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2023 Presidency: Osinbajo more credible than Tinubu, says vice president’s support group

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The Organised Private Sector for Osinbajo (OPS4Osinbajo) says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is more credible than APC national leader Bola Tinubu who want to be Nigeria’s president in 2023.

“Even though an aspirant has informed Buhari about his 2023 presidential ambition, the most credible option still appears to be Vice President Yemi Osinbajo,” asserted the group’s spokesman Abdulrahman Farouk in a statement on Tuesday. “And for the organised private sector as well as the citizenry, Osinbajo offers much fertile ground for hope to rapidly germinate.” 

By describing Mr Osinbajo as the most credible option for APC, the support group also pooh-poohed Orji Uzor Kalu’s and Governor David Umahi’s ambition to contest the 2023 presidential poll.

According to Mr Farouk, the incumbent vice president is more intellectually endowed than any current presidential aspirants aspiring to run for president and that with Mr Osinbajo as president, Nigeria’s organised private sector has a basis for optimism about post-2023 economic activities.

He reasoned that the vice president’s consistent focus and insider knowledge of the objectives and challenges related to President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s economic programmes were significant advantages towards Nigeria’s economic rejuvenation.

“No declaration by any number of aspirants can douse the patriotic passion associated with those championing the cause of an Osinbajo presidency in 2023,” added the Osinbajo support group’s spokesman.

He emphasised that Mr Osinbajo’s candidature would offer hope for citizens with high expectations about job creation, increased earnings and growth.

Mr Farouk stressed that rather than mere sentiments, Nigerians must carefully weigh the past and current potentials of various candidates towards using their voter’s card responsibly in the 2023 election.

He noted that getting Nigeria’s economy to grow faster than the population would take a lot of consistent planning, discipline and integrity.

“The idealistic and very patriotic pursuit of various economic policies led by Osinbajo speaks volumes about future potentials for people-focused policies,” claimed the Osinbajo support group. “Under his supervision, Nigeria’s social investment programmes have been ranked internationally, but much more good news should unfold when he is fully in the saddle by 2023.”

The statement also quoted Aliyu Kurfi, Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG)’s chairman, saying, “As genuine democrats who believe in the progressive ideals that Vice President Osinbajo stands for… We are mobilising for Prof Yemi Osinbajo, a man who believes in the rule of law, a man who is a democrat and a great progressive too; nothing in his antecedents ever speaks of anti-democratic standards.”

On Monday, Mr Tinubu told journalists he had informed Mr Buhari of his plan to go for the APC’s presidential ticket. The Gazette had published a series of damning reports on Mr Tinubu’s corrupt enrichment through the questionable Lagos tax infrastructure and Alpha Beta, siphoning billions of naira to shell companies.

Mr Umahi, the Ebonyi governor, also did the same on Wednesday. Like the ex-Lagos governor, he is burdened by corruption allegations. In January 2021, Peoples Gazette reported how Mr Umahi channelled state funds between 2011 and 2019 to Brass Engineering, which he owns and has chaired since 1993.

Based on bank records of the state, the report notes that Mr Umahi received more than N3.6 billion when he began transferring state funds into Brass Engineering shortly after becoming deputy governor to Martin Elechi in 2011. 

(NAN)

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UN welcomes suspension of Burkina Faso from ECOWAS

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has welcomed the suspension of Burkina Faso from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over this week’s military coup.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson to Mr Guterres, said this while briefing correspondents on Friday at UN headquarters on the situation in the country.

Haq said Mr Guterres also welcomed the decision of ECOWAS to deploy a mission of the regional Chiefs of Defence staff to the country on Saturday, to then be followed by a ministerial delegation next week.

According to Mr Haq, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, will travel to Burkina Faso over the weekend on a good offices mission.

“Annadif will also join the Ministerial mission along with the President of the ECOWAS Commission and the Foreign Minister of Ghana.

“This will take place ahead of a planned ECOWAS Summit in Accra on Feb. 3 to further discuss the situation in the country.

“The secretary-general continues to call for calm, the release of President Roch Marc Kaboré and other officials that have been detained as well as for a return to constitutional order in Burkina Faso,” said the spokesperson.

He added that Mr Annadif took part in the special virtual summit on Burkina Faso, organised by ECOWAS, on Friday.

In a Tweet, Mr Annadif said in his remarks at the summit, that he had reiterated the UN’s condemnation of unconstitutional changes of power and called for a swift and unconditional return to constitutional order in Burkina Faso.

Meanwhile, Burkina Faso’s new military leader, Paul-Henri Damiba, said the West African country would return to democratic rule when the conditions were right.

Mr Damiba spoke for the first time on national television since leading a mutiny that ousted President Kabore on Monday.

“When the conditions are right, according to the deadline that our people will define in all sovereignty, I commit to a return to a normal constitutional order,” Mr Damiba said.

The junta said on Monday after seizing power that it would propose a calendar for a return to constitutional order “within a reasonable time frame” but has not elaborated on its plans.

The officers, who call themselves the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR), launched a mutiny on Sunday night, and removed Mr Kabore on Monday, blaming him for failing to contain worsening violence by Islamist militants.

(NAN)

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NEMA distributes relief materials to 350 Lagosians affected by 2021 flood

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday distributed relief materials to 350 flood victims in Ikorodu and Kosofe areas of Lagos.

Ibrahim Farinloye, South-West Zonal Coordinator, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Mr Farinloye said the relief items were distributed and monitored by NEMA and officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

He said that this was the first phase of the federal Glgovernment intervention to those affected by the 2021 flood in Kosofe and Ikorodu areas of Lagos.

Mr Farinloye added that the agency had close to 400 flood victims from Ikorodu and Kosofe areas that would benefit from the federal government support.

“We are visiting the flood victims in all the 67 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Area (LCDAs) in Lagos.

“We are distributing beverages, building materials, foodstuffs, mosquito nets and other household items to the flood victims.

“There are lots of water around Owode-Onirin and Ikorodu axis, which makes some of their property to be under water.

“In 2021, we created the Disaster Risk Reduction Management, ahead of the rainy period to reduce flood victims across the country,” Mr Farinloye said.

He said that before the introduction of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management, flood usually disturbs riverine residents between three to four months. He said it took two to three weeks for riverine residents to experience flood in 2021.

He urged Nigerians to always listen to both government and stakeholders’ engagement workshops and relocate from their environment during the rainy season.

Mr Farinloye said the agency had estimated over one million flood victims between Ikorodu and Kosofe areas in 2021.

He added that they had lesser victims due to the measures being taken on time.

Mr Farinloye said that the management of NEMA had already cautioned Nigerians to imbibe disaster risk protection to reduce flood victims on yearly basis.

He, however, advised Nigerians who reside around riverine areas to imbibe Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy to reduce the number of victims in the country.

(NAN)

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Customs intercepts 11.91kg of cocaine valued at N3.9 billion

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The Nigeria Customs Service says it has intercepted 11.931kg of cocaine valued at about N3.9 billion concealed inside a Ford Transit Bus conveying religious books.

The interception occurred during a stop and search operation by officers of the Seme Command, along Seme-Badagry expressway on Sunday morning.

Hussein Abdulahi, spokesperson for the Command, said in a statement on Friday that customs officers also intercepted 31,950 litres of petrol valued at a little above N10 million along Badagry creek.

Quoting the Customs Area Controller, Bello Jibo, he said the substance was subjected to test and verification by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Mr Jibo said the test indicated that it was cocaine weighing 11.913kg, while its street value was estimated to be N3.9billion.

He said that one suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure, and that the command had initiated offensive patrol against smuggling of petroleum products along the creeks within the Seme and Badagry axis.

According to Mr Jibo, this renewed effort led to the interception of large quantities of petroleum products packaged in sacks on January 26.

He said the items were successfully evacuated to the Command premises where an examination was conducted and 1,065 jerrycans of 30 litres each discovered.

“The petroleum product equivalent to 31,950 litres was discovered with Duty Paid Value at N10,041,198.00,” he said.

He commended sister agencies and Seme border stakeholders for their assistance, and reiterated the commitment of his officers in supporting the government.

(NAN)

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