.”

During the visit, the Vice President also signed the condolence register thus: “We bless the name of the Lord for the excellent life of service to the country and to God, of our leader and father  Chief Ernest Shonekan, GCFR.

“We are proud of his contributions to the shaping of the modern Nigerian economy while being a leading light in the private sector. And for his statesmanship and leadership of the country at a time of great uncertainty in our nation.

“His integrity, legacy and high value service will remain evergreen in our memories. We pray that the Lord will comfort the family and may his memory be blessed forever. Amen.”

The Vice President also prayed for the family of the deceased business guru.

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Nigerians in diaspora key to revamping the economy, democracy, says Utomi

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By Chukwudi Nweje

Former presidential adviser, Prof Pat Utomi, who is also the leader of the National Consultative Front (NC Front), has said Nigerians in the diaspora have a crucial role to play in revamping the economy and saving the country’s democracy.

Utomi, who said this during a meeting with Nigerian professionals in Dallas, Texas, the United States at the weekend also noted that Nigerians in diaspora remit more money home than the country earns from the sale of crude oil, but have been denied the opportunity to fully participate in the democratic process by selfish politicians who fear the positive changes they will engender in the country’s democracy.

He said, “The Diaspora have higher competencies and a global network but is being blocked from their natural role in national rejuvenation by professional politicians in Nigeria who thrive on exclusion to achieve state capture, deserves a place at the table. The Diaspora remit more money home than Nigeria earns from crude oil sales. The Diaspora are high stakeholders with a moral obligation to help halt the drift in Nigeria.”

He urged Nigerians in the diaspora to partner the NC Front in ‘a shadow government’, which he said aims at developing policy plans to revive some critical sectors of the country’s economy that are lying comatose.

“The alternative government’s strategy involves a Marshal Plan type saturation investment in education, healthcare and the stimulation of markets that would further yield a prosperity paradox in infrastructure. The national economic strategy which is built on clusters of manufacturing hubs and technology parks in the six zones of Nigeria will drive global value chains anchored on the latent comparative advantage of each zone’s factor endowments and will produce a dramatic turnaround in Nigeria’s fortunes.

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He added that the NC Front will in the coming weeks announce a political party platform that will enable Nigeria to claim the promise of the founding fathers that peace and prosperity will define the future, in brotherhood, though tribe and tongue may differ.

“As soon as the current government is replaced there would be a diaspora global roadshow to showcase opportunities for diaspora joint ventures on the select endowments around which the value chains will be rolled out. This will quickly bring us to a full-employment economy and make Nigeria the true powerhouse of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Utomi said Nigerians should reject both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023 as they both represent retrograde opportunism.

He said that as 2023 approaches that Nigerians must move away from the politics of big men to those of big ideas to save the country.

“It is this politics of big men that deluded many Nigerians to think Buhari would help eliminate corruption only for corruption to get worse on his watch. Governing has reached its lowest ebb in memory with Nigeria’s import bills having at its top two items Nigeria should be exporting, premium motor spirit and food. These kinds of failures were the tradition of the anti-people government of corrupt big men that APC and PDP represents. A government that cares for and loves its people will not have politicians obsessed with self-love when just a little thoughtfulness can reduce the sufferings of the people and accelerate the pace of progress. To achieve a purposeful, people-centred government requires leaders of integrity, character, and a heart for the people”, Utomi said.

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2023: Sen Adamu’s reconciliation c’ttee will position APC for victory – VON DG, Okechukwu

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The Director-General,  Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has said the Senator Abdullahi Adamu reconciliation committee is positioning the p

All Progressives Congress (APC) for 2023 electoral victory.

Okechukwu told newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, that the decision to set up the committee was one of the sterling achievements of the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Governor Mai Mala Buni.

The APC chieftain, who was a member of the sub committees in the merger process that formed APC, noted that the Adamu-led conciliation committee has been going about their responsibilities with uncommon insight, purpose and empathy.

He stated, “I will not be mistaken if one calls the Reconciliation Committee the nine wisemen, because they are generating germane responses and inputs that would help in strengthening our great party and turning it into a formidable national political movement on the eve of 2023 general elections.

“The committee yes has some challenges, nonetheless has recorded tremendous success that would position our great party for 2023 general elections.

“I think with this reconciliation move, APC is becoming the party the founding fathers envisioned and it is a thing of joy that the CECPC selected such claiber of persons to perform this onerous task.”

On reports about setbacks suffered by the committee in some states, Okechukwu, said, “Nobody expected the crisis dogging over 15 state chapters to be settled at once. All I know is that the Senator Adamu’s Committee has so far recorded huge successes in the South East, North West, North East, South West and South South.

“Yes, there are unresolved issues in states like Osun, Kwara and Adamawa, but my understanding is that reconciliation is a work in progress.”

The APC chieftain disclosed that he participated in the meeting for reconciliation of the three factions or tendencies in his home state, Enugu, remarking, “One was impressed with how diligent and painstaking Senator Adamu and his team grilled us. That one can say today that we are rebuilding APC Enugu State Chapter with Senator Ken Nnamani, former Governor Sulivan Chime and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama, which was mangled by the congresses.”

“It must be noted that the Committee rebuked us for playing blame games instead of building bridges for victory in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

“Today, we are almost united, as we are harmonising at ward, local government and state levels. We hope before the end of this week, APC Enugu State chapter will reunite as one family.”

He expressed optimism that Abia, Gombe, Akwa Ibom and other states would comply with advisory template of the Senator Adamu’s Committee.

His words: “Based on what I have witnessed, the Senator Adamu Committee will reconcile all the prolonged crisis in the state chapters, which contributed to the delays in holding the party’s national convention.”

He recalled with pain that since June 2020, when the APC caretaker committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, was inaugurated, the convention has been postponed several times.

He hoped that the efforts of Senator Adamu’s Committee will lead to seamless national convention, a mandate which President Buhari gave H.E. M.M. Buni CECPC.

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